Friday, October 30, 2009

Craigslist + Boredom = House Envy

Sometimes when I am bored I go to the craigslist sites for other cities and look at the real estate listings.

I'm kind of a house/real estate freak and I love seeing homes for sale.

Anyway, tonight I picked Tulsa, Oklahoma and Raleigh, North Carolina, for no apparent reason, and I was shocked. SHOCKED, I tell you!! What you can get for the money in these two cities is unbelievable.

Here where I live in Portland, OR the average tiny 2 bedroom 1 bathroom "starter home" runs around $250,000 to $300,000 which is something that I have just accepted as reality. HOWEVER - for that same amount in Raleigh or Tulsa, according to craigslist, you can get a 4 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom MASSIVE home with a large yard.

(sorry to my friends down South in California - I know you have it way worse)

I also know that you always have to account for cost of living factors and yada yada yada - but let's be real, okay? When you are looking at houses for sale, you look at numbers first and when I see the numbers in these cities that are disgustingly lower than the prices in my city, I gotta wonder what is the deal? Why is Portland so expensive? We are just a city with a small-town feel and a bunch of ex-hippes who think there is a distinction between "casual" Birkenstocks and "fancy" Birkenstocks. (I, for the record, do not share this opinion - but let me tell haven't SEEN hippie chic until you've been to the Opera in Portland...oh man - all sorts of outfits show up.)

I guess what I am trying to say is - when did Portland become one of those cities? I think of this place as so laid back and chilled out, but I don't think we are that as much anymore. Granted our proximity to a coastline and that little state called California automatically raise the cost of living...but...but...but - but I just want the kind of houses they have in Raleigh and Tulsa here in Portland but at those prices - is that too much to ask?

Grab your cowboy boots Dan - we might be moving to Tulsa.

Telling an Englishman to grab his cowboy boots makes me chuckle. It's like telling an American to grab their Wellies.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

It's Me

"Hey, it's me."

"Hi darling, it's me."

"Bonjour mon amour, c'est moi." (Translation for you non-Francophiles: Hello my love, it's me.)

We all have those people in our lives who can get away with simply saying, "'s me," and we instantly know who it is. Or, transversely, we can say it to them and they will know who we are.

Being able to get away with an "it's me" is a bit of a personal privilege that is reserved for the closest of the close in one's life, and that is how it should be. I remember when Dan first started to say "it's me" to me on the phone and I loved it. It was like we had reached a point where formalities were a thing of the past and closeness had begun. It was sweet and loving and comfortable all at the same time.

And yes...I know he has an English accent which would have given him away every time, but I think you can smell what I'm cookin'.

Or, when parents say "it's me" it is from a place of familiarity and solidarity that we accept this. They are voices that we have heard since the beginning of our time and if anyone deserves to say it, it is them.

Then there are the friends - the family that we choose. They can pull out the "it's me" card as freely and openly as they can make fun of you for that time that they drew on your face while you were sleeping and laugh with you while reminiscing of past mischievous frolics. An "it's me" from a friend is a way of acknowledging the bond and validating the closeness.

I had always known without really thinking about it the unspoken rules of using an "it's me" on someone. It is something that happens naturally and without question...for most people. However, it was brought to my attention that perhaps not all people are privy to this particular social nuance.

The other day at work I had someone, who I know only through work, call me and say simply, "Hey, it's me." This left me on the other end of the phone with absolutely no clue. I stood there racking my brain trying to figure out who had just inappropriately slung an "it's me" my way. I felt betrayed and frustrated. Trying to act as professional as I could I simply said, "I'm sorry...who is this?" The person then casually revealed who they were and I was shocked.

I am SO not on an "it's me" basis with this person. Not by a long shot - and for some reason it kinda bothered me. And by "kinda bothered" I mean, I really didn't like it.

