Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Growing pains

The joints,
The places where I am tied together,
Different pieces of me branching off,
Gnarled and knotted in their transition
as they spread their story of who I am -
These spots hurt.
They ache and moan
        when the storms come.
They are where I was ripped apart
    to make room for a maturing me to grow.
Those spaces
        in the in-between
                    are stretched hollow,
A gap in the defenses.
A pause before the great leap into the unknown.
The wilds in my soul.
The winds blow hard these days
   and my joints are sore.
Creaking and throbbing and twinging
                under the pressure.
But they will hold.
For I have new branches to grow.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Becoming Beautiful

Per my last post, I believe Beauty is through Understanding.  I've been hyper focused lately on developing into a person I can be proud of - a person that I respect.  I had an epiphanatic moment today and realized I should be able to clearly define those aspects that I'm striving to incorporate into my life.  So, while gathering information on the subject - attributes of people with character, what constitutes 'having integrity', etc... I ran across something that posed some good thoughts and questions.

What am I trying to accomplish?  Why do I want to accomplish it? Where to I want to go with my growth? How will I go about the process? Who is motivating me and who is supporting me during this?

Which, while basic in nature, made me stop and think.  What am I trying to accomplish?  I say I want to become a better person, a person with good character, a person with integrity, but what does that mean? Those words are ambiguous at best, and translatable, and mutable to many different meanings.  As a friend of mine once told me - This is why we have dictionaries - to use words appropriately.  If you can't find a word that means what you mean, keep looking until you find one that does.

I want to have a strong ethical character - clearly defining my guiding principles and values. I also want to have positive traits and develop new skills to use throughout my lifetime. So following up on that, what does ethics, values, traits and skills mean?  (I'm stealing definitions here, 'cause I found them and I like them.)

Ethics are basically the body principles used to decide what's right, good, and proper.  It governs your Morality and provides a means to evaluating and deciding among competing options.

Values are attitudes about the worth of people, concepts, or things. Values are important as they influence a person's behavior to weigh the importance of alternatives.

Skills are the knowledge and abilities that a person gains throughout life. The ability to learn a new skill varies with each individual. Some skills come almost naturally, while others come only by complete devotion to study and practice.

Traits are distinguishing qualities or characteristics of a person, while character is the sum total of these traits. There are hundreds of personality traits, but I'm going to focus on those that I think are most important for me to have, and those that are important for me to work on.

At this point, I pause.  One, because it's getting late and my weekend is *BEYOND* packed full of things to do, and another because tackling the idea of identifying, defining, refining, and integration of complex ideas like ethics, and values - seeking out specific skill sets and personal traits to analyze is a bit much for my brain right now.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Trial through Fire.

Life's been extremely difficult in "This is hard, and painful, but it's good for me" way. Difficult and trying. A period that wears down your outer layers, the storm tumultuous and battering your will, stripping you are down to a hard core of who you really are as person. Letting me realize that I have the power to shape that into who I want to be.

I want to do that **right**! I want to become the sort of person I can be proud of. I want to be an example of integrity, of love, and wisdom. I want to be a wise woman. I want to grow and blossom and be beautiful inside and out. What will embellish, outline, and distinguish that beauty will be the Trueness to Self I portray.

I am learning through difficult circumstances. These are periods of endurance to test of my character. These are times of the greatest potential to learn who I really am. I believe knowing who you are lies at the root of everything. We are our own universe. Most our lives are lived completely in our head. The only way we experience our environment is through our powers of perception. Everything is filtered through Self. Awareness of the Conscious and Mastery of the Self leads to Understanding.

Understanding is Beauty.

I want to be Beautiful.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Random Conversations I've had and Things I've Learned Today.

Things I think are good for a heartache:

Making a coffee date with awesome people for hugs and talking, to remember you're loved and allow people to take care of you. I find outings and small socialization are helpful, mitigating the moping and vortex power of the "I'm so sad" hole. At the same time I think its important not to ignore your sadness but accept how you feel and take care of yourself while you feel sad.  Some things I do to take care of myself are bubble baths and cuddles, surrounding myself with things that make me happy.  Writing really helps.

I find looking at what that person gave you and the parts you miss about them a melancholy but ultimately positive experience.  You celebrate what you had and the positive things that came out of it.  It somehow balances out the feelings of loss. 

Examining your feelings and not ignoring them is really important.  Are you sad that you were rejected? Are you sad because you feel you'll always be alone? Are you sad because you feel like no one understands you or are you sad because you lost a good friend? Taking the time to look at the thing that hurts and letting yourself feel it and letting it out. And then moving on. Because life is beautiful and sad and wonderful at the same time. And tomorrow will always come. With rebirth and renewal and challenges and surprises. 

The Importance of Compliments in Adult Life

Whether this is my upbringing, my basic personality, or the way society influences my gender, or my experiences throughout life - wherever this stems from - I feel a compulsion, a driving need, to express to others how much I appreciate them, what they mean to me, how fortunate I feel to have them in my life, and the beauty I see in them. 

I don't know why this is so important to me. Maybe it's because it means so much to me to hear those things from others?  Perhaps its because I believe most people are hyper critical of themselves and need to be reminded of why they are beautiful, amazing, wonderful people.  Maychance it's the happiness I get from sharing that joy that that person gives to me. 

