March 01, 2015

Jury Duty

I was called up for Jury Duty last week. I had over a month notice so just like the letter instructed, I cleared my schedule for two weeks. Fortunately, the first Monday was a holiday so I didn't actually have to report until Tuesday.

I didn't even get to serve on a Jury. It was odd taking the train every day downtown and then having an hour plus to eat lunch. I got to roam the skyways with the business crowd of Minneapolis. It was a totally different world with delicious grilled cheese sandwhiches.

They only kept me for three days. I was both relieved and disappointing. I wanted to do my civic duty and was curious what it would be like to sit on an actual jury. But I also felt so disconnected from my work (even though I was doing what I could in the waiting area) and from the greater world.

I did get called twice to be in a panel but we never even got through jury selection before they settled. Mostly it involved a lot of sitting around in the hall way. It was still a glimpse into our judicial system that I don't see much of.

November 02, 2014

Riding Around in My New Car

We bought a new car recently. Our previous car is 20 years old (almost old enough to drink!). I’ve known we need a new car for a while. For personal reasons, a more practical car for my partner and I would be automatic, easier to get in and out of, and less likely to suddenly die if you go through a large puddle or sneeze wrong. You know, something reliable and comfortable. A stereo that works all the time, instead of just randomly (we think it turns on when the car gets warm enough but this hypothesis hasn't been tested scientifically) would also be nice.

Even with this knowledge I’ve dragged my feet for a few years on getting a new car. At first it was easy to say we couldn’t afford one but with repairs regularly equaling one or two grand a year - that line stopped holding water.
Honestly, I wasn’t emotionally ready to let go of our old car until now (and even now letting go is a relative term since I am sending it to a retirement home in the country, also known as “my brother’s place”).

Continue reading "Riding Around in My New Car" »

September 29, 2013


It has been just over four months since we bought our house and I still get goose bumps thinking about it. I can't believe we are so lucky (and so adult) to actually "own" a house! I want to start writing about this discover process and capture the newness of it - since so many people I speak with have purchased multiple houses and seem to take it for granted. And because our house is very very far from perfect so this will both give me a chance to vent and a chance to celebrate while keeping track to make sure I don't wander too far off reality in one direction.

October 31, 2012

Letting Go Again

I lost an election last night.

I was fortunate enough to be instilled with values of cooperation and community investment as a youth. So when I moved to Minnesota sixteen years ago and discovered the co-ops here I knew I belonged. My working membership quickly turned into a job that sustained me through out my college years and beyond while I struggled to figure out what I want to do with my life. When I left that job to pursue my dream job (which I am still fortunate to have and love) I knew I wasn't ready to let go of my co-op. So I ran for the board of directors and won. Twice. But a third time is not to be.

Continue reading "Letting Go Again" »

October 22, 2012

I want to see you dance again

I was at a wedding celebration tonight, saying my good byes, about to head back to the City, when the band starting playing Harvest Moon. I hope this song always stops me in my tracks and brings tears to my eyes. From the first lyrics:
"Come a little bit closer, hear what I have to say"

Continue reading "I want to see you dance again" »

September 21, 2011

time passing

As we grow older surely time really does go by quicker! Over a season has passed since I have both had anything worth writing and the time to write it.

Lots of thoughts flitter through my head but none have matured yet enough to make it on the web site.

I haven't officially abandoned this site (yet) though. I'm just still thinking of its purpose, definition, and asking myself 'what is really worth sharing with the world?'

March 16, 2011


I stopped consuming chocolate and caffeine for two months. Originally this was an experiment to see how abstaining from these drugs affected my health. Six weeks in I didn't notice any affect on physical well being but realized how much more intimate I had become with desire. Cravings for this substance arose. I had three choices at this point: 1. To give in to my cravings, 2. To become frustrated because I wasn't giving in to my cravings, or 3. Just to be aware of this craving and sit with it. I repeatedly chose number three and became much more comfortable with this choice the more I exercised it. While I still did become frustrated too at times, I tried to just be aware of that as well.

It is disconcerting to see how spoiled I am in wanting what I want when I want it. This probably also explains the 10 pounds I've packed on in the past year.

March 11, 2011

Live performances - the show that keeps on giving

I've been blessed lately and too busy or too distracted to savor it. The Japan earthquake and Tsunami are yet another reminder of how fortunate I am to have a roof over my head, a good job, transportation to and from work, and the infrastructure that civilization and the city provide.

But lately I've gotten even more wealth in the form of art. One week apart I was able to see two performances on stage. The first, "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom" was a sometimes humorous and sometimes painful look at music and prejudice in the 1920's. The second was experiencing my first Opera, Verdi's "La Traviata", a heartrending story of a cortesan who experiences love and tries to give it up for the sake of her loved one's family.

Both of these performances were beyond words. But what I can say is that they were beautiful musically (in very different ways) and both were delightfully haunting. It's been so long since I've seen live performances I am still surprised at how it continues to sit with me long after the show is over.

December 04, 2010

bad influences

As the winter moves forward and the weather gets worse, I take the bus more often. While I love bicycling in the cold - the ice on the road, especially when it is covered with snow, scares the bejeezus out of me.

I love taking the bus for many reasons - the sense of community, the delicious exercise of walking to and from bus stops, it increases my punctuality and encourages patience when the bus isn't punctual. However, I do believe it makes me a worse automobile driver.

Bicycling on the other hand, makes me a better driver - though some call it "granny style" driving. I tend to go slower, I realize how blind I am in a car (as compared to on a bicycle), it makes me more patient and alert to my surroundings. However, after riding on a bus, I tend to drive like a bus driver - who totally rule the road. I've seen them tailgate, jump into traffic in front of cars, honk impatiently at cars ahead of them, only come to rolling stops at stop signs, and they run yellow and (just barely) red lights like mad - all in the hurried mad dash to get to the next stop. A bus driver, who is serving hundreds if not thousands of people every day and drives hours and hours so knows the capabilities of his vehicle, may be able to justify this type of behavior. I on the other hand, have no excuse - only inspiration to drive even less.

October 09, 2010

tangible help

Today while working an event that brings community together and leans heavily on volunteers and the good will of people, I learned of an extraordinary man. This volunteer is currently in his last months, dying from cancer. Nonetheless, he rallied his friends and family to volunteer with him to help others in need. Since he couldn't do heavy lifting, he drove a vehicle that carried others to do the lifting. I've not met this person, but the storyteller was moved to tears when she spoke of him and how much she'd miss him at the next event, when she believes he'll no longer be alive.

All day as I worked I kept thinking of this guy who in the last weeks and months of his life was giving his time and skills to others and making his community a better place in such a tangible and felt way. I know tons of people who are working to make the world a better place but still, I wonder, they are working towards whom's opinion of a better place? I love it when I hear of people who ask, "what needs to be done" and then with a smile on their face they get to work. And that's what they do till the end of their days.

September 25, 2010

sick sick and sicker

I've been ill for the last two weeks. It wasn't anything serious, just a cold or two or three. First there was a mild fever with a sore throat. That lasted two or three days. Then as the fever went away and the sore throat faded it was replaced by pressure in my sinuses, an excruciating headache, and a cough. I went to see the doctor, she said I just had a bad cold and to give it a few days. I did, and was starting to feel slightly better, with the headache gone. However, the cough got worse and then my sore throat came back! So I went back to the doctor worried.

