Saturday, July 31, 2010

It's Wedding Week!

What am I looking forward to? CAKE.

I realize that I often blog about my thoughts and ponderings about the world, which I know the masses thoroughly appreciate and I'm sure that I will someday be sitting next to David Sedaris at a book signing. I would like to do this even if I haven't written a book yet because David Sedaris is a hoot and a holler. But I digress. Anyways, I thought I would update you about what I'm actually DOING in my real life activity-wise: namely I am in a wedding for my best friend [and long time neighbor] Amy and it is Wedding Week. I am the Maid of Honor, or "The Maid" for short. Why is this so awesome, you ask? Ummm can we say "week long party"? AND my brother is home. And my neighbor Scott who is also awesome. Even MORE of a party. Here are the top ten things I'm looking forward to this week:
1) Pedicures with Mom
2) Hanging out with Matt--finding good bars in Boise now that he is over 21. We are also going to be seeing "The Kids are Alright" which I am SUPER stoked about.
3) Bachelorette Party
4) Rehearsal Dinner at The Reef which means GOOD food
5) New friends!!!
6) White Water Rafting
7) Doing the "Hoedown Throwdown" at the wedding. Yup. We are doing a big choreographed number which I have ALWAYS dreamed of doing. It took me like an hour to learn it because I am rhythmically challenged.
8) Giving a kick ass toast and having a captive audience who has to listen to me or at least pretend to listen to me. They'll laugh! They'll cry! They'll applaud! Sorry, no encores...it's a one shot deal--speech number 2 will require payment. My words are worth a lot you know.
9) CAKE!!!
10) Celebrating with Amy on her big day! Hoorah!

This week has already been awesome because today my neighbor Scott told me that I have "vocab swag." I take this to mean I have a grandiose and eclectic diversity of words to communicate with. I hope the GRE thinks this as well.

Last year when my friend Holly got married I thought about how insanely crazy and really very amazing it is that two people can come together and say, "I want to spend the next fifty years with you." I mean, this is really, really amazing if you think about it--it blows my mind. I could liken it to a hurricane I suppose. The conditions for a hurricane have to be exactly right in order for the storm to occur--there has to be the right mixture of temperature and air pressure and then BAM!!! It hits. That's a lot like committing yourself to someone I suppose, that is the conditions have to be just right for it to happen. I mean think about it: you have to a) like the person A LOT which is a miracle in itself. Even finding someone to have a crush on can be challenging... b) have the same values and c) be heading in somewhat the same direction in life [i.e. it would probably not be wise of me to marry someone who wants to start say a small fast food restaurant chain in the midwest if I want to be a surf bum on the coasts of California. I don't know where that example came from, but it works]. I mean I guess these conditions don't HAVE to happen, but I wouldn't get into a marriage unless they were there. I like and love a lot of people, but to be able to make that sort of selfless commitment to someone for the rest of my life and say, "Yes, I will wake up to you every day and put up with you when you are in a bad mood and smell your farts..." Well...it really is a miracle.

Boise Saturday Market


One of my favorite activities this summer was heading yonder to Downtown Boise and hitting up the local Boise Saturday Market. It's a blast, let me tell you. Tasty fresh berries. Locally grown vegetables. And the food samples that abound! I love going to the market because I feel super eco-friendly [minus the gas it took me to drive down there], and it's good to know that my dollars are going to support my fellow Boiseans and are staying in the local economy. Anywho, one of my favorite vendors at the Saturday Market is a woman who owns an organic farm and sews her own bags that are made out of fabric that was purchased at a thrift store. This is awesome, as the bags are a) super trendy b) one-of-a-kind and c)fairly made. All things that I like. The little patch on the bags reads "Know your grower, know your sew-er." Cute. Anyways, I'd not really talked to her very much in depth, but today I felt more extroverted than normal so I started a conversation with her. We began talking about her farm and the market and she told me that she is actually only allowed to sew her bags in a specific shape. This is because apparently it would ruin the competition around her: a.k.a. Urban Outfitters. I found this fascinating and ironic, as large corporations seem to have no qualms with crushing their small independent competition around them by outsourcing and low prices. Anywho, she THEN told me that she worked for Urban for several years as a fashion forecaster, and decided "Hmmm, I'm going to become a farmer" [this would seem like the most natural choice after being in the fashion industry...?] and thusly began telling me about all the evils of the corporation [Side note: sorry if you like Urban. I did too, but unfortunately because of new information I am now boycotting them and Anthropologie as it is under the same parent company. Although I don't know how much change that will bring that I'm boycotting Anthro as their prices are so outrageous I can't afford anything anyways...but still. It's the principle!]. As you can guess, it was a fairly depressing conversation. I won't go into all the disturbing things she told me because it would take too long and you'd probably become bored and think I was crazy or exaggerating, but trust me, it's bad and you can certainly call me up if you would like to know. She told me she did not have these conversations with most people and she probably would have no friends otherwise and I said that indeed, this is how I felt most days of my life. The saddest thing was that she said, "You know, if people only knew they wouldn't shop there!" and I said, "Nay. I'm not sure that is true...I know a lot of things but that hasn't stopped me in the past. It's easier to do nothing. I know other people who know a lot of things and this doesn't stop them either." Major sigh. We talked about how sad it is that young people spend so much money trying to look good, when they miss out on so much [aka traveling] because they are spending so much money in such stores as Urban. And then I immediately forgot my privilege social class wise because she said, "Yeah, traveling or in my case going to the dentist." Oops. I should have thrown buckets of money at her. I get that boycotting is a toss up, as you could ask the question, "Is it better to buy cheaper clothing and donate more to charity or buy more expensive things that you know were fairly made?" I say buy less and give away more, personally. And I get that there are a LOT of bad stores out there, but even picking the REALLY bad ones could make a difference. We talked about how fashion is fun, but there's a fine line, and, as she said, "We all die naked anyways, and if all I'm remembered for is my fashion sense then what is that really worth anyways?" Touche. I thanked her for chatting as I had learned a lot and she had greatly validated my decision to not purchase new clothing for a year. As I walked away I couldn't help but feel slightly disappointed that I had to leave Idaho in only a week, as it seems that we would have had a lot of interesting things to talk about and I perhaps might have made a new friend. As I was thinking this I looked down and realized that I, very ironically and very embarrassedly was wearing a scarf I had purchased awhile ago [before I boycotted it] from Forever 21: a.k.a. the mecca of cheap labor...I hope she didn't judge me too much.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Someone did this on facebook...and in an effort to procrastinate and because I was bored, I did it too!

