Looking for Mexico

IMG_3884When TJ and I lived in Phoenix, Arizona, there was a little restaurant about a mile away called Roliberto’s. Located in a sketchy strip mall, on the outside it was nothing to look at, but inside, the most magical things happened in the kitchen: burritos brimming with succulent carne asada and guacamole, tacos and nachos, no sour cream to be found. We ate there when I didn’t feel like cooking, when it was the weekend or just because it was freaking delicious. Continue reading

Pacific Northwest Field Trip: Multnomah Falls

We’ve been meaning to get to the Multnomah Falls, a quick thirty minutes from us in Portland. There was no planning, we just happened to pick a perfect day — clear, dry, and warm for January.

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I thought we were going to walk up that first little bridge, take some photos, and get on with our lives. This was a short-lived fantasy. When we reached the bridge, we kept going. And noticed this little cave. We did the most obvious thing:

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Up we went. The first switchback had a sign: 1 of 11 switchbacks. I knew then I was in trouble. I had dressed inappropriately: Ugg books with no ankle support, cardigan, and makeup. I was only good for looking pretty, not for hiking. Actually, I don’t think I’m ever good at hiking.

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At first, I kept up with TJ, but soon, I was falling behind.

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Eventually, I gave up, waved TJ on, told him to go on without me and to remember that he loved me, despite my failings. I pretend to try some ‘photography’ . Really, I was bent over at the waist sucking air.

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Don’t judge me. I hadn’t eaten breakfast. I workout inside. I have weak lungs. At switchback 7 of 11, I swear I saw a burning bush and Moses.

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By the time I got to the overlook, TJ was heading back down the trail, but he turned back to walk with me.

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At the top, you could stand at the edge and look down, straight down the waterfall. It’s moments like those that I remember that I don’t enjoy heights. Was it worth the pain and embarrassment of being left behind? Of course. I have two strong legs, a heart in good order and ability, I try not to let my brain get in the way.

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What I love about this photo, besides TJ’s half-smile, is the fact that you can’t tell that I am bushwacked, with sweat stains and swamp crotch. Excellent.

We highly recommend this hike. But I suggest being a little more prepared than I was. Maybe, wear sneakers or hiking boots, bring some water, wear layers and if possible eat something. Or, if this all seems like too much, convince your travel party not to go past the first bridge.

See Ya, 2014: Another List

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

Deep Cleaning

Things got a little heavy this morning while I was on my hands and knees in the bathroom. I was finally taking the time to scrub the bottom of our tiny shower, an easy task that I’d put off for weeks, because it always became a bit of a production.

First, I’d have to scrub the excess grime with a dryer sheet, a trick I learned from Pinterest. It’d been so long, I needed two to really do the job. So there I was minding my own business, going at this mucky floor and feeling pretty damned satisfied with myself for being up AND cleaning on a Saturday morning before nine when out of no where I started having these really dark thoughts.

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Rain is Not a Reason

The shortcut A few days ago, I stumbled upon a nature trail in my own backyard. My dog, Kokanee, hadn’t been on a long walk in a few weeks and I was feeling the guilt that many dog owners understand. We’d cross the street from my apartment complex to one of the north-end practice fields of Reed College, and reached the farthest point of our usual walk, when I decided to keep going. I’d seen students come up from this little gravel road and I assumed it was a shortcut from one side of campus to another. Midway down the rocky road, I noticed a trail off to the right. Curious, I led Kokanee down, and it wasn’t long before I found a sign that read, “Wildlife Habitat”. I got excited, but before I got too far, I thought about that fact that I didn’t have my phone and no one knew where I was.  So, I led Kokanee back up the path to the gravel road and we headed home.

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Today, we went back. It started  raining last night and has been coming and going all day. When I told friends I was moving to Portland, most of them were concerned about the rain and how I would deal with the long, grey winters. I’ll admit, I am still a little worried about it. But whenever I worry about something I try to come up with a plan with how to deal with the anxiety if, and when, it comes. I asked myself what my biggest concern was about the ran. And the thing I came back to the most was the fear of feeling cooped up. I tried to think about it logically. I told myself that just because it was raining, wasn’t a reason to not go out. In fact, when it was raining, I would force myself to do even more than I would do on a perfectly sunny day. In comparison, I would never willingly go on a hike in the rain in North Carolina and I’ve already experienced one kinda dangerous rainy hike in Washington. But if I had that attitude here, I’d never hike again.

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The Neighbors

IMG_3322Today is the seventeenth day. I didn’t mean to begin counting but after the tenth day, I couldn’t help but notice. It’s been seventeen days since I saw any of my neighbors. In theory, there should be five humans, one for each of the five doors besides ours in this building on the second floor, but of course, it could be more. It might not seem all the strange to you, that I haven’t seen a single soul in the hallway outside of our apartment for seventeen days, but as an unemployed person who spends most of her days going in and out, it’s becoming more and more bizarre. When we first moved in, I saw the man across the hall at least once a day as he was taking his small dog for a walk. He always spoke, or least nodded, and he seemed like a good omen.

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