Friday, September 25, 2009

Thursday, June 11, 2009

"You are brilliant, and the earth is hiring."

A conversation last night centered on graduating from college, and the ensuing despair that many 22 year-olds seem to encounter. I feel as if I have been walking around in a cloud, under a veil of confusion- who am I? Who are my friends? Am I really doing something with my life that retains any shred of significance? And I'm one of the lucky ones- I actually have a "real" job. I can't even imagine what my thoughts would center on if that wasn't the case. As of late, I feel like I have nothing to say and posting here seemed like a little bit of a lie. But today, I stumbled across this, the commencement address given recently to the University of Portland. It's one of the most encouraging things I have read recently- and it's written in a way that brings a little excitement, magic, and possibility into focus. Read the rest of the speech on Tim Brown's at IDEO's blog, here.

Commencement Address by Paul Hawken, University of Portland, May 3rd,

When I was invited to give this speech, I was asked if I could give a
simple short talk that was “direct, naked, taut, honest, passionate,
lean, shivering, startling, and graceful.” Boy, no pressure there.

But let’s begin with the startling part. Hey, Class of 2009: you are
going to have to figure out what it means to be a human being on earth
at a time when every living system is declining, and the rate of
decline is accelerating. Kind of a mind-boggling situation - but not
one peer-reviewed paper published in the last thirty years can refute
that statement.

Basically, the earth needs a new operating system, you are the
programmers, and we need it within a few decades.

This planet came with a set of operating instructions, but we seem to
have misplaced them. Important rules like don’t poison the water,
soil, or air, and don’t let the earth get overcrowded, and don’t touch
the thermostat have been broken. Buckminster Fuller said that
spaceship earth was so ingeniously designed that no one has a clue
that we are on one, flying through the universe at a million miles per
hour, with no need for seatbelts, lots of room in coach, and really
good food - but all that is changing.

There is invisible writing on the back of the diploma you will
receive, and in case you didn’t bring lemon juice to decode it, I can
tell you what it says: YOU ARE BRILLIANT, AND THE EARTH IS HIRING. The
earth couldn’t afford to send any recruiters or limos to your school.
It sent you rain, sunsets, ripe cherries, night blooming jasmine, and
that unbelievably cute person you are dating. Take the hint. And
here’s the deal: Forget that this task of planet-saving is not
possible in the time required. Don’t be put off by people who know
what is not possible. Do what needs to be done, and check to see if it
was impossible only after you are done.
When asked if I am pessimistic or optimistic about the future, my
answer is always the same: If you look at the science about what is
happening on earth and aren’t pessimistic, you don’t understand data.
But if you meet the people who are working to restore this earth and
the lives of the poor, and you aren’t optimistic, you haven’t got a
pulse. What I see everywhere in the world are ordinary people willing
to confront despair, power, and incalculable odds in order to restore
some semblance of grace, justice, and beauty to this world. The poet
Adrienne Rich wrote, “So much has been destroyed I have cast my lot
with those who, age after age, perversely, with no extraordinary
power, reconstitute the world.” There could be no better description.
Humanity is coalescing. It is reconstituting the world, and the action
is taking place in schoolrooms, farms, jungles, villages, campuses,
companies, refuge camps, deserts, fisheries, and slums.

You join a multitude of caring people. No one knows how many groups
and organizations are working on the most salient issues of our day:
climate change, poverty, deforestation, peace, water, hunger,
conservation, human rights, and more. This is the largest movement the
world has ever seen.

(some text removed)

This extraordinary time when we are globally aware of each other and
the multiple dangers that threaten civilization has never happened,
not in a thousand years, not in ten thousand years. Each of us is as
complex and beautiful as all the stars in the universe. We have done
great things and we have gone way off course in terms of honoring
creation. You are graduating to the most amazing, challenging,
stupefying challenge ever bequested to any generation. The generations
before you failed. They didn’t stay up all night. They got distracted
and lost sight of the fact that life is a miracle every moment of your
existence. Nature beckons you to be on her side. You couldn’t ask for
a better boss. The most unrealistic person in the world is the cynic,
not the dreamer. Hopefulness only makes sense when it doesn’t make
sense to be hopeful. This is your century. Take it and run as if your
life depends on it.”

Thursday, April 9, 2009

a little poetry for you

Love For This Bird


She makes room in her bird-nest hands, full and woven with various twigs,

sheer feathers,mismatched strings. There is something wrong with the sky

when she collects the things that fall from it, like leaves or clouds,

mostly of ocean. Is she, sky? I ask the ocean for its birds.


Walk softly in her hills, soil bright with moon, all found

in the palm of her smile. Morning finds audience behind

sheer curtains of wave and lacy lines on face. Walk towards

leave and return on her lips. She will make cliffs

out of static rock and hollow birch.