I've found during my adult life there are some people who have a lot of problems with compliments - both giving and receiving.  Some subtly - so subtle if you're not paying attention to it you won't catch it - redirect the conversation, or slide around it once a compliment is given to them.  I've noticed this occurs in males a lot more than females.  I'm not sure why, but it seems that way.

I think it's very important to be able to give and receive positive comments that are nourishing, that make others feel joy and warm fuzzies.  I also personally believe its a fundamental element of a healthy happy relationship.

I had lots of beautiful examples growing up on how to give and receive compliments.  I remember there was a list on my fridge when I was small - before I started preschool - of "1,000 compliments to give your child."  There were days I would stand at the fridge and just read through them.  My mother frequently told me how smart and pretty and amazing I was.  I was raised in a very loving and verbally positive and nourishing environment.  Others weren't so lucky.  I'm realizing now that being able to give and receive compliments is simply a social skill some people weren't taught or weren't exposed to early on, so are less comfortable with it.

Which got me thinking....what are some basic skills in being able to give and receive compliments. 

Some people don't know what to say in return.  "Thank you" is always a good fallback when someone gives you a compliment. Or a reciprocal thing like "I appreciate your XXX." Like..."...your smile" or "communication style." or "silliness." Or simply "I'm happy you're in my life." True statements.  The point isn't to say nice things to say nice things, but to express to the other person the parts of them you really do enjoy and are appreciative for.

I also had a mass of things to think about concerning communication, who and when and how to say things.  But that's not as simple.  And I have my birthday party to whisk off to....so it'll have to wait for later.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Univeral Bitch-Slapping and Poker in a Dark Room

Neil Gaiman I think sums up how I feel about the universe sometimes (I'm changing "God" and "He" to "Universe" and "It".  Cause I can.)

"The Universe does not play dice...; It plays an ineffable game of It's own devising, which might be compared, from the perspective of the players, (ie everybody), to being involved in an obscure and complex version of poker in a pitch-dark room, with blank cards, for infinite stakes, with a Dealer who won't tell you the rules, and who smiles all the time.”

Massive humongous infinite stakes with blank cards in a dark room with that's blanketed in mystery and confusion.  YAY for CONFUSION!  But sometimes the Universe is nice and sends you a clue.  By smacking you in the face with a "THIS IS WHAT YOU NEED TO DO" hand - that's loaded with uranium and hurts like a son-of-a-bitch.  Sometimes the universe slaps other people in the face. Regardless of who's bitchslapped, if I'm in the nearby vicinity, I get a taste of the backhand on the way back around.

There's been some bitch-slapping backhanding lately, but in wonderfully funny ironic manners.  I was talking to a friend of mine about the whirlwind of emotions that center on the "I don't know what to do, or what's right" feelings.  Of feeling insecure and unsure of where you need to go or what choices to make that almost cripples you in the hurricane of confusion that overwhelms. Til you get to a point where you just want to call up the universe and ask pretty pretty pretty please to simply give you a big flashy "This is the right choice" sign surrounded by glitter so it catches your eye.

We kept on talking and I had this "Look, Here's The Answer" thought. 
And then I stopped. 
And laughed. 

Because I was about to give them the advice I need to follow the most.

Look at the facts, look at your emotions. Make a decision about the course of your life (yes, this is scary) and then realize that decision is based in the fundamental essence of who you are. This foundation of the every existence of your being and all the experiences you've accumulated.  You're drawing on decades of information, years of personal development, and a knowledge pool that's not so shabby and really nothing to laugh at.  So your foundation on which you make that decision is freaking strong. So make the decision and HAVE FAITH and BELIEVE that you're making the best decision.

Because  let's face it.  Let's "break it down" (Cause I LOVE breaking things down).  If I could marry a punctuation group, item, it would be bullet points.  They've never failed me yet.  You have three options when making decisions (or not) - you can:

1. Make a Decision and Believe in It
2. Live in a tortured existence of indecision and insecurity waffling back and forth about what you think is right and what other people tell you is right and what you think other people think is right.  What I call the "if you look at it from the other side" syndrome.  There's a million other sides.  You can look at them for ages and go blind.  And in fact, will go blind.  With confusion and indecision.  It will wear down the core of who you are when you second-triple-quadruple-then go back to the second guess and decide to move on the quadruple guessing yourself again-ness.  It sucks.  And it doesn't result in any progress. 
3. Let other people decide your course and decisions in life.

For the majority of my decisions, I live in #1 world.
I mean, I AM bad ass mamojamma.  I don't take no crap from no one.  I'm as strong as an ox.  As wild as a tiger. As subtle as a sledgehammer.  I am an amazing person who holds her own.  Outside influences don't really affect me unless I think they provide useful perspective or information. The stuff that bothers most people? Don't really touch me.

Crazy homeless guy who yells at me and my partner walking down the street, calling us bigoted racists lesbian blah blah blah??  Not a thang at all.  I told my partner it's like someone yelling out at me that I'm a small giraffe in a top hat.  It means nothing.  Someone doesn't like my lifestyle? I don't care.  It's my life and I live it the way I want.  I'm not forcing them to live it, so it's really their issues leaking out.  Why should I care? 

But then.  OH but then.  The IDEA of standing up and choosing my needs and wants over others comes up.  And then I am terrified.  Granted, given my  past history, this is understandable.  Bad things have happened to those around me when I stood up for my needs and wants.  People died.  Now, I know they died not because I stood up for myself, but because they had issues.  But in my brain my needs/wants over others = horrible icky things.  BADNESS incarnate. 

