Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Monday, March 23, 2009


Saturday, March 21, 2009

Three-Season Smoothies

I think my one-serving blender might be one of the best purchases I've ever made. For some reason, though, I only like to make these from spring to fall.

And it's that time again! Hooray!

Easiest Banana Berry Smoothie in the Land

1 banana
1 1/2 cup mixed berries
~1 cup cran-raspberry juice

1. Put all ingredients in blender.
2. Blend.
3. Drink.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

If I Have to be Awake at 4am

...I might as well have these two singing in my ear while I sip my tea.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Felicity Part Three

In case there were any lingering doubts about colors and places to be, take a look at this cookie jar I painted circa 1998 at the beginning of my blue and yellow phase.

It is one of very few possessions that made it through the last 12 moves. I love this cookie jar. And it's never even held cookies! Only tea and recipe cards! I love it because it is so calming and blissful. Light, airy spaces -- that's all I want in life.

Right now it sits on the counter in my yellow (!) kitchen next to a window that looks out on a bed of wildflowers in the summer.

Does it look familiar? It should.

Here is my favorite picture of myself, taken by the side of the road somewhere in Oregon in 1997. It doesn't really point to a special time in my life, but I think it captures the best of my spirit -- who I would like to be, without the mania that sometimes accompanies orange.

But you know what takes the cake? This picture I took on a bike ride a couple weeks after I moved to Iowa. Oh, and for the record, I did not get off my bike or stop pedaling to take this picture. What can I say? You can take the girl out of orange, but you can't take orange out of the girl...

"Is this heaven?"
"No. It's Iowa."

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

I Found the Phone!

...four days later. In the couch cushions. I don't know why I'm surprised.

Keeps Getting Better

As if this day couldn't get any better (it was 78 today!!), I was greeted by this in the checkout line:

And Then Mary Nailed It

Just go here.

It's everything I've needed to say and needed to hear.

Versions of Me...In Living Color

Note: I didn't plan this post for St. Patty's Day, but it sorta worked out, no?

February was a strange month. It started with a batch of clean laundry and the choice between putting on my orange or green turtleneck. Orange had long been my defining color. At one point, there was so much orange in my wardrobe that it constituted an entire load of laundry on its own. But the green...I had never really liked green at all before, but somehow, that green sweater was calling me. Twice before this I had chosen the green over the orange, but that day the choice bothered me. Was I no longer the kinda gal who draped herself in orange? And why all of a sudden was I being drawn to green?

Later that week, I attempted to do some spring cleaning. The fatal error was beginning in the room that houses my trunk-o-stuffs. You know, the one with yearbooks, old letters, track ribbons, PHOTOS. "Sidetracked" doesn't even begin to describe what happened.

It was one thing to look over all these different versions of myself, at different times in my life, through pictures and letters and journals. Then around mid-month, there was an odd e-mail exchange wherein I was confronted by yet another version of myself, this time through another's eyes. It was very idealized, and I was left wondering what happened that version of myself, and whether she ever really existed in the first place. On top of that, my advisor shared a letter of recommendation she wrote for me. Seriously, I don't know who she was writing about. I mean, there were parts that felt vaguely familiar, but other parts that left me feeling like an inadequate fraud. (She assures me it was the truth...*shrug*)

All of that leads me back to the colors. Some people have the same favorite color their whole lives, but mine has changed a bit over the past ten years. (Oh man, has it really been that long?!) In some ways, I can see people treating me like an orange-yellow person even though, on the inside, I feel like I'm growing into someone else. So I decided to look up what my favorite colors might reveal about me, and I think it accounts for the different periods of my life better than anything I might have put in my trunk.

1997-2001 Yellow. These are the years I was finishing college, moving to DC for grad school, then Seattle, then back to New Mexico for another master's degree.

Yellow is the color of happiness, wisdom and imagination, Yellow is chosen by the mentally adventurous, searching for novelty and self-fulfillment. Yellow usually goes with a sunny and shrewd personality, with a good business head and a strong sense of humor. It is the color of intellectuality and all things to do with the mind. Yellow folks are usually clear and precise thinkers who have a good opinion of their own mental capacities and who have lofty ideals. They may at times tend to shun responsibility, preferring freedom of thought and action.

2001-2007 Enter orange.
To quote a Faith Hill tune, I'd say these years could easily be characterized as "living and loving and learning the hard way." Also: "full speed ahead," and "taking big fat juicy bites out of life" would cover it too. Yellow was still very much a part of it, but in more of a supporting role until the orange overshadowed it completely around 2003-4. I love orange for it's brashness and impracticality. I mean, it's RIDICULOUS! Love it! Plus, not many people like orange or have the guts to wear it. In your early-mid twenties, that's all fine and good. But late 20s into your 30s...well, I'll say that I still like orange and yellow but have less need for an all-encompassing orange lifestyle.

