Friday, February 25, 2011


Purpose Chosen.
Follow Through Required.
With Integrity

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

What Helps?

Stress.  You know, that thing that's the leading contributor in more major health disorders than I can count.  Constant stress wears you down, breaks you down, physically and mentally. Check it out.  I mean, the long term effects of chronic or perpetual stress is pretty freaking bad.  Seriously.

There's reasons for it though.  Stress is a great indicator of when things are bothering you.  It's a motivator sometimes to address the issue at hand that's stirring up that Fight or Flight response.  Soooooo...I've been working on ways to identify what things calm down stress, or help me deal with it.

1)I learn to notice stress for the indicator that it is, identify the root cause, and realize it's a message and opportunity to change my life for the better, not something I have to live with forever.

2) Have a good cry. Science says that tears actually get rid of chemicals in body created by stress. 

3) Don't deny or repress your emotions, this only compounds stress.

4) Get a massage

5) Use meditation, and/or creative visualization.

6) Get plenty of rest.

7) Take a vacation - 30 minutes, a day, a weekend! Doing nothing or something I love and find relaxing.

8) Dance.

9) Simplify my life in stages. If someone or something habitually causes me stress, I need to examine their presence in my life.

10) Laugh and have fun with someone.  BE SILLY!

11) Remember I still have power over the attitude I take towards the circumstances in my life.

12) Face up to what's causing the stress until it isn’t stressful anymore.

13) Do something nice for someone else.

14) Organizing - doesn't really matter what - it helps.

15) Talking to other people.


17) Play pretend

18) Bubble Bath

19) Cuddles/Hugs/Pets are always a happy thing. : )

Wish Want Love Covet 4

Pretty and Elegant.  I like jewerly, and have been wearing more of it more often, but I tend to stay to my tried and true favorites that are comfortable so I'm looking for more things that are pretty and basic and versitile....

I'm also growing out my hair as a part of a multiple layer promise to myself on several things.  I can see my bangs now - which is a little weird.  And it's quickly going to get to that "In-my-face-I-hate-it-it's-driving-me-nuts" stage.  Which isn't really a stage for me so much as a year long patience trying endurance test.  There are reasons I'm doing this that superceed the irritation factor.  It is worth it.  However, I need things to make it pretty during this stage and ways to keep it out of my face....and that means BARRETTES!!!! And HAIRBANDS!!!

This one is pretty, black and white to be versitile, elegant, and sparkly.  Though my frienship with Elizabeth, I'm gaining an appreciation for sparkly things.
 I LOVE love love LOVE flower barrettes and this one is so feminine and I love the colors.

I enjoy tortishell.  I think the rich honey color goes well with my skin and really love the sparkly bits.

Again - Elegant, black and white, soft and feathery.  Pretty Pretty.

There is a theme here...... And these are actually two combs facing eachother, so it would be strong enough to hold my fine hair.  I don't have very thick hair, so most clips and barrettes slip right out.

Monday, February 7, 2011

broken heart strings

Over tensioned strained strings
hopscotch over tangled knots
               that're limp and broken.
A mess - unravelling and fraying.
And the melancholy mourning music
that wafts tones
which ring eerily into the silence
Struggling to tune
these warped heart strings of mine,
with no ear for the melody
no key to match to...
Tightening, loosening
Stretching, caressing
Sting by string,
bit by bit
hoping the tune
will sing a brighter song
in the days to come.,1269266937,2/stock-photo-heart-string-b-49277497.jpg

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Queer Words

It started off when someone called me queer.  Friends of mine were looking for a poly, queer, female bodied person who could be the other principal organizer for events at a community house and bring knowledge and a sense of additional community.  An honor, really, to be thought of to join their band of shennaniganish amazing people.

But Queer.

What a strange word to have associated with me.  I've never been heterosexually straight, per se.  I experimented like all teenagers would.  I grew up around extremely conservative heteronormative Mormons, but the other side of my family was much more liberal, accepting, and gender and sexual orientation free/fluid/accepting.  I never really heard the word very often growing up - "Gay" was the predominant term used in the region I was raised. 

