Archive for August, 2008

Wednesday, August 27

I have finally picked up the book, Girls in Trucks, again.  When I first opened it, I wasn’t really getting into it, plus I was reading two other books at the time.  A few days into it and now I was nearing the end.  I don’t have the time I would like to read as much as I would like.  I have been staying up late, eyes lilting with sleepiness, trying to stay up later than need be, hypnotized by the story unfolding, I’ve been forcing myself awake, lulling over previously read paragraphs that I barely comprehended because I’m so tired, so I’m lazily re-reading sections over again until I’ve accepted the fact that I can no longer succumb to sleepy reading.  Thus, I pick the book up again first thing in the morning, like when I pee or when I eat my Leaping Lemurs or apply my make-up.  I had mastered the skill of multi-tasking long ago.

The thing about Girls in Trucks is that it’s kind of disturbing and yet slightly familiar.  Not the darkest part of the main character’s life challenges, but, aspects.  I wondered if I was like Sarah Walters.  Which didn’t make me feel too great about myself.  She’s part neurotic and very cynical.  And the way she is with men in relationships, well, not the promiscuous part, but the detached, judgmental, cynically annoyed parts.  I don’t want to be that way.  I closed the book and decided I wouldn’t.

It would be remiss for me to not mention the Democratic Convention in Denver.  I watched Michelle’s speech online and was impressed with her.  She has won me over again.  I wasn’t sure about her, post commentary on ‘this is the first time I’m proud to be an American’.  She came back and put that statement to bed.  I’m over it.  This woman is a solid role model for all women.  She’s not simply a woman standing behind her man.  She’s much, much more.

I watched Hilary give her speech on Tuesday.  And it was bittersweet for me.  I was really hoping that my America would put a woman in the Presidential race this year.  It’s an understatement that the lack of a woman in this election is a disappointment to me.  I was proud of her for how she addressed this election and her support of Obama and the Democratic party.  And I continue to be mortified at how she’s judged on what she wears.  This is disturbing to me.  The same goes for the bizarre interest in who Michelle was wearing, reducing this to some kind of Hollywood red carpet nuttiness.  I wish the media would stop reducing these women to mannequins.  Else, they must begin focusing on who the men are wearing – Armani, Hugo Boss, Ralph Lauren.  Who the hell cares!

It’ been an interesting ride so far… 


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Tuesday, August 26

Ah, beauty.  Or just the good health habit of taking care of yourself.  Following healthy habits actually promotes beauty, or what I consider to be ‘beauty’.  I don’t think beautiful means perfect features.  I believe beautiful means healthy, clean, glowing.  Healthy men and women radiate.  Things like drinking water, not smoking, eating well, getting exercise and following a good skincare regimen – those things enhance beauty.

That said, I was on a maintenance mission.  I applied a Neutrogena peel mask on my face.  I usually use Earth Science products.  Anyway, the peel smelled rancid.  I checked the box for the culprit.  Could it be the salicylic acid or mucor miehei extract?  What the hell is that stuff??  There’s a list of ingredients I could hardly pronounce.  A note on the side of the box read: this product contains mushroom protein.  I decided that’s what was causing the smell.

Meantime, my scalp hurt.  Weird, I know.  I had my hair pulled in a tight ponytail this evening and a terry cloth headband pulled back my hair from my face, which added to the headache, while I waited for the peel to run its ten minute course.  It promises clearer, even-toned skin.

And, yet, here I have been converting to all natural poducts, including Aveda, Origins and whatever else I’d pick up at Whole Foods.  I wasn’t too sure about the natural component of Neutrogena’s peel.  The ingredients didn’t look ‘all natural’.  Did I cheat on my au natural regimen?

Back to the headache.  I couldn’t wait to rinse my face, remove the headband and ponytail, and give myself a therapeutic scalp massage.  I pulled out my Aveda Beauty Oil with essentail, aromatherpeutic oils like rosemary and lavender.  After about eight minutes, the mask wasn’t smelling so rancid.  Or, perhaps I had become accustomed to the stench already.  I kept thinking – God!  Haven’t the ten minutes been up, yet??? 

Finally, after following the directions, I rinsed the peel off of my face.  I happily rinsed with warm water, happily thinking about my pending scalp massage.