This is when I start swirling into the vortex of #2 and cannot find a foothold. It really upsets me, because #2 isn't productive. It's useless and counter productive. Where did this amazing strong vibrant woman go? Cause frankly, it's at times like these that all I can see is the tiny child that curls up in the back of the closet.  And I don't want her running my life. 

But finding that strength of character, those brass balls of "YES, this is what I NEED.  This is what I WANT.  And it's IMPORTANT enough for me to stand up for it." is somehow one of the most difficult things I've come up against. I know I have them somewhere, I AMANDAZON,  I've got gumption,  I own my own pair of cajones - and they're made of titanium. I've got character, and bad-ass-ness that stems from the roots of my essence of awesome. But coming to making major life decisions about what I want and need? I turn into a wet noodle that can't decide whether its overcooked or squished out.

And that's where my insight ends.  I know the situation - which is progress.  But I don't know whether I just need to balls up and risk the jump to - - enforce the boundaries of my needs and wants, or to focus on the roots of the fears that cause my blockage, or where I go from here. 

So I'm sitting here in the pitch black room, playing my blank cards, guessing at the rules.  Hoping the Universe that's sitting across the table won
't smack me upside the head again, maybe this time it'll throw me a bone (or a neon flashing sign - seriously I would be SO grateful) and help me figure out which choice to make, or where to go.

I have a sinking suspicion however, that this whole 'figuring it out' thing, is the lesson I'm really supposed to be learning.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Oh _kitten_!

Oh kitten! 
Mischievous deviant little thing,
I can't help but love you
and your rouge like smile.
Tricksy and impish
in your playful ways.
Vivaciously attacking
those things that entice you.
With quick swishes of your tail
and eyes that are so green,
you are a darling thing!
Quiet and warm when curled
contently in the lap,
purrs vibrating
soft and endearing.
There is so much to you
to entertain me.


I have been. 
I am. 
And will be. 
Inspired by those around me.
By the cadence
in the beats
between their lips.
The ache
in the space

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

"If you cannot be a poet, be the poem." ~David Carradine

I am hereby solidifying in this past week, the poem of I am. Gathering round and rallying my courage, shoring up those weak walls with the cracks of insecurity in them and planting my feet in the soil of my soul.

 "It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are." ~e.e. cummings

And my backbone has grown, oh how it's grown.  I've faced, and am facing, fears I thought I'd gotten rid of or gotten passed years ago. That silly fear that I won't be perfect - that I will at one point, make a mistake.  The fear that by putting clear boundaries down concerning my needs and wants something awful-horrible-icky-nasty-devestatingly bad will happen.  Which is based on past occurances, and not any realistic present issues.  I'm uneasy of things that are new and different, because I'm unaware of how they will affect my life. I'm also adjsuting to the feeling of standing on my own two feet - it's something that I'm getting used to, having lived all of my life as a child, or as a piece of a 'we' decision making group.

It feels like I'm choking on these fears sometimes.  My body responds in telling ways to my emotional states, especially concerning stress.  And over the last week or so, my jaw has been perpetually clenched, tight, aching with that jaw lock feel. Emotionally I feel like my throat is closed up from these fears and I get frustrated, wanting to rend these silly fears apart and eat them up.  Conquer them.  See them for what they are and unravel them.  Splay them open, identify their parts, then eat them up and let them become a natural part of me, a smaller part of me.  Let my understanding of them nourish me more, instead of stop me from speaking. 

"People are afraid of themselves, of their own reality; their feelings most of all.
People talk about how great love is, but that's bullshit.
Love hurts. Feelings are disturbing.
People are taught that pain is evil and dangerous.
How can they deal with love if they're afraid to feel?
Pain is meant to wake us up. People try to hide their pain.
But they're wrong. Pain is something to carry, like a radio.
You feel your strength in the experience of pain.
 It's all in how you carry it. That's what matters.
Pain is a feeling. Your feelings are a part of you. Your own reality.
 If you feel ashamed of them, and hide them, you're letting society destroy your reality.
You should stand up for your right to feel your pain.” ~Jim Morrison

So this is me.  Standing up.  Carring around my fear and my pain by my side, admitting their place in my person.  This is who I am.  I am not ashamed of it.  For if you, "Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free.” Jim Morrison
And above all else right now, it's important for me to be free.  To be as much of the true essence of who I am as possible.  To be comfortable in my own skin.  To be the best version of myself, instead of a second-rate version of someone else. Because...

"It is better to be hated for what you are
than to be loved for something you are not." 
 ~Andre Gide

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Older Random Poetry

Monday Memo

interactive integration
create cross-functioning
facilitate future
collaborative corporation
effective efficiency elevating the
synergistic success
towards togetherness
multi-task the maximization of the
productive paradigm


Little boyhood grin
Splashed across a suntanned face
Thinking eyes belie that suit and tie.
Corporate ladders can’t compare
To tree house retreats.
And milk moustaches
Secret societies of heroes
And pirate treasure
Hidden beneath the porch.
They're worth more in the end
Than any man’s weight in memos

'08 the young

liquid laugh
like velvet
with a brilliant longing
always desiring
to be born
like a translucent flower
like a
ghost of a


let me live
and capture abstract imagination
creating soft silhouettes
of chiseled impressions -
aesthetic metaphors
of drugged eclectic dreams -
smeared pieces
of the surreal vivid originals
which dazzlingly shimmer
in their approachable beauty.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Being Honest

There's an episode of That 70's Show about a bunch of hippi stoner contractors 'redesigning' a basement - ending up just moving everything 2 inches to the left. 

