April 28, 2010


I've always wanted to be an explorer, someone who discovered things, an adventurer.

Wanting to be an oceanographer or a journalist or an international vet have been some visions of mine of how I might accomplish that in this day and age. Treasure Island has long been one of my favorite movies/stories. A boy who leaves all he knows behind and joins the adults to find something unknown, and treasured; and is crucial in their success. (Plus sailing!) I loved watching the Muppet Babies as a kid because their imagination turned cardboard boxes in the nursery into river rafts down the Amazon. Every international trip I've taken has seemed like practice for when I become What It Is I Am Meant To Be.

Yesterday, as I was walking in Chataqua Park with Phoenix and Buddy, I had an epiphany. I have been an explorer all along! I spend my life discovering things and sharing things with those I'm around. The things I find may not be new to the world, but they're new to my world, new to some people I share them with. I keep a bright eye open for beauty when I'm walking in the neighborhood or in the woods. I was a DJ for WRFL 88.1FM in college; I was exploring all sorts of music and sharing my discoveries. I blog to share my daily experiences which are also a discovery of a sort. I am here in Boulder, doing something I never thought I would do--making sandwiches and watching a baby. This is an adventure for me. I am headed to Guatemala in little over a month and I don't know what I'll find. I am exploring my world, I am taking it in. I take things in stride, I accept the way things are because an explorer, a discoverer is someone who observes and makes notes. If I protest or complain, I might change what IS.

It's kinda cool to realize that I am something that I've always wanted to be.

April 21, 2010

Breaking and Entering

What the FREAK.

So: it's 1:40am, I got home from Snarfs after midnight. I made myself a snack and some tea, started a load of laundry, and went to video chat with Ben. I finish with Ben, and hear hacking in the other room. I assume it's Buddy, the husky, and put my PJs on. I go to the kitchen to put my mug and bowl in the sink (all the lights are off in the house except in my room), and bump into someone's butt, who I assume is Vinny (my bro-in-law). So, I think, Vinny is yacking/hacking in his kitchen sink with the lights off. Kind of weird, since the bathroom is right next to their room, but whatever. "Oh excuse me," I say, "are you okay?" And he doesn't answer. "Are you okay?" I ask again, and go to turn on the lights to see if he is. He's leaving the kitchen as I turn the lights on, and I realize it is NOT Vinny, which gives me a fright. "Who are you?!" I demand, as he continues to walk away from me toward the front door. He doesn't answer and I grab the nape of his shirt, and twist it like I mean it, but he peaceably makes his way to the porch. He reeks of alcohol. I wonder if he's one of the downstairs neighbors' friends or if he knows Chelsea & Vinny or what. He looks to be about 19 or 20, navy blue shirt, 6' tall, skinny, bowl-ish hair cut, dark brown hair, no facial hair. "Where are you going?! Don't come in our house!" I say, and he finally answers me, "I'm leaving, I swear I'll never come again," his hands are in the air like he's making peace, and my thoughts are totally confused. As he leaves, he mumbles something that sounds like 'your daughter trusts me,' in a way that I think was supposed to make me think he's a good guy and I should just leave him alone. I think he must have thought I am much older than I am, that I have a daughter around his age, that he thinks he's at his friend's parents house, and that it's okay to just waltz in to a dark house in the middle of the night and yak in someone's sink. What the FREAK. I ask again if he's okay. He nods as he's leaving and says he won't come back again.

I immediately lock the door. An intruder comes into our house and my main concern is that he's okay. What? I go and scrub the sink. I hug the dog, and ask him why he didn't alert us to the visitor. I am going to bed, but my nerves are shaken. But it takes me a half hour or so to realize what just happened was a crime, and maybe I should call the police. Or at least tell my sister what just happened in her own house. I hear the baby cry for a second, and use it as my intro to tell Chelsea. Vinny wakes up and runs outside to find the guy who is long gone by now.

Um......what just happened???

UPDATE: Wow, I just saved that guy a lifetime's worth of worry. If I'd held onto his shirt a little longer, and kept him for the law to deal with, he could be facing a $100,000 fine or 3 yrs in prison. 1st degree trespassing like what he just did, even without criminal intent inside is considered a Class 5 felony in Colorado.

April 18, 2010

Pendants get some attention

I finally pushed my bed aside, cleared off the desk in the office/mybedroom and got my pendant-making supplies out. Tonight's work was grinding the edges of the glass. I just got a new dremel grinding tool to replace the old worn one. Working in my tiny space, doing what I love feels good. Success.

