Saturday, May 29, 2010

whatever may be

today we went for a hike with a friend from costa rica, max. unfortunately we waited until late in the afternoon, when the dark clouds started rolling in, bringing their friends "thunder" & "lightening" along. we didn't make it far up the trail before better judgment sank in & forced us to turn back. when we were about 100 feet from the car the sky opened up with pea-sized hail {ouch!}. never-the-less, it was fun to explore an area that is new to me. {brandon was there last fall with doug & liz}

pretty little flowers that required a magnifying glass {or zoom lens} to see them.
: : :
harvey has been a real pain lately. i mean a real pain. he has taken to obeying only when he feels like & barking at every leaf that has the nerve to skitter across our sidewalk. it is just a phase, but i am seriously considering bringing in the dog whisperer. anything would be better than me lately, being the antithesis of a whisperer.

i recently found a blog about the massive dog rescue in eastern oregon that happened in december. over 150 dogs were left to fend for themselves in the snowy winter, with little food or shelter. it simultaneously broke my heart {that people could be so cruel} & made me proud of the goodness of the people of the PNW {that all 150 dogs have been adopted or fostered in just 5 months!}. bonus, a social worker was the first to report the case to animal control--way to go social workers! 

a lot of the puppies looked like harvey used to, which made me get all kinds of sentimental. so despite my annoyance, here are a few of the faces of harvey:
he sneaks up on the couch when we are out of the house & during the night. 

shaking off the sleepy face. {please disregard our horribly dirty rug--we had a dog rodeo just moments before and hair was EVERYWHERE! still, gross rug there overstreets!}

he is a pro at giving me the stink-eye. apparently i annoy him equally.

check out that crocodile tear. poor guy! so emo.

one day we will have children & i will look back laughing at the fact i posted so much about our dog. oh well. btw, if any of you want an almost-2-year-old australian shepherd/maniac mix let me know...

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


i came across a book at barnes and noble recently, stuff white people like. i had heard of the blog before and laughed at it a few times, but the book freaked me out.  of the first 10 pages i liked 8 of the things! ugh, i felt so predictable. so i recently checked out the whole list, which consists of 139 items. once tallied, i only like about 26% of the things on the list, so that had me feeling a bit better.

each of the items listed have lengthy posts explaining the things white people adore, but the BEST explanation by far is the camping post. all credit due to stuff white people like, this is awesome:
If you find yourself trapped in the middle of the woods without electricity, running water, or a car you would likely describe that situation as a “nightmare” or “a worse case scenario like after plane crash or something.” White people refer to it as “camping.”
When white people begin talking to you about camping they will do their best to tell you that it’s very easy and it allows them to escape the pressures and troubles of the urban lifestyle for a more natural, simplified, relaxing time. Nothing could be further from the truth.
In theory camping should be a very inexpensive activity since you are literally sleeping on the ground. But as with everything in white culture, the more simple it appears the more expensive it actually is.
Camping is a multi-day, multi-step, potentially lethal activity that will cost you a large amount of both time and money. Unless you are in some sort of position where you absolutely need the friendship of a white person, you should avoid camping at all costs.
The first stage of camping always involves a trip to an outdoor equipment store like REI (or in Canada, Mountain Equipment Co-Op). These stores are well known for their abundance of white customers and their extensive inventory of things for white people to buy and only use once. If you are ever tricked into going to one of these stores, you can make white people like you by saying things like “man, this Kayak is only $1200, if I use it 35 times I’ve already saved money over renting.” Note: do not actually buy the kayak.
Next, white people will then take this new equipment and load it into an SUV or Subaru Outback with a Thule or Yakima Roof Rack. Then they will drive for an extended period of time to a national park or campsite where they will pay an entrance fee and begin their journey. It is worth noting that white people are unaware of the irony of using a gas burning car to bring them closer to nature and it is not recommended that you point this out. It will ruin their weekend.
Once in the camp area, white people will walk around for a while, set up a tent, have a horrible night of sleep, walk around some more. Then get in the car and go home. This, of course, is a best case scenario. Worst case scenarios include: getting lost, poisoned, killed by an animal, and encountering an RV. Of these outcomes, the latter is seen by white people as the worst since it involves an encounter with the wrong kind of white people.
Conversely, any camping trip that ends in death at the hands of nature or requires the use of valuable government resources for a rescue is seen as relatively positive in white culture. This is because both situations might eventually lead to a book deal or documentary film about the experience.
Ultimately the best way to escape a camping trip with white people is to say that you have allergies. Since white people and their children are allergic to almost everything, they will understand and ask no further questions. You should not say something like “looking at history, the instances of my people encountering white people in the woods have not worked out very well for us.”