"It's like Art MAN! -  I call it 'Basement.......two inches to the left'". 

That phrase gets stuck in my head when I have a perspective shift.  Same environment, same people, same world......but my perspective has shifted.....two inches to the left, man!  Suddenly everything is in a slightly different light. It's scary sometimes, when something you've seen one way your whole life suddenly has new contours, new shapes, shadows that didn't exist before.  But as a good friend of mine said - Buildings shift and settle in order to take weight.  It's a natural occurrence that ensures the stability of the building.  Shifting is the stabilizing force.

And I've been settling into the soul of myself more and more recently, loveing and appreciating the person who's skin I live in.  It's come through a lot of different shifts in the way I've been thinking and what I think is important.

The word Priority has meaning!  And, like usual, I've been analyzing everything about it.  What is important to me, how I demonstrate that it's important, what decisions I make now and how I carry them out - they matter!  I saw this amazing RSA Animation  video about time consciousness that really had an impact and helped me understand why I think and act some of the ways I do.  It was really interesting - I'd suggest checking them all out. 

Another short was about empathy.  Being quite empathetic myself, it really started gears turning in my head about how I act.  Realizing the basics of how empathy functions in the brain, and pondering the historical purposes it's served, and how I utilize that skill now gave me a few new ideas on how to proceed in the future.  I want to honestly connect to others in ways that are healthy and mutually benefitial.  I want that balance where you operate in a relationship all parties ultimately benefited, not having anyone compromise who they are or compromise important boundaries they've laid down for themselves.  See a theme here?  Relationships, communication, boundaries, intentions, honesty?

So yeah, boundaries have been a big as well.  Which ones I should place where, how to communicate them, how I feel about them.  Communicating those effectively. Communication Skills For The WIN! It's amazing - when you ask for what you need, more often than not - you get it!  It's also important to be specific with the words that I use - being CLEAR.  Not mincing things because I'm squeamish I might offend someone.

A dear friend of mine, who's 18, gave me a 2" shift in perspective when I proclaimed there are parts of me I'm scared other people might not accept.

"We're adults now.  We can be who we are and do what we want.  If other people don't you because of who you are, that's their problem.  If I worried about what people thought of me, I couldn't do my job. (She's a model)."

I felt so silly that someone almost a decade younger than I am had a more established grounded response in that than I did.  But then again, if she can do it, so can I.  So I've been increasingly being open and honest about who I am.

Part of that is coming out as polyamourous to those in my life, and as bisexual.  Something not everyone understands or accepts, but I'm grateful that I live in a community that accepts and supports me as I am.  And that I can, through being honest about who I am, creating intentional relationships that are meaningful and lasting.  It's a beautiful thing to develop deeper appreciations for relationships I have with others, and so liberating to realize that they don't have to look like any preconceived notion of what a relationship is by standard majority.  I am blessed to have such an abundance of beautiful loving caring people in my life.

So in short...working on being awesome in relationships, communication, boundaries, intentions, and letting honesty guide my heart and my life.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

What's in a name?

- My name is Amanda.  Which means "Worthy of Love" in Latin.  Ironically enough, my biggest hang up in life is that I don't believe I'm worthy of it. 


A wound, an ache
that never stops bleeding.
Slices to my core
tearing me into pieces.
So I obfuscate the idea and
talk myself in circles,
trying to get away from it.
The answer seems simple.
Cover up the pain
Attempt to suffocate it away.
Drown myself in intimacy, attention,
intercourse, love.
If I'm touched enough,
maybe I'll quit believing
in that small
but potent voice
that degrades me everyday.
The insidious viral infection
that permeates my being will wither away.

p.s. most of my poetry relates to intense emotions, or taking an emotion and expanding and illucidating it.  Which means most of them are sad.  *I* am a generally very happy person.  Do not let my writing fool you.

Friday, September 10, 2010

One of those endless nights

Well hello,
endless night.
It's been a while.
I didn't know 
you were going to stop by.
'course when you come
everything else goes....
and I'm left
in the pause 
between dusk and dawn
waiting in the space 
between thoughts.
Where silence has 
no semblance of sense.

When the world goes away
and I'm left with myself
in the night before the day
I default to mindless play.
Match cards to each other,
Mahjong's a good game.
Little squiggles
matched to others.
Pictures that resemble each other
paired up.
I usually lose.
But when I win,
I get to play again.
Same elements,
just rearranged.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Ok, so the artsy stuff has been consistent, but I don't believe I'm going to do much with RisingDawn at the moment.  There's too much going on, and my interests have been all over the board.  One of those times in my life when I get uber excited about a lot of different things, and it's getting too hectic.  And at the same time, other things feel like they are falling apart.  So back to centerting in on the things that matter.

9.07.10 centering

coincentric movements
lithe, limber, tenaciously tender
circles the center
closing in on the origin
of thought,
of matter,
of what matters.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Ideas Abound.......

I've been brainstorming some of the pieces I'd be making out of recyled bicycle parts.