10 anonymous things you want to say to 10 different people:
1. Thanks for being there.
I hope you've benefited from my friendship as much as I have from yours
2. Thanks for everything you do, even if it seems like I don't appreciate it.
3. You have no idea how much I needed your friendship at that time [and still need it now].
4. I wish it would have happened. I don't think you know how I felt.
5. I seriously think you're the funniest person I know. I wish you saw how special you are.
6. You matter.
7. I miss you. A lot.
8. I hope I'm just like you someday.
9. I really. REALLY don't understand why you did that...could you please explain?!
10. Thanks for understanding me--I really really enjoy our chats and think you're the best [sometimes I don't think you realize this]. I'm super glad you're in my family. You're neat-o.

Nine things about myself:
1. Sociology is my passion in life. I hope I'm your professor some day.
2. I love high heels--the higher the better
3. I recently discovered I love White Riesling. I also discovered I love Broadway. Put these two together for a great afternoon.
4. I speak Spanish fairly well
5. I love coffee and cupcakes--together is better. My favorite places are coffee shops and cupcake shops.
6. I sing really loud in the car...I mean belt it. I hope I have enough confidence to sing kareoke some day. I think I would sing "You Give Love a Bad Name." I hope in heaven I have a voice like Lea Michele [of Glee fame]. And I hope I'm a really good dancer. Basically I hope heaven is like one big musical and I wish God would have given me either the ability to sing or dance.
7. If I could be anywhere in the world I would be sitting with a friend at a coffee shop in Seattle. I miss Seattle most days.
8. If you are my friend you will only receive socially conscious gifts [i.e. fair trade, recycled or a charitable contribution in your name] for occasions such as birthdays.
9. I really really really want a Labrador Retriever. A yellow one.

Eight ways to win my heart:
1. Appreciate the crazy
2. Care deeply about something [i.e. justice related]
3. Be hilarious
4. Be confident
5. Be kind
6. Have a mission. Have dreams. Have adventures.
7. Recycle.
8. Listen and try to understand.

Seven things that cross my mind a lot:
1. Am I making a difference?
2. Do I matter?
3. Where is God? or "Oh, there's God"
4. Will I get into grad school?
5. What if I don't make it in grad school...then what?
6. Grrrr...really?! Did you REALLY say that?!
7. I want a cupcake

Six things you wish you never did:
1. Said something mean or insensitive
2. Was stingy/not giving
3. Was too busy/in a rush
4. Wasted so much time
5. Thought I wasn't pretty/thought I was fat/worried about boys and getting married when I was younger [thank goodness I've gotten older and wiser]
6. Was too afraid to do it or say it

Five turn offs:
1. being obsessed with being "a man"--MAJOR TURN OFF: say "that's so girly..." UGHHHH
2. sarcasm
3. ignorance
4. non-hilarious people
5. no confidence

Four places I want to go:
1. Italy
2. Greece
3. Australia
4. places where my friends are

Three smiley faces that describe me:
1. ;)
2. 8) (cuz I wear glasses)
3. :S

Two things I want to do before I die:
1. Ride a vespa and eat gelato in Italy
2. Get my Phd

One belief:
Jesus is here, even when it doesn't seem like it.