In my youth, I started out on one end of the spectrum, and as much as I thought girls were pretty, was adamant I was heterosexual.....moving through my teenage years I gradually identified more as heteroflexible.  Since becoming poly I moved from heteroflexible, to bi, to pansexual, which to me really identifies most acurately who I am attracted to - a person.  For who they are.  I couldn't care less if someone wants to be called a he, or a she, zee, them, they. I don't care what's in their pants or under their shirt or what stages of in between it might be.  I've been with men who had probably had the market cornered on testosterone, women who were the super girly of girliest that I ever did see, people who identify as transgendered, and lots of things in between.  I simply love and am attracted to people. I'm in love with their spirit - their soul - the lines on their faces that come from the way they smile and the grace of their bodies in motion.  I like the everything that is them. 

(Oh, and if you're into spoken word - check out this person - I Love <3 Andrea Gibson <3. Their work epitomizes some of the gender position I have.)

I understand the need for words to describe, to communicate, to understand where things are coming from and where they might be going, I'm a writer and was an English major.  The problems with words is they can be misconstrued.  My definition doesn't match yours.  I have years of associations built up that are triggered when my brain identifys the word "queer" or "bi" or "Quazimodo" or "pie".  No one else has lived the life I had and so no one else will be able to see the world the way I do, or see the flowers and hear the laughter when someone says "How does an Owl go?"  - the response in my brain triggers this encounter with my husband in the zoo - and the sound a ghost makes going "OoooOooooo"...or hear the word "Elephant", which is an image of a man lying down on a massive bean bag and a cute friend snorting in laughter.

So there's all these mixed up, mashed up, alternative versions of meanings of everything that ever is.  But people crave to know things and that's the most common ways humans translate information to each other.  Through words.  For fucks sakes, I wish there was a more articulate way to communicate.  I've been innundated with people who aren't very familiar with me recently who want to know how I identify and who I am. I just want to tell them I identify as Amanda.  Me. Myself. I.  That's it, that's all there is.  That's who I am and how I connect with that.

Unfortunately that doesn't transfer the information and I'm forced to use those labels everyone else has created.  Hi, I'm Amanda.  I'm polyamorous.  I'm pansexual.  My personal gender identity is primarily female but has elements of fluidity to it.  I'm a person and therefore complicated.  I'm the Amandazon that and a little girl too.  And everything exists in this small space squished inside my epidermus, firing synapses that generate thought and emotion and action in microspaces inbetween nerve endings. 

There's just so much that combines to define me, but nothing that you can tag to my lapel and have stick, or be complete enough to set your foundation of me on. There's an illusive and mystical element of being someone, full and complete, that can't be captured with words.  If any thing is queer, it's trying to capture the meaning of a person in simple words.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Beauty in Slow Moments

Think Before you Act.
Follow Through on Your Plans.
..................................and now...


I'm typically am constantly on the go.  "You're a busy woman!" Is a common response to seeing only one of my four personal calendars I have and while I see lots of things and connect with lots of people and get life experience in large quantities in short amounts of time, I'm realizing lately how counter productive it actually is.  All that gogogogogogo is a source of stress for me.  It forces my decision making process sometimes ahead of it's germination, I overextend myself, and I get all combobulated and bombarded with stimuli to where I don't have the space and time to meditate and think. Sometimes its fun looking at my weekend that's jammed pack full of awesome events - but more often than not, I end up being too exhausted to finish all the things I want to do.

This past weekend was a beautiful example of how slowing down brings focus and joy into my life.  I started Saturday off in a bit of a funk, but soon came out of it with the prior "Rockstar" post gracing my screen and the excitement of preparing for my personal reclamation project. 

When I was a kid, I had girl friends, but no real best friends except for a few that were short lived and tumultuous in nature.  I lived in a small region where there weren't a lot of different types of people - and I was just as explorative as I am now.  I never quite fit in....when Sesame Street came on and the song went "Which one of these things don't belong?  Which one of these is not like the other?"  I thought about me.  I was different than the rest of them.  I had a rougher time than most kids because of the sexual orientation of some of my family, and I didn't adhere to the gender roles people tried to force on me. 