My list so far includes jewelry - earrings, necklaces, bracelets, etc...  Also urban dream catchers made out of wheels/spokes and weaving odd bits into them, something along the lines of the below picture - but far more cleaner and sleek looking.

I'm also considering making purses and clutches out of recycled tubes, but that's dependent upon getting a working sewing machine that could handle that strength of material.  I really like some of the items at  Reclaimed Wreckage's Shop, like this purse.

Some more sellable items like business card holders made out of rims/chains, mirrors made out of gears/cogs, coasters and bowls made out of bicycle chains, magnets made out of bicycle cogs/gears, posssibly coffee tables made out of glass mosaic, bicycle rims for the top, and twisted/braided spokes around pieces of bicycle frames and/or handlebars for legs.  I'm working on a few sketches right now as to what that would look like.

Monday, July 12, 2010

New Fun Stuff

Oh how wonderful life is sometimes, but the tricksy parts of it are finding balance amidst the chaos.  Time has become a precious commodity now-a-days.  It's summer here in Seattle, which means that everything starts happening - at once! 

I wanted to pass along some of the major events that are coming up in the cycling community - some of which I'm putting some work into.  I really enjoy having side projects involving bikes that are pretty freaking cool.

Dead Baby Downhill - August 6th

Sound to Mountains BikeFest - August 8th.

Seattle Bike Music Festival - September 11th

I'm also really excited because I just got artists space in the same quaint older building that Mobius is in.  I'm really looking forward to pursuing all the hobbies I've put on hold or haphazardly done due to lack of space/and an area that's concussive to keeping doing those hobbies.  Things like jewelry making, making balsam, lotions, soaps, shampoo, air fresheners, anything and everything out of essential oils and herbs. Writing poetry and short stories, making collages and random clip-art poetry in those collages, mixed media pieces, making clothing, etc...  But I'm going to be focusing on making making art, jewelry, accessories, and household items out of recycled/trashed bicycle parts. Beautiful things to ride and once they wear down, beautiful things to look at and wear. :)  I'm very excited about it.

I'm in the process of moving in right now, gathering materials and items I'll need to get everything up and running.  My goal is to start selling the items I make on Etsy (RisingDawn will be the name to look for) and in a few bike shops around town in the next month or so, depending on when I can get the set up moved in completely and get my groove on.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Awesome Things

So the desire to have all time be quality time has carried through into a few other aspects of my life.  I'm thinking a little differently about my life and the choices I make in it right now.  I've been thinking of life a little differently - I'm noticing the little things more and appreciating things I didn't necessarily pay attention to.  For instance, in the last 24 hours I've had these thoughts:

  1. Sleep soemtimes is less important than spending time with those you care about if you miss them.
  2. I'm inspired and my faith in humanity is restored when other people do selfless things for others simply because they are honest good people.
  3. Cuddling is awesome.  Period.
  4. Mornings are beautiful. Each day you wake up, you wake up from a little piece of unconcssious death and there's a whole new day for you to explore and enjoy.  It's corney, but it's true - it's this amazing gift, a blank canvas where you can do whatever you so desire (and live with the consequences later....that's important to remember)
  5. The early bird SOooooooooooooO gets the worm. Waking up to someone you care about putzing around is one of the most beautiful things you can experience.
  6. Coffee with cream has the most amazing texture and taste ever. 
  7. Giggling makes me happy.
  8. I love my bike.I love my bike.I love my bike. I love my bike.I love my bike.I love my bike.I love my bike.I love my bike.I love my bike.I love my bike.I love my bike.I love my bike.I love my bike.I love my bike.I love my bike.I love my bike.I love my bike.I love my bike..............................annnd I love my bike.  I went on a short ride over lunch and not only did I see a few friends also on their bikes, which makes me happy, I had a great time.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Pretty Pictures

There's a couple of great photos from a bike friend of mine that captures some of our fun times recently.  Cargo Bike Ride memorial day was awesome, except for a little altercation I had with railroad tracks that resulted in a sprained knee and some ER visits, but I'm healing up well.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/espressobuzz/sets/72157624094867065/ Cargo Bike Ride photos

A while back we all hung out at Sylvies for a little party - (the coordination guru for the Seattle Bicycle Music Festival).  http://www.flickr.com/photos/espressobuzz/sets/72157624103986455/

Seattle Bike Music Festival


Seattle bike Music Festival will be September 11th this year and I'm helping out.  Fundraising and Raising Awareness.....go check it out, there's some amazing things that're happening in the following months.  June 26th is the Rawk and Roll Alleycat Race and a Concert The Ride.  Come check it out!!!!!!!!!!

"The Seattle Bicycle Music Festival is a 100% non-profit, volunteer-run grassroots organization. We aim to promote cycling culture in general, and build community throughout Seattle by using art, music, and bicycles to bring people together.  The Mission of the Seattle Bicycle Music Festival is to promote sustainable culture in general and bicycle culture in particular, by physically engaging and immersing communities in the magic of bike culture, and cultivating and nurturing networks of local sustainable musicians, through our staging of usually free, community participatory, educational, bicycle-based music events"

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Had a blissful weekend, for sure.

