I’m not sure if the first time I went to Powell’s Bookstore felt like slipping through the wardrobe. Continue reading
A week ago I spent three days in the exclusive company of women. We were celebrating the dwindling bachelorette status of my good friend, Leyna, in the oddly German town of Leavenworth, Washington. I went into the weekend with unconfronted nerves — I mean a houseful of women, most of whom I didn’t know, for three days, sounded like the opening of horror story.
- Late evenings of beer and dancing in wedged heels
- Eating McDonald’s or any kind of fast food
- Not reading or watching the news
- Wearing uncomfortable clothing
- Avoiding uncomfortable conversations
- Finishing a book that bores me
- Keeping quiet when bigots, racists or idiots share their opinions
- Staying in one-sided relationships
- Stopping my car-dancing because people can see me
- Not writing for my blog. (my bad)
Every Sunday, between 9 am and noon, I go to the Walmart on 82nd avenue. It’s a Walmart with a reputation. That might seem like a redundant thing to say about Walmart, but for this one it’s particularly true. It’s not very far away from where we live, just three miles, but in true Portland fashion & I think like most cities, the neighborhoods can shift with just a stop sign. This Walmart is in the beginning section of a not-so-nice part of town. It’s always an adventure, I always go looking for excitement, and I’m usually rewarded, but this last Sunday was completely uneventful, or so I thought. Continue reading
Someone asked me to write about a time I had an embarrassing moment in the gym. I really thought about it, and there wasn’t one particular incident that stood out to me, because I embarrass myself every single time I go to the gym. I’m the girl who accidentally knocks her iPhone off the treadmill, which rips the headphones outta my ears and sends the whole kit and caboodle flying across the room. I’m the girl who can’t figure out how to use a machine I’ve used a million times before, so I just walk around it in circles, pulling and grabbing at random levers until someone takes pity on me. I’m the girl who goes over to the bench press and benches only the bar, but grunts and strains like I’m lifting half my weight. I think that might be the most embarrassing thing I do: grunt. Continue reading
It may well be, that for me, 2015 is a year of renewal, if only I would let it. In typical Monet fashion, I’ve put off some major decisions until they’ve become minor crisis. Every morning, I’ve been looking in the mirror and telling myself to “Choose now and live with the consequences”. I started the year by making a long list of things I’d like to accomplish, not necessarily this year, but in life. And when that list was done, I made another list, this one of regrets, true regrets, those things I wake up still thinking about five, six, seven years later. And once I’d completed the regrets list, I really dug into them by asking myself “Why did I do that?” And what all of those bad decisions came down to was my terrible habit of being indecisive.
All this to say, I need to cut off my hair*. Continue reading
I heard someone say that lists were annoying, like those end-of-year lists or the ones that comprise a lot of Buzzfeed. But hasn’t this been the year of Buzzfeed? So, a few someones must enjoy a good countdown. And as much as lists require ten times less attention than a well-written essay, they are so wonderfully tidy. So I made one, too, for this blog, because I can. Here’s my top 5 favorite post thus far. Happy New Year and thanks so much for reading.
5. Prince & Patrice Do Hollywood — Once my brother and I reached California, we took a side trip to LA for the day. With no plan, we wandered into one of the funniest days of my life. Continue reading
I’m pretty excited about this Christmas. Not because of any presents, because we’re too poor for anything extravagant, and not even really for the fact that it’s a holiday, both TJ and I being fairly agnostic. What I’m really excited about is that one of my oldest and dearest friends, Kori, will be spending Christmas with us, an event in itself but particularly to close the loop on the impactful Christmas of 2010.
I don’t like to admit that I’m in to woo woo stuff like crystals and scented oils, colored candle with meanings inscribed in their wax. It embarrasses me to write life affirmations, though I’m the only one in my family who feels that way. At my mother’s home, at any given time, in any given bathroom, someone has written him or herself a note of encouragement in dry erase marker. “You can do it!” has never been written by me. But all this to say, there are some woo woo things that I believe. I believe in a very simple idea of Karma, and that the Universe is cyclical, and I couldn’t help but wish on the few falling stars I’ve seen.
