you guys

when I started this whole blogging thing, I wasn't sure what to expect. Slowly I've come to love it more and more. Know why? You guys.

One of the coolest things about having a blog and blogging is the kindness of strangers. It is pretty neat that my words are read, my emotions are shared, my struggles are sympathized, my happiness is celebrated...and best of all, when I think I'm alone in something, one of your comments shows me that I'm not.

Blogging allows an entire community of people to come together and form friendships- people that otherwise never would have met- people from all over the country and world- brought together by words on a screen.

Seriously guys, it blows my mind how amazingly sweet and nice you are. I think it says something that in a society where people are more often thought of as being self-centered/mean/negative there is a whole world out there of bloggers who have made real connections and friendships with one another. I love it.

So thanks- thanks for being out there reading what I have to say.

You guys are the best.

ps: go read this about adding your email to your blogger profile. It makes me feel so badly when I get the nicest comment and want to respond to that person and can't because their email address isn't available!


For Jane

“An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet, regardless of time, place, or circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle, but will never break.”

two years ago today the world lost a wonderful woman to brain cancer. I only knew Jeff's mother for 4 short years, but I can say with absolute certainty she was one of the kindest most loving people I have ever had the honor of knowing.


cool girl?

Today's rant has been spurned by my oh so wonderful fiance attending a bachelor party this weekend. I knew that he was spending the weekend with 20 somethings guys at a lake house in New Hampshire.  I knew they were golfing. I knew there would be drinking. What I didn't know is that one of the nights, there were strippers. 

Now, let me say that I am not at all worried about anything naked lady related and Jeff- I trust him unequivocally. And I know it wasn't his bachelor party and he didn't order the strippers and I know they didn't touch him, etc. However....I will not sit here and pretend to be one of those girls that is "cool" with strippers. I used to pretend that I was, back when I was insecurely in a horrific relationship. I used to say "no it doesn't bother me!" blah blah blah "why would a naked girl dancing all over and touching my guy bother me?" I wanted to seem cool. I wanted my bf at the time to be all like...'yeah my girl is so cool she doesn't care if I get happy time from random naked strangers'. and then his friends would be so jealous that he was dating a cool girl like me.


I'll get back to the "cool girl" thing in a minute but first just want to clarify my not being cool with strippers. I dislike/am uncomfortable with strippers and strip clubs for several reasons:
  1. the principal of it. Seriously? It is SO incredibly degrading. Feel free to have your own opinion on this, but for me, women have come so far in today's society that it makes me sick to think that there are some of us out there getting naked for a bunch of pervs with dollar bills.
  2. stripping ain't what it used to be. call me naive, but i was under the impression that strippers didn't get completely naked, still twirled harmlessly around poles, walked around swaying their hips in crazy high heels and maybe did a few dirty dance moves. You know, like the strippers do in those 80's movies... But no. Today's more sophisticated ladies perform a plethora of skills that horrify me on every level. Furthermore, I don't appreciate the girl on girl action solely to turn guys on. Again this is me being all righteous ...but the gay community is up against SO many stereotypes and hurdles- like they need to deal with any negative shiz that comes their way from paid lady on lady action.
  3. the touching of the patron/bachelor/guy. Riddle me this, how is some girl rubbing up on your man, trying her hardest to get him turned out and likely him getting turned on, NOT cheating?!?!?!?!?!??! I don't get this.
My brother was at a bachelor party recently and told me that the strippers there looked SO young and were doing things SO gross- he left. I mean, I understandably get yucked out by this- but the fact that a 20 something guy (now I get that he is my brother and therefore is far less gross than most) was disturbed by the behavior of the paid ladies of the night says something.

Ok enough with that and back to the cool girl thing...I've seen in several magazines lately, articles on dating/how to get a man interested and KEEP him interested. Many of these articles have the same underlying theme: Be cool! Don't be psycho! Don't tell him how you feel when he treats you like crap!

One article I read (I think in Cosmo?) told a story of a guy's ex and how when they were dating she would get pissed when he didn't call (GASP), or she would tell him how upset she was when he ditched her for his guy friends (the HORROR), or how she would say she didn't like to watch ESPN 24/7 (can you believe this bitch?), or the worst when she requested that they be in a committed relationship if he wanted to keep seeing her (unbeFREAKIN'leavable). And the sad thing is, this magazine article really portrayed it like the girl needed to calm down- like she was in the wrong and that she was not cool. Ughhhhhh. I can't believe that these totally normal and not psycho things are being portrayed as such.