I started out having a fantastic salad with the girls - I believe eating together as friends every now and then is so important.  The clouds were puffy and big and we laid down on the ground and basked in the sun in the courtyard.  I got a chance to ride a fixed gear bike and was stunned with how smooth and good it felt on my joints, which have been giving me problems lately.  Which is really frustrating because I currently only have one bike, Juliet, the Kona Jake and I'm building up the Purple Parmount, of which I will do an extended post on later.  I lost my mountain bikes, so I need one of those, and now I want a fixed gear.  *sigh*  My wants definitely exceed my needs, or my abilities to ride all those bikes.  It doesn't change the fact that I definitely want all of those. Bikes are too beautiful.

Friday was also this month's Dead Baby ride. The ride was SO much fun!  We started off at the Canterbury Ales and Eats, which was a new place for me.  I really loved it.  It had shuffleboard, pool tables, and great ambiance.  Granted, like usual, there were a lot of us, so it was pretty crowded, but I loved the place. 

I got to ride with Mobius folks there, where one of them was riding a tall bike (something like the picture below) which was neat because a lot of folks on the streets stopped and stared/smiled/some cars went by and honked. 

Like usual, I met a lot of wonderful people and had great conversations and just had a blast in general.  The sense of family and camaraderie and genuine joy Dead Babies get out of coming together once a month to ride bikes and hang out is really amazing.

I ended up going home a little early and had a great rest-of-the evening with Ryan chilling at home.

This is Ryan, showing his sensitive side.

The rest of the weekend was just as awesome, we had amazing weather here in Seattle - just gorgeous. I got some great summer shirts and a scarf insanely cheap, since it's summer I was drawn more to the reds and lighter colors, which was nice. There was a lot of relaxing and then I took advantage of the day by jumping on my bike and riding around a bit.  I ended up reading in the park, lying on the grass, watching the sun go down and went home to curl up in bed super early.  Sooooooo nice.

Sunday was just as wonderful.  I was super industrious at home, got up early and cleaned house and rearranged a bit (something I love doing) I also got a new spiffy camera...of which I will be using to take lots of pictures when I go back down to Kansas later on this week.  The ride was gorgeous, weather perfect, and the breeze just right.  I then introduced Ryan to the Crumpet Shop - DELICIOUS! :)  We wandered around in Pike Place Market until the water taxi arrived and went on over to Alki.  A beautiful meandering ride around the 'coast' and then we got to Atlas Road.  Which is a hill.  And by hill, I mean it goes up up up up up up up. *pant pant* up up up up up.  It was worth it once I caught my breath again.  We went to ABR, another bike shop, and hung out there for a while.  I had a good time - I got to try to put together a spare hub, which I sort-of did.  It was like a puzzle.  Super fun.  And I got to look at lots of fun pictures, and bikes (got to love bikes).  Then the benefit of going all that up - the down was beaaaaaaaaaaaaautiful!  So much fun.  I broke 30 mph, which for me on that bike is pretty darn good.  I cheated and got on the bus when we got back into downtown because I didn't want to climb up another hill to go home.  Lazy bones I have.

I love weekends like these.  Woooooooooonderful.  Simply wonderful.

Monday, May 3, 2010

MOBIUS in "The Stranger" ------------- it mentions my new bike!


The Stranger

Taylor Hurley, bike stylist

Taylor Nichole Hurley, aka Niki, builds dream bikes at Mobius Cycle. After one too many times getting hit by a car as a messenger, Hurley, an experienced mechanic, decided to focus on her downtown bicycle boutique full-time. Mobius is known in the bike-geek world for hot, stylized fixies and steel road cycles that withstand daily use (and abuse). The bike she was plotting when I dropped in: a frosty purple vintage road frame on hand-built wheels with purple spokes, silver nipples, and matte white phosphorescent rims that glow purple in the dark.

It's a bit tricky to find the shop at first (official hours are late afternoon to late evening, details at http://www.mobiuscycle.com/), with its alleyway entrance and four floors to climb, but the huge loft space inside is like a secret world. You'll find a rack of hand-screen-printed Mobius T-shirts (one design has the namesake strip, another a 1973 compact Leica CL camera above the word "grain"). Some messengers might be winding down with pool and air hockey after a long day while an artist weaves cashmere underwear on a giant loom—the shop shares space with an array of artist studios. Hurley is also a professional photographer, a skill she honed to catalog her creations—find her bike-porn shots at www.flickr.com/mobiuscycle. But Hurley's bicycles aren't just sexy in appearance. "A junky bike will abuse your body, and your body will acclimate to the abuse," she explains. "When you ride a good bike that's solid under your body, and the wheels sing and the frame sings, you realize how good it can be." JESSE VERNON

What cookies taught me.

I'm going to ignore the fact that I've not posted in forever because there was a lot of life changes that happened.....so that's that.

I've really come to realize in the last few weeks what "quality time" means.  It's a phrase that's thrown around a whole lot, but has lost a lot of meaning in general conversation.  What does quality time mean? 

Mostly defined as: time devoted to somebody or something: time spent with friends or family in enjoyable activities that enhance the relationship.  OR Time during which one focuses on or dedicates oneself to a person or activity.

