Sunday, December 31, 2006

Brinki*Dink Best of 2006

This year's Favorites...

*Milk: Silk Soy in the Red Box
*Cuisine: Mexican
*Activism: Aids
*Day-time TV: Oprah
*Night-time TV: The Office
*Adventure: Fat Fest (scroll down for the link, I suck at html)
*Contest: NaBloPoMo
*Book: The Hummingbird's Daughter by Luis Alberto Urrea
*Lip Gloss: Nutrogena
*Album: Edgar Meyer, self titled
*Life Coach: Deepak Chopra
*Beer: Odell's 90 Shilling
*Blog: Electrolicious
*New Toy: You Tube
*Lake: Watson Lake in Prescott, AZ
*Celebrity Gossip Website: Pink Is The New Blog Bitches!
*Plant: Saguaro Cactus
*Toothpaste: Not Tom's
*Water Sport: Kyaking
*Tea: Iced Soy Chai
*Insect: Scorpion
*Coffee Drink: Americano
*Person of the Year: James Brown
*Hobby: Photography
*Instrument: Fiddle
*Mountain: Mt. Crested Butte
*Volcano: Lassen
*Gadget: Blackberry
*Trail Shoes: Salomon
*Jewelry: Crystal Fusions
*Business Trip: Santa Barbara, CA
*Athlete: Steve Nash
*Fast Food Take-out: Daphne's
*Restaurant: Tiny Thai
*Slice of Americana: Corn Palace
*Ocean: Pacific
*Animal: Javelina
*Underground: Quese IMC
*Overground: Gnarls Barkley
*Cheese: Monteray Jack
*Mode of Transport: Airplane
*Vegetable: Hominy
*Pet: Turtle
*Exercise: Push-ups
*Wine: Big House White
*Tourist Attraction: Zoos

There you have it for better or for worse. Typos and broken links to be fixed at a later date, this girl's got some partying to get on tonight. Thanks to all of you fabulous readers who make this little peachnut worth writing for. I love yins.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Impression at an Airport Bar

The Scene: Cosi at Dulles Airport, Terminal A
The Time: 11:00 am

Handsome Cosi Employee: "Would you make-out with someone you just met?"
Me: (long pause and a 'just what are you asking here buddy' raised eyebrow) "Not usually"
Handsome Coi Employee: "Just asking because those people over there (points to bar) just met this morning and have been going at it for the last hour."

And, going at it they were! It was pretty hard core for being in such a public place. The afro'd dude was standing behind the girl, one hand up the front of the girl's shirt, caressing and kissing and whispering to her. The woman was just giggling like a college-aged binge drinker at 2 am in a dark frat house basement. Now, I am not one to diss on PDA, I'm an affectionate person and I don't think there's anything wrong with smothering the peeps you love in hugs and kisses in public. Actually, I really love being part of that couple who can't keep their hands off each other. But, getting felt-up in an airport bar before noon is pushing the boundaries.

I wonder if that couple really did know each other and were just enacting a little role playing to spice up their life. Who knows, and really, who cares. These are the things that stick in my head after a very long day in multiple airports on multiple too-small airplanes, jumping around in turbulence, trying to avoid tornadoes and snow storms.

It's so good to finally be home.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

My Christmas Vacation

Today is my last day in DC and I strategically sent my Mom and my Gram to the spa so I have a few luxurious hours to spend sans familia. It's amazing the kind of perspective and gratitude you gain for having time to yourself after being surrounded by family 24/7 or, in my case, 24/10!

It's been a lovely visit actually. I got to see so many members of my gloriously large family whom I haven't connected with in years. It was a pleasure to hang with my Grandad who is 92 and still driving his big green Cadillac all over tarnation. He is such an inspiration to me, the man has 4 degrees including a doctorate of law. After serving in a war, raising a family with unconditional love for his wife, and building a very successful real estate empire he also went on found 22 parks and an enormous network of bike paths here. He's such an inspiration.

Spending time with my Gram has been uplifting as well. She is so beautiful and wicked funny. My Gram was the ultimate domestic goddess in her day. A thin, stylish woman, smart as a whip and able to throw the most amazing cocktail parties and dinner soirees. I loved hearing stories about my Swedish heritage and insanely unappetizing things my Gram would make for holidays like Jellied Veal, Lutefisk, Fruit Soup and Seafood in Aspic. What is it with Swedes putting meat into jello?