While I rubbed the refreshing oil into my scalp, I thought about the fact that, for a fleeting moment today, I had considered buying a house.  I even talked to my dad on the phone about it this afternoon.  Such great deals and options online have made it pretty tempting – it truly is a buyer’s market.  But, buying a house, like falling in love again or getting married, terrifies me to no end.  Permanence terrifies me.  Rent – well, that’s easy.  You’re not totally locked in.  You can always break a lease or go short term – like month-to-month.  And being single, well, you have the choice to date or not to date.  But crossing over and making that commitment to marry or own a home, well, that’s really scary stuff.  Perhaps I’m a commitment phobe.  I remind myself there’s divorce/annulments, and people sell their homes all the time (or foreclose!!).  Nothing, I realized, is permanent after all.  It all depends on what you make of it.

Still, I decided, while I was rubbing my fingers with ample pressure into my scalp, I’m not really ready to buy.  It’s too overwhelming. 

My skin glowed after I rinsed off the peel, cottonballed a clarifying toner across my forehead, nose, cheeks and throat, slathered on a moisturizing cream, and dotted Aveda eye cream using my ring finger – per the instructions of the Dosha skin care consultant.  Apparently, the pad of the ring finger touches the delicate skin around the eye more gently than any other finger.  I obeyed.

The peel appeared to have done its job, even just after one use.  My skin glowed perfectly so that I might even pass as pregnant!  Imagine that.

I am often told that I have beautiful skin.  I am blessed.  Or lucky.  Or both.  But, I do obsessively take care of my skin.  I wash and moisturize twice a day.  I wear a foundation with sunscreen.  I drink a lot of water.  I could stand to get more sleep.  Otherwise, my skin has been a pleasant constant for me.  Only, while my skin may appear more youthful and vibrant than other women my age, with hubands, children and more stress, in general, I have still noticed some changes.  The color and tone is not as bright.  I have faint age spots on the tip tops of the pinks of my cheeks.  My pores are a little bit larger around my sinuses.  I get occasional mini breakouts around my upper lip and alongside my nostrils about once a month, and, I have a few lines forming across my forehead, along my big smile, and crowning my eyes when I laugh or smile.  Perhaps I should just quit smiling, altogether. 

But, no, I have never had perfect skin.  Just healthy.  A little mix of good maternal genetics (my Italian grandmother never really wrinkled – she attributed it to olive oil!) and good health habits taught by my mother.  So, I really have her to credit for everything.

With clean, refreshed skin, ready for new cell generation overnight, I was ready to go to sleep. I was tired.  And getting cramps.  Proof that my glowing skin wasn’t due to an immaculate conception.

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Monday, August 25

The alarm clock, albeit a Zen gong, started ringing at seven.  Ugh.  I don’t like to wake up before eight.  But I had to be at the winery by nine, so there you go.  I dragged my sleepy bum out of my cozy bed and sauntered down the stairs for a bowl of Leapin Lemurs cereal.  What can I say, the sweet yumminess of gluten-free chocolate-peanut butter cereal clears away the early morning blues.I hurried along, feeding the cats, cleaning the litterbox, and getting myself ready for work.  I spent most of the day at the winery while a producer was filming segments for a video.  I kept the time to keep things moving along.  The last quarter of my day was at my desk busily working through a long line of emails. 

When I got home, I changed and went to the gym.  On my way, I stopped by my mailbox and opened up a letter from my uncle in Florida.  In it was a fantastic photo taken of my parents from the late 60’s or early 70’s.  My mom has this huge black chignon or beehive, a little red velvet dress, looking wiped out a la Amy Winehouse style, and she’s sitting on a funky sofa (with colonial images like George Washington on a horse!) next to my dad who looks handsome in a black suit, only his eyes are totally closed.  He’s either very, very bored and tuning out his surrounds, or he’s passed out!  On the coffee table in front of them are two empty cocktail glasses.  I couldn’t stop laughing. 

My uncle is hilarious!  He included a funny note with the photo.  I’m going to have to frame this photo!  While it’s funny to see my parents in this era, and questionably sober, it’s also just cool to see them in a moment that’s so honest and real – not perfectly prim, proper and posed.  I don’t have any other photo of my parents like this, at all.  I do believe it’s now my favorite.