You will inhale as she commands.


Cliffs are scattered with feathers and other things

birds search for. Anticipate earth- like she, the bird,

will guide you home. Shove me back into the mouth

of this ocean, my place. I have left nothing,

there is nothing left and she, living as a bird

in a nest of cliff, soil, and hunger, is alive.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


So, I'm training for a triathlon. And by training, I mean that I've actually started to get some form of exercise (skiing doesn't count). I was all stoked about it, and I totally felt like I could do it, no problem. But, when I took a week off to go to Belize, I lost a lot of momentum. Riding my bike today (to get lunch, not for a workout) got me breathing pretty hard, and I realized how much work I have left to do. Not to mention the fact that I haven't run a single mile.

I have been reading all these fitness and training blogs, and I am realizing how much work this is really going to take. I'm in no way ready to do this, and the tri I was thinking of doing is in a month. Either I hit the gas pedal for the next month (on top of school and work) or I train consistently until the next one, in June.


Friday, April 3, 2009

um yes please

and i want this jacket with my whole heart


1. So Rich, So Pretty- Mickey Avalon
2. Sleepyhead- Passion Pit
3. Untrust Us- Crystal Castles

yeah i <3 electronica right now, so what

the anatomy of leaving

Recently, I have been doing a lot of thinking. I just got back from Belize, where I spent over a week with 28 of the most incredible people I know. There were some big thoughts in my head, and being able to discuss them with some truly caring and smart people was exactly what I needed. Now, I'm starting to think more and more about graduation, and what comes after, and I used to think I had it all figured out. If you asked me a month ago where I would be in September, I would have told you about Seattle and the two job opportunitiesthere. As May 8th approaches more and more rapidly, I'm starting to question if those will work out. Many more conversations need to be had before I can make the decision to leave, although I thought it was the only thing I was sure of. But most importantly, only recently have I begun to think I would be okay staying in Boulder.

The word staying makes me itch a little. With so many options ahead of me, why would I choose to stay? With the rest of the world to discover, why would I spend the next few years exactly where I've been? The truth is, I know I'll come back to Colorado, and probably even Boulder. I'm not sure if I'd survive anywhere else. And since I am falling more and more in love with Boulder, should I even bother leaving?

Now, I have to think about the reasons I want to move. Am I craving new surroundings simply because I am craving newness? Or do I really want to leave? Will finishing school, beginning a career, saying goodbye to some friends and starting another chapter in my life be newness enough? Or will I forever be wondering, what if? And what's wrong with moving anyway, even if it might be for no reason other than I have also fallen in love with Seattle?

So if anyone has ever left simply for the sake of leaving, or stayed just to stay, let me know. I could use some advice.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Monday, March 30, 2009

can't stop listening to jolene by ray lamontagne. please indulge for yourself.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

word of the day

dégagé: the art of being loose, free and easy.

Dear Outlook,

It has come to my attention that you suck. When I show up at work, I expect to automatically log online, and for my emails to flitter onto my screen without a hitch. Lately, you have been failing at your only job, which is to allow me to compose, send and receive emails. And I'm pissed.

Installing you was supposed to make my life easy. With you, I could work on multiple emails- at the same time! I could choose any font in the world. I wouldn't have to worry about opening my web browser to send that quick product request. But no, you have caused me to spend hours on Monday morning installing you, many minutes on the phone with tech support, and much more energy in frustration at not being able to the only thing I need to do. Thanks a lot. I'm learning you weren't even worth it in the first place.

I'm going back to webmail,

Friday, March 13, 2009

5 random things

1. right now in seattle, it is sunny and warmer than boulder is today.
2. last saturday, i learned how to ride a motorcycle.
3. in 7 days, i will be snorkeling, sunning, cliff jumping, and beaching.
4. ray lamontagne always sounds good, especially while sending product pitch emails and drinking coffee.
5. raspberry chocolove is heaven in chocolate form.


Monday, March 9, 2009

i want


and this...

is summer here yet?

new fave thing... this.

hello, spring

When the sun shines in Boulder, Colorado, people come alive. Springtime signals change, and reminds me that living and working on Pearl Street is one of the best things in the world. I would recommend it to anyone. When I can steal Dixie from the office and walk her to the Espressoria for a latte and then a stroll down Pearl, I notice how colorful and delicate Boulder really is. Being downtown is effortless. It is small, compact, and easily accessible. So when the first whispers of springtime air blow gently across the park at the Nature Conservancy next to my house, or through the open garage door at the Cup, Boulder and its residents wake up. We emerge from our winter skin, shedding our woolen scales and donning breezy shorts and flip flops. Although this winter was short, warm, and practically snow-less across the Front Range, the coming springtime feels just as refreshing as ever, primarily for reasons to come.