It should be noted that during the whole time I was sick I was doing all the things I learned over the years to take care of myself. This included drinking tons of hot tea and ginger lemonade with honey, the occasional dose of Apple Cider vinegar, lots of facial steam baths (to clear out the sinuses) and once my fever was gone, using my neti pot. Before the cough got so bad I was getting lots of sleep, watching comedy and reading good books (since laughter is supposed to be the best medicine) and laying low. Yet this cold wasn't going away!

At the second visit my doctor gave me two prescriptions to help the cough, one of which would also help me get to sleep at night. And she recommended I take a super strong over the counter sinus and allergy medication. These doses of western medicine have worked wonderfully.

After three nights of good sleep, with my cough minimized to a productive morning routine of pulling out whatever crap fell into my lungs over night from a postnasal drip that I blissfully slept through and my sore throat reduced to an occasional ache that is soothed by citrus I am shocked at how much energy I have. I was actually able to organize my storage unit, finally putting up the air conditioner and fans we no longer need and pulling out all our winter clothes, which we soon will need. Thank goodness for this energy - there is so much to do! Being sick is like being sucked into a black hole or being frozen while time slips by. I can't believe that fall is officially here and October nearly upon us.

I just wish that the two week time warp happened in say February instead of now - when I missed some of the most beautiful days of the year. That said, I hope I've time warped enough for the year. Last time I got this sick was October of last year - lets hope this is a once a year deal.

August 23, 2010

new critter space

I adopted a kitty yesterday. He is all black, with soft downy fur, and an adorable worried expression on his face. He is cuddly always but quite timid so only plays once he feels comfortable.

We already have a cat who came, much loved, with my boyfriend. She is surprisingly playful for a four-year-old and quite talkative. I love her with all my heart.

When I decided to adopt a kitty, I looked forward to a young playmate for Frida - someone who wouldn't mind being up at two in the morning. When I met Milo, I knew he would be perfect. He was timid enough to let her rule the roost but playful enough that they would be able to keep each other entertained. I envisioned two fluff balls chasing toys through the house and climbing on things and darting under other things. My sweetheart says someday this will happen.

But the current reality is tough. Miles is so shy unless I pull him out to cuddle, he hides under the bed (and then, once he's all loved up he plays for a little while before running under the bed again). Frida when she smells him gets angry and hisses. So for now we have to keep them separate - for the first time ever doors are shut tight in our apartment. And then I worry about my new little kitten - has he come out from under the bed yet? Is he lonely? Worried? Scared? I really hope he's not eating my bamboo plant again. I wish I had swept and mopped under the bed recently...

March 13, 2010


Its been rainy here for nearly a week.
The sun is a distant memory and all I recall are the drip drip drips of the drops and gray color of the sky that seems to seep down and surround everything muting what little color exists at the end of winter in a northern climate.

Not so great weather for a walk and all the good novels have been read. Its not a verb but somehow I feel noveled up. If I had kids they'd be climbing the walls. Instead it is just my inner child I have to deal with. And the cat. She is literally climbing the walls but that happens on sunny days as well since she is an indoor cat in regular wont of playful company.

The house is clean enough... I guess that means it is time for making messes and crafting!

Even when I tire of it, I love weather. It provides me with the kind of structure that drives other people to stay in school or join the military.

January 18, 2010

seeing me seeing you seeing me

The bus was quiet today - I never realized Martin Luther King day was so celebrated. I tried to feel positive about that instead of just sad that I was among the few who still had to work. I quickly realized the irony since I like my job and I am working for justice - environmental as much as social justice - something I believe Dr King would support today.

On my way to work I was one of two riders. Last week people had to stand it in the bus was so crowded. On my way home ridership had increased by thirty percent! I was one of three.

There was a beggar on the offramp as we exited the highway. I looked at her noticing her worn clothes and raggedy sign crafted from an old box and felt as I usually do, a bit of hopeless sorrow. This woman, or someone like her is at this intersection most days during rush hour. Due to the holiday there was no wait at the intersection and I watched her behind the protective glass of the bus window as we sped past. I wondered if she realized it was a holiday and why there was minimal traffic. I assume rush hour at this location is a lucrative spot. Would she get more or less donations on a day like this?

To my surprise there was another beggar at the next stop light and this one looked me in the eye - the protection of the glass doesn't hide as much as I thought. How do you look at a beggar? I want to give them dignity without inspiring a false hope that I might give them cash, which I never do. I reflect back on stories of beggars and realize I have an assumption that if I look at them with dignity (whatever that is) they might recover and work their way to not being a beggar. The ridiculousness of this hits me - and I become aware that it stems not from a place of actually wanting to connect with this person but rather from a place of me wanting to look good in the world. Its is amazing how quickly I went from thinking about someone's very real suffering to focusing on me.

January 02, 2010


I want to write something but
all I feel is the emptiness of
having everything I want and need
and knowing it is not enough

December 01, 2009

rest in peace

My beloved guinea pig Mani passed away this morning. There will be no service, there will be no memorial. But I will write about her here and remember all that she taught me and her special traits.

Mani you were named after the Sankrit word for jewel and the Spanish slang for peanut.

At first you were in a cage but you had such odd hours. Sometimes you would run around your little cage but then when I put you on the floor you would hide under the couch.

So I decided to let you run free in my room - my little jeweled peanut. You loved to do your exercises after I went to bed. I could hear you doing laps around the rug that was your race track. You were so fast.

And clever. You loved to hide under the dresser or in the closet and when I put things to block the way you spent hours poking and exploring until you found a way through the obstacle and into your cozy dark hiding place.

You were the first being that I gladly rearranged my life for with no thought of return other than the joy of your joy. A special bed that you could not hide under was built. Things arranged so you had the maximum race track room. I carefully ensured that you had enough cozy spaces to hide under but not too many that I couldn't keep them clean.

And although shy at first you were a social bird. When the girls came over and we sat on the floor you would walk around and smell everyone's feet (which I am sure you thought were lots of strange guinea pigs). Any quick movements sent you dashing for safety but then your curiosity would get the best of you and you'd come tottering out again. You didn't like to be held (too much loss of control I assume) but when approached in the right gentle way, you loved a good chin scratch or side rub.

You loved it when I did the laundry, hanging it from the rack. You would dart in and out of the clothes. And when I tossed a load of clean dry clothes on the floor you would play with them as I did the folding. You could never resist checking anything out that was dumped on the floor - it was your domain and girl, you knew it. You owned that floor.

You kept the demons away when I felt them creep on the edges of my loneliness. I wasn't scared of the dark with you around - even if it was just because I knew the monsters would eat you first. But I'd hear you rustling around and know that as long as you felt safe I felt safe.

We shared four wonderful years together. A good long life for a guinea pig. Memories of you will always flit through my mind and dance across my heart. Thank you for our time together.

If you are reborn, may it be in a better life where you have the freedoms and favorable conditions to practice immediately after taking birth.

May you know happiness; may you know the causes of happiness.

