Thursday, August 29, 2013

Developing in DC

Have you ever been in the exact right place at the exact right time and felt it? There's a lot to stress and worry about right now, (looking for a part-time PAID internship, attempting to register for a French class, student loans, the price of textbooks, making new friends, and oh yeah, the actual core classes all 23 of us are taking, which are going to be soooo good and relevant and perfect to turn us all into little practicioners, but it's not going to happen magically, eep! We've got our work cut out for us), but there's more to be excited and feel confident about. Living at the center of the known universe is pretty heady stuff. I'm going to meet important people, and (Incha'Allah) become a mover and/or shaker myself someday. It's time to stop second guessing myself and wondering if I really belong here. It's time to man up and seize my destiny. I am smart and capable and so jazzed about the work I will be doing, saving the planet one malnourished under-5, one undereducated youth, one bednet, one fortified packet of cooking oil, one health center, one school, one well-trained teacher, one scholarship, one well-managed program, one grant, one inspired girl at a time. Eeee!!

I'm a Hoya.
Sanyo and I at the Lincoln Memorial on the 50th anniversary of MLK jr's speech. Unfortunately, we had to leave to get to class before Obama, Clinton, Carter or any of the Kings spoke. In American vernacular I've recently taught Wei-Di, my Taiwanese roommate: wah wah!

Monday, July 22, 2013


Transitions are always hard, but they're a necessary part of my life right now. I'm a nomad; movement is my way of life. Endings are sad but new beginnings are terrifyingly exciting: there's no other rush like knowing that in a few days you're moving to a new place, with no idea about where you'll be laying your head but a foolish faith that it'll all work out the way it's supposed to, and that in a few months or weeks it'll all be settled and you'll look back and laugh. I try not to worry and stress too much about things I have no control over, but that's easier said than done (don't think about the pink elephant in the room).

A few nights ago I went to my 10 year high school reunion. It went exactly as expected: I saw people I had given nary a thought to for a decade, I didn't see people I'd wished would have been there, I felt good about my life path and choices, and grateful for my blessings: my life and my health. Disappointed there weren't any fist fights or dancing.

Before that I was in Reno for a few days. It was nice to see Lyndsey Bunn, an old friend who is living exactly the fierce life I would have expected. We picked up as if it hadn't been five or so years since we'd last seen each other. My brother, dad and I hung out all together for the first time in ages as well. Family is who you're from, family is what it is. I'm realizing that I can't have expectations, and when I don't, great things can happen. We had a supreme time hanging out, eating a buffet, swimming in Lake Tahoe, and watching the History channel. Who knows when that'll happen again?

I'm glad to be 'home' in Portland for a spell, though it's not really where I live, so can I really call it home? My mom's PO box (what I use as my 'permanent' address for school and forms and stuff) is now in Washington, and I just lived in California for 2 months and in 8 days I'm moving to DC for school. Can't I just be a resident of where my heart is? Then let's just say I'm a resident of the west coast.

This sojourn in Portland is/will be perfect: seeing old friends, the good people in my life who renew my faith in humanity, the world and myself. Touching and hugging people for the last time in awhile. Getting errands done (this morning has been incredibly productive: sorted out bank account stuff, made plans for the rest of the week, applied for an internship), and doing enough for myself and my future to calm my nerves and try to just relax and have fun.

Thank you thank you milles fois merci to all the fabulous people in my life whom I can't begin to adequately show my appreciation.

Sunday, July 07, 2013

My summer in images

Usually I'm a writer, but here are images from my phone (from my phone! blogs are getting so fancy these days, how can I keep up?) of what I've been up to in Santa Cruz this summer. This is just a taste of what I've been up to. I'm going to miss this place, but everyone's gotta get serious and grow up and save the world at some point, right?

view from Riva's on the wharf:

lunch with Madeleine:

Walking and being with Steve:

Being in the forest:

With Madeleine:

This is too small to do it justice:

This happens on the regular:

Mime party:


This is near us:

Puyerh (I mutilated that spelling, but it's sure good relaxing tea):

This one:

Intergalactic Barbie weddings. And wine:

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Family and Life

Living in Santa Cruz for just a few weeks. Getting back into 'the good life' (family, Californian wine, running, yoga-ing, the ocean, Steve, the trials and tribulations of a privileged liberal community), and trying to be awake to what the universe has to teach me in my life in this moment, right now. Being reminded of what was important, what is important, what should be important.

Gun violence makes me so angry. The Keystone pipeline (remember I've been in Africa for 2 years so some stuff that is tired for you is still new to me). WTF? I read a little thing in the May 27, 2013 New Yorker (did I list reading The New Yorker up there in my definition of the good life? Well, please consider it edited in) about the terrible Keystone pipeline and for me it all boils down to one simple question:

how much oil would I personally have to commit not to use in the next year in order for Obama to say 'hell no!' to the pipeline?

It seems like a pretty 'simple' math problem to me (economist and math friends, help a sister out here). How much (of the worst kind of) oil would the pipeline bring us? Divide that by the number of Americans (or number of adult Americans? or number of car-owning Americans?) to figure out what each of our personal liability is. I'm thinking it wouldn't be all that much. Like, we each commit to make one less car trip a week. To ride our bike more.