Something I crave more than anything right now is change. Lucky for me, springtime is the quintessential sign of change coming. This spring, most everything will start to shift- I will graduate college, move to Seattle in the fall, say goodbye to old friends, meet some new ones, wake up in a different room than I have for the past two years, appreciate a whole different kind of weather, and love a whole different kind of town. Moving to a city is something that scares and excites me all at once- I have lived, worked, and learned in about a 15 block radius for the past four years. Everything I need is within a 10 minute bus ride or a five minute bike ride. Pearl Street has been the setting for everything I have ever looked for- spirit, movement, simplicity, and sunshine. It has been home to my favorite memories- the Rio rooftop for Margaritas with Sara, the Mountain Sun for a beer after work at the Cup, riding my cruiser bike, or walking up and down the pedestrian mall, sharing a conversation with a good friend. My poetry professor always taught me to refine my understanding of place: that is, where the poem thrives, where it functions, where it breathes. Boulder has shaped my sense of place for four years, and that place is about to change. The city and all of its rain will newly redefine where I thrive, function, and breathe, and I couldn’t be more excited.

Monday, February 23, 2009

what makes us ski?

A few weekends ago, I took a trip to Quebec, Canada to ski Mont Tremblant with a friend (see below). When people asked where we were from, we replied “Colorado.” “Why are you skiing here?” they would ask. Everyone seemed so confused that a couple of spoiled Colorado skiers went all the way out to the East Coast to ski some cold, hard snow. And as we were skiing, we couldn’t help but wonder what really made people want to ski out here. We both agreed that is was highly improbable either of us would learn to ski on the east coast- but plenty of people do. The rental shop was stuffed with people of all ages, waddling around in their foreign-feeling ski boots, only to click into some noodly skis and fall smashing down onto completely unforgiving east-coast ice. Not my idea of a fun, possibly athletic activity.

What really makes any of us ski? In Colorado, the snow may be better, but most of us brave the nauseatingly busy drive to Summit country. We stuff our feet into what are essentially cement casts for our feet, and unless we are fortunate enough to work from home in Breckenridge or ski-bum in Frisco, most of us are forced to stop-and-start our cars back up the hill to the tunnel, only to mash our brakes the whole way back to the front range. We suffer, but for what? For the 20 or so pow runs we get a year? For the sunshine to leave us branded as skiers, our tans fading into our foreheads? For our fingertips to go through cycles of life and death as we attempt to keep them warm?

This year, with a busy internship and full time class, I have skied significantly less than my epic 60 days last year. I have missed every powder day my favorite mountain has had. I have enjoyed approximately zero soft bump runs. The trees have not held onto their stash long enough for me to enjoy it. Last year, I definitely skied for the snow- woke up early, skied late, and went to sleep early just to repeat it all for the next three days (I had four day weekends). But missing every powder day thus far has made me realize that this year, I ski for friends.

Skiing for friends is a big lifestyle change- it means sleeping in, grabbing lattes on the way to the hill, and eating Wendy’s at 2pm on the way out. Although I miss waking up in the dark and eating my smushed sandwich from my pocket, skiing for friends is a little less lonely and maybe a little more fun. I have grown happy skiing just to ski. Going all the way to Canada just to rip some corduroy (if we were lucky) is a perfect example. So the next time you ski, are you gonna ski for snow? Or are you gonna ski for friends? You know where I’ll be.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

i want a home with exposed brick

I am inspired by living space. This one makes me want to collect cool old things and billions of records and play ConnectFour all day. Photo seen on The Selby.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

i am obsessed.

Sabrina Ward Harrison: check her ish here. This girl is brilliant.

quote of the day

"I want to inspire a generation of mindful pioneers of authentic experience and to give permission for people to make the space for the unexpected and authentic experience of living, however that is." -Sabrina Ward Harrison

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

six random things

1. I'm listening to "Hotel Chelsea Nights" by Ryan Adams. I don't think I'll ever get tired of that album.
2. My toes are cold. Since my room is an icebox, my toes are frequently cold (but I don't ever put on socks).
3. Everyone should own a pair of Frye boots.
4. I am the happiest I have been in a long time. I have a lot to look forward to.
5. I sleep with two down comforters. See #2.
6. One of my biggest goals in life is to do something I love doing, every single day.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

the great white north

There are two things you have to know about Canada: it is cold, and it is icy. A friend Vic and I skied Mont Tremblant in Quebec this weekend. Tremblant is a cool place: there are enough European details that it's like an international experience, but most of it feels really close to home. Almost everyone speaks English as well as French, and American dollars are just as good as Canadian (although I got dominated on the exchange rate). The village was styled to look like little European alleys, with boutiques and small restaurants. The stone walkways and gentle lighting gave it a very romantic feel. But Tremblant knows how to party.