I like: time devoted exclusively to nurturing a cherished person or activity.
I like that - devotion in exclusivity - nurturing a _cherished_ person or activity - and I like including myself in that "person" catagory.  Time is so fleeting, so quickly gone.  The years have passed so quickly recently and they're only going to seem to go by faster as I get older.  I've realized I want each moment of my life to have meaning - for every day to be spent doing things of quality, even if it's relaxing with friends.  Time should have meaning, we're given so much of it and most of it is wasted on zoning out mindlessly, or 'killing' it.  I want to learn something with every interaction I have during my life - even if it's a reminder that naps are good for the soul or rice flour is sweeter than regular flour or a reminder that balloons stick to hair through static energy or that the wind is icky when biking against it. I want each thing I do to have purpose, to honestly pay attention to it, to devote myself to really cherishing those things around me that are beautiful and add meaning to my life, to enjoy the beautiful things that come out of my interactions with others, the world around me, and myself. 

Yesterday I watched a woman make cookies.  It was the most beautiful thing I'd seen in a long time.  Simple and silly when I say it like that, but it's true.  I was happy, drinking tea at the hearth of a place that felt like home, watching cookies being made, talking to friends, playing with balloons now and then, watching the wind whip the pink blossoms of the flowers outside and I was simply happy.

Watching her mix cookie dough in a blue ceramic bowl was so serene, homey, calming, uplifting, exemplifying togetherness, love of food, and hard work, dedication to having something be done right that I was for the first time in a long time - in the moment.  And then those moments of amazing, learning things, sharing knowledge and passion for baking or balloons or board games continued most of the weekend. 

Who knew that cookies could teach so much?

Sunday, March 21, 2010


It won't.  

I'm realizing I'm growing, developing, changing, and become more of who I am.  It's not easy, but it's not supposed to be.  If it wasn't hard, it wouldn't be worth it.  

We did not change as we grew older; we just became more clearly ourselves.  ~Lynn Hall

So since I love quotations, and they soothe me when things are "not boring", I'm including some here for your viewing pleasure.

When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.  ~Victor Frankl

If we're growing, we're always going to be out of our comfort zone. ~John Maxwell

All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another.  ~Anatole France

But really - 

It is not necessary to change.  Survival is not mandatory.  ~W. Edwards Deming

Personally though, I don't want to survive - I want to thrive.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Remote from human connection
Secluded in apartness
Without aid
To the exclusion of all others and all else
Only Lonely

The heart as the source of emotion
To face pain
With spirit and bravery
Forging ahead
In spite of criticism
Or shame

Monday, February 15, 2010

Still Here

I'm still here.  Doing things.  Being busy.  Wonderfully deliriously exhaustingly busy.  And happy.  Beautiful amazing new friends and wonderful new experiences.  However, I'm really tired.  And sometimes a little over peopled.  A little stretched thin (but in the most amazing way).

So...I'm learning how to balance everything and be clear to others when I need a break from the hectic, whirlwind of socialization.

I'm still here and alive.

And congratulations to my father for calling me first!

Friday, January 29, 2010


Maybe 1 1/2 to 3 hours of sleep....not quite sure.  10 hour work day.  Haven't had a day to myself since something like two weeks.  I'm tired and supremely happy.

I was so busy I forgot my dear mothers birthday.  HORRIBLE daughter!


I'm now going to sit down and watch some mindless TV, eat a frozen pizza and revel in the beer I've had.  Things have been really beautiful and amazing - Antonio Banderas' "NINE" movie musical was just about the most amazing thing I've ever seen in the most amazing theatre.

In the past week I've learned a few things:  Be who you really really really are - even if it's scary, even if it's not socially acceptable, even if it's something you've always been shying away from since you were self-aware.

Be happy.   That's ALL that really matters.

Don't hurt others.  It's not nice.

Be respectful.

Communicate.  Communicate.  Communicate.

And then communicate some more, even if it makes you scared, makes you sad, makes you afraid.  Because fear is simply a useless chain that holds you down.

I AM happy, I'm exclastic.  I AM being who I always wanted to be.  Granted, this has booked me beyond my capabilities sometimes (such as missing my mothers birthday), but it's been more than worth it.

Thank you.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Been Busy

So it's been one of those times when my social calendar has needed managing.  Which is difficult for me sometimes.  I've done tons of blues dancing and drinking/catching up with friends

Thursday 1/7/10 Paul and I went on the .83 cycling club’s annual Christmas Tree Burning ride. Check out his photos from his flicker site. http://www.flickr.com/photos/vaticloupe/ So we stayed up really late that night as well. After the Golden Gardens burnination we went to a bar and shot pool for a while afterwards. It was SUPER FUN!!!

I also have physically met new friends (who're really amazing), and had challenging dinner to put together -- I had made dinner plans with friends on the same day Paul had booked tickets for Avatar and that was a huge rush.  I hadn’t gone grocery shopping and they’re vegan. Hrm. I ended up making Falafals and Cumin Potatoes and Caramelized Onions with Green Beans and Pita Bread/Hummus with a Flourless Chocolate Cake.

I had a few unexpected occurrences, both happy and sad. Let's just say everyone around me, including me, had some severe emotional issues for a few days there and they all ended up overlapping.  During this turbulent time, I also forgot to pick up my medication which meant I went through a day or two of intense withdrawals.  Stupid body not working right.  So I was out sick Sunday and Monday and have just felt like I'm catching up.

Really, though it's a breather since this weekend's jam packed with birthdays and meeting new people and pre parties and fun lunches!!

So I'm not gone, just busy.

Monday, January 11, 2010

A word that doesn't exist.