Rethinking


Well shoot. So, a few months ago I posted a blog about how I fully appreciated the common-ness of my name. You can read about it here: http://jess-miller.blogspot.com/2010/03/jessica-miller-is-awesome-name-afterall.html. Anywho, the other day I was watching an episode of some sort of detective show: oh that's right: NASH BRIDGES. Yes, the awesome cop show of the early 2000's starring Don Johnson of "Miami Vice" and the god awful "Heartbeat" fame [Please: enjoy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ULI5kolBpAk]. Anywho, the story was about how this woman was murdered because the hit man got the wrong person. Her name was something common, and it turned out there were three in the area, but he'd shot the wrong person. This is some scary sh**, and hardly anything I want to be apart of. I mean for goodness' sakes, what if there's a Jessica Miller running around out there who is a drug dealer and has some bad debt to repay to some drug lords? Or what if she's an embezzler or involved in some sort of international scandal? Or she's a psychopath? I once knew someone who got stopped by airport security because it turned out someone of the same name was on an international "do not fly list" hence he had to spend a very long time proving that he was NOT the a-forementioned Black List Guy. While my anonymity has certainly proven to be useful, I had NOT thought about the consequences of it. Dear Other Jessica Millers [and there are many]: Please do not participate in any sort of shenanigans or tomfoolery--please aim to represent us well, we all appreciate it!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Whelp. I'm Doing It.

Every time I walk into a Forever 21 I want to die a little inside. It's really only with that store. I think because a store like Forever 21 to me is the very pinnacle of capitalism: cheap CHEAP prices and tons and tons of variety. I mean really if you walked into that store the next day you probably wouldn't find the same article of clothing from the day before. Now, I've stopped purchasing from that store, but let's face it: many of the other stores I purchase clothing from aren't that much better--and I purchase a LOT of clothing, call it my addiction. There's a reason one of my RA's calls Old Navy "Old Slavey." What happens is that, as a capitalist, I want more bang for my buck, thus corporations, in order to appease my need for cheaper prices, outsource to places who will do more work for cheaper [i.e. China] thus taking jobs away from the U.S. and thus you have meltdowns known as Detroit, Michigan. A lot of people will argue that capitalism brings out the best competition wise--the best products at the lowest prices--but at the expense, I ask, of who? And if we're so concerned with lower prices at the expense of human beings [i.e. God's creations]...then aren't we worshipping money? As a person who certainly sees the downsides of capitalism, it turns out I'm very, very good at participating in it. And, combine that with low impulse control and a pleasure center that goes off when I buy stuff...well it just makes for a very bad combination. Yes, I've sat through classes about the workers in sweat shops and think it's horrible, but when I go to Target...and I see that dress...for only $20...and I look really good in it...I tend to just shove that knowledge right down where it came from, and then I become part of the problem. Nay, THE problem. Not good. Not good. This is not only wholly irresponsible as a person who follows Jesus, but as a human being and citizen of the world in general. I've done little things here and there to make the world better, but I haven't really given up things I'm obsessed with--aka buying clothes. We pray the Lord's prayer a lot--bringing heaven to earth--but it seems to me like we're not doing the best job sometimes [sometimes, not ALL the time]--but as people of privilege that comes with responsibility. I have far more than I need, and it doesn't seem very fair at all that people don't have clean water to drink but I have about 50 shirts to choose from on any given day. Really? Where is the equality in that? I guess lately I've been grossed out by the amount of STUFF I have. Stuff is EVERYWHERE. I get it for my birthday, for Christmas, I buy it for myself. Stuff, stuff, STUFF. I also think about the amount of environmental impact my shopping addiction has: I mean the gas that goes in my car to go to buy something, the materials it took to produce it, the materials to make the factory to produce the clothing, the gas it took to ship it to the H&M I purchased it from...you could really go on and on. And I use that time to go shop when I could do something worthwhile like read a book or volunteer or something. Therefore, I'm cutting out new-clothes buying for one year. Yup, I'm doing it. I half way committed at the beginning of the summer, then I FAILED. Miserably. Then, I am donating money to http://www.charitywater.org/ and http://www.onedayswages.org/, that I would have spent on clothing [which last year was far more then it needed to be]. The fact is, I always say, "Eh...I'm so poor." FALSE. I waste my money on shit. That's really the bottom line. I spend all this money on myself, I could stand to spend a little on other people. I mean I spend money on other people every once in awhile, but really in the grand scheme of things I am self-admittadly stingy, which is also a horrible misnomer as a Christian and everything that Jesus preaches against. Blech. I've had a lot of wake up calls that have shed light on how capitalism has corrupted my thinking about human beings and money and wealth and blah blah blah, so I'm doing something about it. Less talk, more action. The idea is--less money on clothes to buy things for me, more money for others. Now, I don't do this to toot my own horn, I promise, and I know it may come off as self-righteous or preachy which believe me isn't the intent at all because I thoroughly get annoyed when I feel guilted into something...but hopefully you will read this and think of something small you can commit to in order to help make an impact...be that buying fair trade coffee, buying fruit and veggies at your local farmer's market, voting, riding your bike to work twice a week, eating less meat, changing your lightbulbs to energy saving ones [after your old ones burn out of course], taking a reusable bag to the grocery store or using a reusable coffee cup when you hit up that fair trade coffee store, buying used clothing from Value Village instead of new clothes, signing a petition, what have you. I keep talking about making some sort of big impact...why not start small?

