Monday, June 06, 2016

What your fat friend needs from you.

Learn to let go of the false meritocracy of bodies, the heartless ranking, and the belief that you will earn a loving partner, a fulfilling job, a good vacation, or a happy life if you can just drop that next fifteen pounds. There is a ruthlessness to that logic, a cruelty to that standard that you would never apply to anyone you love. You know that they deserve happiness, safety, security, dignity and love, just as they are today. And so do you.

12:26 am  •  6 June 2016

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Passport Gratitude

What does a first-world enlightened white lady do when her passport is lost and then found again? Well, she writes a gratitude journal, of course! (*whommmp whommmp*)

I’m in Calgary, Canada for a trade show and last night as we were getting into the airport shuttle, I checked my pocket and found that my passport was gone. Nash the shuttle driver (who was on his last shift before a 3-week holiday in Kenya to visit family) told us to go check lost and found and he would come back for us.

No such luck.  It was 11:40 at night and the lost and found / info desk had closed 10 minutes ago.  An airport (or Canadian TSA equivalent?) employee radioed her other colleagues on the clock and no luck. Nothing.  At this point I figured that either someone picked it up and stole it to try and sell on the black market, or someone picked it up and turned it in. Really really was super hoping it was the latter.

We finally caught the late shuttle and I spent a harrowing hour and a half furiously Googling my next steps… US embassy website, travelers help sites, etc. until I fell asleep sitting up in front of my computer at about 1:30 am.  5:30 am comes early when you want to make it to the airport ASAP after the lost and found kiosk opens at 6am.

I walked to the lost and found, described the passport, and the lady behind the counter offers a small smirk and produces the passport from behind the counter.  No security questions, no nothing (though it probably helps that my picture is on it.) I was so excited and relieved that I wrote a full-page note to the unknown police officer that picked up my passport on the ground last night. If my flight had been one hour earlier, lost and found would have been open and I could have probably rescued the damned little blue book right away, got home and slept like a baby.

But as is the case with the eternally optimistic peeps like me, I’m actually kinda glad it happened this way because it gave me 6 hours to panic and go through a small, if temporary grieving process that occurs when something very important is lost, even if it’s just a document.

(I did not panic - I was in an English-speaking country full of friendly people and I now basically have the lost-passport-US-embassy-emergency-appointment process committed to memory because I almost had to go through it today, but it all it was going to be was a supreme hassle and inconvenience.  I would have wasted MetaGeek travel money by spending my entire trip trying to figure out how to get across the border, and I would have necessitated an expedited passport replacement process upon returning to Boise in order to not mess with my Basque Country trip coming up, but I still would have been fine.)

So it wasn’t a life or death situation, and so to give my brain something to do, I fell back on my training (and by training I mean the teachings of my mom, and hippies, and Cheryl Strayed, and woo-woo people everywhere) and thought about how grateful I was to even have a passport in the first place, even if I had just lost it.

How many immigrant residents in Canada alone had gone through a horrible, harrowing process to get a passport so they could leave their home country and seek a better life? I thought of our shuttle driver Nash, from Kenya, and (to help fuel the gratitude train, I used my imagination to posit) how he might have escaped political instability, a depressed economy, or other shitty living conditions to seek a better life in Canada with his wife and son, who is now 18. And Nash himself is lucky compared to the many humans in war zones, the refugees trying to escape Syria these days, even Miao Miao our translator for the Oinkari Shanghai trip of 2010 that lived what seemed to be a middle-class existence but couldn’t get a passport because the Chinese gov’t has a tight hold on anyone trying to leave the country.

I thought about how fortunate I was go have gotten to travel the world, stay in nice hotels sometimes, and waltz through live never having been a victim of travel-related crime. 

I also feel that when you have near misses like this (which for me, is when you almost lose things of importance like humans that I love, or important possessions, etc.) I feel like it’s the universe giving me a sanity and humility check, to bring me back to earth and help me remember my luck at having been born into the life I have. I think gratitude and humility are so important, and I felt like I needed to honor that welling of thankfulness when she handed over the passport across the counter–to give the feeling some space, and acknowledge to the universe/God/Lady Luck/happenstance that yeah, I saw what you did there, and thank you.