November 30, 2009

meant to be

I can't stand it when people say "it was meant to be" or "everything happens for a reason" or "I just need to find the lesson in here" as if everything happens for the purpose your your higher education. All these phrases, meant to comfort people when times are tough and unpredictable (though the first one is more often used when times are going great), have this assumption embedded in them of a higher power and the idea that world centers around the person in question. While some events might be avoided had you learned the lesson beforehand it is just as likely, or more likely that things are out of our control beyond the ability of learning any lessons. Sometimes divorces could be avoided but sometimes people just change. Sometimes accidents are a result of your own negligence, but other times they happen when you were doing everything right. Sometimes people get fired or laid-off for no reason of their own. And sometimes people meet the love of their life later than they expected - but it doesn't mean it was meant to be. I don't believe that all my previous relationships failed just so I could meet this one special person.

I agree that all events have a certain amount of opportunity in them - and instead of moaning and groaning, if we can have the equanimity and presence mind to move forward then we can look for a possible brighter side. We can use uncommon events as a time for reflection, redirection, and opening our mind to possibilities that perhaps were unseen or unavailable before.

But the world does not revolve around us and for every event that brings opportunity there are also ones that bring death, starvation, homelessness, loneliness, and confusion because you thought you understood the world but really, not only are we not in control, but the world is also too diverse and large for us to understand.

Yeah, I hate hearing that last one too. I want the world to make sense like a math puzzle or a recipe. I want to have the perfect grand unification theory of everything. However, when I do, when I think I have it all figured out, that is when I am not opening my eyes to possibilities that don't make sense but are there anyway.

Go figure - but not too hard...

October 29, 2009


Recently I had the good fortune to attend a teaching on the Ngondro - a Nyingma Tibetan Buddhist meditation. The teacher spend much time on the four thoughts and recommended picking one of them each day to meditate on throughout the day. I've had a tough time settling on just one:
1. This precious human birth is rare and difficult to obtain
2. All things born are impermanent and bound to die
3. The results of virtuous and unvirtuous actions are inexorable
4. Cyclic existence has the nature of an ocean of suffering

These four thoughts have provided me much insight as I practice my purification meditations. I keep feeling haunted by how I have caused suffering in others and how others have done me wrong. However, by meditating on thought number 2 I realize I just have to let it go at a certain point. I can look at others' inappropriate actions towards me as opportunities to practice patience, clear communication, compassion, etc. And as to ways I cause suffering in others, when I can make it right I do, when I can't I can feel remorse, vow never to do it again, but then I have to let it go and accept that it will bite me eventually (thought number 3).

And that brings us to thoughts number 1 and 4. With the final of the four thoughts I can quit trying to fix everything and make it perfect - because it will never be perfect and there will always be suffering. Yet, by meditating on the first thought I am very thankful for all that I have; both the opportunities and responsibilities that come with it.

September 25, 2009

lost and ground

Waking up this morning I could feel an absence, something different in my throat. I tried to make a noise and sure enough - voice completely gone. No humming (something I do quite a bit), no talking, singing, or yelling; only whispering (something I don't do that much).

Lacking a voice was grounding - like all my unshared thoughts, obvservations, and feelings were sinking down through my body, through my toes, into the earth.

I had to think about what I was going to say, and decide if it was worth the effort. I spoke a lot less but had a smile on my face a lot more.

Yet there were no reasons to share my thoughts, only reason a good reason not to.

July 02, 2009

The Invitation - Poem

Friends and I were discussing "what we want to be when we grow up" and it inspired her to share this poem. I hope it inspires you.

The Invitation

It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living.
I want to know what you ache for
and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me how old you are.
I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool
for love
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon...
I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow
if you have been opened by life’s betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us
to be careful
to be realistic
to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand at the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,

It doesn’t interest me
to know where you live or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after the night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the centre of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone
with yourself
and if you truly like the company you keep
in the empty moments.

© Mountaindreaming, from the book The Invitation published by HarperSanFrancisco, 1999 All rights reserved

May 04, 2009

Local Wintering

I just cooked the last two local vegetables in my refrigerator: cabbage and celeriac. They both looked kind of poorly and I think have been sitting in the bottom of my fridge since November or December. However, the celeriac wasn't even moldy and the cabbage only needed a few of the exterior leaves removed.


I once commented to a coworker that I had no idea how our ancestors kept vegetables through the winter since I can't seem to keep them for more than a month. She responded that they propably checked their vegetables a lot more often and had lower standards.

It was with this perspective in mind that I bought cabbage and 20 lbs of squash at the beginning of last winter. I checked the squash often and cooked whichever one looked like it was about to turn. Using this method I didn't cook my last one until last month.

And this month I finally worked my way down to the celeriac and cabbage. The lentil soup hasn't cooled enough yet or I'd mention out it turned out.

April 27, 2009

natural healing

Three weeks ago I chopped the tip of my finger off. It was an accident - a result of being overly ambition with too little sleep. I was chopping chard at six-thirty in the morning (trying eat a healthy breakfast) and misjudged where my finger was buried in the vegetable. Before I even had time to say "ouch" my finger tip was bit shorter with a third of my nail missing.

I always say accidents, illnesses, and muscle soreness are all wonderful anatomy and biology lessons.

Things I have learned from this so far:
1. There is a little artery running up that side of my pointer finger
2. There are a lot of nerves in a finger tip
3. When you smash your finger the nail falls off but when you slice it off the rest of the nail doesn't even seem to notice (I've had to cut it once already) and it keeps on growing
4. The skin under the nail heals slower than the skin on the tip of my finger
5. At least some nerve endings are still alive
6. It takes about 10 days to learn how to do 9 finger typing at about 75% of the speed of 10 finger typing

Now my finger has healed to the point where I don't always want to keep the bandage on (it starts to smell) so unless I am doing some heavy lifting I leave it off and people can see the ugly black scab covering now a quarter of my nail (I mentioned how it keeps on growing). From a distance it looks like I have either bad nail polish or something nasty on my finger. I have a couple options to answer when people notice and ask:

A. It is the scab of dried blood from chopping my finger tip off (this one really grosses them out)
B. It is a natural healing patch aimed at maximizing my body's ability to heal from the trauma of cutting the tip of my finger off (I haven't tried this one or the following two yet).
C. The initial onset of leprosy
D. OMG! What is that? What happened to my finger?????

February 21, 2009

got dirt?

Have I told you yet?

I've got worms. Actually, I have had them for quite some time and have learned exactly what not to do:

1. Don't over feed your worms by a zillion pounds - especially not a zillion pounds of healthy organic locally grown squash seeds
2. Make sure you bury all your food deep below the newspaper - even if it is "just a few tea leaves"
3. Check on your worms frequently, even if you know you have over fed them and are trying to "just let them do their thing uninterrupted".

The result of my bad behavior was a ton of squash sprouts and a ton of fruit flies (if you can imagine how many fruit flies it would take to weigh a ton, you'll have a glimmer of how many were breeding in my apartment).

Anyhow, that was all weeks and weeks ago. I managed to get rid of the fruit flies (it felt like a second job for about a week), and I haven't put any new food in my worm bin for at least a month. I also left them at work for several weeks, figuring that fruit flies were less likely to survive and reproduce in an office space than in my kitchen.

I finally brought them home last week.

So today, since I was re-potting my giant bamboo plant, I found myself digging through worms, worm poo (looks, smells, and feels like really really rich black soil) trying to harvest some of this special "dirt" they produce. You know, it felt kinda like spring!

