Friday, July 29, 2005

through the back door with a bonnet


grainy toes


take that, bitch

the view so nice



Thursday, July 28, 2005

don't touch that squirrel's nuts!

Last night I finally went to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It was a bit of an adventure, as many outings including 7 people, two cars, and a torrential rain storm can be. We hydroplaned all the way down to Reading to see the epic remake in IMAX. I love IMAX. I saw Batman Begins there and now I just can't go back. There's something about the cushy seats, the ginormous screen, and the 3-D trailers that just gets to me.

So we get there, navigate through Jordan's furniture, stand in line, and the power goes out. Zack and I took the immediate resulting chaos as an opportune time to sneak in the theatre. Our efforts at stealing were unrewarded though as we soon realized the power was not coming on anytime soon. So the whole mess of us spent about 20 minutes perusing dining room tables, bed sets, and armoires in the dark with sales people cautiously eyeing us.

Around 8:00 we decided to go back up to Newington and catch the 9:35 show. I was zoning out and we took 128 instead of 95 and by the time I realized it we were in Salem, MA. Lucky for us, I used to live down there and we soon found our way back in the right direction. Once we got back in home territory we had some time to kill before the movie so we stopped in at TGIFriday's for a drink. I ordered a very large blood-orange margarita and gulped it.

Three hours after leaving the house we finally arrived at our destination, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Now, it could have been because I was overly tired and anxious from sitting in the car forever or because by this point I was slightly intoxicated but I didn't really like it all that much. I hated that there was only one Oompa Loompa. I'm not a fan of digitally doing things that you can do with people. It just seemed kind of lazy. How cool would the dancing scenes been if they had featured individual Loompas?

I'm normally a big fan of Johnny Depp, but his performance just didn't do it for me in this one. He did an excellent job conveying the child-freak aspect of Wonka's personality, but I felt like he failed to portray the real genius that is Wonka. He was a bit insipid and feeble minded in this one. I was also expecting a little bit more in the visual department. I was hoping to see some wacky machinery and boiling cauldrons in the invention room and a lot more variety in the candy forest. Where was the lickable wallpaper? And, what happened to the Fizzy Lifting Drink and Slugworth? Were they not so much a part of the original book or something?

I did love the squirrels though. I thought they were excellent so fast and furious, frenzied yet with purpose. I also enjoyed the triptastic blue swirl floor and the yellow Loompas dancing happily around the hole. And, Charlie. Charlie was great. He did a fabulous job looking poor and pitiful yet honest and true to his heart.

All in all I give Charlie and the Chocolate Factory 3 beans out of 5.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

I'll set out running but I'll take my time

Banana scones from Breaking New Grounds are perhaps the perfect breakfast. So moist and and tasty. Yum. Pair it with a iced soy chai and I'm starting my day off on a good note.

I'm trying to infuse a little bit more of the positive into everyday life around here. I'm a positive person, really I am. It's just that doing the same boring thing everyday gets to me. By the end of a long unproductive day, I'm ready to chop heads which is so not my style. I've had an itch for movement for a while now and it's starting to become a big scratchy rash. I need out. I really want to take off to California with my boyfriend. I've got a beautiful little life here that I'm so thankful for. But, I'm settled and I'm getting antsy.

Where should I go? What should I do?

I've been tossing this message out into the universe for a while now and haven't figured out a very clear answer yet. So, I'm throwing it out to the interweb. Anybody want to trade lives?

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

religious calculator

My friend Allison recently sent a link to a 'religious selector' to a group of our friends. It's proved rather interesting to see how we rank. After answering 20 questions, the selector tells you which religion your beliefs most accurately fall into. The quiz tabulates how accurately your views match-up with the beliefs of more than two dozen religions*. The questions, for me, were thought provoking. While it's not an in depth psycho-analysis or religious IQ, there's some food for thought in there.

In case anyone is interested, here are my results:
1. Mahayana Buddhism (100%)
2. Neo-Pagan (98%)
3. New Age (97%)
4. Unitarian Universalism (90%)
5. Theravada Buddhism (89%)
6. Hinduism (85%)
7. Liberal Quakers (83%)
8. New Thought (81%)
9. Taoism (78%)
10. Christian Science (Church of Christ, Scientist) (67%)
11. Jainism (65%)
12. Scientology (63%)
13. Mainline - Liberal Christian Protestants (62%)
14. Orthodox Quaker (58%)
15. Secular Humanism (55%)
16. Sikhism (52%)
17. Reform Judaism (51%)
18. Bahá'í Faith (43%)
19. Seventh Day Adventist (31%)
20. Orthodox Judaism (29%)
21. Non-theist (27%)
22. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) (24%)
23. Mainline - Conservative Christian Protestant (18%)
24. Eastern Orthodox (16%)
25. Islam (16%)
26. Roman Catholic (16%)
27. Jehovah's Witness (12%)

I was really surprised to find that Christian Scientist and Scientology ranked so high on my list. The thing that struck me as kind of neat with this little quiz is that it takes spiritual beliefs out of the context of their religions. Obviously, some belief answers do give way to their fundamentals (ie. God is creator, Heaven is a place, the Devil contributes to evil). But, as a one who tends to lean away from Christian doctrines, I found the multiple choice answers outside of those obviously Christian very interesting to think about.

