Category Archives: Archiving

Day ?: Losing Count

Taking 100 days of no paid work and writing this blog completely transformed my life. I don’t regret a single minute of it. Thank you @FundraiserBeth, for planting the seed in my brain. It grew into the most wonderful tree, and now I can call myself a writer.

I had to go back and read the blog in its entirety. It was remarkable how much better the writing got as the days went on. The majority of the early posts are rambling and unfocused, as you might expect a daily journal to be. The later posts are more insightful and concise. They also have less typos. Here are some of my favorite posts:

I could go on forever with this, but counting days no longer makes sense. And frankly, because I don’t write everyday, the math is a drag. This particular project had a very clear beginning and now it needs an end.

So, I would like to invite you all to join me my new blog Harmonious Mess. It’s a clearing house for all my great ideas and good advice. I hope you will find it just as enjoyable as this was. Thank you for your support.


Day 292: Stitches in Time

It’s been a while since I pulled out my sewing machine. It’s been even longer since I started a new sewing project (years?).  Yet, sewing has been on my mind a lot lately. So has the pile of fabric and sewing supplies I have stashed away in odd corners of the house. It’s one of my many hobbies.

Stitch Sewing is in my blood. My mother was a seamstress while I was growing up. Really, she was a clothing designer. She had her own line of active wear in Hawaii. Much of what I wore, she made. My Halloween costumes kicked ass. Our home was filled with scraps of fabric and swatch samples from fabric companies. Those bits made awesome Barbie clothes. I learned to sew by making miniature swim suits, skirts, pillows, and blankets. I learned at an early age to only cut fabric with the sewing scissors – or else.

I believe I was about 8 when I learned to wield a needle. Within a few years I was using a sewing machine and I started working on a quilt project that my mom had stashed in a closet. By age 16 I was brave enough to make my own prom dress. As a tried and true procrastinator, it wasn’t a surprise that I was hastily hemming it when my date arrived to pick me up. Over the course of my lifetime I have made curtains, pillow covers, and my most ambitious project was a fitted couch cover.

Yet no project took as long as the infamous quilt. My Mom started it before I was born (1976) and I finished it in 2010. I worked on it on and off at so many different times of my life, all with the determination to give it to my Mom as either a birthday or mother’s day present. I even dragged it to NY with me where I didn’t own a sewing machine.

Sewing is messy. Thread gets everywhere. Sewing machines are heavy and like to stay in one place, not get hauled in and out of closets. You also need a big area for ironing and cutting fabric. My grandmother had an entire room for it. At one point my Mom did too. It was essential, people used to make everything. I have never had a good place in my world for sewing, yet I still love it and will go through all of that bother to make something.

At some point I bought a quilting book to try and get a little help – not helpful. It wasn’t until I met Tom’s family friend Carol Wintrick that I realized just how different quilting was from basic sewing. She agreed to look at my quilt and gave me some good advice. The fabric was wrong (all different types and much of it stretchy) the seams were a mess and a big section of it wasn’t even aligned in squares (that part was from when I was 12). The big kicker was that I would need a backing fabric that matched (most of) the material used to make the front. That would be an antique Mexican table cloth – shit. It was discouraging and it got stuffed in the back of the closet once again.

Flash forward to me, pregnant and the owner of a working sewing machine, sitting at my Mother’s kitchen table. I was staring down at it running my hands across the table cloth and then it hit me. “Mom, is this an antique Mexican table cloth, as in the kind you used to make shorts and then use the scraps for the quilt? Great, can I have it?” Now I was in business. Seam ripper in hand I tore apart all of the bad sections and spread it across the floor. I pinned it together how it should go and then turned to the All-Mighty-Internet. With it’s help I was able to get to the stage where I could attach the backing fabric. Now for the part that is actually called “quilting.” Stall.

Then I was put on bed rest. Nothing was cozier than being covered in warm memories, watching bad TV and slowly pulling the threads in and out, finally making it look like something. Then Melody came. It wasn’t until the summer of 2009 that I was able to finish it, bind the edges (more internet videos), and FINALLY give it to my Mom. It was an awesome gift, but not nearly as awesome as the gift she gave me – the power to sew.

Our home renovation plans include space for me and my hobbies. Melody and I are already planning the things we are going to make. I can’t wait to have a place to sew and to teach Melody to sew so that I can pass on this powerful gift to her.

Day 253: Simon’s Last Day

At 3:00 p.m. today I will do something I have never done before. I will take my pet to the vet be put down. All the other pets I have owned in my life have died all on their own. One was hit by a car, one was poisoned by a pet serial killer, others just disappeared into the wilderness and never came back.

Simon is 15 years old. He has not lead a very healthy life. He ate too much and slept too much. He was as close to Garfield as a cat could get without actually looking like him. I got him when he was a tiny kitten in my first apartment in NY. He has always loved to cuddle and between him and his brother, I will admit it, he is my favorite.