What's wrong with the world? I am. [I stole that from G.K. Chesterton]

Saturday, July 17, 2010

"I Went on a Balloon Ride"



Here's something you don't think you'll hear: "Hey Jess, you wanna go on a hot air balloon ride?" Answer: Duh. It turns out that it works in my favor that I know my dad [aside from the fact that he's an outstanding guy], because he knows a doctor from work and this doctor knows his brother who flies hot air balloons. I know people who drive cars, people who drive boats, and even someone who flies a plane. But until this very day, I did not know someone who flew hot air balloons. Needless to say, the experience was really cool, and as we soared over the local Wendy's I couldn't help but note the irony that while I have such a fear of airplane flying, put me in a small wicker basket surrounded by combustable fuel tanks with a large flame burning into a very thin sac of fabric with no seat belts, and I'm happy as groupie at a Bon Jovi concert. It was cool seeing the entire city of Boise from a very different perspective...we floated right over people's houses, waving them friendly hellos...although dear citizens of Boise: if you are a large, beer bellied pale man, out of general courtesy to hot air ballooners you should put some clothing on before you exit your house. But you know, I guess you didn't ask us to fly over your property either, so in that case be free!!!

These are some things I found out about hot air ballooning:
1. You should not wear Tom's shoes out in the wee hours of the morning as the grass tends to be very dew-kissed, which sounds very romantic and beautiful I suppose but your feet will be very thoroughly soaked.
2. Boise has far more outdoor swimming pools then one would anticipate.
3. Hot air ballooning is very cool if you ever want to know what people's back yard spaces look like. It turns out people have small forests a.k.a. gardens, and some people desperately need to mow their lawns. There was one neighborhood in particular I wouldn't have minded residing in as it had a pool in one yard and a freaking sweet trampoline right next door. Those kids must be happy.
4. While one might anticipate that it would be a bit breezy up in the air, and one person [a.k.a. me] might layer up and bring an extra sweatshirt, because you would typically equate "high altitude" with "chilly," do not be fooled. It is HOT up there. And not just because I was present...[get it...cuz I'm HOT...just kidding. But it had to be said]
5. "Back in the box" is hot air balloon lingo for "going back to where you originally flew out from." Apparently it doesn't happen too often.
6. Apparently hot air balloons create some sort of a sound that is a higher frequency then human beings can hear and it makes dogs get a little nutty. Thus, we left a wave of barking dogs in our wake.
7. There is a LOT of work that goes into it! You have to have a whole crew of people to help you out, you have to go through all this testing to get your license, I mean it's a whole family affair! I suppose it's just one of those things that you never really think of when you say, "Oh hey! A hot air balloon!"

I would highly suggest hot air ballooning at some point in your life because let me tell you, you will not be disappointed. And you can mark it off that Bucket List!



Friday, July 16, 2010

I Hope This Doesn't Mean I'm Not a Feminist...

...but I really enjoy crafting. Here is one of my projects this summer that I made for my friend Amy's wedding:



I thought it turned out pretty well. Like it? Love it? I hope so!

Baking!!


What's cooking in your kitchen Jess? Answer: vegan cupcakes. What?! Vegan?! And let me quickly explain the diff between "Vegan" and "Vegetarian" as I am constantly asked if I am Vegan. "Vegan"=no animal products i.e. meat, dairy, honey, eggs, etc. Vegetarian=no meat [though technically I am a pescatarian as on a occasion I like to enjoy a salmon filet or a crab cake.] Anywho, my bro turned vegan, and to celebrate this I am going to embark on a baking journey through vegan-dom.

Vegan Coconut Cupcakes


Ingredients (use vegan versions):

1 1/2 cup flour
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup flaked coconut
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup coconut milk
1/3 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon white vinegar

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, coconut, baking soda, and salt. Add in the rest of the ingredients, adding the vinegar last. Stir until well combined.

2. Pour into cupcake liners and bake 30 minutes or until centers come clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

3. Frost with your favorite vegan buttercream frosting. Decorate with freshly toasted coconut.

My favorite vegan buttercream frosting:

I sifted some icing sugar into a bowl and added some vegan margarine (earth balance) and mixed until smooth. To get a creamier consistency, I added a couple of tablespoons of coconut milk. I then split the icing up into 2 bowls for 1/2 chocolate and 1/2 vanilla buttercream. Into one, I added a teaspoon of vanilla and into the other, I sifted a large amount of cocoa powder and mixed well with a bit more coconut milk. These are delicious either way!

Serves: 12


We'll find out how they turn out...yummmmm!

I Love Sarah McLaughlan and You Can To!



I don't mean you have to love her music...but I do hope you love her message. This may seem unrelated, but bear with me. The other day I was watching the news and in a sad, sad turn of events an American died in one of the terrorist attacks in Uganda. A bomb went off during a time when a bunch of people had gathered to watch the final World Cup game. The American who died was a young man who worked for Invisible Children, which is a grassroots organization that began by three young men who traveled abroad and saw the horror of war torn Uganda, and have worked relentlessly to promote peace, build schools, and stop the war.


