Sunday, March 24, 2013

Something to Anticipate!

Just when I needed a pick-me-up, it has come in a big way.  Shellie was invited on a week-long group ride with some fun, upbeat friends of hers and she, with her awesome, bad-ass self, asked if I could go too. They gave her an enthusiastic "Bring her!" for an answer! 

Yesterday around mid-day, she and I took off in her jeep and headed to Redmond where a couple, who go on this yearly ride, hosted the "Night of the Ride Party."  This is when all the friends who ride and their spouses and significant others come together and decide when and where they are going.  Then when the planning is over, they break out videos of past rides, enjoy food and drinks and have a great time. So, I got to drive out over the mountain and into Central Oregon's high desert beauty with my girlfriend, chatting all the while and catching up, and then I got to be a part of planning a fantastic trip.  I could not be more excited about the upcoming ride we're all going on in August!  Up the coast and then over into the Canadian Rockies!  Are you kidding me!?  I can't wait!! And perhaps the best part is the people.  They are all so warm and fun and completely inviting and inclusive.  Just a great bunch of people.  The videos have me pumped up. Shellie and I can look forward to sharing another spectacular memory for sure. She's right - this will be the ride of our lives so far. I'm so lucky to have my adventurous girlfiend!

Here are some scenery pics from the Redmond trip this weekend.  After the picture of Mt. Hood, which I took on the way there, the first several pics were taken on Michael and Stacy's property in Redmond.  Then we stopped at Smith Rock and I took a few other shots on the way home!  (Remember, to see a larger version of a picture, just double-click on it!)



Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Commitment and Change

I thought I would write more during this hiatus from my big social media time-suck, Facebook, but I haven't.  Has more to do with me than with true busy-ness.  I've just not felt like writing.  There are so many things I could write about, but when I start to do it, I can't find the words.  Then again, I don't try very hard to find them.  It's as though I don't want them to be found.  I can be very noncommital that way.

I have to laugh, because I have just been reminded how true that is about myself in general.  I'm so very noncommital.  I have long been aware that I struggle to commit to relationships.  And though I can easily point out that there have been good reasons to walk away from the ones I tried to commit to,  I've known I'd struggle regardless of the circumstance, and that has pained me some.  Today it's a dull pain, since I am less eager to beat myself about the head and shoulders for being who I am than I was when I was younger.   Acceptance of self can turn you into a bit of an asshole it seems.  Take me or leave me.  I am who I am.  Ha!  Yes, I know my singular self.  Still, knowing myself so well frees me to shine brighter in the areas where I do shine.  I don't feel like polishing those characteristics now, though.  I just have to laugh and look closely for a moment at just how my resistance to commitment affects so much more than my status of being serially single.

Of course I've known this for a long time, but sometimes I get a plain and glaring reminder, just as I did as I started to write this post.  As soon as I typed out the word "noncommital" with regards to writing, I knew that I was seeing a truth about my nature, and a possible answer for how to write more. Usually I need to talk to have a sharp epiphany like that.  Hmm....writing is like talking, as I'd hoped.  I should try harder to commit to it, because I'm tired of talking, really.  Tired of hearing myself.  Tired of giving people ammunition against me, too.  I want to seek my own council more.

I have been finding (or rediscovering) ways to satisfy my mind outside of Facebook.  It's so nice to read books again.  I've read a memoir about a couple who went sailing when the chicks left the nest, a novel about heartbreak and revenge which used food as a vehicle to tell the story and I am reading Guns, Germs and Steel in between it all.  I'm about to start a Toni Morrison novel. I'm sort of resistant, though.  I feel like I will somehow be going backwards to read Toni Morrison, though I know she's great.  It's just that I read so much of her and other Black American Women writers when I was in college and for awhile afterward, that I'm having a hard time getting excited.  I've enjoyed some movies and definitely got hung up on Downton Abby along with the rest of the women I know apparently, but it's a temporary lull in my appetite for something to engage my senses.  Lately I seem to want something to really shake me up.

That's about as true as anything I could possibly say.  I absolutely want something to shake me up.  Losing my job at Axium started that.  It shook me up alright, but I couldn't act on it the way I would have liked.  I wanted to fully embrace that change.  Every fiber of my being wanted to go toward a much simpler lifestyle after that painful 2 year long professional breakup.  I wanted to head back to Alaska or down to Mexico or off on a sailboat.  I wanted to capitalize on the change in my circumstance and fully embrace it.  Instead, I found another job, and a boring one at that.  It's anti-climatic.  It's deadening to my senses.  But I have to be here right now.  I have children to finish raising, and I don't believe they want a shake-up as much as I do.  Stella surely does not want any shake-up at all.