Just before the Christmas of 2010, I’d moved from NC to Washington for graduate school, as had my best friend, Kori. She was in Seattle while I was in Spokane. In those first few months, we both threw ourselves into silly relationships, the only kind justified by a huge life transition like moving to a place where one is a stranger and wants to fit in as soon as possible. Thankfully, Kori never said that my relationship was much worse than hers, because I think in the long-run of our friendship that was an old conversation. But I had definitely done worse. I’d been dating a guy (from Portland, no less) who wanted to meet up in Seattle for the holiday. Two days before Christmas, I arrived first, parked by the Needle, and waited for him. Three hours and a dead car battery later, he arrived and we tried to carry on. But the next morning, Christmas Eve, I knew something was off but I paid it no mind. He jumped my car and told me to give it a moment to fully charge, while he just popped around the corner for some gas.
Twenty minutes and several unanswered texts later, I knew I’d been left. I called Kori, who was at work, but who quickly picked up on my hysteria, and directed me to her. We bought wine at Trader Joe’s. She made plans out of thin air. And like two single girls (her soon-to-be ex was out of town) we went out and met up with a group of friends who were also orphaned for Christmas.
We drank champagne. A lot of champagne. I’m not sure we knew when the night had slipped into Christmas morning. We woke at noon, in her soon-to-be ex’s bed, to the phone ringing: my mother calling. We tried to pretend we hadn’t just woken up as she spoke to us both on speaker phone.
It was, for all the comedy of the situation, a hard Christmas. For the next two years it would be the holiday I dreaded the most. But now, being back on the west coast, and able to spend this holiday with the person who was there for me before makes me excited for the first time in years. And in our woo woo way, we can say an affirmation, light a candle and enjoy our Christmas.
It’s almost December and I’ve been avoiding the gym again. I know as soon as I flip the calendar over, I’ll start looking at myself more critically in the mirror — thinking about the New Year’s resolutions I won’t make about being healthier. Do you ever surprise yourself with what obsesses your thoughts? My thoughts are often consumed with the body I used to have in high school. I was skinny, lacking the hips and breasts that would come later in college, but I was strong. I’d taken a Weight Training class my last semester and our teacher, Coach S, who also happened to be an assistant football coach, stood firmly on the neck of gender roles. In his weight room, all students were expected to perform to the best of their ability. I’d taken the class for what I thought was an easy ‘A’ and a slow, luxurious dive into summer. Turns out, it wasn’t an easy class, but it did become one of my favorites. Continue reading
I’m going to Idaho for Thanksgiving to spend the holiday with my boyfriend’s mother. We’ve never met. I’d love to tell you that I’m cool, calm, and collected about it, but that would be a very big lie. TJ tells me I have nothing to worry about, but this is the same person who said we should bring blankets and pillows for the trip. It’s a six hour trip. He says we should be prepared for the weather. Okay.
We also disagree on what foods should be present at Thanksgiving and about who should cook. I know that my family is a little different in that we never had a ham for Thanksgiving or Christmas, but I hadn’t realized until I spent the day with other family, and with friends, how Thanksgiving is done differently: From state to state, from region to region and across racial and ethnic lines. I’ve been to potlucks where the hosts provided the turkey. I’ve been to family dinners where only the mother was allowed in the kitchen and I’ve been to dinners where it was all hands on deck.
And what about those side dishes. Is baked macaroni and cheese a black thing or a Southern thing? Is your stuffing homemade or boxed? Does anyone ever use that cranberry sauce shaped like the can it came out of? Does your family say a prayer or does each person say something he/she is thankful for? And what about alcohol? Is it a wine kind of holiday or a cocktail holiday?
I’m getting worked up at all the possibilities!