It’s also quite remarkable how much I look like my mom.  Aside from the black hair.  When I learned that the photo was taken in 1971, it dawned on me that I am four years older than my mom was when that photo was taken.  She had an adopted three year old little boy (which explains why they look so spent!) and, they didn’t know it at the time, but their soon-to-be adopted little girl was about to be born.  I wasn’t even a thought in the universe for another three years.

I called my mom and learned that she has to now give herself insulin shots.  Her voice was hesitant as she mentioned this.  I remembered practicing giving oranges insulin shots when my diabetic grandmother was still alive.  I knew this day was coming.  Her pills never seemed to control her irratic blood sugar.  I have worried about this, which is so fitting.  My mother spends many waking hours worrying about her children.  It’s quite the role reversal, but, I have worried about her diabetes for awhile.  But, part of me was a little relieved.  I figured the insulin shots might actually make her feel better.  This, I decided, was a good thing.

I made a thick and very cheesy two egg omelet stuffed with crab for dinner.  I had a very leafy green salad for lunch.  So, I was craving protein.  I had two organic sausage links with my omelet.  I then fixed a cup of Yogi India Spice tea, which is so darn good, with one third of a Dagoba dark chocolate bar.  I also ate two Ener-G brand gluten-free donut holes.  My sweet tooth was calling. 

Alas, I noticed a few ants around my kitchen sink.  I was pissed.  I spent days cleaning up the kitchen to get rid of the buggers.  I kept mumbling under my breath, not again.

I flipped through the latest New Renaissance book shop catalog and dog-eared pages to listings on a couple events I’m interested in attending this fall, including Images & Inspiration from Tibet – a talk and slide show on Heart Essence of the Vast Expanse, a tradition providing many pathways to enlightened being, which is scheduled for Friday, November 7th.  Another talk that I marked was Spiritual Discourse with Anam Thubten Rinpoche, a heart-to-heart dharma dialogue and exploration of the truth that is always available to us.  This class is scheduled for Thursday, November 13th.

As I made a note on my calendar about these events, I thought about my spiritual compass.  I haven’t been going to mass, still.  It’s been a couple months.  Maybe even more.   But I am still hung up on the fact that the Catholic church will not allow persons with celiac disease to take a gluten-free host for the Eucharist.  This is so offensive to me.  As if people with celiac are just trying to make a stink.  The bread is a symbol, which mean it’s not literal.  Which means Christ isn’t really wheat, water and yeast baked to crusty brown perfection.  C’mon!  It’s a sacred symbol.  I might as well have been excommunicated, as far as I’m concerned.  I’m not able to let go of this.  Communion was such a sacred, deep connection I’ve had with my faith.  It really meant a lot to me.  There are some Catholic churches out there that welcome a gluten-free host for those in need.  But, unfortunately, not mine here in Portland.  So, I’m a little bitter.  I am more or less ditching church until I am able to take a gluten-free host for Communion.

Meantime, I am exploring other spiritual options.  This isn’t really to replace my Catholic faith, but to keep my heart, mind and spirit refreshed and fulfilled.  I miss going to Mass and feel a void in my life, but I’m taking my own stand.  So, because I enjoy the philosophy and spiritual teachings of other faiths, anyway, I have been seeking out other ways to experience spirituality.  I had been on hold, spiritually, for awhile now, checked out, even.  Perhaps these Tibetan talks will feed my spiritual needs until the Catholic Church decides to be more inclusive to all, including those with celiac disease.


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Sunday, August 24

I tried to sleep in.  I woke up at quarter of ten.  I was groggy.  I slowly emerged from bed and made my way downstairs and cooked up a crab fritata with two organic, free range eggs, fresh cheese and chives.  I had two sausage links and a piece of toast made with Ener-G’s Seattle brown gluten-free loaf.  I had a glass of orange juice and consumed this while reading an article in Poets & Writers on poet Billy Collins.  We read some of Collins’ poems at Fishtrap.

I ran the dishwasher, put in a load of laundry, typed up some of my blog and then got ready to leave for my haircut.  I also packed a yoga bag, as I had every intention of going to the 3:30 class at Yoga Union.