So I stifle the fires of my passion for change and newness and my desire to embrace a simpler  and wholly different existence.  I bank those coals while I wait for a better time, a more obvious opportunity to feed the flames.  I fan them occasionally with a motorcycle ride, or a lover's tryst, or an impetuous purchase.  The motorcycle is good therapy, but my other attempts to quell my current anxiety and feelings of stagnation only complicate things in a negative way.  I should stick to books and movies.  heh.

For now, I will sit with these thoughts.  Maybe I'll elaborate later.  Maybe not.  I can't commit.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


I read this from Allison Krauss on Google+ today and thought, "Yes.  Always."

On the borderline of love again,
It's bound to make you pay
On the borderline, we'll make our stand,
Then watch it fall away

Friday, February 15, 2013

They like me! They really like me!

Channeling my inner Sally Fields a bit.  :)

Just a blurb to say I've gotten multiple emails from folks who have noticed me gone off Facebook, but didn't, apparently see my posts about taking a break.  These folks have reached out to see if I'm okay and to let me know I'm missed.  Sweet. And the people who have are people whose attention is flattering.  Artists I've met online and befriended, old friends I have always admired.  It's nice to know people miss you when you're gone.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Experimental Cold Turkey

A friend inspired me when she said she was giving up Facebook for Lent.  She's not Catholic, nor is she even religious - which is much like myself.  Also like myself, she was feeling that Facebook was becoming (had become, actually!) a time-sink.  Other projects, interests and duties were falling by the wayside.  Living in New Orleans now, at the onset of the carnival season and Mardi Gras, she decided to join all the local Catholics and purge for a few weeks.  Being from Louisiana, and needing some structure for my desire to break free of my obsession with Facebook, I see the sense in that, and am doing the same.    I'm also acting on another of her great ideas, and I'm going to journal about what I accomplish and experience during this hiatus from my biggest social media addiction.

Today is day one of the experiment.  It's been a good day, already ripe with good experiences, and including some ostensibly predictable side effects.

Before describing my day further, though, I want to list out some of the things on my todo and what if lists:

  • Read Books!  My attention span has been so dimished by the internet and social media, that I don't sit down and read books anymore.  I fidget and re-read the first paragraph over an over, till I finally give  up and get on Facebook.  No more.  Have removed FB temporarily will make myself read until I thoroughly enjoy it like the days of old.  I have been wanting to read Guns, Germs and Steel, and have already picked that up at Powell's today - but more on that later...
  • Learn Spanish!  Have wanted to for years, because I want to travel to Spain and spend at least 3 weeks there, engaging deeply in the culture.  I bought Rosetta Stone for European Spanish last week, and I LOVE it.  Now I have more time to spend on it!
  • Learn bass guitar!  I bought myself a bass guitar for Christmas, because playing bass is an old bucket list item that I finally want to act on.  Have set a goal to be able to jam at Duff's Garage's Blues Jam by the end of 2013.
  • Spend more time with my children! - hiking, playing games, CLEANING HOUSE, cooking, etc...  Annie, in particular, needs time with me, and I with her, so I'm looking forward to letting her in on the Rosetta Stone Spanish secret, since she has been wanting to learn Spanish to.  It's something we can enjoy together!
  • Ride my motorcycle!  (not that I ever seem to struggle with making time for that)
  • Hike and backpack! - I need to prepare, so getting out and walking locally in the hills in my neighborhood will make for a much better trip (or 2 or 3) this Summer.
  • Plan meals and cook!  I've started the Atkins diet, and am in the process of losing weight and getting healthier.  I need to spend less money and also make this a lifetime change, so I need to start cooking again, and making sure I have the right food on hand to be succesful.  I want to start cooking ahead.  I also want to include Annie, since she likes to cook and wants to spend time with me.  Added bonus:  I think the right diet might help Annie with some of the behavioral and health problems we experience with her.  
  • Clean and organize my house!  I still haven't unpacked all the boxes from my last move, or gotten the right furniture and storage in place.  My room is in disarray, because of the lack of closet space and the piles of crap everywhere.  I NEED to change that - for my mental health alone.
  • Write!  I keep meaning to blog get my creative juices flowing.  Doesn't happen when I'm on Facebook and the minutes turn to hours.  I need to do more of THIS in order to get better at it.
So, there are many of the projects left mostly unattended at least in part because of my time-wasting on Facebook.  I'm very excited about this change, and I look forward to the side-effects I have even thought of yet, because I'm certain I will experience some.  Just today, during work and my lunch break, I found that I'm already reaping the benefits.

For example, I was able to come in, sit down and focus.  I got more quality work done this morning in a shorter span of time.  I will progress and be more succesful in my new job at this rate.