A) It put me in a weird position

B) It felt forced and like this person was expecting something from me

C) It seemed out of place at work and just not professional

Perhaps I am just a total weirdo with no real ground to stand on here, but it just rubbed me the wrong way. The "it's me's" in my life that I respond to are people that I have cultivated relationships with and care about deeply. People who have been there through the good, the bad and the really bad. People who know my favorite movie and color and I, theirs. It's those people who get to throw out the "it's me" - not random people I hardly know.

Am I a total freak for feeling this way? Should I just pull the stick out and get on with my life?

Actually, I will answer the latter and the answer is yes, but it just felt like a 'Social Norm: Interrupted' and I did not like it.

What about you, my lovely reader? Are there any social norms that you are sticklers for? Perhaps you hate people calling you "Hun" or you can't stand loud people in restaurants. Maybe you are repelled by weak handshakes or insincere smiles. Whatever it is, I would love to know.

Partly to learn a little more about you.

Also to feel better about my "it's me" neurosis. I'm just being honest here.

What really puts you off in seconds? Oh do tell...

World, Meet Maddie. Maddie, Meet World.

I love this dog. I mean, LOOOOVE this dog. We're talking like, I would take a bullet for this pooch.

Maddie, meet blog world.

Blog world, this is Maddie.

I know that I have blogged about her before, but I feel it is time to give her the proper spotlight. Maddie is my Dad and step-Mom's dog, technically, but in reality, my siblings and I consider her our dog and she is as much a member of our family as any human.

Maddie is Border Collie mix, but we don't exactly know what the "mix" part is. With this said, she has all of the traits of a Border Collie which means high energy, very VERY intelligent and a heart the size of China.

At the age of 8, Maddie is starting to get some grey around her nose, but this doesn't phase her one bit.

Here she is looking for bugs on the ceiling. This is one of her favorite activities in the entire world, in addition to jumping in lakes and chasing squirrels.

Uhhmmm...I don't really even know what to say about this one. Have you ever seen a happier face??

She even lets us do things like this to her. Someone decided it would be a good idea to put all of Maddie's toys on her at one time. We did. She let us. We laughed. She wondered how she ended up living in the city when she was meant to be herding sheep.

Sorry're going to have to stick to herding bugs from the ceiling into your mouth. I know it's not quite the same, but that's life, chick-a-dee.

This is Maddie's favorite material possession in the entire world: her bone. Each end of the bone is hollow so that you can stick little treats inside it and then she has to work to get them out, all the while cleaning her doggie teeth.

Here is the bone in action. All you have to say to her is, "Maddie, go get your bone" and she will find it anywhere in the house and hand it to you. I know, I know...our dog is a genius.

Maddie, Maddie, Maddie - how I love thee.

Even when you are giving me the stink eye because I've been sticking a camera in your face for the last 20 minutes.

Don't worry - she's all talk - beneath that icy stare is a loving, fragile little thing with lots of love to give.

I love this dog.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Pumpkin Patch

There are a few things in life that I love all the time, no matter what is going on in my life. These are things that will lift my spirits and bring a smile to my face without a doubt. The pumpkin patch is one of those things.

I look forward to going to the pumpkin patch all year long and every year I go to a different one as I love to try them all out. This year my dear friend Karla and I decided to hit up Lee Farms in Tualatin, OR which is about 20 minutes South of Portland.

It was a beautiful day here in the NW, which is something that we are increasingly thankful for as summertime clocks out for the season. Lee Farms is great and it has a little bit of everything for everyone, including 2 twenty-something girls who met in college and are eons away from having kids and still think that Christina Aguilera's song 'Fighter' is one of the best songs EVER to listen to after a break-up.

Just throwin' that out there in case any of y'all are in need of a kick-ass, I-can-do-anything-don't-tell-me-I-can't-and-who needs a guy-anyway kind of songs. Okay - back to pumpkins.

Here is the iconic tractor coming out of the corn-maze pulling the kids from the pumpkin patch picture. Say that 5 times fast.