A few weeks ago we noticed that Simon was no longer eating. This was surprising, considering that he had a reputation for stealing entire steaks off of people’s plates at BBQs. He began to spend all his time sleeping on our bed. Then we noticed he could barely walk and had lost a lot of weight.

When I took him to the vet a week ago, he had lost 5lbs since March (1/3 of his previous weight). The vet saw no other symptoms and gave him some appetite stimulants and some steroids to try and jump start him back to the vivacious feline he once was. All this did was make him nibble for a few days, and then eat nothing again.

The decision to send him peacefully into that goodnight has not come easily and every other minute I change my mind. I know this is the right thing to do, and have known all week. He is already half gone from his body and isn’t really living. That is what I say to myself to justify this. I went on and on to the admin at the vet justifying in many different ways as I made the appointment. I almost lost it at one point when he asked if I wanted to be there. I do and I don’t, but I will be.

Goodbye baby.

Day 215: To my husband on his birthday

The man I love.

Hiker Tom.

Dear Tom,

Somewhere around day 100, you pointed out to me that, in all that time, I barely wrote about you. And some of what I did write was a bit negative. I couldn’t exactly disagree with you. You and Mel have gotten mentions, but have never been the headliner of any of my posts. My excuse for this is that I am writing about my thoughts, my challenges and my triumphs, and would never assume that I had permission to reveal yours. So, for your birthday, I am going to write an entire post dedicated to my thoughts about you.

Before we met, when I was barely 20 and earnestly in search of true love, I made a list of 18 things I wanted in a man (yes, I am aware that is a lot to expect), and put it away. About a year later, you and I made a connection, and about a year after that, I found that list. I start shaking and tearing up as I read it item by item, realizing that you met every requirement. There was one item, where I failed to describe you. At the time, no one would ever call you punctual.

I wish I could find that list, but I cannot. Instead of trying to recreate it I will make a new one. Here are the 18 most important things I want in a man now, and why I love the one I have:

  1. You weren’t outdoorsy when I met you. Now you have a full backpacking rig, and can operate a water filter, a camp stove, and set up a tent better than I can.
  2. You make your own way at a party, and equitably spread your charm around.
  3. Your commitment to hot yoga has made you more tolerable in… I mean of… hot weather. 😉
  4. Before Angry Birds was invented you didn’t waste a single solitary minute playing video games, and I loved you for that. Now we play Angry Birds together on the iPad and try to beat each others score.
  5. You are an excellent father – a true partner in parenting.
  6. You taught me what intimacy really is, and we have been expanding on the definition ever since.
  7. You are a great travel partner and always remember to pack the things I forgot.
  8. You kindly call me on my shit and yet humor my crazy ideas.
  9. We never run out of things to talk about. Our conversations can move from politics, to cooking, to relationships, to drug culture, to real estate, and before we know it, hours have passed.
  10. You have inherited your father’s ability to craft an excellent pun.
  11. You are really good at drawing tiny schematics on graph paper with mechanical pencils.
  12. You can wail on the bass, guitar, drums, organ, and can play any other instrument you pick up.
  13. When we go to museums, you spend more time with the art, know more about it, and enjoy it more than I do (and I claim to be an artist).
  14. You do manly things like taking out the trash, changing the oil, mowing the lawn, operating the weed dragon, chopping wood, making pancakes on weekends, and being the grill master.
  15. You can talk about sports even though you never watch sports.
  16. You have super-human willpower and restraint.
  17. You have a great laugh – the one where you squint your eyes and open your mouth really wide.
  18. I know, without a doubt, that you really truly love me, because you tell me so, often.

Happy Birthday. I glad you were born. Sometimes, I feel like you were made just for me.

Day 208: Feeling proud of my beige thumb.

Let me start of by saying that I am no Cisco when it comes to gardening. Before I had a yard, I had a notorious black thumb. Although I dreamed of a windowsill lush with ferns and flowers, all house plants would shrivel up with just a glance from me. I  once killed a 8′ tall Saguaro cactus that I found on the street in NYC.

After buying our house, I made mistakes and killed the ones outdoors. Azaleas, Hydrangeas, Flax, and countless others have all died under my care. However, after 8 years of reading and trying I have at least learned how to keep a vegetable garden. I have learned how important the dirt is, how important the variety and quality of the seeds are, how important it is to keep the cats from using the raised beds as litter boxes, and that straw makes the perfect mulch for strawberries.

Tom says I now have a beige thumb. Snigger.

So the other day, when I saw a plot across the street from my daughters preschool, first I laughed, then I felt a surge of self-righteousness.  “I don’t think I ever did anything like this. Some people out there might need a little intervention. I better write about this.”