7:20 am  •  1 June 2016

Monday, February 24, 2014

“Where do you see yourself in 10 years?” part 1

I know that you think I should answer with a career-related response, but… nah.  I read an article recently about how we shouldn’t feel bad about not wanting to work 40 hrs/week our whole lives, but society sees this is being lazy.  It’s not being lazy - it’s spending your time wisely.  I can always get back money that I’ve lost, but I can never get back time that I’ve lost.

So here is my dream for myself in the future (I just picked 10 years, but it might be more depending on how quickly I can become FI (financially independent.)

I’ll wake up in the morning, do a little yoga/stretching, and make a cup of espresso for me and Josh from our fancy expensive espresso machine that’s hooked up to the water line in the kitchen. (so you never have to refill it.) I’ll look through the latest Time magazine while eating some fresh fruit and drinking my espresso at the kitchen table, which is in a bumped-out section of the kitchen with really good morning lighting.  Like, really good lighting.

Maybe before I start my breakfast, I’ll go out and grab eggs from the chicken coop.  By the way, having chickens won’t be that much of a hassle because I won’t work 40 hrs/week, so I will have time to do chicken-keeping stuff like clean/build the coop, get feed, etc.

If I don’t have something else specific planned for the day, then the rest of the morning until noon will be computer/work time.

9:21 am  •  24 February 2014

Monday, March 11, 2013

Teach a man how to fish

Be careful folks, or your refrain of "I'm sooo not techy, can you help?" will start to sound to me like "Though nearly all of human knowledge is on the internet for my perusal, I don't want to take the time to I'm going to claim ignorance so you will do it for me."

Thursday, March 17, 2011


I'm trying to be grateful these days. It's a good practice. Gratitude  transcends political, religious, and cultural boundaries; pretty much everybody agrees that it's a good idea. And since I'm trying to live a good life, I'm going with it.

A feeling of true gratitude, aside from Thanksgiving Day prayers and award acceptance speeches, can hit you like a brick wall when you least expect it. It's powerful, I tell you.

This morning on my way to teach Spanish, I asked myself, why am I getting up early to go and blabber to kids in Spanish who probably don't care about Spanish that much anyway? Why do these kids need extracurriculars? Do they even care?

I thought about all the people that have busted ass to try and educate me. Besides my family and all of my public school teachers, I had classroom volunteers, helpers, neighbors, family friends, and committees of people that really cared about my education and wanted me to have a good impact on this world. These people didn't even KNOW me and they were sacrificing their time and money so that I could live my live to the fullest.  I'm not sure if I really understood what they were doing for me because I was just a kid, but I sure as hell understand now.  To all those people, thank you. That's all.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Gratitude - Tuesday March 1st

I feel like today is important and auspicious.  So I'm going to write down some things I'm thankful for:

  1. We have replacements for the two teachers that quit Boise Elementary Spanish - and they're both great with kids and speak Spanish perfectly.
  2. My sense of self-determination that made me go to the gym today, in the morning.
  3. I didn't exactly eat the healthiest food today, but I did put some cottage cheese with jam on Wasa crackers and it was delicious.
  4. Annie and Teresa helped me ASKO in finishing my Euskara homework.  I feel great about the paragraph we cranked out together.  I'm learning Euskara, poliki-poliki.
  5. Got to watch Jeopardy.
  6. My black 3/4 length shirt worked its charm to be slimming, despite my best efforts to stuff my belly full of clam chowder.
  7. I have people around me that love me, and enough food to eat and a place to live.
  8. I have a great travel opportunity coming up in a few months.
  9. I have a gym date to work out with Annie tomorrow.
  10. I'm going out to dinner with my mom tomorrow, and part of our bill is going to help elementary spanish.

Nor da?

Nire pertsonaia sekretua artista oso famatua da.  Bere obrak oso koloretsu dira eta Mexikoko jatorrizko kulturaren adibide onak dira.  Jaio zinen Coyoacanan, Mexikon, 1907.  1928en Diego Rivera ezagutu zuen eta urte bat gero, ezkondu zuten.  Kotxe-istripuan egon zen. Istripuan gero, tripan min asko eduki zuen eta umetik ezin zuen (she couldn’t have children).  Horregatik (because of this?), asko min, irrits, eta hiltze bere artean dira (da?).  Nor da?