Sunday, February 28, 2010


Its a pretty phenomenal thing

to realize that one of your best friends  is not only a mother...
but a great mother.

robbie, you are amazing.

love you. :)

Friday, February 19, 2010

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Vietnamese food tragedy!

My very favorite restaurant in the whole world burned down yesterday. :(  

I have such wonderful memories of LATE night food runs while at Rice, after-a-bad-day-teaching unwinding, and dozens of hours of laughing and talking with friends over spring rolls, pho, and vermicelli bowls.
I religiously visit every time I go back to Houston.
So I am of course joining the chorus of people hoping that they re-build!

Thinking of you, wonderfully grumpy people of Mai's!!!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Year of the Tiger!

(image location)


Chinese food for Valentine's/Chinese New Year date tonight, mmmmmm mm.

Day of Love.

Happy Valentine's Day
of my
loved ones.

i have the best ones in the world.

PS - AirTran gave me a VERY HAPPY VALENTINES DAY wake-up call at 5am saying they were at the front door.... WITH MY FOUND LUGGAGE!!!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

What I learned when the airline took away my bag and then lost it.

I survived the largest snowstorm ever in DC, and busted out to head to less snowy weather (and a friend's wedding) in Houston - - - only to get snowed in on my layover, in Atlanta.  Long story short, flight was canceled, no flights going out to Houston anytime soon, all hotels were completely booked.  No matter what, we were going to miss the wedding.  So Victor and I ended up getting ourselves back on a flight to DC to avoid spending the next day or two in the Atlanta airport with the rest of the world.

Those types of situations really bring out the insides of people, you know?  People are tired, they want to get somewhere, they paid a lot to be traveling... there are all sorts of entitlement issues going on... I feel it too!  I felt terrible we were going to miss the wedding, I was going to miss seeing my beloved Houston friends, I felt like AirTran should FIX the problem, especially when it came out that the reason for the cancelled flight was because a co-pilot was late or something.  And to top it off, AirTran decided to take away my carry-on bag and then lost it, at which point I composed this letter to them in my head:

Dear AirTran,
I really liked you and your very cheap fares you until you took away my carry on bag, canceled my flight, and then lost the bag you took away. If you could please find it, I would be a little happier.
Thank you.


But my lost bag situation wasn't nearly the worst of it.  There were people who had been stranded literally for 2 days already.  They were exhausted.  They were angry.  The staff wasn't apologizing.  And people were revving each other up - "Can you BELIEVE this!??!"  "They are the MOST DISORGANIZED airline EVER!"  "I want my MONEY BACK!!" "I am missing a funeral/performance/meeting/etc.!!"  So on and so on - -  everyone in the same boat, everyone upset about it, everyone with the common enemy of the evil AirTran staffers.  Keep in mind, this is now about 1am, for a flight that was supposed to leave at 9pm.

My personal favorite was a lady who got up in the face of the supervisor, and screamed "You are a bad person and a b****!!  NO ONE HERE LIKES YOU.  NOT ONE PERSON.!"  And then added a few more explicatives.  The supervisor immediately called security to have her removed from the premises.

I watched one older man though, who was kind of hanging watching the whole situation.  Unlike the rest of the 200 de-planed people, he wasn't frantically calling every person he knew, he wasn't punching away violently on his laptop, he wasn't bad mouthing the airline to the people around him, he wasn't demanding full refunds or free tickets or whatnot.  He just sat on the floor against the wall and waited, letting everyone else go in front of him, and then eventually went to the back of the line to wait his turn.  There was a sense of peace about him that really caught my attention, and when I met his eyes, he smiled at me.

We never exchanged words, but just his presence was a calming force for me, and I felt like he gave me a little gift.  I learned something important from him without him ever saying a word.

Wherever you are, thank you sir.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

DC snow storm time lapse.

I grew up in Idaho. I thought i knew about snow. The storm in DC this weekend was FOR REAL. We got dumped on with over 2 feet in the time span of about 28 hours (started Friday night, finished Saturday night). Everyone is STILL digging out. Government was closed Monday AND today - and we are supposed to be getting 6 - 16 MORE INCHES tonight and tomorrow morning - meaning it just may be closed tomorrow as well. Cars are still buried under snow - many roads still aren't passable - absolutely crazy. I'll post some pictures soon.