Here is what is wrong with this picture (since I have no way to know if you are laughing too):

  • Putting out supports before your plants break ground is just setting yourself up for embarrassment. The sheer amount of supports is shameful. Having this curbside is like hanging your underwear on the flag pole.
  • Those wires are meant to support tomato plants, thus I deduced that they are trying to grow tomatoes from seed. Sorry sister, that doesn’t happen here in the Northwest. I won’t even buy tomato starts unless they are at least a foot tall and I can get them in the ground the first week of May.
  • The concept of a raised bed is that you are supposed to fill it up with dirt. Putting a frame around a patch of bare dirt on the ground is doing nothing. It’s just telling humans not to step here (I guess the supports help with that too).
  • There are visible stones in your gray dirt. Seeds can’t sprout through rocks, and they don’t like the soil that was once under the grass you just dug up. Our Northwest soil has almost zero nutrients on it’s own. The rain washes it all out every winter. You have to add at least three inches of compost (or similarly good dirt) to get anything to grow, and several cups of organic fertilizer helps too.

This would actually make an interesting public art project. Maybe I should sneak out there and put old Barbie dolls waist deep in the middle of each support. Nah, then they would just blame the failure of their harvest on the vandalism. I had better let them earn their own beige thumbs.

Day 182: Claiming my right to take pictures of the space needle

This photo was taken 3-10-12, after 10 years of living in Seattle

I was inspired to write this by the post on when do you know you are a local Seattelite. And then I was double inspired by the answer, “when you stop taking pictures of the space needle.” I have lived in Seattle now for 10 years, yet I just took a picture of the space needle a couple weeks ago. Hmmm – dilemma.

I have lived only three places in my lifetime (with the exception of New Mexico for 6 months when I was 5 years old, but let’s just count that as a sabbatical). I lived on Maui for 18 years, in Manhattan for 8 years, and Seattle for 10 now – whoops, just gave away my age. If you went purely on the math, I am still from Maui, and truth to tell that is a big part of who I am.

Here is another way to consider this question: When we travel, for example last summer to Costa Rica, they asked us where we were from and we said, “Seattle” – without hesitation. Yet, when people in Seattle ask me where I am from I have never said, “here.” I usually mention Maui and/or Manhattan. Perhaps I’m scared that the person asking will be one of those rare Seattle “natives,” and I will offend them. The only time I associate myself with naming this town is when people ask the (very Seattle) question, “What neighborhood do you live in?” I proudly say West Seattle – woot!

Perhaps I should let go of my local-phobia. Since moving to Seattle, I have gotten married (to my New York boyfriend), bought a house (now that’s commitment) and birthed my very own true native Seattelite. When confronted with the idea of moving back east, I felt really sad. This moment made me realize that I really do love my town.

Yes, I am in love with Seattle. Sure, I threaten to leave her now and then when we hit a bad stretch of weather, but I don’t really mean it. I love her flowing waterways, her busty peaks, and her verdant green carp.. yikes… getting a little too into that metaphor. I just don’t know how I would live my life without Lincoln and Discovery parks, the farmers markets, the food trucks, the alpine lakes, growing my own food, knowing I could collecting my own seafood – I am sure this list could go on for a while, feel free to add more in the comments.

I do toy with the idea of living on Maui again. Who wouldn’t in this weather? I also dream that Tom and I might have a condo in New York when we retire. Yet, this is my home and I have no plans to leave it. We are going to raise Melody in our dream home to be built right here next summer. In the end, the most critical thing keeping me rooted to this spot is the amazing network of friends and colleagues that we have built in the last 10 years. We are part of a vibrant and proud community, and that is what makes us locals. Space-needle-photo-taking locals.

Day 74: Diary diving for “Things that make me happy”

My journal from Summer of 1999

I have been wanting to dig into one particular box in the attic for some time now. Even though I felt like crap tonight and didn’t want to do much beyond curl up under warm blankets, I took a deep breath and went for it. It was fun to open this time capsule full of my former journals and page through, reading snippets.

My first diary entry is July 22nd 1987. I have off and on writings, filling 8 or so books, spanning periods of my life from age 11 to now. It’s pretty monumental when I stop think about it. I should figure out some sort of diagram to show the writings on a timeline – an infographic showing intense periods of journaling as well as the gaps. That idea is going into Evernote right now.

The specific journal section I was looking for was something I started in the Summer after my freshman year at NYU – 1999. It was probably when 1000 things books first started hitting the shelves. It was not a prioritized list. It’s simply in the order that they popped into my head. You may not believe it, but yes, I am going to list them here. Really. If you get bored you can stop reading and close the window at any time. I promise not to write a profound closing. I will, however, provide snarky commentary as I think of it and strike through items that no longer make me happy.  Enjoy.