Also, my lunch break was great today!  I decided to walk to Powells (I totally love working downtown!) and buy Guns, Germs and Steel.  What a great decision.  I enjoyed the walk even more than I might have if I hadn't given up Facebook.  Had I made this same trip yesterday, a good part of my trip would be spent glancing down at my phone as I scanned Facebook for something interesting.  Instead,  I walked, shoulders back and eyes up, enjoying the sights, and making eye contact with people.  There were smiles and nods and REAL interactions with real LIVE people!  I saw people waking adorable pups, who squirmed all over the place trying to make new friends, and children in super-hero attire.  I saw a man making his baby laugh in a coffee shop window, and we shared broad grins.  I noticed the architecture and made note of where things are in relation to my office, broadening my familiarity of downtown.  

And then, I did what has been so hard.  After grabbing my lunch at a Thai food cart, I went back to my office and ate - and read the intro and prologue of Guns, Germs and Steel.  My monkey mind acted up, but I perservered.  The effort was made easier by having one less very noisy distraction.  I can't wait to get into first chapter before bed tonight!    So far no FB is a big YES toward achieving my goals!

One side-effect - not necessarily a good one is that I have started playing with Instagram more.  It's like FB light, so I feel like I'm cheating.  But, as my daughter says, it's simpler, and it might be fun way to quickly document and share things I see along the way.  I just can't let it replace FB as a time-sink.

More later!

Sunday, January 13, 2013


I disappeared for a long time, but I feel the need to write again.  To have some sort of document of my thoughts...of my days.

There is so much new, even as much remains too much the same.  I've started a new job, though it's still in sales.  I like that I'm working downtown.  I've yet to see if this job will excite me as much as my first several years at Axium did, but I have new challenges and I want to rise to them.  I love working in downtown Portland, and I like that it's not as demanding a job, because it frees me up to give some attention to my family and to a new pursuit.

I'm going to play the bass guitar.  I bought one for myself for Christmas, and I'm hiring a friend of mine to teach me.  He is a really good bass player, and teaches at Apple Music downtown, so that's convenient for me.  I start lessons this coming Wednesday!  I know I need goals in order to progress at anything, so I've set a goal to be able to play at a public blues jam by the end of 2013.  Duff's Garage,  I'll be playing more than the washboard on your stage soon! 

Since I'll be getting off at 3:30 from this new job, I'll also be able to ride my motorcycle a bit more this coming Summer.  Can't wait.  I've put around 10,500 miles on it since I bought it in October of 2011, and I am still crazy about riding.  I need to ride a little less, so I can get some hikes in this year.  (last year I hiked very little because of my little Suzuki)  But,'s just so much fun, and I'm looking forward to doing a big group ride this year out to Hell's Canyon. 

Other newness:  living in yet another house in pretty much the same neighborhood.  I don't think I'll stay here past a year, though.  I don't like it.  It's on the North side of a hill, and it has no character.  Besides that, the dishwasher is crappy, and the water pressure is terrible throughout the house.  It costs too much to live here, especially considering all that this place lacks in charm and basic functioning.  I'm thinking about buying.  We'll see.

I'm still single, but there is some newness in my love life.  Just nothing I can relax into.  And my heart has been very confused.  I've been struggling with a moral dilemma.  Usually, I don't have a hard time doing the "right" thing.  Usually.  This time I'm struggling with what is actually right.  No...I'm not.  Not really.  *sigh*

Also, I'm in touch with an old love from way, way back in time.  He reaches out to me, which is surprising.  I never thought he would be one to do that.  Yet he does. I enjoy being in touch with him.  It painless and kind of fun.  And he's too far away for either of us to start having wishful thoughts.  Safe.  Flattering.  Comfortable...

And yet, I long for something safe, exciting and comfortable and HERE.  Something I don't have to feel conflicted about.  But as tired as I get of being alone, I struggle with the idea of giving up any of my freedom.  Why am I always so conflicted?  I think too much, I think.

I feel clumsy writing today.  I will probably feel that way for awhile, but I will keep writing till the edges become smoother and my ideas flow more readily.  I'll post pictures and tell stories.  I'll find my voice again.  It's not new for me to want to write, but sometimes it's a new effort.  I'm ready to put forth that effort now.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

10:49 pm on Wednesday

I should be sleeping.
Instead of worrying.
Instead of longing.
Instead of wishing to simply slip over into  greener pastures
and bluer skies.

I should be resting.
Making ready for that moment things change for the better.

I should be here, now.
In this moment, I should plant myself. 
And with conviction.

Moments are passing,
which won't return.

I should be present and mindful.
Not weakened by distraction.

But I keep racing into the future.
To manicured hillsides
and unruly curls.

How will I ever get there if I'm not here first?

I should be sleeping.
I will go now, deeply.
And leave the future to my dreams.