Wednesday, July 27, 2011


For the last month I have been absolutely exhausted. Every morning I wake up at either 5:45 or 6:00 a.m. And even though I am always in bed before 11:00 p.m., I find myself falling asleep on both the bus ride to and from work.....

I need to come up with some strategies for getting more rest. Any suggestions?

Tip of the Day: Rest more often.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


It has almost been three years since I moved to Portland with the blond fox.  September will mark my three year anniversary at my current job
I was about to take a moment and reflect about what I have learned about myself over the last three years. However, as soon as I begun writing, I realized that above all else, I am truly grateful. And most grateful for the co-conspirator in my life.
The best thing in my life is the blond fox. I am seriously blessed. period. Matt is the most amazing, inspiring, talented and kind person I know. I will always do my best to love, support and care for him. I am a fiercely loyal fan of Matt Hilliard.
Thought of the Day: What are you grateful for today?

Monday, July 25, 2011

the pull

Some of us experience the pull. The "pull" I am referring to is that something unexplained calling to us. And if we take the time to listen patiently, one day, we just may hear the answer above the noise and rise to a call that is easy to ignore.

Why ignore it? Because it is a difficult one; one less travelled. Upon it we are sure to fall, to happen upon both friends and foes.

But the "pull" or the "call" can slip by as fast as it whispers for we are not easily untethered from the familiar, the safe, the common and the expected.

Yet despite this truth, there is an inbetween for those who feel the pull, but as of yet cannot act. It manifests in simple, pretty acts of kindness and reflection. Be still. Please. Now smile; deep within.

Tip of the Day: Smile from within

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Book Review "Just Kids" by Patti Smith

Every once in awhile someone who projects the image of being a regular person, has an opportunity to enter into the narcissistic, pretentious and closed world of popular art, music and words. In the early seventies that person was Patti Smith. A self-described wallflower, Smith gives us a gift: a sneak peak into a world inaccessible to the outsider.

"Just Kids" is partly a portrait of wannabe artists (she and photographer Robert Mapplethorpe) living in the playground that is NYC, except this time the artists make it and even more rare, one of them lives to tell about it. Smith's life story is like candy to hopeful artists across the country, making it easy to buy what she's selling.

"There are no shortcuts," Smith reminds Robert Mapplethorpe early on in their acquaintance.  The artist's journey is a long one. Smith affirms this as she invites the reader to join along as she recollects her journey navigating the personalities of New York City's underground art and music scene while living in the Chelsea Hotel.

Ultimately, Smith accomplishes her goal to write a book memorializing her artistic accomplice, friend and once upon a time lover, Robert Mapplethorpe, who died of AIDS in the late eighties. The book is a tribute to friendship, true love and loyalty, but mostly, it serves as a nuanced account of popular culture in New York City during the late sixties and early seventies.

Thought of the Day:  If you are a lover of memoirs that document popular culture, you will like this book. I am giving her music another chance. You would too after reading her book.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Patti Smith

My first encounter with Patti Smith was sometime in the early nineties.  I was raiding my Mom's records and found the Wave album. I can remember the album cover having an effect on me. The cover was of this interesting looking woman with two doves. I dismissed Patti Smith for years after listening to a few tracks on that album.

Thought of the Day: My review of Patti Smith's "Just Kids" is to follow tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

the importance of being clear

Dishonesty breedS contempt towards the self and others.
Often times it wears a mask and plays the carnie's tricks.
Don't be fooled- it masquerades as righteousness- an undertow.

Tip of the Day: Speak your integrity

Monday, July 18, 2011

writing exercised

Well. I did it. Albeit not on Saturday afternoon, as there were house chores to be done and drinks and dinner with friends to be had. I thought about doing it on Sunday, but was too busy procrastinating by scrubbing my floors, cupboards and house clean. The cleanest it's ever been in fact, all thanks to the lovely Portland weather we've been having.

The more I cleaned, the more I pushed back my writing goal, until it was so far down on my to-do list that paying bills was deemed priority. 

Lucky for me, I gave myself an absolute deadline of sharing my writing goal on this blog. And as is so often the case with me, I would rather save face and meet my deadline no matter how crappy the end result. So here I am on Monday night having just finished re-writing word-for-word a book review by Dorothy Parker published in the New Yorker on February 4, 1928.