I drove to the northwest and went to Dosha for my hair cut.  It had been a long time since I got my hair cut, so I needed to get a lot chopped off.  My hair had gotten out of control!  My hairdresser thinned it out so it wouldn’t be so heavy, thick and out of control.  I was pleased.  I bought a few Aveda products while I was there.  I walked along NW 23rd Street and wandered in and out of the many boutiques.

I got into my car and drove to the Pearl, over by R.E.I.  There, I bought a couple of yoga tops on sale.  Then, I went to Title Nine and bought a really heavy duty sports bra.  I had needed a new one for quite some time.  I missed my yoga class, but, at least, I got some much needed yoga tops that will keep me comfortable in my hot yoga classes.

I wandered up along Division and then over to Hawthorne.  I went into Pho Van for a bowl of pho soup.  I sat in a corner seat with a window to the entrance, with a view up the sidewalk.  It was good for people watching.  I unwinded with a pot of Oolong tea.  I noticed a woman, tall and lean, walking into the restaurant with a baby on her hip.  The baby spit up and it landed on the ground just outside the door.  The mother shrugged and proceeded inside.  Five minutes later, she left with takeout.  All I could think about was someone needed to rinse off the sidewalk outside of the door.  Someone was going to step in that small pool of pale yellow spit-up.  It was pretty gross. 

When my soup came, I joyfully added all of the condiments, including hot green peppers, bean sprouts, basil and lime.  I added a little hot sauce, mixed up the soup and started slurping rice noodles.  I’m proud that I eat my pho the way the Vietnamese ladies do, using the spoon like a bowl to hold the long, tangled noodles, pulling on them with my chopsticks as I carefully slurp them up from the spoon.  I noticed three couples enter at different intervals, and I noticed, when I was patting my lips with my napkin, sipping on tea or flipping a page to my book, that each of the three handsome men looked at me, making direct eye contact with me without their dates even noticing.  Wow.  I think men must learn this art as small boys.  It’s quite a skill.  I wondered how many dates I had been on that my date’s eyes wandered, stealthily, from mine to another’s.  Judging from the noticeable frequency this evening, I suspect it’s happened quite often, if not every time.  It’s amazing how a man can artfully turn his glance away from a woman to look at another woman, without letting her know.  The less than skillful ones get caught.

Sure, no damage done in looking.  But, it wasn’t just one guy.  All three looked.  And not just looked – they made very direct eye contact.  I had to blink and look away.  I didn’t even smile.  I was too stunned.  I don’t appreciate that kind of exchange.  Two of the three men were married and with their wives.  One of the wives was very pretty and pregnant.  This disturbed me.  It’s supposed to be okay for a man to “look”.  But I don’t know.  This wasn’t okay to me. 

When I left, it was raining.  I tucked my book into my jacket  and by the time I turned the corner onto 33rd Street, where my car was parked, I found shelter under a row of old, huge trees.  As I walked under the trees, the rain did not touch me.

Half way home, I realized I had left my Dosha bag of Aveda products at my table.  I pulled out my sales receipt and called the restaurant.  They put the bag aside for me to pick up on Monday or Tuesday.  What a pain!

I got home, emptied the dishwasher, finished my laundry and at a block of Dagoba chocolate.  I got nestled into the sofa and watched the Olympic Closing Ceremonies.  Crazy that the summer is nearly over.  Crazy that another Olympics has passed.  It seems like yesterday when I was in Montana, up on Big Mountain at Whitefish, watching parts of the Opening Ceremonies at the Bierstuben. 

Ah well.  Life just seems to roll along, swifty and often mercilessly.

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Saturday, August 23 

I couldn’t sleep in on this Saturday.  I had to get up and work.  It was going to be a very long day.  I made myself two scrambled eggs with a little cheese, two sausage links, and two pieces of Seattle brown loaf toast.  Pairs of everything.  Even two small glasses of orange juice.  It was all organic, fresh, gluten-free and brunch-worthy.

It was already hot and sunny by 10:00 a.m.  I had a put two potential outfits together for the vineyard dinner, a pants outfit and then a dress.  I liked having options.