For those who are not so inclined to trudge through the muddy fields, there is a sea of perfectly plump pumpkins already picked for you.

Ever notice how some people, when they say the word pumpkin, they say it like "pung-kin"?

"Hey there Billy-Joe, what you got?"

"Well Randy, this here is my pung-kin."

Yeah - something like that. Anyway, I hate when people say "pung-kin." Please don't forget about the second "p" in the feels really left out when you replace it with a "g" and, quite frankly, the letter "g" and the letter "p" never really got along in the first place.

One of the things that I loved best about Lee Farms was all of the animals that souls of all ages could pet and love.

So cute. Those floppy ears. Those dainty little feet. Oh kills me.

Hey there little lady, you look very nice today.

Nom Nom Nom - this piggy had no other care in the world except chomping on this pumpkin...

...except maybe for these little piggies.

Cue Jocelyn and Karla making lots and lots of "ooohhhh, aren't they cute" kind of remarks (and by "lots and lots" I mean, an annoyingly ridiculous amount of comments).

But can you blame us? Look at their little noses, their little ears, their little feet.

Dan, can I have a little piglet for Christmas? Thaaanksssss!

Then we came across these lab puppies for sale. I'm telling you, this place was an animal lover's dream.

Here is Karla saying hello to the Mama dog. Karla is probably one of the most passionate lovers of all animals that I have ever known and is famous round these parts for her ever expanding animal family at home. As soon as she saw these puppies for sale she grabbed my arm and said, "Joc, do NOT let me go home with a puppy. DO NOT!"

Here she is checking them out but keeping her distance. That beautiful cocker spaniel in the photo is her dog Lady. Lady is, as far as I am concerned, just another girl in our group and she has many Aunties who love her dearly.

Just as we were about to finally get to the pumpkins, we came across this wooden crate with kids surrounding it. As we pushed our way through all of the little 'uns, we saw that it was full of chicks.

Is there anything much cuter than this?

Karla wasted no time.

That little chick head is maybe one of my favorite things in the entire world. 0.0087 seconds after this was taken, I actually contemplated becoming a vegetarian.

1.03 seconds after this was taken, I remembered what chicken piccata tasted like and I silently apologized to this little guy. It's a tough gig in life being so delicious.

Ah yes, another beautiful day in Oregon. Yes it rains a lot here. Yes we consider "cloudy" as a good thing. Yes some people here think it is okay to wear denim to the opera. But, at the end of the day, I live in a beautiful, beautiful part of this world that I love.

After we finished petting all the animals, we each picked out our pumpkins, got some cider and tasted some fresh apple cider mini-doughnuts.

Fresh apple cider mini-doughnuts. Process that. You should be jealous of me at this moment.

All in all, it was a great pumpkin patch experience and I loved every second of it. It was also great to spend time with Karla who I always feel I never get to see enough.

I hope that you all are enjoying your Halloween preparations, and, if Halloween isn't your thing, then I hope that you are enjoying just the general beauty of this time of year, wherever you may be.

Cheers and Happy Autumn!

Maybe The Best Thing EVER

Thursday, October 22, 2009


I am a BIG fan of daydreaming. In fact, not only am I a fan of this practice, but I think that it acts as sort-of a natural form of Prozac. When I am feeling stressed/frazzled/haggard/overwhelmed/etc I often, without even realizing it, resort to daydreaming to get me through. Since I seem prone to one of the aforementioned emotions lately, I have taken to daydreaming like a baby to a bottle.

If you don't let yourself daydream, you should.

Also, if you don't let yourself sing into your hairbrush, you should do that too - but that is a discussion for another time.

Today, as far as my daydreams go, they have been all over the place. As of 1:34pm Pacific time, I have daydreamed about:

1) Living In Bora Bora

Can you blame me?