April 15, 2010

the Frequent Peacock

I have just launched a new blog wholly dedicated to the collection of peacock images. It all started when my friend Julie Lively mentioned just how very inspiring the peacock was to her. I began sending her images of the peacock whenever I came across them, but it's been over a year now, and I feel I have only skimmed the surface of all the peacock imagery out there. I have been amazed at how frequently I see the peacock. Perhaps every animal is as prevalent, but my eyes have just become attuned to 'collecting' the peacock. In any case, I felt they deserved a proper reliquary. Please feel free to suggest other images. I am backlogged already, just trying to get all the images from the past 6 months up, but I welcome new ones. The peacock (and peahen!!) is a very lovely creature to settle one's eyes on.

Visit the Frequent Peacock here, and please follow me there!

PS-if it loads with different fonts than what you see above, it's because I have used "Secesja PL" and "Campanile" as two of the main fonts. You can download those to your computer from the links provided in the previous sentence if you want.

UPDATE: I worked on finishing the header so that you don't have to upload any fonts yourself, you just get to see a beautiful header. I'm not a programmer, so this is a big accomplishment for me. Couldn't have done it without being sick for a few days with nothing else to do.

It's too much

I'll preface this by saying that things are always worse at 2am, which is what time it is while I'm writing this. "It's too much," is a phrase Tiger says in a bit of an overdramatic way whenever she's displeased with a situation. Perhaps I'm being overdramatic, too, but I'm certainly displeased with my situation right now, and I need to vent.
I'm awake because I skinned both my knees yesterday, and they are really painful right now, any touching of the sheets makes me cry. I gauzed them in honey yesterday, a remedy that I was taught in vet school for improving vascularity & healing in skin grafts and open wounds. I was proud of myself for having a bit of knowledge tucked away that was actually useful. Tonight, however, I'm remembering the rule of thumb: if it's wet, dry it, and if it's dry, wet it. These suckers are very seepy, and now I'm questioning whether I should have used honey at all since it is wet too. The doubt makes me crazy, it makes me feel like such a complete dumb-ass, it brings back all the frustration and feelings of failure from vet school. Auuuugh.
I stayed home from work today and will again tomorrow because I have some sort of lymphnode-enlarging, headache inducing, general malaise-causing sickness. Feeling glechy on top of the skinned knees sorta feels like salt in the metaphorical wound. Chelsea had to call Vinny's mom to watch the baby for me today, she had to call a bunch of people to scramble to get someone to cover for me at work, and I feel totally lame for making her work extra hard and not coming through when I'm scheduled.
Not working for a couple days, of course stresses me out financially. And my finances are not helped by the fact that I got an $80 speeding ticket in the mail today. I don't even have a car, I must have been on a Snarf's delivery, using Chelsea's car the day the phototraps caught me going 31 in a 20mph school zone, but there I am, photo proof that I suck, again. The whole reason I'm here in Colorado is to earn enough cash to make the move at the end of the summer out to Monterey to go to grad school. I'm making pittance per hour so I have to work constantly. Chelsea told me a second time today that she doesn't think I'm doing a good enough job at home, she's giving me free rent and utilities, so I feel sick when I hear she's not pleased with me because I'm so grateful and indebted to her for what she's offering me here. Sometimes I want to curl up and die. I hurt physically, mentally, emotionally, financially...
I'm so overwhelmed.
I don't feel like myself here. I haven't been dancing at all, I feel pretty isolated and house-bound. I think my body always rebels against being overwhelmed by plunging me in further via sickness. Sickness makes me stop my busyness and look around. But it halts any progress I might be making; it sucks that way.

I feel like the root of all of this is the disaster at Tufts because that sent me into financial ruin and set me back 6 or 7 years in my career. I am remembering the Rumi poem Mel sent me, that says to take a look at your baggage, and only carry with you the stuff that makes you happy. I had always taken it a little more literally, but today I see it as wonderful abstract advice...but I don't know how to release baggage that I am reminded of so regularly. How can I lose the notion that I'm so far in debt that I may as well own a really nice house that I'll never see when I have bills coming out the wazoo and only a sandwich-making, babysitting salary to pay them on? Try as I might to move forward, to enjoy what I have, to pick myself up by my bootstraps, this is the reality. I can't get over this loss and waste, it haunts me insidiously, incessantly.

April 11, 2010

30th Birthday!

A cardigan I treated myself to, in an effort to fulfill my current crush on navy & gold.