Another highlight of this trip was finally meeting the lovely Ms.123Valerie in person. Val is the newest addition to the DC sisterhood, a group of my dearest girlfriends. She is so beautiful in person with crystalline skin and the most gorgeous red curly hair. She's also so charming and funny and generous. I knew she'd be wonderful and I'm so glad to have had the good fortune to hang out with the girl. If you haven't checked out her blog, do so now. Amongst everything else, Val is a great writer.

So, after spending a week teasing my brother, lounging with my mom and catching up with my extended family, I just about ready to go back home to the desert. I miss my turtle and my bed. It's been a lovely visit out here and a good reminder that there is a very large, very boisterous clan of folk out here with whom I am inextricably connected. And that's a very comforting feeling.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Monday, December 18, 2006

peace be with me...

...and also with me

I'm on my way to nation's capital bright and early tomorrow morning. I'll be visiting with old friends, new friends and lots (and lots) of family. I'm taking two books, an mp3 player, a camera and a very zen approach.

My plans include:
-venturing to museums with my moms (recommendations for must-see exhibits anyone?)
-visiting with Meggles
-reading to my Gram
-making a gingerbread house out of rice krispy treats
-burying my nose in my Grandad's woolen sweater relishing the smell of his pipe-tobacco
-attending holiday gatherings with copious amounts of cousins
-drinking nog
-meeting 123Valerie
-cooking and eating a lot of tasty and exotic food
-reuniting with long lost relatives
-getting drizzed with my little brother

My suitcase is precariously close to the 50 pound mark, laden with cactus jelly and salsa. I've taken care of everything on my to-do list including procuring AZ car insurance (which only took a year to accomplish). The plants are watered and Ping-pong's got a hand scheduled to feed him while I'm gone. Now that I'm all ready to go, I'm not nearly dreading this trip as much as I was a couple of weeks ago. Actually, I think it's going to be a very nice time to run around a city I love and reconnect with some really swell peeps.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Give the Gift of Goat

This is one of the coolest gift ideas I've heard of and is a sure bet for the person in your life who has everything. It's Oxfam Unwrapped!

You can choose to help people in developing nations with a pretty wide variety of life-tools. For just $45 you can give a sheep which helps women start their own businesses by selling textiles and milk. $25 will buy building tools, $135 will build a water pump, and for $1,000 you can build a shelter.

Oxfam works in 26 developing countries around the world. They help villages learn to sustain agriculture and business as they educate villagers about health and human rights. Your contribution may or may not actually be used to buy a camel or a can of worms. Oxfam uses the money where they need it the most. However, you do get a nifty little magnet and a certificate which make a very thoughtful gift.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Reason to Cry

Why do people feel the need to get back at others for past aggressions? Yeah, sure, sometimes I fantasize that I'll run into an old crush when I'm rich and fabulous and he'll be sorry he didn't choose me. But, I never try to 'get back' at someone for something they've done to me. I don't generally carry a grudge, it's just not productive, and I tend to roll my eyes when others take the low road. Lately, I feel like I'm surrounded by people who have been harboring ill-will for an extended period of time. Something must have aligned in the universe because they all seem to be working to right their karmic due at and around me. I don't understand how punishing someone now is going to make up for aggression that should have been released a long time ago.

My silenced grudges don't come out in the form of punishment, but sadness from past disappointments make their way to the surface in a more passive manner. It usually appears in bitter headaches, the inability to leave the house and tears that drip from my eyes like a leaky faucet. I think the holidays and familial tensions are deflating my usual sunny outlook on life. This is the time of year to be in love and with the people you love, and so sadly, the people I love are spread out very far from one another right now. Relationships are built out of crumbly rocks, and when the avalanche begins all the little pieces of ourselves fall into the ocean and sink to the bottom. I hate feeling like a sinking rock. That little reflex at the back of my throat that keep the tears in is always tense and threatening to let loose, and that annoys me.

It's self-indulgent to be this sad and I don't want to be a holiday downer. I really just need to turn off the Lucinda Williams, put on my sneakers, and enjoy some of the beautiful weather here. Either that or start drinking...

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Because Valerie is the Boss of Me

6 things some may construe as 'weird' about me

  1. I secretly love cheesy country music from the 80's.
  2. I eat olives and corn straight out of a can with a spoon.
  3. My first real kiss happened in the instrument closet after orchestra practice.
  4. I would gladly sacrifice the comforts of my bed to lay under the desert sky any night of the week.
  5. I love farm animals, especially goats and llamas.
  6. When I'm old, I want to have long grey hair that I'll wear in braids.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Saturday, December 09, 2006

a brinki*dink a day...