As I was reading this article about this young man, I realized he was the same age as me...born in the awesome year of 1985. The same age as me, and he lost his life. And what is so moving and tragic about his death is that he died in Uganda, doing what he was passionate about, bringing change in a real way to the people of this place. And I began to wonder what my calling is, where I'm going in life. I mean, I guess that sometimes I wonder what big thing I'm going to do, what cause I'm willing to die for. I'm passionate about equality, but I haven't necessarily had to give up a whole lot for that passion...sometimes I feel guilty that I'm not traveling to foreign countries or giving up all my luxuries. I think that what is so incredibly beautiful to me about Nate's story is that I believe he was doing what Jesus asked of him, obedience, even to the point of death. And sometimes I wonder if I have that passion--I hope that I do some day. I'm super passionate about things--but obedience to the point of death? Obedient enough to give up my life of luxury? How am I going to make a difference? Am I brave enough or strong enough to do take that leap of faith?

I thought and thought about this all day...and all that I can do is stay true to the calling I believe I have received which is graduate school...and sometimes I wonder if as Christians we compare callings--is one "better" then another? I'm not sure...these are just the thoughts swimming around in my head. I guess I can't believe that God gave me such passion for academia and not do something with it, right? And without sociology, without people doing the research, a lot of these inequalities wouldn't be exposed--knowing these things make me have a more active faith [even though sometimes I tend to suck at follow through]. Or is this an excuse for me to stay in the comfort of school? And then I think about the professors who have impacted me in so many ways...we need people on both sides--those doing the work, and those evaluating the current systems. I'm not sure if any of this makes sense, or connects in any way. Anyways, later I was listening to Sarah McLaughlan. Like I've said before, I wasn't a fan before Lilith, but my friend Kelsey was telling me about the music video for "World on Fire," so I decided to give it a look-sy.


And I love it. Because the song is about doing what you can, what's within your means--how sometimes we just get so incredibly overwhelmed with the problems of the world, but we just need to pick one to focus on. Sometimes being overwhelmed leads to no action at all. I love that Sarah is a musician, and she uses that for change. I know that as a Christian I've heard tons about "living out your calling" and blah blah blah...but some days it just feels more real and pertinent and meaningful then others I suppose [like today]. It is the small changes, and the problems seem like so many, but maybe, just maybe, if we all picked one, we could make a very, very huge difference. Check out the lyrics...they really moved me, and I hope they move you too.

God bless you Nate--you are in paradise.

"World On Fire"--Sarah McLaughlan

Hearts are worn in these dark ages
You're not alone in this story's pages
Night has fallen amongst the living and the dying
And I try to hold it in, yeah I try to hold it in

The world's on fire and
It's more than I can handle
I'll tap into the water
(I try to pull my ship)
I try to bring more
More than I can handle
(Bring it to the table)
Bring what I am able

I watch the heavens and I find a calling
Something I can do to change this moment
Stay close to me while the sky is falling
Don't wanna be left alone, don't wanna be alone


Hearts break, hearts mend
Love still hurts
Visions clash, planes crash
Still there's talk of
Saving souls, still the cold
Is closing in on us

We part the veil on our killer sun
Stray from the straight line on this short run
The more we take, the less we become
A fortune of one that means less for some

Airports Have Bested Me YET AGAIN!!!

As many of you know if you have read my blog in the slightest, I HATE flying with the passion that could probably fuel the city of Seattle if they could figure out how to convert passion into energy. It could fuel the city of Seattle at best--or at least fuel a small generator. The other day was no different during my flight home from Seattle. Like a good passenger, I arrived to the airport a generous one and a half hours prior to my departure. This gave me a lot of time to dilly dally, and, all things considering, Sea Tac does have a fairly decent shopping selection. The positive thing was that I found a book for my friend's birthday. I decided to break my commitment to buying only socially conscious gifts just this once because the book is called "101 Things to Do With a Blender" and I don't know about you but on any given day I can maybe think of ten things to do with a blender at most. The other plus was that I flew Southwest and there is really just no beating them. I mean you get two free bags. Really, Southwest I am happy to freely endorse you but I am also open to payment if you ever need one of those satisfied customer actors for a commercial or something.