Chelsea trying to play the jew's harp, with the oven fire and overflowed pink cake messes she made behind her.

Delicious raspberry/lemon poppyseed cake Chelsea bought to replace the cake messes.
Carrot cake Ben sent me via mail! Complete with dried ice. Very cool. And yummy.

Lenore makes a new friend by showing Tiger the "fort" (loft in her cabin).
Dave and Dave grilling in style.

Tiger and Chicken, a human and chihuahua with other animal names.

Life on Baseline

Shots from my daily life.

Vinny's color work filled in on his tiger tattoo

me at Snarfs


Last weekend, Easter was nice. Breakfast with Vinny's dad, egg hunt with Vinny's mom, I took a long nap, and the kids got dressed up and were pretty cute. Video chatted with Mom.

April 4, 2010

Yellow Beauty, etc

Yellow beauty:

Happy Easter!

And the "etcetera" part of the post.

April 3, 2010

Working at Snarf's

While I'm here in Boulder, living with my sister & her family, I am working at Snarf's on the Hill.

Snarf's is a locally owned sandwich shop that has expanded from one to six locations in the area. (below is the old/original Snarf's)

The Snarf's on the Hill is the one by campus, so we get all the hungry college kids at lunch time, and all the lazy/hungover/high hungry college kids calling in for deliveries. (Now that medical marijuana is legal in Colorado, kids never bother hiding the smell of pot, bloodshot eyes, or the munchies) Chelsea is the manager, and all the other people she's hired there are great to work with. It's a wonderful work environment because there is little to no drama since Chelsea is so organized, everyone puts in their time and does a really good job, we're all good at cooperating and sharing tasks, and everyone likes one another so there's no interpersonal drama. What a blessing!

My first job ever was at Miguel's pizza in the Red River Gorge, just down the hill from our house. I made $5/hr back then, but loved it because I got to climb all day, leave the crag just a couple hours earlier than everyone else to go chop veggies, and then I made pizza for all my climbing buddies during the evening. My second food service job was at Portofino (fine italian dining) in Lexington, as a server. I worked lunches and it was a somewhat stressful job because of the intensity of the drama-loving kitchen staff. Every time I did something I hadn't been properly trained for, I got yelled at instead of being gently told what the correct way of doing something was. No thank you. I think I was 19 at the time, and I remember one of my coworkers being a 30 year old actor who served to pay the bills. I distinctly remember thinking, "Jesus, I can't imagine working this sort of job when I'm THIRTY." In fact, going to vet school seemed like a really excellent way to ensure that I wouldn't end up working a low-paying job in the food industry by the time I was thirty. So, HA!, the joke's on me, because my 30th birthday is less than a week away, and here I am working for ~$8/hr as a glorified dish washer and purveyor of sandwiches (okay, not so glorified). But you know, even though I thought a lot about this during the first few days of work, thinking how, "Yep, I still don't want to be doing this at 30," I actually enjoy it now.
Here's a list of what I like about working at Snarf's:
1. My coworkers are all a joy to work with
2. 6 hr shifts
3. it's like a surprise at the end of every shift to learn what my tips are
4. I can walk to and from work
5. the customers are all pretty chill, and often compliment our sandwichery
6. free meal with each shift
7. each sandwich is like a game--making sure I have the right combination of no mustard, extra hot peppers, swiss instead of provolone, etc
8. it's an easy job
9. as a lowly employee (not a manager) I have less responsibility and less stress than my last job
10. sometimes I get to make deliveries and it's always a fun reminder of how college kids live (milk crate furniture, beer cans in the yard, neglected dog, crappy posters for decoration) and I'm very thankful to have moved beyond that.
11. Chelsea has made Snarf's PACE certified (environmentally conscious), and I'm proud of her for that. We compost all our food waste & even our cups, lids, straws because they're made from corn. We recycle almost everything else. There's very little landfill waste. For a food service, this is so encouraging. It's not difficult to do, it just takes some initiative and costs a few cents extra per sandwich on our parts. WORTH IT!!! I love when customers thank us for these efforts.

That's pretty much it. It's low key, it pays (not much, but some), it is what it is.

This snow fell on the patio a couple weeks ago in the space of just a few hours. Crazy!

The Snarf's ad with Tiger in it from last year.

Phoenix came to visit me one day.

My co-worker Nick, who is about 6'2" using a broken, very very short broom. I laughed for days about this.

Chelsea taping cardboard over the vents so snow (!) wouldn't blow in on our heads.