Note: this works for all races!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

put your attention

a friend of mine always says, "put your attention" instead of pay attention. i love this phrase; it makes more sense to me and reminds me of her each time i use it. 

the past few years i have put a lot of attention towards politics. being one to get easily engrossed in things, i have found myself in a lot of heated conversations where i felt i must adamantly defend or explain my liberal ideals. sometimes my impulsiveness gets the best of me and i say things that are upsetting to people who matter a lot to me. at the end of the day it is just politics and those people are people i love. but i go to bed with a heavy heart, knowing i caused the rift in my life with my wagging tongue. and then all my attention for the next few days it put towards questioning and doubt, about who i have become--a person that doesn't always let love rule in my heart.

this past week it went a little further, my political obsession crept in between brandon and i. for the most part we are agreeable about politics {or else he is fearful to say otherwise, which is more terrifying to me than disagreeing!}, but this week it came out the he was less-than-thrilled {great euphemism, eh?} about some recent events where i made my political ideology known. mostly he was upset because how i expressed myself wasn't respectful, to someone he and i both have heaps of respect for. it got a bit worse, but this blog isn't titled "airing our dirty laundry" so i won't divulge those details. i did, however, go to bed each night with a progressively heavier heart.

i came across a great quote this afternoon that put it all in perspective for me. their rule [the radio] is: no silence ever. when anything happens the commentator has to speak without a moment's pause for gathering wisdom. falsehood and inanity are preferable to silence... the talkers are rising above the thinkers*. perhaps this is the lesson i need to learn: to avoid failing to gather wisdom before talking. and to put my attention to love, not devisiveness. 

{none of this comes from a place of feeling the need to be quiet or complacent. i will continue to speak out on issues that matter, but i hope to think before speaking and to let love be the guiding force, not politics. sorry, this feminist liberal isn't going anywhere soon.}

*barbara kingsolver, the lucuna.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

he's going to want some milk to go with it...

although it doesn't feel like summer here--and won't until july, i am told--i am enjoying my "summer break". i've got a constant list running in the back of my mind about all the projects i want to do this summer and delighting in the fact that no alarm clock has to be set.

today it hit me hard that procrastinating does not pay off. i always do this... start vacuuming, realize that i should really dust first, then think i should finish all the dishes in the sink so i can use it for mopping once i finish vacuuming, then realize that i really need to get dinner in the crockpot resulting in more dishes in the sink. three hours later all i have are unfinished projects surrounding me. oh, and a feeling of defeat. when it comes to accomplishing anything around the house, i feel like the mouse in "if you give a mouse a cookie"--one thing leads to another and at the end of the day all i have is a giant mess on my hands. 

this equation of procrastination + attention deficit = burnout. and i don't even have kids to make it more difficult. in my defense, i do have a dog who likes to bite at and "herd" the vacuum. but that is one thing i accomplished today: we made progress with harvey not being so darn mad at the vacuum. little pat on the back for me. or him really.

the one thing i am staying on top of is my thesis. i am bound and determined not to let this get out of hand. i have a 3" binder full-to-the-gills of journal articles i need to read, in alphabetical order, with a checklist of each article. of the 62 articles i have printed so far, i have read 6. so it is a start and a pace i am going to keep on. slow and steady is the name of this game. 

i am thinking i should make some curtains for the living room, which means a trip to the fabric store, where i might something to cover this computer chair with... 

Monday, May 10, 2010

road trippin'

we took off on thursday, desperate to get out of the snow and cold. it was getting to us in a major way, so we went on a quest for something that felt like summer. we didn't exactly find summer, but we found cool places in colorado and got to meet up with justin, which totally made up for the lack of summer weather. 

we put some good miles on the car, which was loaded down with bikes, kayaks, and way too much camping gear. the kayaks really served as a rudder for the wind to throw the car around on the interstate, and in the end, we didn't even use them. oh well. another time.

here is a map of our ridiculous meandering journey. we only doubled-back on our tracks once!

this place that we camped was windy, windy, windy. all the picnic tables had these sun/wind shades, but to me they looked like an army of drones or something. 

we met up with justin, who drove through the night from texas. since he didn't sleep and we didn't get restful sleep due to wind and a rocky campsite, we all needed coffee and breakfast. after that we headed into the mountains, to an awesome town of salida, which we can add to the list of towns brandon and i could live in. they have a kayak park in town, incredible mountain biking all around, and a fairly light winter considering their elevation and location in the middle of the rockies. 

we spent the afternoon mountain biking on some awesome trails above town. they got pretty intense towards the end (i.e., steep, sandy, and not well-banked into the hillside). it was a great afternoon though--a nice way to combat sitting in a car all day. we found an awesome camping spot along side a creek and had a nice, cold night.

the next day we drove somewhat aimlessly through colorado, unsure of where we wanted to go and what we wanted to do. finding forest service access proved to be difficult and took us up a sketchy road. justin's rented minivan did awesome, but with rain in the forecast, we didn't want to get ourselves stuck on the 4WD road.

this peak is mount lindsey, even spelled right.

sunday morning, justin set back for home and we headed for great sand dunes national park. it was impressive, but windy. wind + sand wasn't exactly soothing, so we didn't last long. just enough for a picnic lunch, a splash in the creek, and a few photos.

although we planned to camp a few more nights, i got kind of burnt out on living out of the car. plus the place we planned to camp produced ticks within 10 minutes of our arrival. i really didn't want to relive that nightmare with harvey. also the river was low, so the kayak park brandon wanted to hit just didn't give him enough motivation to suit up for a "mediocre" wave.

we drove the remaining 3.5 hours home to wake up in our own bed, hopefully tick free. we made a big detour to check out breckenridge and had awesome food at a little burrito shop. good fuel for our ambitious drive home. but waking up here, without aching backs from sleeping on the ground and having access to real coffee and cream, totally made the groggy drive worth it.