Okay, not really, but a girl can get desperate in the depths of February in Minnesota.

In the short time I have had my worms, they have been busy (overfeeding them probably helped). I could not believe how many eggs, little babies, and big worms I came across as I was trying to sort out their doo to add to my plant dirt. I knew from my worm composting class that the dirt would be teeming with life but it was still cool to see all the little critters (not only worms but also various little bugs) skitter and run about as I disturbed their cozy eco-system. I also pulled out quite a few more squash sprouts. Is it close enough to Spring that I should be replanting those in their own container?

February 19, 2009


The Carl Sanburg of my youth was silly and frivoulous but very delightful. I only vaguely recall my father reading about Gimme the Axe, Axe Me No Questions, and Please Gimee in his big booming animated voice. The plot lines all run together but the wonderful ridiculousness of the stories remain a favored flavor of memory, which is why when I saw a book of poetry for sale in the used book store I picked it up. Having never known Sandburg's poetry I was immediately taken in and amazed. It is like my super fun childhood friend grew up to be an incredible adult. Before picking up the poetry I knew next to little about Sandburg's politics, history, perspective, and life and who knows how much I would have cared before. It has been a long cold winter - my mind and spirit were ready for serious thoughts and words from an elder of a different but difficult time.

This is the first poem I read which still captures my attention:

Continue reading "sandburg" »

December 25, 2008


I finally had my bike fixed and was able to ride to work yesterday.

After being crabby for a week it was great to have something real to gripe about - something that could take all the bitching I could throw with delightful passivity. The weather, the roads, the wind, and the random cars on the road really couldn't care less. It was exhilarating to be fighting against the wind again, to notice my frozen toes when I still had three more miles to go (about half-way).

And when I was all grumped out I began to notice all the beauty - the delicious sent of cold - the snow covering a group of rocks, the weak sun making what few colors around so much more vibrant, the frozen river, the pattern of slush on the road. There was/is no end to beauty when out in the world unprotected with no bubble of heat, glass, and metal around me, with no radio to distract me. And when I am traveling at 8 to 10 miles per hour I tend to notice more.

I need to bike more in the winter to stay sane - riding brings much needed adversity and struggle to my life.

December 18, 2008


I've been struggling with transportation. I've got two winter bikes both of which need work and a car, which also needs work. However, thanks to my ignorance, curiosity, and can-do attitude, I discovered what is wrong with my car.

For a month now people have been telling me that something is wrong with the oxygen sensor or something of that sort because, as I put it, my four-wheeled-motorized-vehicle is "idly challenged". Not all the time, but irregularly when in neutral it sounded like I was trying to race some one. My rpm meter would oscillate anywhere between a few millimeters and whole inch depending on lord only knows what. There were a few other weird symptoms that really made me want to call "car talk". Maybe I should still call them just to see if they can figure it out:
Occasionally revving engine (only when in neutral)
My heater would stop working
The engine temperature would go up
When in gear sometimes the car would act jerky - as if I didn't know how to drive a stick (which I swear I do).

Upon recommendation I threw some fuel-injector cleaner in the tank but that didn't do much (that I know of).

Have you diagnosed the problem yet?

Continue reading "fix-it" »

December 14, 2008


I've never really "done" pets. Yet years ago, after a bad break up, combined with post-college and post-traveling woes, I decided to commit to trying out having a guinea pig. Mani stuck and now I can't tell how much I am anthropomorphizing and how much she really is "a super special and super smart" rug rat.

My latest acquisition into the animal kingdom has a different sort of motivation - more in line with my general values and based on my lackacompostaphobia - a word I created that reflects my fear not being able to compost.

Continue reading "animals" »

November 02, 2008

Mpls Wild

It's been unseasonably warm and since my beau is out of town I decided to head out late last night and join a random group bicycle ride that starts at 10 pm and can go anywhere all over the twin cities based on what the group decides.

This ride meets in a fast food restaurant parking lot (conveniently close to the liquor store) at the heart of college-ville. Between the college students and the post-halloween aura this was an interesting place to hang for twenty minutes. One student came up and asked what my fellow rider was drinking - apparently he'd never heard of hard cider. There were plenty of date-couples wandering by - it has been forever since I've observed the mating habits of college students. Being ten years past that I can assure you it is even less interesting now. However, the oddest site by far was when eight "ninja's" failed to walk stealthy out from behind a nearby building. Their outfits were complete with black tights (a bit too tight) and many had face masks that obscured who they were. One or two had a sword or some sort of "weapon". Yet despite all this equipment they moved with the giddy eagerness of a colt first learning to stand. Their attitude alone would have flunked them out of any ninja training that I can imagine.

"Those aren't very good ninja's." The other waiting cyclist commented after the boys in black whisked past us and bound up the steps.

Another ten minutes and we were done waiting - despite the beautiful weather (about fifty degrees, mild SE wind at 9 mph) turn out was low with just two other riders.

We rode into the wind the first ten miles - challenging ourselves with hills (my legs are crying today) but also kept returning to the river. After mile ten we crossed the river and headed NW through Fort Snelling Park where I saw the other side of wilderness in the cities.

Three deer were hanging out by the parking lot as we cruised by, slowing in awe. I have been to this park many times but this is the first I've seen deer on this side of town. They were skittish but as unafraid of us as the ninjas were earlier that night.

November 01, 2008


I went to yoga class for the first time in five years this week.

My shoulders still ache.

I'll be back next week. Class was surprisingly easy - which made me grateful for the solid yoga base my one and only previous yoga teacher, Mansi, gave me when I was studying abroad in India. Not only did she help me develop a yoga routine that fit my personal needs, but she also ensured that I left the class understanding the fundamentals of yoga - what it can do (and what it can't do) and why anyone would want to stretch and contort their body in the first place.

We learned the history of yoga, the spiritual side of it (in a very approachable - not new age - sort of way) and how the main purpose of this ancient tradition is not increased flexibility but an increased connection between body and spirit.

Thus class was easy, even though I ached after wards and noticed I lacked flexibility. It was easy because I felt successful in my goal of reconnecting with my body - remembering to breathe and notice every muscle, ache, and pinch, as the instructor helps me move in ways that I wouldn't think of on my own.

Without Mansi I believe my expectations would be much different.

Continue reading "Yuj" »

August 25, 2008

Americana unveiled and en masse

It is that time of the year again - when the world (at least locally) sorts out into two people - those who love the State Fair and those who don't.

Continue reading "Americana unveiled and en masse" »

July 02, 2008


I can't believe I finally have my blog back! Now I am at a loss wondering what to say.


As if that ever stopped me for long.

Things have changed. I've moved. I have my own space and now it is time to shape my own thoughts into words. This won't be the most enlightened inspiring blog but it will be a reflection of my observations and inspirations. There probably won't be much more on travel - I'm pretty settled (and broke) these days.

However, hopefully there will be lots under learning new things and the triple p categories. Additionally I plan on adding a category on weather because I find the stuff fascinating - if you don't you can skip over those entries. And one of these days I aspire to create a political commentary section where I can sound off about what I read in the paper and see in the world.

A girl has gotta express her opinion and where better to do that?

A thousand blessings and thanks to my friend Steven who helped me get this show back on the road.