Back before Jeff, when I was single and dating, I have a friend who used to consistently tell me to be cool. She would tell me to date a guy successfully you have to ACT like a guy. If I got pissed about something a guy I was dating did, she was all over me to just ignore it and keep whatever it was to myself so the guy wouldn't think I was a nag/bitch/annoying you name it. So, stupidly I took her advice. And during my dating years while I was living with this friend, I morphed into this weird version of myself purely in order to "be cool"  and to keep the guy interested, basically by pretending I didn't give a shiz what he did or how he treated me. Needless to say, none of those relationships panned out--- duh!

So when Jeff came along- at first I stuck to my poor habits and played it cool. But...the longer we dated, the harder it got. The real me inside was fighting the cool girl with everything I had until finally one night after 2 months of "casual" dating, the real me bubbled to the surface- unable to be concealed any longer and in one big long breath, "what is going on with us? are we together? i'm not seeing anyone else and if you are than we are done. and don't be such a jerk sometimes- if you say you're going to call, CALL. it isn't that hard! just respect me the way I respect you".

HUGE inhale.

and guess what? as crazy as I came off saying all that in a matter of seconds instead of calmly and reasonably telling him how I felt when say he didn't return a call or did something that I didn't appreciate, he didn't freak. He still fell in love with me even though I stopped being a "cool girl" and instead was just myself (still pretty damn cool if you ask me...).

The point of all this is (and I apologize for the rant and the length and the fact that I am a terribly rambled writer) be yourself. do not listen to all stupid magazine or terrible girlfriend advice. You don't need to love sports, drink beer, be ok with strippers, be ok with being ditched or disrespected for a guy to fall for you. Just be honest. Just tell it how it is. If he can't deal with that- so not your problem. For a real relationship to work respect and honesty go both ways- and that includes with yourself. Respect yourself enough to make sure you're being treated the way you deserve. Be honest with yourself about what you can or can't handle when you are dating someone. Don't compromise on what you want from a relationship or what is important to you.

So, in short, go on and be psycho*.

the end.

*sarcasm, obvi.


just a cup of coffee

It is amazing to me that the littlest thing can spark a huge flurry of memories. This morning, for example, I dropped off Cali at the groomers and on my way to work swung by one of my favorite coffee shops on the East End for a cup of the world's best coffee (coffee by design, duh). After I grabbed my cup of Jamacian Me Crazy, I walked s.l.o.w.l.y back to my car- completely transported to 2005-2006, back when I lived on the East End, in an apartment with two crazy girls. In an apartment that overlooked the ocean, that had a living room with 12 windows- all that caught the sea breeze just right- and a deck where you could sit and watch the boats come in at night. I remember Saturday mornings in that apartment- the sun would stream into my bedroom, my gauzy curtains would shift in the light breeze and the distinct sound that only seagulls can make would fill my ears. No matter how late we stayed out the night before, my roommates and I were early early birds- 7am when it was sunny, 8am on a rainy day. But on those sunny, seagully mornings- they would trickle into my room around 7am and climb into bed with me where we would recap the night before and laugh. We would pass the Advil bottle around, then shrug on a sweatshirt, our rainbow flip flops and shuffle out into the bright Portland morning sun. We would walk the 1/2 a block to the tiny hole in the wall coffee shop- order large coffees to go and bagels with cream cheese. From there, we slowly made our way to the East End Park, where we would sip our coffee and slowly become human again. Laying in the dew covered grass, we would watch as Portland woke up around us and make plans for the night ahead.

I miss those days. My coffee this morning brought me back. I miss the East End. There may be no place in Portland that holds my heart more than that tiny neighborhood, tucked up on top of a hill overlooking the city and the sea. The houses and apartments are all close together- beautiful Victorian buildings with decks and porches and lilac trees. A few restaurants and little organic grocery store have been added into the mix- but other than that, nothing much as changed. I love the quiet, sleepy streets. I love that people have these insanely gorgeous gardens around their homes- behind wrought iron fences and old wooden doors. There is an old stone church that has been refurbished into a local community arts center and a tiny library and an old lookout tower...