I was in a state of being last night -
it was a word that doesn't exist.
Sounding like my heart slowly beating
in tune to memories clouded and washed over
with regret and repentance -
with longing and love tucked away
for safe keeping -
with nostalgia and childhood hurts
that heal imperceptibly slow.
This word means the soul wrenching sorry I feel
when I never got to say it
to the one person that it'd matter to the most.
It would be a recognition that who I was
is not who I am now.
I've learned things that weigh on my mind.
This non-word would be said with conviction
braced up by my heart, rooted in my soul,
with all of my voice.
But as much as I feel it,
as much as I know how it hurts
and how it heals,
this is the word that does not exist.

Besides, you aren't here to hear it.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Past Reflections.

The new year is a time where everyone reflects on the past year and the year ahead.  I like reflection both on the past and the future, so I'm going to.

2008 end was traumatic and hectic and the - well the image below is appropirate.

2009 was the creation of a whole new me. 
New settings.  New life.  New boyfriend. 
New desires, new drives, new complicaitons. 
New pretty much everything.

So I took the barren landscape that was left over

and I started to recreate.
Trying for a colorful place in myself I'd be more at home in.

It was really different.  I learned a lot and grew as a person. I had an absolutely AMAZING man to share my life with who helped me grow as a person.  I started a blog, which I've grown to really love.  Although some times it's hard to keep going with it.  My attention span wanders quite a lot.  For INSTANCE:

Biking and being "gnar"
I really started my love love relationship with cycling.  I mountain bike raced a few times and around March was the fittest I was ever - at 200 lbs. I GOT my cyclocross/road bicycle and it's beautiful!  I'm still in love with it (although I've had too many stupid flat tires recently.)  I got a dual suspension mountain bike which was beautiful and I loved riding her - until I sprained my ribcage and got some pretty bad dirt rash on my forarms.  That was a first as well - not something I'd recommend.

I wasn't the girl who liked shopping, or clothes.  I had three pairs of shoes.  Running, flip flops, and work shoes.  Maybe a pair of spiffy shoes I hadn't worn in four years stuffed in the back of my closet. Now.........Well, now it's a constant love of mine.  I'm excited to see how the future turns out in relation to my aesthetic choices. 

Medicine and Me
I went off the anti-depressants I'd been on forever, dealt with some hormonal repurcussions of another medication, and ended up in the worst physical stated I'd ever been in.  CCS/Fibromayalgia became the center of my depression filled pain wracked world.  And there were no answers.  No end in sight to the fatigue.  It was scary and horrible and the worst thing I've gone through.  I had to readjust all my expectations of what I could do (like walk 4 blocks) and I was so sad.

Then I went back on low does of the SSRI for the nerve pain dampening effects and felt mostly all the way better.

Health and Others
This past year sucked for a lot of my loved ones on the health side.  Dee had major surgery and it was really traumatic for me.  (I got sick).  My dad was in the hospital around Halloween and it wasn't touch and go, but it wasn't something that was an in and out either.  Other's have also had health issues.  This really was bad.  I didn't like it at all.

Stressful.  Learning a lot, but it's really been a crappy year for our industry and it had major ramifications on my ability to be peppy several times. 

Paul lost his job and started his dream career of trying to get published.  Besides the financial affect it has had - it's wonderful having him home and happy and cleaning :)

New Things
  1. I went kayaking for the first time.
  2. I've met many many wonderful wonderful people.  YAY!!
  3. I've seen a few BEAUTIFUL operas.
  4. I've done some AMAZING hikes.
  5. I went to California for the first time and had a life altering experience there.
  6. I got a beautiful haircut/color I'm in love with.
  1. I have the rest of this freaking goal to achieve - getting to that damn target weight.  I've lost a LOT of ground since my 200 lb low mark.  I'm tired of this and I realize I've been bitching about this for ages.  This isn't my new years goal.  This is my promise to myself.  I WILL DO the things I have no desire to do sometimes - I WILL put in the effort to get to where I want to be.
    1. This morning was a great example. I  woke up - it's pouring.  I'm tired from the major hills I climbed yesterday on my bike looking for houses to rent.  15 miles of lots of elevation after a night at the gym where I seemed to be out to work my legs into a pulp.  I could sleep in and bus it I thought, lying in my warm bed.  It'll be cold and wet outside.  That was my plan until I thought "If I don't want to be this size, I need to bike in."  That did it.  I got up, I made a healthy breakfast and coffee to take in, I loaded up my bag (HEAVY!), made a healthy lunch and biked my little butt into work the 6.5 miles.  I was COMPLETELY SOAKED when I got into work.  Think a long haired cat that's been caught in a hurricane.  Except I was happy.  And proud of myself.  GO me!! 
  2. I'm going to life with Paul and a friend in a house this year.  With a garden.  And house breakfasts on Saturdays where others will be invited.  And there will be lots of storage and room!!!!!!!!!YAY!!!!  And people to talk to when I get lonely : )
  3. My brother's graduating from college in March and I'm going back to Kansas.
  4. I have "life" long term goals - after paying off debt/saving up I'm going to california for a bit then across Euope (longer out now since Paul got laid off)

That's it.  I had a good/traumatic/hard/rewarding year.  I'm glad it was there.  I learned a lot.  I backslid several times. But that's the way life goes, right?  I had a freaking SPECTACULAR new year's eve and I'm totally stoked at the beauty, friendship, and adventures the upcoming year holds.  I'd prefer no more CCS-type suprises, though.  A simple request to the universe from a simple girl.