March 20, 2008

Reaching the equinox

Happy Spring.
It was a beautiful morning here but clouded over by lunch.

We're expecting 2 to 6 inches of wet heavy snow to fall in the next 20 hours.

It's a good thing I got some biking already.

And I have a meeting in the suburbs tomorrow so I won't feel guilty about driving to work.

I need to haul my composting and recycling in anyhow...

February 26, 2008

winter blah

I love winter. I was doing great - staying very active with bicycling, faux hockey, and plenty of dancing. Then IT caught me and dragged me down into the damp dark world of SICK. In theory I am a big fan of getting sick - it slows me down and gives me an excuse to mope around the house all day in my pajamas watching bad movies and indulging in comfort foods. However, sickness that you can't seem to shake is a whole different matter. It's been a week since my fever subsided and I am still running at half mass trying to hack up half my lung as if I'd been smoking for several decades (how do they do it? I hate not being able to breathe). And I have even been taking care of myself! I've drank so much tea it came out my ears, ate plenty of vegetables and have been averaging nine to ten hours of sleep a night. What else can a girl do???

Fighting this bug just makes me tired. So... very... very... tired...

All I want to do is lay in the sun - which isn't very easy to do in the winter - hence the winter blahs. If I could afford it I would fly myself to Mexico right now.

To top it off, this illness came at a really bad time (is there ever a good time) as it has caused me to miss the last few good weeks of winter. I discover that March brings a real threat of depression because the sun is too high and the weather too warm for real winter sports but it isn't quite warm bicycling everywhere and all the fun things that happen when it isn't winter.

Sigh... I guess there isn't much to do besides sleep.

January 15, 2008

winter cycle

It was cold this morning (I think right around zero) but sunny so I couldn't resist bicycling to work. I drove yesterday and felt pains of envy every time I saw a cyclist. So what if it is zero degrees? So what if there is serious wind? I got clothes. I got gear.

Sure enough - I over-bundled and was sweating buckets and undressing before I even got to the office. The temperature rose about 20 degrees (F) during the day. Fortunately the wind picked up so although I had all the same gear on, my ride home was perfect.

December 05, 2007


Cheap thrills: Walking home from the hardware store on a snowy day with a shiny new shovel.

October 02, 2007


I've been listening to a lot of Ani DiFranco lately. She suits my mood - bittersweet.

Last night I found myself spending ten minutes unwrapping 12 boxes of generic brand American cheese and tossing it in the compost. The cheese was the awful kind that comes in giant 2 pound rectangular blocks. It is crappy cheese - even at it's name brand best which took the word "velvet" and added "ita" at the end. I suppose that is supposed to indicate how smooth the cheese is. To me it is more bland than butter.

But that isn't why I was tossing it in the compost.

I don't think you can actually purchase this cheese anywhere. I believe it is specially made just for food shelves. Unfortunately the local Korean Methodist Church has been giving loads of it to a little old lady who gardens in our yard. She then leaves it at our doorstep, along with canned chicken, sugary peanut butter, dried beans, and other bland food shelf-type foods. One time I tried to tell her that we didn't use the stuff but she looked so sad that I just smiled, said thank you a million times, and ended up taking it anyhow. She doesn't really speak any English.

Ironically enough I turn around and bring the stuff back to the food shelf (fortunately a different one) but I can't give anyone giant blocks of cheese that have been sitting out for unknown amounts of time. I don't think the Korean lady realizes that some of the stuff she passes on needs to be refrigerated. We didn't realize it either one bag full of groceries started to odorize the kitchen pretty bad (sometimes it is quite awhile before I bring the stuff to the food shelf).

So there I was last night unwrapping 24 pounds of cheese and putting it in the compost, thinking what a weird world we live in where all this awful cheese is made in the first place and then not even eaten. But I was thankful it wouldn't dampen the incinerators and instead would be composted (at a facility that gets hot enough to break it down - I would not recommend putting that stuff in your back yard bin. Hopefully I am the only person in the world with this issue though). The waste breaks my heart but then I rejoiced that at least the few nutrients this stuff has will have a chance to grow something more wanted in the future.


September 27, 2007


The solstice has come and gone. There is now more night than day.

I've had my summer cold, long sunsets with slowly receding lights, bicycle rides at ungodly hours, days and days of activity, my second work conference (ever), lots of dancing, a bit of partying, tons of events, the state fair, but all together way too much busy busy fun.

I think I am ready for autumn and the sort of fun that comes with longer evenings, chilly times, baking, crisp blue skies, and falling leave.s - what I might call "slow fun".

September 01, 2007


I've been taken down but a puny little virus. After three days the common cold has me begging for mercy. I am missing the final frantic days of Summer! I am missing the State Fair. My body aches to go out dancing and biking and instead I am forced into days and days of feverish snotty contemplation.

The cold has taken away my sense of smell making all food taste like a memory or simply provide texture to my palate. On the second day of this dreariness I remembered how my grandmother never liked trying new food and suddenly realized why - she couldn't taste them! She loved eating her old favorites because of the memories but these new fangled dishes were always just ho-hum. This also explains why when we switched her dairy ice cream for soy she never knew the difference.

I can't wait till my nose comes back into action. I cleaned the entire house in anticipation.

August 27, 2007


You steal pieces
of my heart.
Making it just a little

August 19, 2007


Life has been getting away from me again. Originally what I really wanted was the same as when I took my bodhisattva vows three years ago: I want to help people. However, lately I feel like this is too ambitious of a goal. I think first I'll try not to harm people. In conjunction with this, my other passion is learning. I love learning about the world, about people, about biology, about how everything fits together and operates. I try to justify this love by focusing my learning on things can only increase my ability to help people.

However, when I just try to do no harm it becomes a bit stickier wicket. The fact is we all know people who have "helped" and made things worse. This is my greatest fear. Sometimes I feel like I really can't intentionally help anyone - not because I am a failure but rather because I cannot create the conditions in which my actions might be helpful. That is up to the universe and any one who would like some help.

August 08, 2007


So last night I created a list.

First I acknowledged some of the incredible things I accomplished in my twenties. Then I made a random list of what I would like to do now. It was just off the top off my head and went from very mundane (such as ride my bike and improve my computer tech skills, to super ambitious (lots of career goals and writing projects), to downright-lofty and dreamy (such as visiting all of my friends around the world).

Then I thought about the list for a day - what I forgot to add and what should and shouldn't be on it. So far I haven't added anything (though I am tempted to add "start an Ultimate Frisbee team") instead I tried to group and un-group and re-group the entire list.

I kept wondering what was the heart of it? What does this all have in common?

What do I really want to do?

Continue reading "foci" »

August 07, 2007

last days

Tonight I kiss my 20's goodbye. It is the last time I get to be "29" - starting in a few hours I'll be "30" and counting.

I have very little regret as this decade comes to a close. Mostly I look back with pride at all I have discovered and accomplished. I have discovered lots of talent, honed a few skills, made a few good friends and met a zillion good people. I feel fortunate to have led such a blessed life. The older I get the more aware I become of my good fortune and wonder what I am going to do about it.

My 20's were all about self discovery, other discovery, world exploration, and that jazz. I hope the exploring never ends but as I realize I can't be everywhere and do everything at once I want to be more focused in where I put my energy.