One question that really stuck in my mind was "Why is there so much suffering in the world?". I don't believe that we're still repenting for Adam and Eve's sin and I'm pretty sure that 'God' doesn't have suffering in his 'plan' for me, so I am left with the following choices:

--Suffering is a state of mind, (or illusion); only our spiritual nature is real.
--Spiritual or cosmic imbalance and disharmony may result in suffering.
--Unwholesome thoughts and/or deeds (greed, hatred, and violence) in this or prior lives return as suffering (karma).
--None of the above; human suffering has nothing to do with the supernatural or karma.

I can pretty easily cross off the idea that unwholesome thoughts in this life or those of the past return to a person as suffering. Sometimes I like to think that karma is real, that my good deeds will come back my way and that those who are dishonest and cruel will pay for it down the road. It just doesn't hold up universally though. How then would you explain all the bad things that happen to really good people? The same can be said for the spiritual balance and harmony option. When one is in harmony with his spirit, should he be 'protected' from suffering? It's nice to think that God would look out for those who are connected spiritually and protect them for harm, hurt, and pain. But, again, how do you explain all the bad things that happen to those who are 'in harmony'? Is it that they are not really in harmony, that their degree of harmonious spirituality is just a little shy of 100% and so they are left to suffer? That kind of thinking doesn't make sense in my world. In my world God doesn't determine arbitrarily how a person feels or doesn't feel. However, it may be possible for a person to transcend suffering through spirituality, which brings us to another option.

I've often wondered if suffering is a state of mind. For me, suffering seems to be more satient, more connected to the body. When I am suffering it can consume me. Mourning the loss of a loved one, experiencing prolonged physical pain, or being stuck in an oppressive situation all fit under my definition of suffering. Suffering, just like love or hate or joy is a state of mind, but it's a state that is rooted in the body. If a person is starving alone in the middle of the desert surrounded by vultures, I (and probably he) would say he is suffering. Perhaps some men or women can transcend suffering and so transcend many human emotions and sensations. But, how does one get there? Is it a matter of accepting your 'fate'? Is it a state of mind and mental will-power? Does one reach a state of being, like nirvana, where he is finally freed of the bonds that less evolved minds are subject to on this earth? This seems to be a possibility. As evolutionary spiritual creatures, I would hasten to guess that it's possible to transcend suffering.

Or, is it none of the above? Is suffering as we know it just a biological function that has no connection to the spiritual?

Take the Test for yourself. Let me know how you score.

*Curiously enough, I don't see agnostics or atheism on the list.

Monday, July 25, 2005

bright pink nails

I'm back, I survived. Kate and Joe's wedding went off very well. Kate was, perhaps, the most relaxed bride I've ever seen. We started off the day very early at the hairdresser drinking mimosas underneath mounds of curls, bobby pins, and clouds of hairspray. I wouldn't recommend that every bride start off the party so early as some of us bridesmaids were a little worse for the wear by the time we got to the church. We were there a bit early and actually made the poor limo driver take us to the store so we could smoke butts and buy more alcohol. I just hope the priest didn't get a whiff of the bridal party walking down the aisle.

The ceremony was lovely. Kate looked absolutely beautiful and Joe was smooth as silk. The wedding was early, at 1:30, and the reception followed immediately. Basically we were at Alpine Grove from 3:00 to 10:00pm. For those of you who know this circle of friends, that's an awfully long time to be in front of an open bar. We all had a great time though with plenty of dancing, laughing, catching up with old friends, and celebrating the marriage of two of our bestest friends.

It's a little scary that so many of my friends are all of a sudden tying one off. The commitment factor is so huge it's daunting. How in the hell do you know that the boy you love is The One? I'm lucky if I can commit to an outfit for the day, much less the person I want to spend the rest of my life with. At the same time it's reassuring. Maybe it is possible to grow up, to know for sure that the person you love is going to be by your side forever. I'm certainly in no rush to find out what it feels like for myself. I'm happy to lollygag with my baby for a while playing hard and being in love without worrying too much about the future. But, I'm so happy and honored to stand next to my girls who have it all figured out.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

that's the way I like it

I often write about the power of the feminine on here. And, it's not to jam feminism down anybody's throat or to try and discount the power of the masculine. Anyone who knows me knows I loves me some men. It's just that over the past 10 years or so, my view of women has drastically changed. Perhaps it's because 10 years ago I was a 16 year old tomboy. I guarded my boyfriends closely and resented other females who stole their attention with big boobs and lip gloss.