I packed up my car with what seemed like a lot of stuff and headed out to run a few more errands before heading up to the winery.  Once I got there, I played florist.  I pulled out the little pepper plants and green-white hydrangea and placed them in round glass bowls filled with small river stones.  They looked pretty but I feared the hydrangea wouldn’t make it through the hot day.I got into the vineyard and decorated the tables with the pale green-tea colored ceramic pears I had found, along with hurricane lamps filled with larger river rocks and cream-colored pillar candles, and then placed the flower arrangements down the line.  We had nine tables lined up with celadon table cloths and a pearlescent runner – a perfect vineyard table.  We placed the menus on the silver chargers.  The table looked magnificent.


Somehow the day had flown by as we busily prepared for the dinner.  I was sweating like crazy.  The chefs came up to get ready for the passed hors d’oeuvres.  I ran back down to the winery to grab a bathroom to clean up and get dressed.  I went with the strapless gray dress and cute pink jacket.  By the time I was dressed, it was too early and too hot for the jacket.  It was show time!  I love the opportunity to make magic for dinner guests.  Tonight, in the middle of the vineyard, it would be nothing short of magic. 

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Friday, August 22

I got up and enjoyed a sweet but moderately nutritious bowl of gluten-free Leapin Leamers cereal. 

I had to run errands for our vineyard dinner tomorrow.  I drove over to Michael’s printing for our menus, Trader Joe’s to look at flowers (I took notes in my little writer’s note pad), Haggan (which I couldn’t find anything that would work for centerpieces), the Fred Meyer in Sherwood, which, again, didn’t have anything for my centerpieces, and finally the Fred Meyer in Newberg – where I scored these adorable and beautiful plants with tiny red, orange and green-yellow peppers.  I then found some green-white hydrangea.  I also found these beautiful green ceramic pears with silver-gray stems that would also look beautiful.

The cellar had just finished bottling for the day and were offering “first off’s” to staff, the wine they couldn’t sell that went through the bottling line first.  There was perfectly good wine inside, in any case, a few of us went down to the cellar and picked out a number of single vineyard Pinot noirs, some Syrah and Gamay noir, as well as single vineyard Chardonnay. 

When I got to the winery there was a lot of work to do.  Others were cleaning up while I washed out our hurricane lamps and staged things for my flower arranging tomorrow.

I returned to the office to check emails and then headed out to Dundee to pick up a few coolers from another winery. 

Driving home, I had every intention to change and go for a run, but Susan had called and convinced me to meet her and her mom for dinner downtown.  So, I emptied the wine from my car, put it away in my cellar under the stairs and changed for dinner.

We were going to go to Nuestra Cocina up on Division and 22nd, but there was an hour wait. So we went across the street to a new wine bar called Bar Avignon.  It was chic and cool inside.  We took a table by the window.  Her aunt, uncle and family friend joined us.  I shared an order of luscious green olives and prosciutto and sweet peaches, then an order of gazpacho and their local farm green salad, which was really fresh and delicious.  I enjoyed a glass of Soter rosé with it.

I tried to pay for my portion, but Susan’s mom wouldn’t have it.  That was very nice of her.  I sipped on a cup of Stumptown coffee while they passed around a couple desserts.

After, Susan, her mom and I went into the frozen yogurt shop next door.  I ordered a cup of the chocolate yogurt topped with a little coconut and shared it.  We proceeded toward the New Seasons on Division, where I bought gluten-free donut holes by Ener-G, a couple more of my new favorite gluten-free pizza crusts, organic, free-range brown farm eggs, organic sausage links and these cute, small recycled notepads. 

I have become obsessed with little notepads that I carry around in my purse, leave in my car and stock in a pocket inside my workbag.  I take a little notepad everywhere I go, just in case I get an idea I need to write down.  I use the little notepads for more.  Like when I was in Trader Joe’s in Lake Oswego and needed to note which kind of flowers would work best for our vineyard dinner.  I jot down notes of things to do, people to call or meals I should make for the week.  I write down names I like that may either become characters or children.  I write down addresses and phone numbers, but, mostly, I scribble thoughts that come to me when I’m driving down 99 West or I-5 or when I’m in the middle of doing something else but don’t want to lose that train of thought, that perfect description in my head, that crazy thing that just happened as I turned that corner on 21st  and Clinton, where the two guys on their bikes nearly hit a parked wagon with the front windows slightly open where two shiatsus practically wrestled each other to fit their sad little pink tongues through the slight open crack of window.