Over the years my experiences, energy, and karma has yielded me a plethora of resources. What am I going to do with that now? What are my goals and ambitions for my 30's? I feel whatever they are I have a good chance of succeeding (or coming up with a very good excuse for not succeeding) which makes me want to be especially conscious about what I do next.

So what will it be?

July 19, 2007


Raspberry season makes me very happy. There is something extra special about yummy fresh, ripe, local, organic fruit.

July 11, 2007

summer high

Summer has finally seeped through me, imbued me with energy and even gotten me hurt (just a minor pulled muscle). Lately I have felt like a balloon full of hot hair rising higher and higher, continually needing to be popped. I think I am ready to come down now. I kind of miss the solid feeling of earth beneath my feet.

June 27, 2007

special day

Today was a special day. I realized I have lived exactly the same amount of days as my oldest brother when he died. I am slightly superstitious so I am relieved to have made it through alive (though both of my other brothers passed this mile stone with no issues that I am aware of.

All day I kept thinking, "so this is how many days he had." Granted we have both lived very different lives so although the number of days is similar there really is no comparison. It is similarly weird to think about the fact that when my parents were my age they had four children.

Nonetheless, it doesn't feel like enough time for me. My brother was very peaceful when he died but he had also been dealing with (colon) cancer for three years. Perhaps during that time he finally decided that this was enough days (especially since he didn't have much of a choice). Every day tons of people's lives are cut short. Is it ever really enough days? Even my grandmother at age 95 would have gladly taken a few more if the pain weren't so bad.

June 17, 2007

summer high

I am nauseous with a height of summer hangover. This is ideal at this time of year and only slightly a result of too much alcohol – excess in general is the root cause. Somehow this weekend I combined a two-day national co-op conference with a short road trip, staying in a hotel, connecting with old friends I rarely see, new friends in the making, two parties, a late night of dancing and consistent if not heavy drinking.

If I were my parent I would ground me now – not as the punishment noun or state of being but rather as a much needed verb in the “you are going to get into serious trouble if you don’t slow down? way. Alas I am not my parent and my tired wrung-out body is crying like a whiny child to go outside! There are bicycles to ride! Lakes and rivers to swim and canoe! Music to move to! People to meet and see! The season beckons - the last thing I want to do is stay home, clean my room, and cook some brown rice and vegetables.

Perhaps there is a way to do it all…

June 12, 2007

aw sum

I've moved into summer mode. I know it doesn't officially start for another week and a half but with the temperature in the 90's and several gorgeous days in a row filled with parties, impromptu socializing and out door activities combined with odd sleeping hours makes me feel super in tune with the season.

Not much time for reading these days.

May 15, 2007


I celebrated my one year anniversary at work today. In some ways I can't believe I have been there for just a year and in other ways I feel like I am just getting started.

May 09, 2007

Songs of Sorrow

I've noticed a song that reminds me of my grandmother. I cry whenever I hear it.

When my brother died this happened with Neal Young's "Harvest Moon" - he'd get to the part about how "I want to see you dance again..." and I'd remember the drum circles I attended with my brother and how much he loved to dance - and how much I loved to dance and then I cry at the thought that neither of us would ever see the other one dance again "under the harvest moon". Since my brother was seven years older than me, as a child these drum circles under the full moon were some of the few memories I had of him. I knew he liked Neal Young's song and had requested it play at his funeral. It did and now that song always makes me cry and remember my brother dancing happily.

The song I found for my grandmother is Sinead O'Connor's "Three Babies". As far as I know grandmother was never drawn to music. This may be because by the time I knew her she was hard of hearing. The only time I ever recall her purposely playing the stuff was when PBS had some sort of big band special going on. However, Sinead's song reminds me of gram because it is really beautiful and grandma always loved beauty but mostly because the song is about a fierce mother who will do anything to protect her babes - even though they remind her of the husband she divorced. In the song she comes to terms with the fact that her ex will always be with her through her babies but it doesn't have to drive her mad or prevent her from being herself.

Continue reading "Songs of Sorrow" »

April 20, 2007


The leg bone is connected to the thigh bone is connected to the ankle bone...

I've been going to a chiropractor for a year and a half now and getting regular massages for over year. This is the only way I've managed to keep chronic shoulder pain at bay. I also noticed that since I started seeing the chiropractor on a regular basis I almost never get sick. Previous to this addiction it seemed I came down with a virus every six weeks.

In reevaluating my financial situation and also realizing that I don't want to be chained to the doctor's office I've started to be curious about ways I can take care of myself instead of having someone else take care of me. I figure if I can pay someone to get these results, now that my life is pretty steady (love life, job, living situation...) I should be able to take this responsibility on myself.

So I tried a kick-boxing class with a friend and was impressed with the results - my two weak spots are my shoulder and my hip. Kick-boxing works out both of these. After the class though, the true revelation came.

Continue reading "posturing" »

April 12, 2007

good byes

My grandmother died last night. She had just turned 95.

When my brother died I felt like I lost a limb. With this grandmother gone I feel a protective shield that I didn't even realized existed has vanished and suddenly I am more naked than ever.

Continue reading "good byes" »

March 27, 2007


I love the weather. I even fell in love with a meteorologist once knowing that at least we had that in common.

So this morning I felt so clever when I noticed that the winds although a bit strong (10 mph from the north) were supposed to pickup increasingly throughout the day. My bicycle ride to work is almost directly. Sure enough, by the time I left the office the winds were 18 mph and gusting in the mid-twenties. I was looking forward to riding that wave home.

I did speed home as planned - however, in addition to wind I also caught quite a bit of rain. I think at one point it was even hailing.

My bicycle ride is a quick three miles though, and the wind was at my back. It was a truly enjoyable drenching of water. Of course the rain stopped by the time I got home. I really do love the weather. I can make any ordinary day seem extraordinary.

March 06, 2007

car woahs

With the blessing of my grandmother I doubled my number of wheels a few months ago by adding a car to burgeoning collection of vehicles (which already include two legs, a bicycle and a scooter). It has taken me awhile to accept the slippery slope into car culture.

Continue reading "car woahs" »

February 08, 2007

White Sugar

Growing up on the hippy commune I loved to dance and bounce around to music. I think most kids enjoy this. One song in particular stuck in my head for years and recently I read the lyrics and smiled. I call it the vegetarian kids' anthem.

Continue reading "White Sugar" »

February 03, 2007

flying high

I went skiing last night - downhill - for the first time ever in my life.

I really didn't think I would enjoy it that much but it was hard to walk away from the slopes. Despite the freezing air, my first lesson was a breeze. It was a lot of work but all worth it for the feeling of floating or flying (depending on how fast you go) down a hill. It's like sledding only with more control.

My muscles are all achy today (but not bruised - I haven't fallen yet) which is even better - because it means something really really fun actually counts as exercise!

February 02, 2007

weather report

It's 2 degrees (F, -16 C) out. The high today is 4 and that is as warm as it will get for the next several days. Over the weekend we won't see the positive side of zero. And that is before we factor in the wind chill.

I love it when the weather matches my mood.

January 23, 2007


Now that I have finished the reports and realizing how everything ties into everything like a Sudoku puzzle I am on to the next big learning experience. I am so fortunate that my job seems to grow with me!