Whoop Whoop!
I'm pleased to announce the Grande Opening of the Brinki*Dink Online Store!

Because we're coming-up on a new year, I've put together a Calendar featuring photos that I've taken this year in Arizona. I hope they convey some of the beauty and magic that lives deep within the rocky canyons and cliffs in this state. You can also buy a Magnet.

Let me know if there are products that you want to see. The sky's the limit!

Friday, December 08, 2006

the garbage patch

Currently, in the Pacific Ocean there is floating island of garbage the size of Rhode Island. The island resides in the North Pacific Gyre, a swirling vortex ocean currents which remains relatively stationary about 1,000 miles west of Northern CA.

Plastic doesn't biodegrade, it photodegrades which basically means that photons, usually from the sun, break-up particles and irreversibly alter their atomic structure. The plastic pieces get smaller and smaller but don't ever disappear entirely. This happens in the salt water where the plastic begins to resemble zooplankton, the dominant life form in that part of the ocean. While it's floating in the water the plastic absorbs toxic chemicals like DDT and PCBs; the Jellyfish eat it and it becomes part of their living tissue. Jellyfish also get entagled in the web of bottles, nets, diapers and tupperware, their bodies often forming around nets and soda bottles

It's hard to imagine a place where plastic outnumbers biological organisms 6 to 1. When you think about all the plastic that gets deposited into the ocean, it's easy to understand how human beings across the globe have caused this island of trash to accumulate. While I'm sure Americans have contributed to a very large portion of the garbage patch, the currents deposit water from all over the world. Lost shipments containing thousands of plastic yellow ducks, cigarette lighters and sneakers have spilled over the years but approximately four fifths of the garbage is litter carried from waterways and drains. The gyre has been sucking up flotsam for centuries, but it wasn't until the advent of plastic that the sea trash stopped biodegrading.

The mass is so large that it's going to be impossible to remove. Where would we put all those billions of pounds of garbage? What if we were to rocket the island into space? What if it was to land in a neighboring solar system on a planet? What if the conditions were such that the protozoa and the plastic were to meld atomically, evolving into an entirely new organization of life? This idea perplexes me enormously... The other possibility is to round up the floating mass and tie it all together into a solid land form. Then people could build on it using the vast, recyclable resource of which the island is composed. Can we recycle the garbage patch and turn it into something positive and productive?

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Dream Girls

Last night, we went to an advance screening of Dream Girls. The movie was good. I'm not generally a big fan of the movie/musical as I think it invites unnecessary cheese-potential, which certainly happened in this movie. However, Jennifer Hudson sang her heart out and did such a beautiful job with the story that I was able to overlook the abundance of people singing about themselves in the third person. Beyonce was as beautiful as ever and Eddie Murphy delivered his reliable nugget of hilarity. I especially love the costumes, hair and make-up of the ladies when we got into the 70's disco era. While this was not a movie I would pay money to see in the theatre, I did enjoy it and would recommend it to American Idol fans and sentimentalitarians alike.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

AZ Ladies

Our 1st anniversary party....
ladies night

Saturday, December 02, 2006


It's December! It's finally getting chilly here. At night it's getting down into the 40's and sometimes 30's and during the day we're only reaching 65 or 70 degrees. I know this is tepid weather compared to NH where the highs are in the 30's or MN where it's only 18 degrees right now.

Still, 50 degrees feels cold, especially when you're used to temperatures hovering around 70 or 80. It doesn't exactly feel like Christmas yet. The lights are up and Santas are sitting in their mall thrones. Holiday music is blaring annoyingly at the airport and egg nog is on the menu at Starbucks. I haven't seen any Christmas tree farmers on street corners which is odd. Christmas trees here are expensive. If I were to buy some land in Northern AZ, the first thing I'd do is plant a crop of Christmas trees. They are a one of the most lucrative though slow to grow crops.

We're not getting a Christmas tree. For the second year in a row, I've been shot down. I have so many beautiful Christmas ornaments received from friends and family and once again they'll remain packed neatly away in their green and red bins. Since Z and I will be traveling (in separate states) over the holidays, our tree would certainly die a lonely Christmas death. I might suck it up and buy myself a little fake tree just to have something to decorate, something to make it feel at least a little bit like Christmas in the desert.