When I went off to college I was blessed to fall naturally into an amazing group of females who I still love to this day. That group of women taught me that it's okay to be feminine, that I can be smart and domestic at the same time, that dancing and laughing and hugging are integral parts of daily life. They embraced me without judgment, without expectations, without boundaries, without hairspray.

These days, I embrace my feminine side. I love dresses, baking, and mascara. More than anything I love my girls. I love that my circle of girlfriends has expanded to include a diverse group of successful, smart, athletic, and loving women. It's miraculous what can happen when you drop walls that are built from fear. Don't get me wrong, I love my boyfriends just the same. They fill my life with laughter, protection, strength, attraction, and testosterone--things a girl cannot live without.

In my life now, I think I may have actually achieved a yin-yang balance, if you will, between the male and female influences. When we get down to it, we're all just human. It's about who you are outside your gender that really counts. However, there's just something understanding and special about the bonds that form between females. I'm glad I didn't miss out on that.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

directions to nowhere

It turns out the direction I thought I wanted to head in my work life is not going to work out this time around. I'm definitely a little disappointed. I had envisioned myself in a new, more challenging position, making a little bit more money. It's not my time though, I guess. Maybe I need more experience. It's an odd feeling for me, not getting something I want in this capacity. I've never, in my life, been rejected for a job. I've always got what I wanted and I guess I should be grateful that my success streak lasted as long as it did.

I'm left a little frustrated though. I need something to happen. I'm about to keel over with boredom some days. I've got too many spare hours during my work day. I'm not nearly working to my potential and that's at the heart of my discontent right now. I know I can do more and I'm frustrated that there appears to be no opportunity for me. I'm here, use me! I guess I'm fairly young in the scheme of things, but my age doesn't define my ability. I work hard and am constantly striving to learn more; in so doing I've worked myself bored. What does it take to move on? Do I have to sit stagnant for two more years to be 'promoted' to a new title, same job?

What to do?

Monday, July 18, 2005

homealone (and other randomata)

It's usually pretty crazy on a day to day basis where I live. Between people checking-in and out, friends dropping by, and all the other peeps that come and go at the Inn there's rarely a time when I'm home all alone. This weekend though was an exception. While the Inn was bumping with guests, my roommate was away as were many of my friends. I relished in time to lay on the couch uninterrupted, to spend alone time with my boyfriend, to clean and organize, and not have to deal with anyone but the cats messing shit up.

Did anyone watch the ESPY's last night? The Ashe Award winners were particularly noteworthy for me. I was so touched by the story of Jim MacClaren who was hit by a bus and lost his leg. He rehabilitated and went on to become an Ironman triathlete only to later be hit by a truck. Doctors told him he'd be a quadriplegic but he didn't listen. He went on to found the Challenged Athlete's Foundation. The other recipient of the award was Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah from Ghana who was born without a tibia. He became involved with the Challenged Athlete's Foundation and is doing everything in his power to help get the disabled in Ghana off the streets. I am so amazed and in awe at the courage, mental and physical strength, and sheer will power that these men possess. What an inspiration.

For anyone who might care, SportsCenter is going to be broadcasting from the great state of New Hampshire today. If you're lucky you might catch a glimpse of the Fishercats. Ha!

This weekend I visited my favorite beach. We'll call it Secret Beach (S.B) because its location is a secret to many locals. It's such a beautiful beach. The water was crystal clear, calm, and actually not freezing. One of the beauties of S.B. is that right over the hill behind it is double secret beach (D.S.B), an even more secluded and lovely place to hang out. The only bad thing about S.B is that the greenheads have emerged from their cocoons or whatever and they are HUNGRY. Unfortunately, they loved my legs and toes and back and arms. Next time I think I'm going to bring some deet.

Well, today's Monday. The start of another week. I'm tired from a lack of sleep last night. I think I'll drink another cup o' tea.


Thursday, July 14, 2005

16 days and counting

I'm not sure how I feel about life today. I woke up and immediately wanted to be back asleep. I feel as if I could lay in my bed, surrounded by pillows, wrapped in my purple blanket with the satin edges and sleep my life away. I'm tired down to my bones, but from what? I don't know. Maybe it's the stress of my job lately. Maybe it's being overworked at home. Maybe it's due to the fact that most of my friends seem to have an infinite amount of free time to play their summer days away while I don't seem to have a second of time to myself. My next day off is next Thursday when I'll promptly be entering wedding land. So, as I figure it, the next day I'll actually be able to sleep in is July 30. That's only 16 days away. Super.