  1. Blank books
  2. The end of a long beach day
  3. Chunky chicken stew with garlic, carrots and potatoes.
  4. Down pillows
  5. Little white Christmas lights all year long
  6. Basil plants
  7. Chamomile tea with honey and lemon
  8. Down comforters
  9. Angels the cover of this journal has angels on it
  10. The Jitters
  11. Air conditioners it was my first sweltering summer in NYC
  12. Pilot precise rolling ball pens .05 DK BlackI prefer ball points now, but still black
  13. Enlargers (Photography)
  14. Cutting up a credit card in a creative shape
  15. Lava Lamps
  16. Chevy Blazers playing reggae music parked near a golf course
  17. Meteor showers at 3Am in cow pastures the second super specific childhood memory
  18. Sucking the nectar from ginger blossoms and wearing them in your hair  this one still works for me
  19. Diving into piles of stuffed animals at FAO Swartz I never could spell. Especially East Coast last names
  20. Sunrooves In fact, I can’t spell anything!
  21. Painted toenails at slumber parties
  22. Feather beds I really do like bedding don’t I.
  23. Sunrise at Haleakala on New Years morning
  24. Possibilities
  25. The Future Not only am I getting philosophical, I am getting redundant
  26. Linen clothingick!
  27. Late night Ice cream boyages
  28. Bubble dropping and catching ceremonies  no memory of this whatsoever but it sounds nice
  29. The sand between my toes except when I am not at the beach anymore
  30. Seeing my breath on a not-so-cold morning
  31. Lying in a field decorating oneself with daisies
  32. Aerobeesover it
  33. Popping your toes
  34. Finding out out that you are psychic is this hypothetical?
  35. Sleeping in your car in the middle of nowhere this could be a not-happy thing too, I think it was for fun…
  36. Q-Tips ok…
  37. Purple sand and green-blue water
  38. Warentees I meant Warranties, and who isn’t overjoyed when they get to call it in.
  39. Playing catch in the front yard
  40. Red cardigan sweaters w/white buttons
  41. Monopoly
  42. The smell of Northern California air in the fall or winter
  43. LEGOs
  44. Chipmunks
  45. Backflips into the waves
  46. Tiki Torches
  47. Autumn leaves pressed onto the pages of a fat book  I found a few when I was flipping pages tonight.
  48. Sand Dollars
  49. Blue eyes
  50. Finding a dollar in an old pair of jeans  Any denomination will do really.
  51. Watching Nancy inhale her Marlboros and speak spanish She was my roommate at the time, but I think this still would make me happy.
  52. Toasted Sesame bagel with cream cheese or butter I’d also take an everything bagel, but it has to be a NY bagel.
  53. Big calculators
  54. Grandma’s closet in your mom or dad’s old bedroom
  55. Porcelin MineaturesAck! Clutter!
  56. Beeker from Sesame Street and the muppet movies
  57. James Taylor when you least expect itDouble Ack!
  58. Annie As in the movie. This has found a renewed life, now that I watch it with Melody.
  59. Listening and accompanying Paula’s singing in the stairwell Other roommate
  60. Diaries
  61. The writing/graffiti under the top bunks at camp
  62. Ramen Noodles
  63. Big…No…Giant tree stumps
  64. The Grand Canyon by moonlight
  65. Toilet papering a car when the owner is home
  66. Fat Fuzzy Cats Allright, I’ll admit it, I don’t entirely despise my cats
  67. Red Wine duh.
  68. Cool lettering Except now I would call it typography. Allthough, looking at the photo above I might leave it at “lettering.
  69. Stained wood floors
  70. The cool pattern the sunlight makes when it hits a swimming pool
  71. 4 leaf clovers When did I get one of these?
  72. Hand massages
  73. Femo clayAlso, over it.
  74. Broiler trays & pans (cooking supplies)
  75. Bare feet I think I meant having them, not seeing other peoples
  76. Sidewalk chalk and art
  77. Deposit slips Now that the ATM takes checks directly this kind of loses its meaning
  78. Marsha Edmonds and her dog My grandmother’s best friend down the block
  79. Messy artists pallets
  80. Fresh college-ruled notebooks Just about any school supply will do
  81. Stores that sell housewares
  82. Using a mouse (computer)That strike through was in pen, I guess I edited this at some previous point.
  83. Reggae concerts in Rodeo Arena
  84. A fat double plumeria lei
  85. Musibu Rampant Maui references
  86. Hand sewn pillows
  87. Bonfires
  88. The button for the penthouse in elevators
  89. Velvet red cushions and brass bars
  90. Ballet sheer wrap-around skirts
  91. Warm milk with honey and cinnamon Gotta try this again soon
  92. Soccer fields with a view
  93. To Do lists
  94. Zip, The catHe’s long dead
  95. Hands covered with oil pastels Again: MY hands.
  96. Barnes and Nobles Cafe This was when it first opening in Union Square NY, but I still like them.
  97. Cheese slicers So hard to find a good one of these
  98. White horses
  99. A Haku Lei
  100. Shaved Ice on Front Street with Red, Yellow and Blue
  101. Cartoons in the middle of the night
  102. Outdoor restaurants
  103. Cab rides down 5th Avenue at night Remember: 5th Ave NY. The Seattle one sucks.
  104. Aprons with funny slogans or pictures
  105. Mozzerella with fresh tomato and basil
  106. Baby pigs
  107. Standing on the roof of your car picking flowers from a tree and putten them in LG. paper bags
  108. Times Square after dark
  109. Van Gough’s Starry Night Seeing the original at Moma, not prints of it.
  110. Clear nail polish
  111. Fish Chasing (scuba diving)