There was a cute, smallish guy putting his groceries down on the conveyor belt as a tall, round girl with friendly violet eyes framed in old-school black and mother-of-pearl glasses checked me out.  I handed her my check card, excited about the gluten-free donut holes.  The cute guy looked at my little notepads and said they were cool.  I told him I was a writer.  When the check-out-girl gave me my receipt, I smiled happily as the cute guy kindly offered, “good luck with the gluten-free, and the writing.”  I smiled back, “thanks!”

At home, I finished the place cards for the vineyard dinner.  I watched the last five minutes of Jaws 4 (or Jaws: The Revenge).  I had no choice.  I had watched the first three this week.  I didn’t even know there was another one after the 3-D version.  This Jaws didn’t blow up.  I was disappointed.

I burned some Moss Garden incense, not that it really smelled like moss.  It was actually a blend of sandalwood, benzoinum, patchouli and spices.  Not sure what the spices were, even with my trained wine professional’s nose.  It was Japanese.  Manufactured in Kyoto and distributed in Boulder, Colorado.  I have been slightly obsessed with Kyoto.  Not the same way as I have been about Tibet or Vietnam.  But enough so that I read a whole book on the tea service in Kyoto and the spirit of reciprocity there, how everyone is keen on gratitude, even if only in a matter of politeness and gesture.  There is what is called ‘the spirit of the gift’, to which Kyotans give little gifts to patrons who dine in their tea houses or restaurants, the gifting concept carrying over in many areas of their culture. 

Anyway.  I burned the incense to relax.  It’s a kind meditative gesture to myself, really.  I read a little and headed up for bed later than I had intended.  I made a note in one of my little notebooks that I was now going to bed rather regularly at 1:30 a.m.  It started off at 11:30 p.m.  That had been my bedtime for quite some time.  But then the late hour for me crept to midnight.  Then 12:30, always reading or writing, stretching my day as long as I could to get in all of the time I needed after work to workout, cook dinner, get some writing done, meditate and unwind, read and then turn in, which no sooner turned to 1:00 a.m.  And for the past couple of weeks, this has proceeded to dip into that too-late pool of 1:30 a.m.  I made a note that I simply could not allow this pattern to continue.  I could not let the minutes charge on to 2:00 a.m.  I had to curb the restlessness, the need for more time. 

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Thursday, August 21

Another gray start to the day, rain channeling in and out of the sky.  I wasn’t really hungry, so I had a lovely frozen fruit pop in coconut milk and pineapple.  It’s packed with vitamins and tasted like a pina colada.

I chugged through a busy to-do list.  It’s amazing how quickly the days fly by.  I’m still stunned that we’re in the near last leg of August.  How did that happen?

I wasn’t feeling great early in the day.  Not sick.  No, more mood-wise.  I had PMS, I guess, unless that’s just an excuse I’m using for feeling a little bluesy.  I played some music at my desk today and kept it on artist Meiko for awhile.  Her song Hawaii is ethereal, delicate and haunting.  I imagined myself floating on a longboard under a pink sunset, towering palm trees behind me, cautionary fronds swaying in the wind telling me to paddle in.  It’s easy to get carried away by gentle waves of distraction.  I am rocking over the rise and fall, sweating under the languid breeze, hot and warm, while the persistent pull, the letting go rolls me along.  And sometimes I really just want to let go.

I met a photographer for lunch today at the Dundee Bistro to go over some shots we need for our stock photo library.  It’s all part of a larger piece of work I’m doing to use better images for storytelling.  I had Italian sausage with polenta and broccolini and a side salad.  It was pretty good.  My favorite sausage and polenta remains to be cooked up at Bar Mingo, mamma mia!  But this hit the spot.

After lunch, I finally went to the post office to send my cousin’s new baby the adorable Portland designed onesie and baby cap I purchased at the Saturday Farmer’s Market a few weeks ago.  I picked up a book of stamps with sunny sunflowers on them.  Very vibrant.  I needed vibrant.