Anyways, the rest of my airport experience was downhill. Here's my beef with my airport [or vegetable I guess as I don't eat beef] experience. 1) No water. Now, I realize liquids are not allowed due to national security and I appreciate that, TSA, I really do. However, I get very thirsty very quickly and have been referred to numerous times as a "camel" and I refuse to pay $3 fora bottle of water. 2) The food. I am sure that we have all encountered the outrageous prices for food in the airport. Why does my normally $4 Subway sandwich cost $8, and why does it taste at least 20% more terrible? I wanted to get a yogurt to try to incorporate some probiotics, live active cultures and calcium into my diet for the day, however I refuse to pay $1.49 for a container of Light and Fit when I know it costs $.60 cents at the grocery store, not because I can't afford it, but because it is a matter of PRINCIPAL. I normally try to avoid eating at airports in order to evade the problem altogether. However, today I was starving, thus I settled on a bagel which I purchased from a very unpleasant salesperson, and that had tasted as if they had taken five pieces of bread and sort of smashed them together, trying to get them to pass for a bagel. They had jam, so I was able to mask this effect a little. Because I knew that my bagel would not tide me over, I also finagled two packages of saltines, however after eating them I so keenly realized that this did not help with problem #1 of being thirsty. 3) I put this free sample of almond butter on my hands which then made them feel way to greasy. My fault. But it was a free sample. 4) Magazines. As I previously mentioned, I had an ample amount of time to toodle around the airport (and yes, I realize the issue of magazines is not particular to airports, but it just seems like a good time to rant anyways). Thus, I happened to look at the magazine rack. Now, out of general principal, I refrain from buying magazines such as "Cosmopolitan" or "Seventeen" mainly because I've realized that such literature tends to make me feel absolutely abysmal about my body, and I do not want to support that sort of industry [unless a Glee cast member is featured...or Mariska Hargitay]. However, every now and then I do appease my guilty pleasure and might paroose one every now and then at the supermarket or in this case the airport. So there I was and I was caught by the irony of many of the headlines. For example, Self magazine's cover said, "Healthy eating made easy." Healthy eating is NOT easy. Falsehood. It is NOT easy to select foods you know you should eat such as carrots, over say, cupcakes. Or how about "Love your body--do this new ab routine." I DO love my body a lot, regardless of the fact that of if I have a six pack. I can DRINK a six pack [not of beer though...maybe some Mike's...anyone...?], or maybe EAT a six pack of cupcakes, but you know what, I love my gut. In fact, your magazine just inclined me dislike my body by putting all these very thin and toned women in this magazine. Now, I realize that they really meant that you are loving your body because you're exercising, but the last time I did eight minute abs my body did NOT love me the next day [the soreness--ahhhh]. My favorite, though, was O magazine. This month's issue was "Big Deals." Apparently a $44 pair of earrings and a $70 non-descript white shirt quantify as "deals." My friend Heather says that maybe when she marries rich, a $70 cardigan will seem like a deal. I'm not sure, but what I do know is that for me "deal" means a $21 pair of gold shoes I bought that were 35 percent off the clearance price at The Rack. Or a $5 pair of Target earrings. I mean rally Oprah? I know you give cars away to entire studio audiences but I really think you need to re-evaluate your use of the word "deal."

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Seattle Radio Stations

My friend Heather and I spent a fairly decent amount of time in the car these last few days. Thus, we spent quite a bit of time listening to the radio, and being that we are both sociologists, we noticed a pattern: Apparently local Seattle radio stations have about five songs on their playlists at ny given time, no matter what station you happen to be listening to. Maybe because of a poor economy we have been forced to cut back on buying the rights to more songs. I'm not sure, but what I do know is that the following songs were played and I consequently "O.D.'d" on the following pop songs:

1. OMG: Usher
2. California Gurls: Katy Perry
3. Alejandra: Lady Gaga [and any Lady Gaga song in general]
4. My Love: Justin Timberlake--which is extremely odd as this song came out about six years ago
5. Clocks: Coldplay--see above

To detox I aim to listen to large amounts of indie folk music, broadway show tunes and classic rock.

Top Seattle Moments


My city. And I love me my panoramic lens.

As you invariably know by now, I had the immense pleasure of spending a full ten days in Seattle. This is an ample amount of time to fully soak up all Seattle has to offer during the summer. The biggest reason I love Seattle is I always leave feeling tremendously empowered to make a difference to the world. This is attributed to both the great individuals I know who reside there, but also because of the Seattle culture at large. I think the hippie blood will always run through my veins--part of Seattle just seems to weasel its wy into your soul somewhow. I love it. I love the local businesses you can support--massive mounts of compost and recycle bins that abound, or the wide variety of fair trade or eco-friendly products you can purchase at the local market. I love the bike and the bus riders who help make things more green. I love the crazy protesters on street corners--at least they stand for something. The insane amount of non-profits or the community gardens. There is always that new restaurant to try and fall and love with. Life just seems so much more rich, so thought out, more simplified, more intentional. Granted, I know Seattle isn't perfect and still has its flaws [and rain], but gosh darn it, they try. Anywho, these are my top moments of my awesome vacay [in no particular order]:

1. Lilith fair! (see post)
2. The Fourth--fireworks and friends (see other post)
3. COFFEE
4. Cupcakes/Ballard walk with Dr. McKinney
5. Sleeping IN
6. Riding the Seattle Metro here, there, and everywhere
7. Cafe Noveau/West Seattle jaunt with Britt and Cass
8. Rover's Bar with Cass and Britt and Cass's friends
9. Green Lake with Talaina
10. Massive amounts of cupcakes: Yellow Leaf, Trophy, and Cupcake Royale.
11. Molly Moon's w/Amanda
12. Walking along the Burke Gilman Trail at Sunset [NOT a fav I didn't bring my cam][also with Amanda]
13. Disney Sing It with Heather
14. Shop til you drop with Heather
15. BBQ at Heather's
16. Ballard Seafood Fest
17. Seeing Michael at Kavu
18. Bethany Community
19. Drinks with Dusty
20. A faint tan!!!
21. Berry picking and the fresh strawberry ice cream that followed
22. Thai food and sushi
23. Fremont Market
24. Theo Chocolate Tour
25. Jet City Improv and how I got the "inappropriate sanctioning" for accidentally screaming "Lady Gaga" for "things you do in art school." Oops.
26. The sign at Essential Baking Company that read "Due to our shortage of robots please remember that human beings work here and are not to be treated poorly" or something to that effect
27. Capitol Hill...need I say more?
28. T freaking C.B.Y
29. The Seattle Sun [when it decided to come out]

There was a lot of life packed into these moments.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Only in Seattle...

would you have something entitled a "Zombie Walk" to try to break the world record for most zombies in one place. Yup. They had a "Fremont Zombie Walk" in which 4233 people signed up, and made themselves into Zombies. I had to chuckle as I walked through Fremont today passing signs on local businesses that read "No Zombie Blood on the Buildings." Awes.

Indie-pendence Day


Today is the Fourth of July. Well, almost yesterday as it is three minutes to midnight. Today I had very high hopes for the Fourth. I anticipated laying on a sunny lawn, drinking a cold Mike's Hard Lemonade (and yes. I realize that's really lame of me, and I'll take all the crap you'll dish about about my beverage choice, and yes I realize Nyquill has more alcohol content and that middle schoolers drink the Mike's, but you know what it tastes like a fresh summer day and I feel like a real adult because it's in a beer-like bottle and I never drink beer so....there), eating out of our very cute little picnic basket, and listening to some music while watching the fireworks light up the night sky over Lake Union. I mean, this was a big deal that I was in Seattle for the Fourth, and she should have done her best to accomodate me. However, she pretty much puked rain all over my plans of a delightful Fourth. The girls and I (Brittany, Dana and their friend Liz) embarked over to Gasworks to avoid traffic at about three thirty. The weather was a wee bit cloudy, and it was drizzling a bit, but Seattle tends to be a bit temperamental when it comes to weather, and may rain for a half hour or so, and then stop later on. We optimistically anticipated this sort of occurance and wrote the rain off. We are idiots. We got to Gasworks and sat in the rain for a full hour and a half, fully ill-prepared and WET as all get out--we would have made terrible Boy Scouts. However, it was not a total loss as this provided an ample amount of time to do some great people watching, and if you are in Seattle this means that you are bound to see something great. See, in Seattle, large public events usually means that people get together and think to themselves, "What sort of political statement do I want to make, or what sort of cause would I like to beat my drum about and how can I most obnoxiously do it?" I think this is awesome, because I love seeing people being politically active but what I love even more is watching people making a spectacle. We saw a man holding a sign with a large picture of Thomas Paine and a very long quote by him that was too hard to understand and should have been bullet pointed for easy reference or at least had a "Dummies" version of the sign. This man was SCREAMING at another man about the rich and the taxes and the poor laborers and it was all so very Karl Marx of him. I couldn't say I totally disagreed, but I wasn't sure he was going about it in the most effective way, but let's be honest that would not have been very Seattle-ish of him. Seattlites need to make a scene and they need to make a statement. It's in the water or something. Unfortunately because this man attracted me to walk over and see what in the hey haw he was ranting about, the girls got their picture taken for the Seattle Weekly while I was gone. Poop. Oh well, my claim to fame and the modeling offers that would have inevitably rolled in from that picture will have to come another rainy day. During our hour and a half we also saw a "Vote-bot" which was basically a man dressed up as a robot walking around trying to get people to vote (which I learned the average voting age in Seattle is sixty-freaking-two and I don't know about you but I do NOT see a lot of elderly people walking around this city--it is over run with people in their 20s and 30s. SO GET OUT AND VOTE!). We saw a pirate ship sail by on the lake. A man walking around advertising for hempfest who looked like he would be supplying a bulk of the plant that makes the hemp. We saw a tiny rat dog in a rain jacket. We met a local government worker who was walking around picking up trash and very, very graciously gave us two trashbags to cover up in the rain. He was just so friendly and cheerful and I let him know that I was happy that people's tax dollars were going to pay him. I also got some free stickers.

With all that said, and with the fun we were having people watching, we decided to retreat to drier lands, and I was very upset that the rain had destroyed all the time and energy I had spent perfecting my very voluminous hair and cute side-braid of the day. Thus, we voyaged [erm, waded?] back to the girls' apartment, made some mango vodka drinks and watched Harry Potter 5, to which I fell asleep and now I'm wide awake...awes.