  112. Miracle Thaw I bet this was toxic, because I never found one of these in the store.
  113. Bent up barbed wire fences
  114. Trampolines
  115. Madarin orange slices
  116. pictures or paintings of the ocean
  117. collages
  118. thick fragrant lotion
  119. daisy chains
  120. tripped out candles
  121. epcot center
  122. rose vines
  123. Rachel playing the harmonica Yep, another roommate
  124. Hearing my name in a song
  125. Adapting  Oooh deep.
  126. Jumping off a small cliff or rise into a natural pool
  127. Nigh blooming cirrus in the moonlight
  128. Pool crashing at resorts
  129. Baby pictures
  130. Underground bands
  131. Dancing on picnic tables
  132. Back walkovers
  133. watching a word written in sand be erased by the lapping ocean foam
  134. Long distance phone calls
  135. Being ready for a test
  136. Pinia Coladas (virgin or regular)
  137. Sundresses with spaghetti straps
  138. Avapuhi near fresh water
  139. Late night hot tubbing under the stars
  140. Old baby t-shirts and shoes
  141. Pirate radio stations
  142. Pen pals
  143. Lunch breaks
  144. Giant Japanese beetles crawling across the porch
  145. Homemade Halloween costumes
  146. Avocado tress
  147. Bowtie noodles
  148. The smell of recycled Christmas trees  I was referring to the smell of them being run through a chipper
  149. Riding your bike down a steep hill
  150. Rubber, $1.29 slippers I now call them flip-flops (shame!) and they cost more than that even at Longs Drugs
  151. Key Lime pie
  152. Avocado on french bread with garlic salt
  153. Water slides
  154. Locks of baby hair
  155. Cartwheels in the sand Doing cartwheels, not the wheels of a cart – that would be terrible
  156. Passing notes in class Now referred to as “texting”
  157. Mango slices in Lahaina
  158. Wrapping Christmas presents
  159. Roller coasters
  160. The hike at Hosmer’s Grove
  161. Gummy bears & worms Gummy Worms.
  162. Freshly ironed clothes
  163. Popcorn and home movies
  164. Terraces
  165. Ivy on brick (red) walls
  166. The J-crew catalog
  167. Monet’s Waterlillies Also only the real thing
  168. Purring
  169. Bugles (the snack food)
  170. Sunglasses
  171. Macaroni neclaces original spelling
  172. Fireworks shows on the beach
  173. Hot wet hand towels (scented) on airplanes
  174. The “mad about you” sitcom theme song
  175. Touristy keychains
  176. Mudbogging in the back of a 4 x 4
  177. Shortcuts
  178. Cucumber slices with soy sauce
  179. Towels straight from the dryer
  180. A new bathing suit
  181. Doodles on napkins
  182. Puppy dog eyes
  183. “Where the Wild Things Are”
  184. Suburbia from the airplane view
  185. Coconut milk straight from the coconut  I love that I can buy coconut water now
  186. Silhouettes against a sunset
  187. The sounds of crashing waves mixed with the hum of a ceiling fan
  188. Jelly Belly bean combinations
  189. Husband pillows What!?!
  190. Cottage cheese
  191. Tao Sandles
  192. Drinking games
  193. the smell of cocobutter
  194. Rollerblading
  195. Waking up early in a panic realizing it’s Saturday This could use a few more words to make it sound right
  196. Street Musicians
  197. Palm tree shadows
  198. Kiwis
  199. Bright white table cloths with white stiff napkins
  200. Presto logs
  201. Afternoon naps
  202. Getting things done Talk about contradictory.
  203. Popsicle sticksRegina ruined this one for me.
  204. Beach glass
  205. Puka shells
  206. Sunlight at the right angle to show dust clouds in an empty room
  207. Tree houses
  208. Piano bars
  209. Black and white post cards
  210. Not getting carded
  211. People weaving hats out of Palm fronds and coconut leaves
  212. Old European Fountains
  213. Humming birds
  214. Thunderstorms
  215. Concert ticket stubsAck! More clutter!
  216. Brie cheese and Carrs crackers
  217. Roadside fruit stand honor boxes
  218. Bamboo forests
  219. Reggios Cafe at 1 Am
  220. Skylights
  221. Elija Wood in “The War”  I have no memory of this performance
  222. Rope swings
  223. Black Jazz musicians in smokey rooms
  224. Class organized coffee houses
  225. Room service
  226. A baked potato on a rainy day
  227. Tan skin with freckles
  228. Steel Drums  Tom HATES them, ruined it for me.
  229. Big lawns mowed by other people
  230. Florence, Italy
  231. Guitar music I could be more specific here
  232. Playing hopscotch Tried this recently and yep, still works.
  233. Lincoln logs
  234. Riding in shopping carts Haven’t tried this one in a while
  235. Skimboarders
  236. Indigo Girls Concerts
  237. Laughing so hard you can’t breathe
  238. Unexpected waterfalls I would say any waterfall will do
  239. Candlelight dinners
  240. Soft breezes
  241. Tapes and CDs of nature sounds
  242. Christmas songs
  243. Golf cart joy rides
  244. Ani Difranco when someone has pissed me off
  245. Lots & Lots & Lots of Flowers
  246. Dropping hints
  247. Coincidence I think I meant Serendipity
  248. Having your wallet returned with all your money in it
  249. Sand toys
  250. Night Air
  251. Soft worn out jeans
  252. the Tasmanian devil
  253. Commercials with babies
  254. The ripples in calm pools
  255. The doorbell
  256. Miracles
  257. Roof gardens
  258. Office supplies
  259. Brunch
  260. Being very very clean
  261. Funky hairclips
  262. Coffee mugs
  263. Bear hugs
  264. Not having to do anything
  265. Dreaming and remembering them
  266. Seeing famous people
  267. Zippos
  268. Overalls
  269. New underwear