I didn’t leave work until 7:15 p.m.!  What the heck??  I had a lot of work to do.  And I also emailed Kerry, who was back on the east coast for work, to give her my typed verbal diahharea on the usual woe-is-me crap that came with the said “PMS” blended with boredom and loneliness.  There.  I said it.  The dreaded “L” word.  I’m normally not so down, not so, well, lonely.  Mostly, I missed my family.  At least I’ll see them in a few weeks.  I’m looking forward to that.  And I missed my friends – we haven’t been able to hang out much these days.  I’m flailing all by myself, so I suppose it’s good that I have a lot of work to do.  It’s a distraction.

I have also been concerned with my aunt in Seattle.  I received an email this week from my cousin that she had to have surgery on her gut.  Well, apparently, there was some kind of infection.  I’m really not sure.  But, she’s back in the hospital.  So, I called my dad’s brother the other day to check in.  It sounded like she’s stable and doing okay for now.  Hopefully she’ll get to go home this weekend.  I have been thinking about them all week.  I plan to go up for a visit when I return from the east coast, which means, most likely, in early October.  Plus, that will give her ample time to recover.

I went to Fred Meyer to stock up on some fruit, salad mixings and, oh yeah, Dagoba chocolate.  I found a new organic, gluten-free EnviroKidz cereal in peanut butter and chocolate, called Leapin Lemurs.   I also picked up a box of Frosted Perky-O’s.  I don’t usually eat sugar cereals, but, well, clearly I’m jonesing for some sweets.  I got organic strawberries and white nectarines, as well!

The sunflowers on my postal stamps must have been in my head, because I bought myself a bouquet of flowers with three lovely sunflowers.  I needed some cheering up.  Sometimes a single girl’s gotta buy herself flowers.  I mean, I do everything else for myself.  Why deny myself from receiving flowers?  There I go again with my moodiness.  Well, the flowers were a treat.  And, yes, I even smiled.

My sunflowers shown with the green-leaf square ceramic plate I had painted a couple weeks ago.  Painting pottery has been another soul soother for me these days.

When I got home, I re-heated the beautiful gluten-free pizza I made last night.  I actually took a photo of it:

Yup.  Brown rice crust that I brushed with olive oil, a little bit of organic tomato sauce, fresh mozz, a little salt and pepper, super-thin local heirloom tomatoes and fresh basil from our garden at work.  It’s the best thin-crust, traditional Napolitano Margherita pizza I’ve had since I was diagnosed with celiac (hey…Dad…are you looking at that photo??  Now that’s gluten-free pizza!!).

As I ate, I turned on the genius box and watched Jaws 3.  Hell, three’s a charm!  I figured, I watched the first two the past two nights, might as well fry my brain with the 3-D version without 3-D glasses.  I was stunned.  Was that really Dennis Quaid, Louis Gossett, Jr. and Lea Thompson??  Ha, ha, ha.  This was 1983.  I was nine years old when this flick came out.  And still swimming competitively.  Though, I figured out at this point that sharks didn’t swim in pools.


That’s awesome… Anyway.  The 3-D made for silly television viewing.  Especially when the “35 foot” Jaws swam straight for the glassed-in control room at Sea World in the end.  It was so fake, so goofy I couldn’t stop laughing.   Oh, and then when it blew up in the end – it was hilarious how ridiculous it looked with bits bursting out in blood red ocean water, namely a large half of the jaw with several jagged teeth still intact floating to the forefront.  I laughed out loud again.  Too bad I didn’t have any 3-D glasses around.  Anyway.  Why was it that all the Jaws sharks were blown up at the end of these movies?  I guess that was done for the teenaged boys.  After Jaws 3, after the great white explosion, Dennis Quaid and his lady friend surfaced in their scuba gear and called out to their dolphin friends, who flipped and jumped in the finale.  Uh, that was the teenaged girl’s ending.  All they needed were rainbows and pegasus.  And then, Jaws 4 could emerge from the bay and take down the wing of pegasus..a segue to a final chapter.  I digress…

Anyway.  I turned on the Beijing Olympics to watch the American men win the beach volleyball gold medal.  It was killer!  Again, I am pumped to play volleyball.  That’s another thing I missed about living in Seattle.  I was part of a group that played volleyball every Tuesday all summer long at Greenlake.  I missed summer volleyball.

In any case, I had a round of crunches to get to.  And another piece of Dagoba dark chocolate.  My favorite.

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