Man I love that place. I need to spend more time up there. It is a happy place for me and I am so so so glad that I stopped for that cup of coffee this morning- what better way to start a Monday than with some amazing memories?


some things you may or may not know

random post alert, but I think today I am goign to make a list of random things about me that I feel you should know. I mean, if I talk about personal things on this blog o'mine, then I feel it is only fair to share the weird and strange. Besides, the more I blog, the more I want to know people and feel like people are getting to know me...creepy? Maybe. But I'm doing this anyway!

  1. I must eat breakfast in the morning. I almost always wake up hungry, no matter what time it is. I guess I've always been like this, even when I was a little kiddo.
  2. when I was younger, I was a tomboy. I didn't wear a dress until high school.
  3. I had my first kiss when I was 15!
  4. I am terrified of a few things but mostly lightning and ghosts. I don't love spiders.
  5. I am a hypocondriac and seriously afraid of getting hurt/dying/having some weirdo disease that will never be properly diagnosed.
  6. I talk in weird voices to my animals.
  7. I don't like steamed broccoli, but will eat raw broccoli like a champ.
  8. I am uncompetative to a fault.
  9. I used to hate wine- never drank the stuff until after college and now I love it.
  10. I believe I am seriously unphotogenic and will have seriously doubts about whoever we hire for our wedding photog.
  11. I am constantly starting things and never finishing them.
  12. Having a visible zit causes me an irrational amount of stress- I own way too many concealers.
  13. I really don't enjoy talking on the phone- I do it, because I miss my far away friends- but I was never one of those teenage girls that stayed on the phone for hours and even now I think my longest phone calls top out around 45 minutes.
  14. I don't have a favorite song.
  15. sometimes I do things just because I feel like I am "supposed to".
  16. I read very very fast. Most people don't believe me and accuse me of skimming, but I am just a fast reader!
  17. authority, tradtion and rules irk me. For example, when I was a legislative aide, it used to seriously bug me when my co-workers would get all weird and formal around the speaker of the house... Just another person, folks. Seriously, calm down.
  18. I am obsessed with vacuming and sweeping the floor- i cannot stand having crumbs/dirt/whatever stick to my feet.
  19. when things aren't neat, I get stressed. and when I am stressed, I usually clean to calm down.
  20. I used to be super paranoid about farting in my sleep because I saw a movie where a girl did it and the guy was really grossed out. My friends think this is hilarious.
  21. when things get tough, I usually have to fight back the urge to just run away to a far away land and live off coconuts and fish.
  22. I have never successfully flown a kite.
  23. when I get really really really angry- I cry.
  24. I was diagnosed with panic disorder a few years ago and seriously questioned how I was going to make it through my life- but thankfully to cognative therapy and medecine, things are more or less back to normal and I haven't had a real panic attack in over a year!
  25. i couldn't handle sleep overs as a kid, a teenager and still really only prefer sleeping in my own bed.
25 random things.

if you guys are interested in doing your own random things post, link back to it here in a comment so I can check it out!!!!


coast to coast

so I was reading over all the lovely blogs I follow and my sistah from another mistah, Chantal, posted about this reeeeeeally cool (esp to geeks like me) comprehensive map of bloggers!! It is being compiled by Shane at Whispering Sweet Nothings and all you have to do to add yourself and your blog to the map is answer a few questions! Pretty neat. 

I must admit, I get pretty jealous when I hear about y'all going on blates and meeting up with one another. I have yet to meet a blog friend! So I was pretty excited by the concept of this map and maybe the chance of finding bloggers in my time zone:) 

(however I still hold out hope that I will meet my blogging soul mates and we will laugh and drink wine and have crazy adventures...)

Anyway, go check out the map!


girls...be nice.

lately I've been thinking about girls.
no, i'm not going all lesbian on you- 
what I mean is, I've been thinking about how women treat women. 
and I know I'm not tapping into some new and unexplored phenomenon...this topic has been written about time and time again.
and yet,
women still treat women like shiz. 