We did decide to go watch the fireworks, but not at Gasworks as there was no way we were going to get near it. I'll be honest, they were the best fireworks I've ever seen--well played City of Seattle. While I can't say you've fully redeemed yourself because you puked all over my fantasy of an awesome Independence Day, you certainly put up a good fight. I found myself silently judging all the cheesy people who kept going "Ooooooh" and "Ahhhhh" as the firecrackers popped here and there, as they reminded me of the little green men in Toy Story that say, "The Cllllllaaaawwww," but I am a hypocrite and found an "Ooh!" and "Neat-o!" slip out here and there. Oh well. They are just so pretty.

So what, praytell, made this whole experience worthwhile you ask? My buy one get one free coupon for Trophy Cupcakes that I scored at the Trophy Cupcake tent. Yup. All set. Mmm. Hmmm.

Lilith Fair!

Sheryl Crow and Sarah McLaughlan

So yesterday I went to the best concert. of. my. life. I'm pretty serious about that statement with the one exception being Jon Bon Jovi in concert because I'm sorry but the women of Lilith Fair as purely amazing as they are just can't compete with Jon in some leather pants, but they sure gave him a run for his money, that's for sure. I was invited a few months ago to the Lilith Fair after posting it on my facebook status that I would be in Seattle, and low and behold it turned out that some friends I knew were going down and had an extra seat in their car. I heard "Lilith" and "friends" and didn't even check the line up before immediately jumping on the band wagon. I discovered later that the lineup featured Grace Potter and the Nocturnals (who you've more then likely not heard of but are def worth checking out. I feel really hip and trendy because I know of a band that not a lot of people have heard of yet, but I'm typically not that happenin'), A Fine Frenzy, Colbie Calliet, Erykah Badu, Sheryl Crow, Sugarland, and Sarah McLachlan. So, it turns out, that I know people with super awesome connections, and I have now discovered my six degrees of separation from Sheryl Crow, and had this been a life long goal, I would have felt incredibly fulfilled yesterday and would have gotten to check it off my list. However, this was not a life goal, but still a really cool bonus. Anywho, it turns out that our fellow Lilith Fairers Leigh and Sharon know Sheryl Crow's nanny. Yup, her CHILD CARE PROVIDER. They were her RLC's when this woman was a PA at SPU. Thus, this incredibly gracious woman scored us some comp tickets--and you know how I love the freebies. So, we went down to our seats and were expecting perhaps a back section or something...but we kept walking towards the front...and walking...and walking to ROW TWO. It's true. Row freaking dos. I could pretty much see if people had shaved their armpits or not, or if they had spinach in their teeth. And this is where we got to sit for the whole show. The only terrible part of this experience happened to be that I bought a fourteen dollar margarita that tasted like someone thought it would be funny to melt strawberry hard candies and pawn it off as an alcoholic beverage, but really I can't complain because if that's the worst of my problems then I really have no problems at all. Anyways, the show was so awesome. Now, I'll best honest: I wasn't particularly gung-ho over any of the performers...I mean I certainly liked them, but as most of my fanatical devotion goes to various 80's rock groups, I haven't had time to adequately invest in fandom for any of the aforementioned artists. But let me tell you, I was immediately won over. These women were so great and I will immediately be rushing to download some new tracks on itunes. These women know how to rock. Sheryl Crow threw bras around the stage and her keyboardist threw his keyboard to the ground and smashed it to pieces. Colbie Calliet was a little awkward. Erykah Badu wore yellow sweat pants, a blue t-shirt, an apron and a cowboy hat. Jennifer Nettles gave an absolutely astounding performance--I mean you hear "Sugarland" and maybe simultaneously think "Eh...no thanks" but that woman knows how to put on a SHOW. She will get that toe a tappin'. People were definitely smoking lots of plants during the Sarah McLauchlan show, and I can't be sure but I think this would be a great place to train RA's in the future--"See kids, THIS is what pot smells like. Be sure to note the blood shot eyes and general sloth likeness. They also get what we like to call the 'munchies,' so if you see anyone consuming large amounts of cheetoes please document this" but maybe a Dave Mathews concert would be just as effective. Kelsey thought maybe Sarah herself had had a little hit of the hippie lettuce, but we can't be sure. To quote Kelsey as the show ended and all the performers were singing that song "Because the night belongs to lovers, because the night belongs to ussss la la la" she said, "I think I just had an orgasm." While perhaps to some of you this may seem a wee bit extreme, it really was that good, and frankly I don't know that there's any other way to describe the experience and it was very Lilith-ian of her to say. Hey, more power to the Big O is all I gotta say. It was this beautiful sense of community and empowerment and love and togetherness that leads me to believe that maybe the world isn't totally headed down the shitter after all. It was an experience that I was so privileged to be apart of, and I didn't want to leave. But perhaps even more great then all the performances and our sweet ass comp seats were hanging out with some very very very awesome women--reconnecting with old friends and finding some new ones. I also liked that we went to McDonald's at two o'clock in the morning after Sharon said, "I'm hungry" and I offered her an orange or perhaps a granola bar and she said, "Mmmm no...I really feel like a cheese burger." Fair enough....fair enough.

video
The sound is a little funky...I think mainly because we were so CLOSE...but this is the women of Lilith Fair singing "Because the Night." I personally love the tambourine dancer.

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Sugarland!