I don't know if I gained anything from this exercise other than a better appreciation for Parker's incredible wit and sense of humor and a wish that more writings published resembled her sense of style and truth. So much of what is written today seems censored, cookie cutter and saccharine sweet, or, boring, pretentious and stuffy. I also now know how to spell the word acquaintance without the help of Spell Check. She seemed to use that word a lot in this particular review.

Tip of the Day: Keep writing

P.S. Tomorrow I plan to try my hand out at my own book review. It will most likely be censored, cookie cutter and saccharine sweet.

Friday, July 15, 2011

tired cookies

It is exactly 10:49 p.m. and me and my baby are exhausted. In fact, I caught my baby dozing off at a friend's house this evening. The fact is we are no longer evening dwellers. We are day dwellers. And so to bed we head - the old young folks. Another Friday night in Portland that me and my baby never will see.

Thursday, July 14, 2011


As a child I was taught to be nice. Reflecting on this as an adult, I think there is something mediocre/ inauthentic about "being nice."

As an adult, I would prefer to strive to be kind. In kindness there is strength. A kind person is generous and friendly and warm-hearted.

Quote of the Day(from an unknown source): "Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none."

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

current obsession

I'm currently obsessed with Dorothy Parker. I am in the middle of two books of her short stories and a biograhy about her life.

I admire her wit and strong sense of self. Despite the fact that she was a drunk and lacked self-discipline, she produced some great work.

I would like to try copying a piece by her as a writing exercise. In fact, I think I will do that. I will do it this Saturday and let you know how it goes on Monday.

Thought of the Day: Why not?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

New Money

On July 8th I started my two month long money saving experiment.
I am super nervous about it. The plan is to save exactly half of what I make.
While I have always lived below or within my means and have a very modest existing savings plan in place, I can be pretty frivolous in a "steak today, Ramen noodles tomorrow" kind of way.

This new plan is going to require some serious discipline. The kind of discipline that only comes in spurts which is why I picked the two month time frame.

I have divided my monthly earnig into three buckets: living expenses, spend plan and savings. My spend plan is the money I have allocated after my living expenses and savings are allocated for things like entertainment, personal items/clothing, etc.

My biggest challenge will be to spend less money on food. I will have to force myself to eat and drink at home more and to temper my expensive exotic health food habit. I will have to sacrafice impulse buys, second and third drinks at happy hour and $14.00 packages of Gogi

I promise to post my progress.

Thought of the Day: You just have to make it happen.

Monday, July 11, 2011

caught up in the net of the day

I was so tired this afternoon, that I found myself slumped over, past out on my bus ride home. I wish I could tell you more but I must go to bed. Tbc...

Thursday, July 7, 2011

my writing process

I often don't know what I'm going to write about each day when I tap "new post" on Blogger. In fact most days I don't even "feel" like writing, but I do it anyway. Each night I lay in my bed, one eye buried in the pillow with the other eye ablaze with the light of my phone from which I write. I know. How lazy can a person be?

But what amazes, probably no one but myself, is that more often than not, I publish something each weekday. There is some drive from within that types the words out at night, in bed, when I should be sleeping. It is in the quietness of the night, the aloness of a house darkened and hushed. It is perhaps the only part of my day that I am free to be with my thoughts- inbetween slumber and my daily routine.

Tip of the Day: Keep writing!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Directions for the Directionless

1. Save your pennies
2. Show up everyday
3. Be kind
4. Pray
5. Listen more than you speak
6. Write
7. Be generous
8. Go to bed early
9. Take care of yourself
10. Start a blog

Tip of the Day: Ignore everything above and make your own damn list.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Repetitive Day

Wake up. Eat Some bites of Matt's leftover toast. Brush teeth. Wash face. Decide what to wear. Drink water. Take vitamins. Make a lunch. Grab my things. Get in the car. Get out of the car at nearest bus stop. Buy a coffee. Wait for the bus. Check my e-mail. Check facebook. Check Twitter. Get on bus. Sleep or read on bus. Get to work. Turn on computer. Make tea. Check e-mail. Respond to urgent requests. Move on to other items. Say hi to people. Everyone is always good. Feel Hungary. Start snacking. Listen to music. Listen to TED talks. Continue on with daily tasks. Eat lunch. Call friends and family or read or sleep or eat with co-workers. Work more. Drink more tea. Eat more snacks. Work. Leave work. Get on bus. Talk with friends or read or listen to music. Get off bus. Meet Matt. Think about food. Make food and/or buy food. Eat Food. Watch t.v. or have a drink or hang out with friends or putter around the house and/ Internet. Take bath. Brush teeth. Blog. Go to sleep. Repeat.