  270. Playing pool and laughing at how badly you are doing
  271. Cuddling
  272. Watching “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” Insert 1% joke here
  273. A full moon
  274. Long floral dresses with combat boots
  275. The Milky Way
  276. Cliffs over the ocean
  277. Driving through tunnels and the superstitions that go with them
  278. Nostalgia
  279. Silver rings
  280. When – saying it.  Saying”when” when somebody is pouring a drink and says “Say When”
  281. Pigtails
  282. Red from Fraggle Rock
  283. “Hakuna Matata”
  284. Antiques
  285. A Charlie Brown Christmas
  286. Winne the Pooh and Tigger Too
  287. The Great Pumpkin
  288. Werthers candies
  289. “The Neverending Story”
  290. White Tigers
  291. Mama’s Fish House
  292. The sounds that Gekos make
  293. Moonbows
  294. Skinny dipping
  295. Really soft comfortable couches and arm chairs
  296. Jumbo shrimp
  297. 8 hour conversations
  298. Playing in the rain and splashing in puddles How cute.
  299. Familiar faces  Except when I forget their names
  300. Men in uniform
  301. Piano Music
  302. Learning to Ski with cute instructors
  303. Bedtime stories
  304. Bubble Baths by candle light
  305. A full tummy (comfortably full that is)
  306. Archery
  307. Cuddling fat fuzzy cats REPEAT!
  308. Guava fights
  309. Soft voices over late night phone calls
  310. Footsteps in the snow
  311. Riding a galloping horse down a dirt road
  312. Drink umbrellas
  313. Pointsettas
  314. Flannel plaid pajamas
  315. Steel DrumsREPEAT!
  316. Pumpkin Pie
  317. Teaching yourself something new
  318. A lazy day in my overalls
  319. Pesto pasta
  320. Boat rides
  321. Street Fairs
  322. Tickle fights
  323. Pillow fights
  324. Food Fights
  325. Large sunken tubs
  326. Pillow Fights Wow, really. That soon?
  327. Thunder Storms Ok this is getting rediculous
  328. Making a snowman
  329. Birthday cakes with my name on them
  330. Snow Fights  Apparently I like throwing things at people.
  331. Friendly bartenders Take note Seattle.
  332. When everything around me is brilliant green
  333. Being weightless in water
  334. White birds
  335. Homemade quilts
  336. Tobi’s
  337. Really good Tiramisu
  338. Suspenders
  339. Theme restaurants
  340. A good deal
  341. Conversations with strange cab drivers
  342. When I remember to bring my umbrella
  343. Apple pie ala mode
  344. Islands in the distance
  345. Dirty dancing
  346. Silence
  347. The wind through iron wood trees
  348. Coral reefs
  349. John Fluvog shoes
  350. Christmas ideas
  351. Carrie’s mom
  352. Good advice
  353. Mocachino
  354. Telling stories about Hawaii
  355. Opening night
  356. Dancing in the dark
  357. The view from my window
  358. Banana pancakes
  359. A good serve (tennis)
  360. New shoes
  361. Crafts
  362. Travel plans
  363. Good horoscopes
  364. Drawing for hours at a time
  365. Free Time
  366. Newstands
  367. Care packages
  368. Castles
  369. Mango tea
  370. Vitamins really?
  371. Power Bars
  372. Raspberry or Passion Fruit Snapple
  373.  The Staten Island ferry on a summer night
  374. Tulips
  375. Killians Red beer in a pint glass
  376. The Brooklyn Bridge in the rain
  377. Double Beds I am on to Queen sized now.
  378. Having someone make you breakfast
  379. Funny emails and now posts or tweets
  380. “Homeward Bound” the song
  381. Songs about Angels What’s with the angels?
  382. A job well done
  383. Standing up for myself
  384. A good sweat Now we are really getting somewhere
  385. Dance class
  386. Teaching someone the basics of hula
  387. A long run on the esplanade at dusk
  388. Long walks arm in arm
  389. eating outdoors
  390. hiking with mom
  391. Smoking a cigar with a beer
  392. Getting in free
  393. Black and white photography
  394. Bringing a friend an unexpected treat I need to do this one more often
  395. Getting paged. Mwuahhahaha.
  396. Ending it gracefully
  397. “SALE! 50-70% off!”
  398. Cherries – fresh picked
  399. Speeding up around the corners (driving)
  400. Little hamsters in those clear rolling balls
  401. Bonding with my little brother
  402. Sharing a Lazy Boy recliner that is
  403. Using a tree trunk as a back rest
  404. Tostones
  405. Creatively painted chairs and tables
  406. Black strappy sandles
  407. That centered peaceful feeling  Like after yoga!
  408. Falling asleep in the sun
  409. Clove cigarettes
  410. Russian stacking dolls
  411. Dancing at the Tunnel It’s in NYC. What a nightmare!
  412. Happy couples
  413. “Starry Starry Night” – the song
  414. Looking good first thing in the morning
  415. Thai Iced Tea
  416. Fresh spring rolls
  417. Giant blackberries
  418. Pachelbel’s Canon emanating from the rooftops
  419. Lunar eclipses
  420. The moment when the Yankees won the world series in 1993 and people flooded into the streets
  421. A new friend
  422. Brunch in the West Village
  423. The Brooklyn Botanical Gardens
  424. Fat free sour cream
  425. Big plush bathrobes
  426. Fort Tryon Park on a sunny day
  427. Illuminated manuscripts
  428. The Unicorn Tapestries  I think this was after a visit to the Cloisters
  429. Good deeds
  430. Long piers
  431. The Manhattan skyline
  432. My reading area
  433. Setting the clocks back
  434. Having my hair played with
  435. Movies about artists
  436. Inspirational speeches
  437. Feed seagulls Rats with wings
  438. The feel of fine fabrics
  439. Me time
  440. Sideburns And this is what I end with?