For the last eight months I have been diving into event recycling, zero waste initatives, and neighborhood cleanups. I've learned the ins, the outs, the details, the big picture stuff and at times it seems like I've hardly come up for air.

However recently all of these pieces came together as I realized that my job isn't about making events, cleanups and waste reduction ideas run smoothly. Instead my job is to create systems that ensure these things happen, whether by my hand or someone else's.

It's all about the systems! I create a system, then I get to try it in the real world, talk about it with my coworkers and other people involved, scrap it or adjust it as necessary and move onto the next trial.

I love this perspective because any time I get lost in the details I zoom out the bigger picture. I am not only taking the journey - I am also mapping the territory so that others can take the journey later. And lord knows, this zero waste stuff sure feels like uncharted territory

January 21, 2007


Perhaps it is because I had no caffeine today,
perhaps it is because it is the middle of January,
perhaps it is because it has been a quiet day with plenty of time for reflection
perhaps it is because I realize I won't have much time for reflection in the upcoming week,
perhaps it is because I could
but I doubt it.

For whatever reason I am a little down today. It happens sometimes. I find if I coast with it I'll eventually get bored and move onto other moods.

So it goes.

January 02, 2007


I've been sitting my friend's canary for over week now. Apollo has affected my musical habits because he has such clear tastes. Lately all I listen to is Joanna Newsom (a crazy harpist chick) and the Incredible String Band (bizarre British hippy band) because these are clearly his favorites. When I turn the music up he'll happily chirp along. I think it is the wandering style of the music with lovely flute accompaniments and wandering string rhythms that appeal to him. He really doesn't care much for rock and roll or any of those simple beats - though he does chirp in if I whistle him a very simple tune (like one line of a nursery rhyme repeatedly). He also really likes the Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong album.

My guinea pig does not notice music so much though she does appreciate MPR (I know this because she's more likely to wander around exploring with this radio station in the background). I think she finds the dulcet tones comforting. She isn't sure what to make of the canary either but she enjoys the seeds he drops around the cage. Manna from heaven is always a delicious thing.

November 27, 2006


I just returned from a delicious visit home - you know - the place they say you can never go back to.

Time stopped. I ate too much, gawked at the stars, took rambling walks through woods, hung out with family and friends, gossiped, tried to solve everyone's problems, listened to music, read, knitted, watched movies, spent way too much time working on a puzzle, and ate just a little bit more.

It was a perfect vacation except for one thing.

Continue reading "Home" »

November 10, 2006


After a beautiful Indian summer, the chill has recently returned. Today's high was a paltry 33 F (close to 0 C). This is prime bicycling weather. The air is fresh, crisp, and smells wonderful. I find that with a few layers and a good wind breaker I can warm up and then just fly across the terrain in a way that I never feel inspired to do when breaking a sweat is guaranteed. The chilled air has a special sparkle and in the gray desolate landscape occasional bits of color take on new depth and meaning.

That said, with the sun going down at five a clock I find my desire to scoot has hit an all time low. Previously I was surprised to realize that thirty-degree temperatures, when adequately dressed, don't hinder my mobility at all (as long as it isn't snowing). However, now between both the cold and the dark it just feels dangerous and numbing. Car drivers are even less likely to see me and with all my layers of clothes (I need much more on a scooter than on a bicycle) I feel klutzy and lack ease of movement. I'll probably still try to pull it out once a month so that I don't need to officially "put it away" for the season, but for the most part I have to agree that scooting is a two/three season transportation option in Minnesota - unlike the bicycle.

November 02, 2006


I just bought my ticket home. I haven't been there in a year. I don't know how I made it this long! In some ways I feel more grounded than ever and in a really good place. Yet, I am having a difficult time staying connected with those I love who are far away from me. I first noticed this drift last holiday season when I didn't send out cards for the first time in a decade. I meant to, yet somehow I just didn't have it in me. Now as I approach this holiday season - with so much news (and all of it good) - so many wonderful changes over the past year - I wonder if I'll be able to post cards. I'd like to but I always want to reach out to people, it's actually doing it that is the tough part.

October 23, 2006


I won!

I am so excited - I just returned from the general membership meeting at my co-op, where I was running for board - and I won!

Two years ago, when I first returned to Minneapolis I ran for a slightly different board position. I figured that since I had graduated from college - a major mile stone on the road to adulthood (for some - not all) and I wasn't about to get married, have kids, or purchase a house (other optional major milestones) serving on a board would be a great new responsibility to take on. I was looking forward to learning how they operate and sharing that knowledge with my colleagues (who I would be representing). Unfortunately I lost.

Since then I have learned even more about how committees, organizations, boards, and more specifically - the co-op, works; so I am super excited to be able to uncover the mysteries of the board and add icing to all my other bits of knowledge.

Yeah, I know, I am a total geek.

October 01, 2006

scooter dirt

My air intake unit fell off today. I got about fifty feet from my house before I looked and saw it hanging by a few tiny hoses. At first I thought it was my exhaust something or my muffler. It wasn't until I was nearly done putting it back together that I remembered the muffler is the big metal thing on the other side of the bike. Silly me.

So it wasn't as serious as I thought - after all the bike could run - it could get air fine even without the air intake unit. My brother helped me put it all back together and go to the automotive store for the missing bolts. Actually there are still a few mysteries about the unit - I'll have to go back to the dealer to see if there is a way to make it more secure. My brother said the air intake does help filter and reuse the air making the scooter more environmentally friendly.

I am not a motorized vehicle person but I am learning. It was fun getting my hands dirty with scooter grease. One of these days I'll even figure out how to change the oil.

September 21, 2006


Normally I wouldn't bring up something so personal, but having my best friend get married has raised a bunch of relationship issues in mind. Her and I were talking about it recently and we both noticed a pattern in our relationship habits.

Continue reading "relations" »

September 06, 2006


Last night I hardly slept a wink. A cup of tea this morning didn't even put a dent in my exhaustion. I can't recall the last time I was this kind of tired - normally I can sleep through anything. However the usual activity in the neighborhood (traffic, an outdoor cookout, motorcycles, bars closing up for the night) kept waking me up. This combined with a week of never quite catching up on my sleep finally zonked me. It took several doses of caffeine before I even felt my brain function.

Sadly, caffeine has never been a reliable source of energy for me. Although it prevents me from falling a sleep and in the right doses can stimulate creativity and productivity (which do not always go together), the wrong doses gives me weird perspective changes (messing with my sight, balance, and head pressure) and can make me feel (and appear) tired on the outside while continually pacing inside. I much prefer to use this drug optionally.

So I made it through the day surprisingly well - I always wonder how new parents do this on a regular basis. This evening I managed to play an enjoyable game of kickball - even if I did look like a zombie.

The night was gorgeous and our team worked hard and did well. It wasn't until I saw the moon rise over the horizon, gorgeous big and orange, that I realized where my insomnia came from.

When I was a child lunar cycles affected my moods regularly. On full moon nights I would stay up and clean my room - rearranging all my furniture - or I would be deep into a novel reading as if my life depended on it. The sun would rise and I would blink surprised at the night that had disappeared so rapidly.