One of the first things we noticed was the music. When we climbed into the shuttle that took us from the airport to our hotel an hour and a half away, the driver was bumpin' the jams. He was playing the 80's radio station (yes, there is such a thing), and we heard everything from the YMCA to Phil Collins and everything in between. At the bottom of every lift, music was playing, and playing loud. Lifties were dancing. Ticket checkers were grinning. However, the snow was terrible. Coming from Colorado, we expected to be skiing some pretty gnarly East-Coast ice and hardpack, but people were saying it was the worst conditions in 30 years. But when the music was playing and the sun was shining, these happy, friendly Canadians seemed to forget that the snow was as bad as it was.

Almost everyone we spoke to asked why we, priveleged enough to ski Colorado pow, would come all the way to the east. Despite the conditions we were expecting, we did find some spots that could be epic if the snow was good. "The Edge" had waht Canadians call "glades," where the trees are thinned out and the trail wanders through the woods. Although the glades were filled with icy moguls, they were a chance to get away from the crowds and try some more challenging terrain. With a little bit of pow, they would be the place to be. But icy mogul chutes force you to be on your game- and our little rental skis were not quite keeping up. Another trend in Canadian skiing is "golf balls." When it rains and then re-warms again, the snow freezes into golf-ball sized ice chunks. The chatter that results is extremely loud, and it's hard to hold an edge. But Vic enjoyed it- once you lay into it, it can be a good challenge.

Nightlife in Canada is significantly more exiting than I have experienced. Mont Tremblant had nightly volleyball, tubing, and what was the Ecole Sur Niege (Ski School) area during the day was a rail yard by night. The shops were buzzing, restaurants were full, and there are a few good places to grab a drink- The Caribou if you are 19 and from Europe (more on that later) or the dance club with lighted ice sculptures outside of it. Also, guests in many hotels can rent ice skates for free and skate, play hockey, or try curling. For the record, the skating was a lot like the skiing.

So although Canada is cold and icy, we had a really great time and were trying to figure out how to convince some friends to go back and ski it with us. Go to Mont Tremblant for the ambiance, the activities, and the people, but don't go for the skiing (at least if you are used to Colorado).

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

the beginning is a good place to start

In my ears:
On Call- Kings of Leon
Dandelion- The Damnwells
Between the Worlds- Annuals & Sunfold
Halfway Home- TV on the Radio
I'm Good, I'm Gone- Lykke Li

Newest Obsession: blogs.
Current Faves:
Ffffound: Katie showed me this, which has a million of the coolest things I have ever seen. I could scroll for days.

Starbucks and Jane Austin: She loves Starbucks, and for that, I will forgive her. But the rest of the stuff about fashion is a little bit of a guilty pleasure and her playlist is fresh.

So while I try to avoid turning into a cliche blogger, I'm stalking other blogs to figure out what's rad and what's not. I have decided I like when a blog plays music, when it has lots of pictures, and when I actually want to read what it has to say.

Ffffound! had this image. Yessssssss. Knitted sushi. Think I can crochet sushi?

Monday, February 9, 2009

Dumbo feather, pass it on

I'm passing it on. Dumbo feather, pass it on is a half-magazine, half-book, and it just might restore my faith in the magazine industry. The pages are filled with profiles of people who have really, truly, made efforts to change the world they live in- like the first-ever female monk, a surfer who left his career as an investment banker to start Surfaid, which is a non-profit committed to tackling health issues in isolated areas, and an Aussie photojournalist who started a skateboard school in Kabul. The design is clean, holds killer photography, and is set apart from the rest of the media our brains are doused in. With this, I am obsessed. A friend purchased an online subscription and gave me the log-in (thanks Vic), but I think I have to subscribe to the real thing- I need to hold this beautiful, inspired, heavy magazine (that reads like a book) in my small, unworthy hands.

After spending some time in the magazine business as an intern, I wondered if this was really where my heart was, and if it was even worth it (since magazines are folding practically every hour). How refreshing it is to see a mag that lives by its own rules- is not limited by its readers, or its target markets, or its financial capacity. It breathes in a way that is new, creative, functional, and real. Good magazines like this make me understand my interest in the magazine industry. And this mag is what really motivated me to blog- to explore the things I love, the things I crave, the people I care about, and the places I am going. As a writer, I need to stretch. Alice McCormick in her profile in Dumbo feather says "when you're doing something that sits well with the world, then you don't encounter any obstacles." Here's my shot at stretching my creative fibers and escaping the stuffiness of typicality. It's time to breathe.

Check it out here!