I read something recently where 100 random ladies where shown two photos and asked what their first thoughts were when they looked at the pictures.
the first was of a beautiful, fit, well dressed woman. 
you know what their first thoughts were?
"bitch"."snob"."stuck up"."cold"."rich". "slut".
the second photo was of an overweight woman in flip flops, sweats and her hair up.
first thoughts for this photo were:
"fat". "lazy". "ugly". "sloppy". "gross."

now, when I read this article, it is sad but I wasn't shocked.
Was I disgusted? Yep.
but surprised? Sadly, no.
I mean- how many times have you been out and seen a really hot girl walking around like she owns the place full of confidence and immediately become self conscious or thought something like "she must be a bitch!"????
sadly, I have done this before, I'll admit it...


Why do we do this? 
we know better. 
we know how hard it is to be a woman.
we KNOW how hard we are on ourselves- so why do we take it upon ourselves to judge and assume and label women we don't even know?

and thinking about how hard it must be as a teenager now? I mean, it was hard enough when I was in high school-- and now there is this whole other level with cyber bullying and text messages...etc. When I was in HS, we still passed folded paper notes...

the point of all of this is,
I'm going to try harder. 
I'm going to try and not be judgmental.
I'm not going to find pictures like the one above funny, cause its not.
I am going to respect my fellow lady.
I mean hell, being a girl is hard freakin' work--we are all amazingly wonderfully awesome- so let's respect that.
maybe then if we lead by example,
little girls will be kind to other little girls.
so, I'm asking you all my beautiful blog readers and friends (and trust me, I know you are ALL kind hearted souls) to stop the cycle. if you hear a mean/harsh comment woman to woman, speak up.
we know we rock.
so let's treat one another like the fabulous sexy beasts we are.



happy FRIDAY

I can't even tell you how happy I am that the weekend is here. 
It has been a long week- a long rainy week. 
and as I have mentioned, last weekend it poured.

SO with the prospect of a bright sunny weekend ahead, I am pretty pumped. Psyched. Stoked. *insert other random 90's term for excited here*
I am looking forward to wearing sun dresses, sipping iced coffee and playing lawn games. We have house warming party lined up for tomorrow at a friend's house and the Old Port Fest/Sea Dogs game for Sunday!

Also-- I've been having blog block lately. The blog version of writer's block. I just haven't been feeling all that interesting or funny. and I've been uber paranoid that my words are boring and nobody really gives a tiny toot. I'm working to get over this though...I mean, that is the point of blogging, right? Just write and share what you want and if people read it then cool- if not, then oh well! I'll try to be better next week and stop being such a baby.

Hope your weekends are sunny, too!!! Do something fun and tell me about it.xo


new finds

Saturday it was a tsunami- well, not really...but it rained all day. and all night. and by the time night rolled around, we were hungry and felt all cooped up and bored.
In an effort to get out of the house and to satisfy Jeff's craving for pork buns, we put on our rain boots and headed out to Pai Men Miyake with my brother and sister-in-law. (one of my most favorite places to chow down in Portland.)

We clearly weren't the only ones with the idea and were told there was a 45 minute wait. LUCKY us- a brand new bar/tapas place opened up right next door, LFK.  I hadn't even heard of this bar- but thankfully the bar gods (?) were looking down on us that night and made us wait for dinner, because this might be my new favorite place.

LFK used to be a vintage and used book store- and one of the coolest things about this bar is that they kept some of the old book store vibe by leaving several built in bookcases filled with books, strategically placed old typewriters and cozy booths and tables. Right as you walk in the door there is a flower box filled with potted herbs or lavender...something green and pretty and it smelled so good. A large bearded man sat in a chair near the door checking ids..what more could you want?!

I love me some dark cozy bar with friendly people- so I am stoked we tried this place out. And dinner at Miyake? AMAZE as usual. Basically we sat there for 2.5 hours and drank delicious sangria and ordered food. We ate and ate and ate. And laughed, a lot. and did oyster shots! SO much fun on a rainy gross night.

Can't wait to head back to LFK and try more of their drinks...and maybe swing by Miyake for a pork bun...


etsy monday

oh hi.
long time no see.
this week i'll be so much better, promise.

so we just had a deliciously soggy weekend- it has been pouring since late Friday night. i don't remember what the sun looks like. while I do appreciate the rainy weekend every once in awhile, i definitely felt a bit cooped up this weekend. can't wait until the skies are blue again! 

i thought i'd embrace all things rain related for this week's Etsy Monday (and in a few days I'll share with you the wedding venue that we're 99% sure we are booking!even in the rain, this place was stunning!!) since the past few days have been sog-logged!