When I was younger, I refused to be called a young lady.  I was a tomboy, thankyouverymuch.  I could climb trees faster than anyone, beat up all the boys, and was convinced I could do anything boys could do ten times better! I was intelligent and mature for my age, quick on the draw and thirsted for adventure and adrenaline. This led to some problems that cause my parents some grief (what kid doesn't?) but I knew I was destined for an interesting life - even if it was greatness achieved in living a small life beautifully.  I could live and breathe the essence of poetry every day, wild a wild horse off into the sunset, or beatnik my way across the universe of literature.  I had IDEAS about where I wanted to go!  To me, there was more out there than combines and soybean fields, more than WalMart and cruising down the "Main Street" only to make turn arounds in Sonic or McDonalds parking lot.  More to life than settling down with the first boy who wasn't abhorrent, dropping out kids like the world is ending, and then settling down to a simple life at home while "daddy" works in the factory making $13 an hour.  I wanted the things that life had to offer. 

Most of the girls I grew up around didn't think like I did.  We didn't connect.  There was that compatibility factor missing.  I had one or two friends - real BFF type girl friends - but they only lasted about a year before I'd move, or our friendship would fall apart.

So Saturday night I created something I didn't get to experience in childhood - A Pajama Party/Girls Night.  It seemed a little silly asking  for it at first, but I wanted it and thought there was no reason why I shouldn't have a girls night. 

It was everything I'd hoped for and more.  A few girlfriends of mine who all know how to properly "Squee!" when excited came over Saturday night.  We gabbed and they all got to know each other, we nommed on sushi, tasty chips and had big bowls of delicious ice cream with brownies and/or fruit that was delicious! We changed into fun pajamas and sat in a circle on the bed, chatting and having a grand old time...and then - we had a PILLOW FIGHT!! !

Oh. My. God.  Seriously!!!  As cool as boys think pillow fights are, they have NO IDEA - and not for the silly reasons why boys think they're cool - but for reasons I can't describe.  IT WAS SO MUCH FUN!  Period.  End of pillow fight story.  The photographs in my memory - the joy in my heart - that can't be translated into typeset.  Not now, not ever. I'm not going to try.

After some subsequent giggling and scooting back into our girl circle, I got my nails done, and someone else got their hair done and then we settled in to watch a girlyish nestled in amongst the pillows, and that relaxed absent minded reclining on each other during the movie.  My couch was torn apart to transform my studio apartment floor into this MASSIVE bed which combined with the bed, which was about the same height, turned the entire room into a bed pillow comfy amazing AWESOMENESS.  Which was really fun the next morning camping out on a pillow laden floor eating the yummy oatmeal, eggs and bacon I made for breakfast.  The best part about all this? I have girl friends. 

Who are my friends
Who **rock**!!! 


All throughout the night and the next day, time had this lazy quality to it, there wasn't the rushrushrush of getting things done and moving on to the next thing.  It was simple time, quality time, with very little agenda except to enjoy each others time.  Instead of draining me - it rejuvenated me.  I felt recharged, full of life, and very very content and happy.
Sunday was just as beautiful in that slowed down way.  Elizabeth, a chosen family member of mine that's from House Decided, and I hung out for a while.  We then headed to House Decided for Sunday dinner singing Gun's 'n' Roses "Sweet Child of Mine" out loud and proud in the car on the way there.  Something I love very much about being around family - whether it's biological family or chosen family, is the feeling of togetherness.  We got there and chatted in the kitchen, chopping vegetables, making a good-for-you and taste-good-too food with the rest of the people who live at the house.  Hearing the jangling of pans and jokes waft back and forth over the steam rising off the stove, reminders for the pie being put in being called down the stairs, mundane cooperation of people who care and love each other, who are different in many ways, living their own lives together, supporting each other. 