Now days I am not always so in sync with the cycles of nature. Yet in the last few months, between the Fairs, festivals, parties, kickball, walks, scooting around for work, and excessive bicycling (last week I covered over fifty miles!) I may have spent record time outdoors. I tried hard (and failed) to not get a tan and have managed to keep off at least five of the ten pounds I lost while being sick. During this incredible summer (one of the highpoints was when I drove a 90-year-old Stanley Steamer) perhaps once again I fell under the influence of our natural satellite and the rhythm of the seasons. All I know is that, riding home on a bright clear September night with the cool wind whipping my face, all felt right with the world.

August 30, 2006

losing it

I sort of lost my keys today.

I put them in my pocket and went to work. Then, after a busy day I got home and they weren't in my pocket. I panicked. I searched around. I called the few places I had been. I considered going back to work to check there but didn't because I wasn't sure I could get in and I was late for a dinner meeting. Besides, I couldn't imagine where they would be at work. I kept feeling like I was missing something else besides my keys but couldn't put my finger on it. I definitely didn't bring a bag to work...

Two and a half hours and much thought later, some one was able to let me in (I was at the dinner meeting most of that time). Getting ready to go out again I wondered if I would need my jacket.

Then, suddenly, I knew exactly where my keys were - in my jacket at work. I don't know how I managed to completely forget for most of the day that I wore this outer layer to work this morning. It is the oddest (and longest) bout of forgetfulness that I have ever experienced.

Continue reading "losing it" »

August 03, 2006

Season Ail

Well, I finally crashed. I knew I couldn't keep up that speed for long.

I hit the summer flu, thoroughly and hard. My body wracked by a virus (as far as we can guess) was in a fevered state for two days - hitting a high of 103.5. Food and water wouldn't stay in me. Dehydrated and exhausted, I suffered from the regular fever aches including a headache that has yet to fade. In that state the only entertainment is your own mind. I am not sure I was up to the task.

I felt like I was on a combination of all the worst drug experiences I have ever had. Reality split apart and fragmented. Time played tricks with my mind. Dreaming state and reality were interchangeable and sadly neither of them were that interesting. And all I could do was watch and wait for my body to heal.

Outside the weather was doing its own dance. I first realized I had a fever while scootering around in 100 degrees and feeling chilled. That night as my fever spiked, the electricity was palpable as thunder and lightening crashed across the sky. Rain fell on the parched earth and sadly ran into our basement as well. The three inches supposedly brought us out of the water debt we have accumulated this year but in the city too much of that translates into runoff - especially when it falls so fast and hard.

The next day I was not cognizant of the weather but two day later when my fever finally receded enough to allow me outside I was surprised by the cool sparkly green world that awaited me.

July 25, 2006

summer flies

Work has really started to take off. On the one hand I am psyched to feel useful, on the other hand, I think wistfully back to those days of learning and wonder if I could have packed some more into my brain during that time.

My professional life isn't the only thing catching air these days. Already my most social summer since teenage days - I get to add wedding planning to my list. A girl's best friend only gets married once (hopefully), so I am determined to throw everything I can into making it a shindig to remember.

This makes it all the more delightful when I occasionally enjoy an evening of reading on the back porch. It does happen - just never as planned.

Trying not to let the rush of summer ruin my mental health has been a trick. I constantly have to remind myself why I am here and take deep breaths to really enjoy here. This frequently happens when I brush pass a gorgeous flower or am enjoying the sensation of wind felt during a bicycle or scooter ride. Physical maintenance sadly seems to take a back seat on this ride. Fortunately my health has been fabulous despite this regular abuse and neglect. That won't last forever at this pace but at least I am getting a lot done in the meantime.

May 26, 2006

agua pour favor

I thought I had spring fever: a new job, new weather, and meeting lots of new people... perhaps I do but I seem to have narrowed my focus a bit. I have fallen for water. My feet seem to be endlessly soaking it up, I can't leave the house with out finding myself stranded in a rain shower. Thank goodness I have a million pairs of shoes.

This is not an unfortunate thing. The weather has been warm and the water welcome. Tonight, as I was biking through the misty streets, feeling the drip off of trees and up from the pavement, I noticed that the air was heavy not just with moisture, but with smells. It was too late in the evening for the car exhaust to be up, instead I was greeted with the scent of spring - of leaves budding, fresh green pushing up through moist earth, flowers blooming and sending their pollen willy nilly.

So often I cite the need to be grounded - get my head out of the clouds. Yet now is obviously the time to swim, upstream or downstream doesn't matter, the important thing is getting in. What does water symbolize? Fluidity? Flexibility? It could also be strength and perseverance.

Now if only I could find the time take a shower inside, my life might be complete.

May 09, 2006


Leaving the Co-op and working with recycling is a huge life style change. The new job is irresistible but the change that comes with it gives me pause. Not only am I leaving a business that I know backwards and forwards and jumping into the barely known but not working at a grocery store a half a mile from my house will change my life in ways I can only imagine.

For the past two years I have been severely spoiled - able to walk to work and never had worry about food.

Continue reading "changes" »

May 07, 2006

Reduce, Re-use...

Quaking at the knees, I am leaving my comfortable well-known world of natural food for garbage - scratch that - not garbage, but rather recycling. This weekend began the transition into a new position at a recycling company aimed at showing waste is preventable, not inevitable.

I have always had a bit of the environmental fanatic in me. It will be super difficult to rein it in now. To ease my transition have been absorbing "Paper or Plastic: Searching for solutions to an overpackaged world." Between this book and all my coworkers fill my head with, I hope to have an outlet here so as not to chase away the few remaining friends I have. Thus with pride, I start a recycling subject line, in which to pour my enthusiastic learning.

This need not be a solitary journey - already friends are asking me waste related questions and the answers I don't know I will be happy to look up - please post any questions or thoughts you have on this subject as they come up.

No info tonight though. After a jam-packed weekend I have to catch up on some sleep.

April 25, 2006


Last weekend I felt inspired watching Ani DiFranco belt out songs full of joy. She sang to a sold out show with people wondering - why choose such a small venue when she can fill a hall triple the size? Tonight I watched as an old friend rolled with the crowd and played passionately in front of a miniscule audience. At the Cedar show, all though jam-packed to the gills, the crowd felt small - honored to be included in such a comparatively little venue. Tonight, the tiny crowd felt intimately huge. We made just as much noise as the Ani fans, despite being one tenth in size (if even that). My friend on stage laughed and joked with us as though it were a sold out show.

Both these musicians were under-selling themselves. I marveled at the similarity and remembered a friend advising me that people's joy in their job tends to be inversely related to their paycheck. I felt honored and inspired by watching these musicians' joy and dedication to their art. I realized that although they may get compensated some for the show - that isn't why they are doing it. When you consistently under charge for your labor, while it could be because you devalue your talents (and I hope not) the alternative is because you never want to feel like doing a task for the money. It is much better to feel underpaid but that you are doing the job because of love, devotion, friendship, or a dozen other more pleasant reasons than monetary value. True, the world takes money and we need it to pay our bills. However, money doesn't buy happiness; the only thing that provides happiness is joy and satisfaction that comes with doing what you love and loving what you do.

Understanding this is very important these days, as I feel awakened from a long slumber - like I am finally falling in love again. Seeing these musicians following their hearts could not come at a more inspiring time as I contemplate pursuing my own passion and realize how scary that is.