Let's save the environment and our own hearts, let's bike!!

...I've definitely been hanging out with community college bike co-op-erators a lot lately, but too much? Nah, can you have too much of a good thing?

But seriously, let's kick this addiction to oil, be it foreign, domestic, north American, or whatever. Oll is oll, no matter where it comes from. And let's stop this gun violence. And let's make the world a better place. For everyone. White, black, rich, poor, American, African, otherwise. It seems like a lot, and it is overwhelming, but the day we get numb to it all and stop caring, that's a scary day indeed.

Santa Cruz summer to-do list:

  • Bigfoot museum
  • ride bikes downtown
  • Lean In book club
  • medieval feast
  • Africa presentations
  • see Steve multiple times per week
  • find trivia
  • Shakespeare Santa Cruz
  • LA trip?
  • run
  • yoga
  • read
  • read some more

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Century Link Hottie

The highlight of my week was when the CenturyLink guy came to install a router at work, or something like that. He was the hottest man I've seen in awhile, and it also got me thinking...where do all the black people in Portland hang out? Haven't seen many at the hipster bars I hit so infrequently these days, but I do see them at PCC and on the bus...there have got to be some underground hip hop bars or that racist? In any case, my current insane schedule doesn't really permit hottie-shopping. I'm hanging on in stats and econ, (took the first midterms, so 1/3 of the way through the term!!), and work is work. I'm trying to find the beauty in the mundane (a repetitive/reliable routine is kind of nice), but the nicest thing about it is that I won't be working in this office forever. Bigger and better things are on the horizon. I'm going to be a student again! And buy a bike and hipster glasses. One thing at a time.

I'm anxious to hear from grad schools but also need to enjoy the beauty of this moment of not knowing. Just waiting means I don't have to make any decisions yet, or worry, or start looking for apartments, or whatever. I'm just treading water, nose to the grindstone, earning some cash and taking some community college classes (which I love, have I mentioned how much community college is rocking my world?). So instead of seeing this time as frustrating and wishing I could fast forward to mid-March, I'm going to enjoy the studying, the running I need to start doing and the yoga. Little by little, pang'ono pang'ono.

Malawi, I miss you. I don't think about you too much because I'd get sad, but that's the truth. I wish Zoona and Manzo were here to drink Specials with me. Mmmm specials!

Oh, and I met Megan at Pine State Biscuits on Alberta this morning for brunch, so I'm managing to do some cool ass shit in small increments here and there. And then I got a free supportland card. I love Portland! I love being an Oregonian!

Thursday, January 24, 2013


I have descended from the nation's capital back to Oregon, a provincial hinterland full of rain, and soon, reading for my classes. But what a fabulous week! So sweet to see all our hard work pay off, and watch the Inauguration of the president for whom I worked for 2 incredible months from the lawn of the Capitol. With my friend Sally, and hundreds of thousands of like-minded weirdos (something seriously wrong with us nutcases, willing to wait for hours in the cold to see Beyonce lip-sync...or did she?...). Freaking cold, but fur coats for the win!

On other business, I toured Georgetown and American Universities (to which I have just applied). Nothing'll make you feel old like attending an undergraduate campus tour with high school juniors and seniors. Looking at long lists of seriously inapplicable and irrelevant majors (theater? sociology? music performance?), I just wanted to shake them all and say: "Major in something that'll get you a job!" but who am I to dash dreams? Best moment was in the 10 minute movie at American University. The girl and her friends graduate and get great jobs, at Booz Allen Hamilton, or med school at Johns Hopkins, or one of them even joins the Peace Corps!! Hahaha, guess I'm not all wrong. Now I just have to wait until March to hear about admissions decisions. Good thing I'll be keeping busy at a tax office between now and then! ... I can see myself living in DC, although I felt like a country mouse come to the big city this last week, a know-nothing newb who couldn't recognize Supreme Court Justices on site and didn't think to ask what the chef recommended.

I also attended the Staff Ball and toured the White House (NBD). I've never felt more classy paying way too much for drinks and waiting outside in the cold. I saw Lady Gaga in person and George Sr. in portrait (and Tony Bennett). Overall, the trip was a success!

But now it's back to work and school...April 16th, you can't come soon enough!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A quick note

Feeling pretty accomplished right now. 3 apps to grad schools and 1 to a fellowship, in. Job, gotten. All in the first month of the year! And I'm going to celebrate with Sally and Barack this weekend/next week. But then the shit hits the fan and gets real. I'll be swamped from then until April 15th. Sorry friends, I won't have much of a life or time or energy to do anything but slink to and from work, study statistics, do yoga, and watch Battleground, my new favorite show (on Hulu). It's like my life on the campaign, except sexier, everyone has entirely too much time to just sit around and be stupid/snarky/beautiful, and sadder (the whole neglected kids and wife at home arc is really bumming me out). Oh, and did I mention that I'm broke? Ah, my 20s...