Dinner was yummy.  A plethora of nifty food bringing happiness to the belly.  But my favorite slow moment of the evening was sitting on the floor of the kitchen after dinner with Elizabeth.  She had a headache and we were looking through my book of Home Remedies for it's suggestions.  One of them was a list of face exercises you could do to stretch out your facial muscles.  And so, sitting curled up in the corner of the kitchen floor looking over this book, we waggled our eyebrows at each other, swung our chins this way and that, giggling all the while and in the end "Improvise(d)!" and made faces at each other.   Raoul popped into the kitchen, reminding us he'd put a movie on that was very good.  So we made some more faces and sauntered into the living room to curl up on the floor and watch a movie together with others who came for dinner. 

There is so much joy in reducing the gogogogog and adhering with the slow.........slow................slow..................slow........................

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


I'm posting a note a friend of mine sent me after I told them I was sitting down and outlining my personal and professional goals over the weekend. When I got it - it made my day. I'm posting it because the writing is very well done, because I think it would be amazing if I could have a dream of this (I am informally putting in a request to the Universe to make that happen).

Mostly though, because I like it. It makes me smile.


"There were no empty seats in the stadium of 80,000. And everyone was excited. The DJ had been playing the crowd to perfection, bringing them up and down as they waited for the star. Most of the songs being played were unknown to the audience, although the star could sing the lyrics to each of them. By next week they would all be top sellers on iTunes. That's just the kind of following she had.

The lights dimmed all around the stadium and the DJ got everyone quieted.. almost to a hush. Then in total darkness the pyrotechnics stage right went off. Giant tubes discharged their light and explosions and fire into the darkness and the crowd went wild. Before the last ember faded the massive bank on stage left leapt to action with a fire show that lit up the sky all the way between Everett and Tacoma. It would be hard to say if the noise was louder from the explosions or from the crowd yelling in anticipation.

At that second a 10,000 megawatt spotlight cut across the length of the stadium and illuminated her center stage. Now the crowd was deafening with their cheers and stamping! Standing with her feet shoulder width apart, facing straight forward. The heels on her Jimmy Choo shoes were the perfect complement to the jet black skirt, tastefully slit a short distance up the back. Her deep red Dolce & Gabbana blouse tied it all together, and was the perfect counter to the red in her hair. The spotlight made that red hair blaze like a fire you saw on the lowest levels of the ancient tower at Karazhan. Her piercings reflected the spotlight back in thousands of tiny spots that bathed over the adoring audience.

She stood there unmoving. Her head leaning far to the right and resting on her right shoulder, face slightly down. Her left arm was held up as straight as a piece of schedule 40 galvanized pipe. She looked at the stage floor and a quiet thought drifted through her mind.. "I wonder what the spec would look like for this kind of resilient flooring." She smiled at herself and realized even here she couldn't turn it off, just like all the architects she had helped. Then another thought came to her: "that weekend when I sat down and set my goals.. could I ever have imagined it ending up here?"

By now all the facilities people who had frantically been calling in life safety support out of fear the stadium couldn't withstand the kind of stomping and swaying this crowd was doing gave up, dropped their cell phones, and joined in the yelling. Because at the end of that left arm center stage, suspended from outstretched fingertips, was the notebook. Just a simple white binder, but every one of those people packed into the stadium knew what was in it. RFI logs, shop drawing approvals, ASI diagrams...

If you've ever heard 80,000 people chant at the top of their lungs in perfect unison you'll never forget it.

It's hilarious to me because it weaves in music, pyrotechnics, Jimmy Choo shoes and Dolce & Gabbana blouse - red nonetheless to match my hair, piercings, and bits and pieces of architecutral specifications which is something I help out with occasionally in my career.  Not to mention the reference to World of Warcraft - add to that life safety crews, which is hillarious to me, and the fantasy that 80,000 people in one place would know what RFI logs, shop drawing approvals, and ASI diagrams are.....and that they would be rambunctious enough to make some noise! about their organizaiton.

It's a piece that's totally ego-boosting, whimsy and silly rife with industry references not most people would get or appreciate.  But I Love It.  And wanted to share.