Orange: This color of luxury and pleasure appeals to the flamboyant and fun-loving person who likes a lively social round. Orange people may be inclined to dramatize a bit, and people notice them, but they are generally good-natured and popular. They can be a little fickle and vacillating, but on the whole they try hard to be agreeable. Orange is the color of youth, strength, fearlessness, curiosity and restlessness.
2009 Green. I guess my trend toward green has been two or three years in the making. I've really been wanting to move toward a life of balance and peace so I can thrive. Hence, the latest blog makeover.

The color of harmony and balance, green symbolizes hope, renewal and peace, and is usually liked by the gentle and sincere. Greens are generally frank, community-minded people, fairly sociable but preferring peace at any price. Green people can be too self-effacing, modest and patient, so they may get exploited by others. They are usually refined, civilized and reputable.

In reality, I'm not sure if I'm really going all the way to green as the star, but it is definitely part of an ensemble cast. When I look back, blue has always been in the mix as a supporting player, accented by white. Given their descriptions, I see how they fit into the background as minor, but present, parts of myself. Not surprisingly, when orange took over, the blue dropped out entirely.

Blue: Soft, soothing, compassionate and caring, blue is the color of deliberation and introspection, conservatism and duty. Patient, persevering, conscientious, sensitive and self-controlled, Blues like to be admired for their steady character and wisdom. They are faithful, but are often worriers with somewhat inflexible beliefs and can be too cautious, and suspicious of flamboyant behavior.
White: Symbolic of purity, innocence and naivete, white has strong connotations of youth and purity. If you are an older person, your preference for white could indicate a desire for perfection and impossible ideals, maybe an attempt to recapture lost youth and freshness. It may also symbolize a desire for simplicity or the simple life.
That scene above is how I think I will always remember Iowa. Blue skies, puffy white clouds, and green rolling hills.

But green. I think I'm going to feature green for a little while...for all the reasons Kermit thinks it's not easy, and for all the reasons it's what he wants to be.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Felicity Part Two

Sprouts in my front yard. They emerged after harsh times, and so can I.

So the "Four Things" meme is going around on Facebook at the moment, and one of the items is "List four places you'd rather be right now."

And for all my bitching and moaning as of late...there isn't another place I'd rather be.

So I left it blank. All four slots.

I have a feeling this PhD will turn out like my first Ironman: long and painful, but I was happy to be there and smiled almost the entire time.

Felicity, indeed.

Da Boy!

Rocky stalks neighborhood children.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Felicity (n.):

  1. the state of being happy, esp. in a high degree; bliss: marital felicity.
  2. an instance of this.
  3. a source of happiness.
  4. a skillful faculty: felicity of expression.
  5. an instance or display of this: the many felicities of the poem.
  6. Archaic. good fortune

This is actually the third version of this post. The two previous versions somehow veered off into two separate and distinct tirades about the various ways I do not enjoy some of the people and circumstances of my doctoral program. A choice (but abbreviated) excerpt:

"If you want a life-enriching educational experience, where there is joy in learning new things for their own sake, then get yourself a Master's degree. If, however, you would like a daily assault on your self-worth and to be surrounded by people so consumed with status that they can't stop posturing for even one second to realize that the most necessary first step in real learning is to admit you don't know, then consider pursuing a PhD."

And that's not even the worst of it. Yikes.

Here is what I really want to say:

Last week I embarked on a journey through all four seasons of Felicity. If you aren't familiar with this show, it's basically the story of a curly-headed girl finding herself through her college years/early adulthood. There is a scene in one of the first season episodes where Felicity is watching Ben (!) run. She ponders the fact that he is good at something he really loves. That is what the PhD business was supposed to be for me. Triathlon, too.

Long story short: I'm am extracting myself from all the falderol to concentrate on my own stuff, my own joy, my own reasons for being in the program and in the world. When I'm focused and committed (read: not distracted by nonsense), I am good at this school thing and I love it. I've been wasting a lot of my time spinning my wheels and concerning myself with other people's garbage and shooting myself in the foot in my attempts to resist. I have found some great people here who energize me both intellectually and emotionally, and they are the ones I will let into my life and on whom I will expend my emotional energy.

So I'm putting the "break" in "spring break." This post marks the break I am making with the bad habits and negative energy. I'll use the week off from school to gain some momentum so I won't be easily derailed once classes begin again.

That's it.