Wednesday, January 27, 2010

alexander i am

In lieu of the extremely bad day Ross and I have been having--and my subsequent, exceptionally understandable desire to feel sorry for myself--I have decided to suck it up and make a list of things to be grateful for today. Here goes:

1. The beautiful, sunshine-y weather
2. Dear friends: Cathleen, Annette, Tanna (none of whom read this blog...)
3. Aunt Kim. Thanks for calling!
4. Creature
5. Whole Foods
6. Unexpected babysitting offers

I'm tempted to make a list of things I'm really, really not grateful for, but I feel that doing so would somewhat detract from my noble purpose. However, there's one thing I just can't let slide: I'm on to you, men's-health-oriented, patriarchal, exorbitantly priced, laughably unhelpful medical community. I am so on to you.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

rainy day girl recommends

During the past week Ross and I happened upon two of the best documentaries I have ever seen. You should see them, too.

I've been pretty obsessed with trying to eat real, ethical food since I read Michael Pollan's excellent In Defense of Food over the summer. So I freely admit that Food, Inc--based on both Pollan's works and Eric Schlosser's Fast Food Nation--was preaching to the converted. Yet seeing all these things I'd read about on actual film renewed my resolve to be done as the food industry's sucker. It also inspired me to add a new link list to this blog's sidebar ("Because We Are What We Eat") where I've listed websites I've found helpful as we've tried to make sustainable choices. I particularly like The Cornucopia Institute, which has an informative list of different organic dairy companies and how well they live up to their espoused philosophies. Anyway, rant concluded, but I highly recommend you see this film.

I don't normally cry out of sentiment. I didn't cry at my wedding, for heaven's sake. But I bawled through this documentary, an incredibly sweet and agenda-free film about three retired men and women in Bangor, Maine, who have made it their life's mission to greet and welcome home every single soldier who comes through Bangor's airport (apparently one of the major points of entry for returning servicemen and women). Watching them shower love on those soldiers as they deal privately with the loneliness and illness of old age is incredibly powerful. Please, please see this documentary (it's available as an Instant Play on Netflix). Then call me or leave me a message here and let's talk about it.

Note to Swensons and affiliates: this film made me think a lot about Grandpa and the service he rendered both our country and our family. Have Kleenex handy.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


*I'll create posts with actual writing soon, I promise.

fitting in with the grad school kids

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


I am trying to teach Creature to walk on a leash for "fun and exercise." This picture is hilarious because it makes it look like she loves it, or that she's at least okay with it.

She does not love it.

She is not okay with it.

But she will be.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Happiness, in 10
1. Pigeons
2. Farmer's markets
3. Fresh flowers on my kitchen table
4. NPR
5. Old-fashioned photo booths
6. Olympic opening ceremonies
7. The "thwunk" sound that oars make when everyone on a crew team is rowing together
8. When I'm on the computer and Creature hops up to take a nap on my lap
9. The smell of rain on a hot day
10. Kites

Saddened by this, and inspired by this and this, I decided to make a list of the things that make me most happy.
Some things (Like Ross, for instance) didn't make the list because they were too obvious.
Don't be surprised if you get an email from me asking you for your happy list.

the tragic difference between december 15th and january 15th

Apparently, the deadline to apply to the University of Massachusetts, Amherst was December 15th. Not January 15th, as I had written down in every single graduate document I've made. Oh, well. Nine out of ten ain't bad.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Happy New Year!

2009 was fun and all, but we are SO glad that 2010 is here, as we are looking forward to:
  1. Our midwinter trip to a) the coast, b) Seattle, or C) As-yet-undecided mystery location
  2. March and the graduate school verdict (yikes)
  3. Rowing rowing rowing at this fine institution as soon as it gets warm enough
  4. Hopeful trips to Bend, Utah, and Ashland
  5. Finding out where we're going to live for the next forever (see number 2)
  6. Transcontinental road trip
  7. Celebrating our 1-year anniversary, birthdays, and other excuses to blow off real life
  8. Continued enjoyment of and exasperation with Creature
  9. Resolving some unresolved issues in my life
  10. A plethora of summertime adventures
  11. Exploring more of Portland and the city graduate school decides for us
  12. Striking out into the unknown
Dear 2010,
Bring it.

Joshua Tree from New Year's 2008.
Probably my favorite place in the whole world.

Monday, January 4, 2010

A Pink Martini 2009!

2009 was kind of a trip, to be honest with you. Two different states, two marital statuses (but only one last name... surprise!), multiple emotional crises, one engagement. Allow me to elaborate:

In January I was still living in (and hating) sunny California, my blog was here, and Ross and I celebrated New Year's with Pink Martini at the Walt Disney Concert Hall...

In February Ross flew down, we packed up the car, and I left this...

For this...

Then I bought a fish and named him Bono...

In March, I started working with the ZooSnooze Program at the Zoo, Ross continued school, and we enjoyed being back together in Portland...

In April I moved in with Humberto and Lucyna and we bought our amazing new camera.

In May Ross graduated from Portland State, we stumbled across this kid rocking out...

Went to our second Pink Martini concert...

Got engaged...

And I started volunteering with Big Brothers Big Sisters and met my awesome Little...

In June we happened across this magical scene...

Ross started his new grown-up job, and I started working with summer camp again...

In July we went to the Waterfront Blues Fest with Ben and Tanna, celebrated my 23d birthday, went rock climbing with Dallin and Christy at Smith Rock, had Mark come to stay...

And we had an incredible fourth of July hiking the Salmonberry River and making sparkler whoopie on the beach...

In August baby Samudra turned one year old and topped 1,000 pounds...

And Ross turned 25 years old and failed to top 1,000 pounds.

In September these ladies came to visit all the way from London...

Predators of the Serengeti opened at the zoo...

I went to the coast with these amazing women...

And I moved into our apartment in our cool neighborhood...

In October nothing particularly special happened...

In November Truckasaurus helped me procrastinate, we conquered Battlestar Galactica, visited Bagby Hot Springs and Hood River, and adopted a new laptop and Creature...

In December we applied to graduate school and had Christmases with the Deweys, the Harwells, and ourselves. We put up lights...

Found the perfect Christmas tree at Lowe's...

Discovered that Santa has gone green...

And celebrated New Year's Eve, again, with Pink Martini...

2009 has been a year of incredible change, growth, and challenge. Hopefully 2010 is just like it (only with fewer wedding planning tears, stress, headaches, backaches, uncertainty, emotional chaos...). Happy New Year!