I have so many more things now that make me happy. Things that include stuff in Seattle, things my daughter does, the miracles of technology. Maybe I will keep this aside in another doc and keep it as a live document.

Day 68: The Talent Trap

I don’t remember a time when I didn’t feel like I was able to draw well. I loved drawing mainly to satisfy and express my vivid imagination (mostly the dresses that princesses were wearing in my head). I remember drawing a lot of amazon warriors on lined paper with #2 pencils, until my mom started critiquing my work and got me proper art supplies.

This photo is from the annual fundraising fair at my high school. I missed all the fun at the fair, but made a lot of money with pastels. When I finally told my art teacher junior year that I was going to NY to study advertising, she stopped speaking to me. She said I was “wasting my talent.” I’ll never know what would have happened if I had gone to art school. Most of the friends I have who went to art school ended up in the same jobs I did anyway. They found the most lucrative position for someone with a critical eye. They became graphic designers.

What is talent anyway? Malcom Gladwell doesn’t really think it exists. At least that was my takeaway from Outliers. My visual skill, as far as I can tell was learned. My mom was able to encourage and foster in me something that she valued and I thus spent hours upon hours doing it. With drawing, I doubt I ever logged my 10,000 hours to be especially good at it. In fact, I decided not to share any of my work on this blog. I am mediocre at best and have never developed my own iconic style. It does come in handy though when my daughter wants to draw princesses.

I have spent a lot of time thinking about what next career path I want to pursue over the last 60 odd days. I have wasted a lot of time cycling through my various skills and talents. Mentally scrolling through my resume trying to find something interesting there to jump from. This is problematic. Just because you are good at something doesn’t mean you are happy doing it all day long. Talent is lacking in challenge, and without challenge there is no passion.

In fact, talent can be a terrible trap. It so easy to please people with your talents, and just free float through your job. The free market wants you to stick with what you are good at and companies want to profit from that. I think I can even point directly to  talent as the reason why I left my job. I despise gold star stickers and A++. The only thing my most recent review told me to work on was keeping my ideas to myself in meetings so other people could have a turn in the spotlight. Hell.

We give our kids conflicting messages. When they are little we tell them to shoot for the stars, follow their dreams, you can be anything! Then when they get older we tell them, “hey you are really good at ____, you should be a ____ when you grow up.” I have never been given an aptitude test, but I am sure they are out there somewhere being administered to some poor kid.

A vision of my future is starting to appear. It’s very hazy. It may disappoint a lot of people, who are waiting me to come back on the scene and make use of my talents and skills. Something more entrepreneurial may be in store for me. I am working on lists of what makes me feel good, instead of what I am good at. There is a challenge for me out there somewhere, just waiting to bring the passion back.

Day 64: Maui is my happy place. I probably have to share it with many.

In my mother's kitchen on Maui in the brand new millennium... I think.