Here are some pictures I found from a link on boingboing. These are real clouds. They're called mammatus and they develop in sinking air, often after a big thunderstorm or tornado.

Damn, it looks comfy inside that cloud. What I wouldn't give to curl up into a tiny ball and snuggle down into the soft cradle of a mammatus cloud.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

no fair

It's not fair! Everybody I know and love has the day off today. I am stuck inside working. Boo. I want to be at the beach. I want to be at the beach now.

rootin', tootin', shootin', and lootin'

Howdy partners. I'm here to say I survived my first improptu poker game in a while. It took me a little while to get used to the betting and when I was actually supposed to throw chips into the pot. Damn, it was actually fun though. Texas hold'em ain't quite as bad as I thought it would be. I've always been hesitant to get too involved with betting games as I tend to loose EVERY TIME, but last night was all about fun so it didn't matter. Could this be the start of a new and loverly relationship? I wouldn't get your hopes up, but you never know.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

in a minute

Things have been super busy around here lately. This weekend was awesome. I hosted a bachelorette party for one of my bestest friends on a yaht for a couple of days. Hopefully some pictures will come soon. I definitely need pictures to tell the story. It was great. Thanks to all the girls who came out and represented.

I've got a billion and one things to do today for work and for home. Hopefully, I'll be able to pop back in here and write something worthwhile later on. I'll also be unveiling a new design in the next couple of days. I'm just working out a few kinks right now. It's going to be awesome. AWESOME!

Peace be with you, interenet.

Thursday, July 07, 2005


when did we start to fear 9:00?
my heart is with London tonight.


i wonder why our country, so often praised and revered for being founded on principles of liberty and justice, has moved so far from these ideals. i don't understand how uber-patriotic types wave their flags high praising our president, backing the war in Iraq, and hailing the great liberties our country has afforded us. don't they understand that their suvs, walmarts, and frivolous spending are all contributing to this war? i completely support our soldiers and appreciate the ideals that they are risking their lives to protect. what i cannot support though is our presence in a country which has never wanted us there.

my mother and i often debate the war in Iraq and, even though she's a hard core republican, i have to merit some of her points. there were so many injustices happening in that country under Saddam's regime. however, there are injustices far greater and suffering more widespread all over the world, particularly in Africa. if our government is so concerned with helping the people, why did we not focus our efforts on relief in an entire continent deprived of food and medical resources? instead, we are torturing civilians and forcing an impractical government on a nation that's fiercely resisting. we are propagating racial profiling and jeopardizing our nation's security. why not take the BILLIONS of dollars that are currently being spent to try and save our American pride and spend them on humanitarian efforts for people who want and need our help? i heard president Bush in an address the other day actually say that we can't pull out of Iraq because we'd be sending the message that the US can be waited out, that we give up. is our foolish pride really more important than helping the millions of people in need?

lift your voice. donate what you can. volunteer where you can. send a message to your family, friends, fellow-citizens, and government that our priorities need to change. don't let hopeless complacency and ignorance outweigh humanity.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

do it

Take the MIT Weblog Survey


Some lady stopped me for directions the other day and asked me if I was a local. I was a bit taken aback as I've never really thought of myself as a local to Portsmouth. I wasn't born here and in the grand scheme of things, I haven't been here that long. I feel like a local though. I live in town and so I'm always running around Market Square and the Banke. I've come to love this town as if it were my own. I haunt the Riverun Bookstore and Paper Patch when nobody's looking. I get my coffee at BNG just like everyone else--but I'm starting to recognize and get to know the peeps that work there. I've eaten at just about every local restaurant except a couple of really nice ones that I'm saving for a special occasion. I have secret shortcuts to avoid the traffic when the bridge is up. I help to run a local business. And, most importantly, the friends I've made here are for life.

As I was laying out on the deck yesterday, overlooking the garden we've been trying to tame this summer I felt an overwhelming flood of gratitude for my situation. I feel so lucky to live here! It's beautiful. All those long, cold, desolate months of winter certainly do pay big with 80 degree weather, a slight sea breeze, and the intense natural beauty of the trees and plants native here. Where else on earth can you lounge on your back deck, listening to a live salsa band playing at the museum, soaking up private rays of sunshine, surrounded by flowers and friends? Nowhere but here.

Here are some pictures from the backyard...

The Garden (flowers) I forgot to upload the herbs and raspberries.

Bee's Eye View

Friday, July 01, 2005

independence day

My internet at home is slooowww, so I'll post my Independence Day wishes today. I'll be bbq'ing in Maine under the stars, next to the cows. I can't wait to spend some time with good friends, drinking good beer, and eating good food. It will be nice after the all day painting excursion that's planned for tomorrow. Have fun peeps!

play nice with fire