Its all fun and games until you lose power - - fortunately, the house I'm in has had power the whole time. 500,000 other homes weren't so fortunate, and my heart goes out them and hope that everyone found somewhere warm to take refuge.

Check out this time lapse video of the storm - so cool!

(shout out to DCist for posting the video)

Sunday, February 7, 2010


I admit, I'm a sucker for a post-Katrina comeback story.
Plus, I love the exposure that the continuing recovery is getting because of all of this.
So go get 'em Saints.
I'll surely cry if you win.
Ok, I actually already cried just watching the pre-game footage.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Snowmaggedon 2010?

Check this out!
I'm in DC right now, and this is all that anyone is talking about:

(image from the Washington Post)
Its supposed to be something like 16-28 inches of snow over the next couple of days. Even for an Idaho girl, that is a LOT of snow.

People here are going crazy - there has been a run on the grocery stores, gas stations, etc. as people are getting ready to be snowed in for a while. Most schools and businesses are closed today or else shutting down early. The city has warned that the above ground parts of the metro will be closing after 8 inches.

As for us: movies have been rented, I have on super thick socks, just sent a grocery list to Vic to pick up on his way home (the government is releasing employees a half day early), am turning on the fire, creating a snow music mix to accompany my job searching, and am maybe *over* excited with the idea of being snowed in for a couple of days! (Right now, I'm watching very innocent looking flakes float their way down, and promptly melt when they hit the ground. I wonder if all of the hype will be true?)

Here's the menu for night one of the snow fest:

recipes and food images from smitten kitchen

Happy snow-weekend to everyone in the Northeast!

PS - special shout out to my friend K.C. who reported to Peace Corps El Salvador this week! Super proud and excited for her. And glad she made it out of D.C. before the snow craze. :)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

No one talks about...

what its like to be crazy passionate, qualified, but ... unemployed.

Its my choice.
And technically, I'm not even unemployed. I actually have two jobs.
but i'm working on starting my career.
a career that gets me up in the morning.
and makes my heart thump.
where i DO what i BELIEVE.

Man there are HIGHS -
those wonderful moments when i realize that literally ANYTHING is possible,
ANYTHING could happen,
I could go ANYWHERE
if i can DREAM it, I can DO it!
its utter FREEDOM!

And then there are the LOWS -

and lows are LOW and I mean LOW.
Scary low - feeling like I am wasting my life, wasting these precious days - scary realizations that I am 26 (as if the number in itself is a scary thing, whatever that means) - scary spiraling fears that start with -
what if i'm not good enough
what if i don't get my dream job
what if i'm missing a huge opportunity
what if i don't get any job
and somehow that ends up
what if i never have babies???

what??!? where did babies come in to this?

its like my the worrying parts of my brain are so overstimulated, they are able to pick up anything, and I mean ANYTHING to worry about.

so breathing has become something i have to concentrate on, a lot.

because people, especially people who love me, want to know...
what is next?
what are your plans?

and sometimes that makes me shaky ... because it is really scary and humbling to say...

i. have. no. idea.

i've never been that person before.
i've always known what was next, and what was next was always... pretty cool.
but i'm not that person right now.
i'm the 'i have no idea what i'm doing' person.
its an identity change.

but its also good - one day at a time kind of good.
taking deep breathes
appreciating leaves and snow kind of good.
sitting over coffee with old friends and scheming about possible life plans kind of good.
relinquishing control an really trusting god kind of good.
refinding music kind of good.
hot baths kind of good.
essentially, appreciating the little things kind of good.

so if you are going through something similar, you are not alone.
i'm here, drinking ginger tea, with 100 tabs open on my computer and 15 open half finished applications, 43 simultaneous half-formed life plans, and a deep fear of being asked what those plans are.

and sometimes, i even enjoy it a little. :)

And here is one thing I do know:
I am not going to settle.
Something amazing is going to happen.
Because... I just know it will.
And the people whose lives I admire the most, never settled.
And until this something amazing comes up, I am going to enjoy being with the people I love.
And breathe a lot.

PS -
i promise i will ALWAYS help you if you are looking for a job (not that i'm a lot of help right now, but you know...).
i won't just tell you to look at the website.
and if i'm an employer of an amazing org, i will ALWAYS WRITE EVERY PERSON WHO APPLIES back a note, even if it is just to say no.
because everyone deserves at least a no.
and everyone deserves a little help.
and we shouldn't have to sell our souls to get a job that we would be great at.
you know?

ok, that's all for today.