When I think back to one of the luckiest breaks I ever got, I think of one particular trip home to Maui. The story starts back in the fall of 1999. I was living in New York working freelance doing production on junk mail at the company that would one day become Digitas. Because I was freelance I boldly planned to return to home to Maui for Y2K – for a whole month. Being a smart person, the last place I wanted to be when all the computers crashed was NYC.

Little did I know, that shortly after I purchased my ticket and rallied the boyfriend and some friends, that my boss would walk up to me and offer me a full time job. I sighed at him and said, “Well, I’d love to but… we probably have to wait to close this deal when I get back from my trip in January.” He said – it being boom times – “Nah, we’ll just give you a month’s vacation that you can take right away.” The bills from the temp agency must have been HUGE!

It was Tom’s first visit and we had a wonderful time playing locals in my old hood. We drank black tea (Tom was strictly a black coffee man) and ate papayas every day for breakfast. We found a yoga studio within walking distance and, though he had never done yoga before, by the end of the month he was waking me up at 7 am every morning to drag me there.

This photo was not from that trip, but it easily could have been. In fact the entire time I have been writing this I thought it was. If I had thought about who took this photograph I would have known that (Sorry Su!).

Well, no matter. It’s that look on my face that matters – peace. The peace of sitting in your mom’s kitchen. The peace of the love of your life by your side. The peace of a warm breeze through a screen door on your bare shoulders. I am not sure there is any less self-conscious photograph of me that has ever been taken. I often forget through my time in New York and Seattle, that I am really an island girl.

When I was in therapy years ago (for depression probably due to lack of sunshine) my therapist told me to do a mediation everyday. It was basically a “go to your happy place” practice. For me this is how it went:

I walk towards the beach and feel the warm sand hit my feet. I lay out my towel, and run towards the water. I run into the surf and as it gets up to my thighs I dive in. I open my eyes under the clear water and hear the sounds of the whales. I surface and turn and look back at the beach treading water. I swim back to shore and slowly walk back to my towel. I lie face down on the warm towel, on the soft warm sand, out of breath and dripping wet. There I lie under the warm sun with my eyes closed until I am dry and do the whole thing over again.

Hmmm… What? Sorry, I got lost there for a minute. I think I need to make sure I book a trip home to Maui before this hundred days are up. Or at least make paying for such a trip the reason to start working again.

Day 59: I may be the princess of oversharing

I don’t consider you a close friend until you have spent some time with my father. No one can really know me until they have met him. I would say, “know him” but according to him, that is impossible for even me to do. I often repeat this to him when he insists otherwise; “Dad, how can I not know you? I AM you.”

I am getting ahead of myself. Let me start with some introductions. The photo above is my father Charles at my 3rd birthday party. He was living on another island, and was visiting Maui for just this occasion. This would be one of about 3 meetings before I turned 12. He was a celebrity in my eyes. I think possibly he was a celebrity in his own eyes as well.

If only the internet had been around when he was younger. He is still young by the way and very much online – as I write this I am doing by best to be honest in the knowledge that he will certainly read it and possibly comment.  If the social web had been developed in 1985 he would be one of those people with a thousand Facebook friends and possibly a blog like this one. I love watching him in his glory telling a shock-value story to a rapt audience.

And let me tell you, this is a man with some incredible stories to tell. I am sorry to disappoint you here, but if I started trying to tell them, this would become an entirely different blog. After I turned 12, he moved to Maui and began to tell me some of these stories. I did my best to memorize them as we became close through my high school years. When he would make appearances at my high school, my friends would swoon and ask me about my new boyfriend. I said, “GROSS! THATS MY DAD!” Secretly I was proud that I had such a cool dad, who worked hard to teach me that there is no such thing as “normal.”

When I arrived in New York City for college I was eager for people to know me. One of the best ways to do that – beyond the initial introduction of, “I’m Harmony from Hawaii,” which did a lot of work to get me noticed above the Jennys from Jersey – was to tell stories about my family, especially my father and his side of the family. I would hold court, telling stories that made people listen.

Little did I know, the reason they were staring at me was not because I was telling great stories, it was because I was possibly oversharing. At one point my roommate took me aside and said, “You really need to stop telling people those things about your family. It’s embarrassing.” I was stunned. I had not been raised with the concept of the actions of family (some whom you never met) reflecting on your own identity.

At one point I was so compelled by these stories that I mentioned to my dad over the phone that I might like to write a book. He was so thrilled. This call was shortly followed by a call by my Aunt begging me not to. She was not into sharing her families past and didn’t want me to do it for her. After that I was much more cautious in what stories I tell and to whom.

I am almost finished with Public Parts, by Jeff Jarvis. It’s a must read. Throughout reading it, I couldn’t help but think of my tendency (exacerbated by Cabernet) to overshare, often in the form of stories about my childhood – specifically involving my dad. Jeff discusses over sharing at length. I would agree with him that as long as you are sharing stories with permission and credit, they don’t harm anyone, and they add value, then there is no over sharing. So my dad and I can continue to tell great stories, someday hopefully I can share them with you.