2) Traveling to Bora Bora

3) Getting on a plane to Bora Bora tonight

3) Living in Dubai where there is a booming film industry and no income tax

4) Trying new food in Dubai

5) Wondering if food in Dubai is like Indian food

6) Eating Indian food everyday and how wonderful that would be

7) Winning the lottery

8) Setting up trust funds for everyone in my family with my lottery winnings

9) Going shopping with my lottery winnings

I would buy this dress first. I love this dress. Now I just want to talk about dresses, not stupid daydreams.

10) Opening up an antique store in the country with my lottery winnings that plays bluegrass music in the background and has sheep and goats wondering around in the backyard

11) Wondering what life would be if I looked like Sofia Vergara who plays Gloria in my new favorite show 'Modern Family'. She looks like this:

12) Buying my first house with Dan

13) Eating pumpkin pie

14) And, my favorite - selling all of my worldly possessions, hopping on a plane with Dan that is headed someplace exotic and exploring the world for a year.

Oh I love my daydreams. I need them. They feed me and keep me going and I am SO not kidding about that. Have you had any daydreams today? Where do you let your head go if it needs a break from everything? Any good daydreams today that you feel like sharing with the rest of the class?

Bueller? Bueller?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Advice Needed, S'il Vous Plait

Alright ladies and gents, doggies and kitties, martians and mermen - I need some advice. Or maybe I should say, I need your opinions.

Whatever you want to call it - I am all about taking today and not about giving.

Mother Theresa would be so proud.

Anyway - Dan and I are in the process of designing our wedding invitations and for whatever reason, I have found this to be the biggest planning struggle thus far. Apparently when I hear the words "wedding invitation," all creativity and original ideas that I could ever be possible of having in my life decide to take a permanent vacation in Bora Bora with no access to cell phones or email. Bleh - ideas...what little jerks they can be sometimes.

I was so frustrated that I took my woes to the most logical place I could think of: my Facebook status update. I believe I wrote something like "Does anyone know where I can get invitations designed that won't cost me $1,000???" Within hours a lovely lady that we know who has a background in graphic design offered to design the invitations for us as she is trying to build up her portfolio again after taking time off to be with her kids.

Who ever said that social networking sites were worthless? "Not I," said the fly.

I suddenly feel as light as a feather. Well, except for my butt...and my hips...and, ugh - just forget it. Perhaps I should stick with saying I feel relieved and just call it a day.

So now the designing of the invitations has been passed on to a much more qualified participant and I am in the position to simply say "yes I like that" or "can we change this" and these are waters I much prefer to swim in. However, there is one thing that I am unclear about and this is where I need some opinions!!!

Case #440179
Issue of Interest: RSVP etiquette
Decision to be made: Traditional response cards or online RSVP through our website?

Here's the deal - we will be inviting many people from England and America. Because of this, we will be dealing with 2 different types of postage, mailing laws and customs. Let me break it down for you - DJ, cue the music:

Postage: we would have to pay extra to send all the invites to England from America but then, for the response cards, would have to have English stamps on them which, once you do the Dollar to Pound conversion, ends up costing almost $5/response card to send back.

Mailing laws: To mail/post something from England to America, they have to take the actual piece of mail to the post office to get a special "Air Mail" sticker on it. This means special trips to the post office for everyone, which makes me feel kinda bad.

Customs: In England, people purchase their own response card and send to the couple whereas here in the US, the couple sends one along with the invite. So either way, we would be confusing one set of invitees and we would like to simplify as much as possible.

Due to these 3 main reasons, we are thinking that online RSVP may be the way to go. People would simply go to our site, type in their name and either click a 'yes' button or a 'no' button and that would be it. Our aversion to this would be the people who may struggle a bit with computers, but then perhaps other family members could help them? I just don't know and I seem to change my opinion about every 3.78 seconds - so that is where you come in.

Is an online RSVP tacky or just a step in the right direction in this ever-expanding technological and eco-friendly world? How would you feel if you got a wedding invite asking you to RSVP online? I am really open to any and all opinions on this and I thank you in advance for your time :)

I am sure I could have just written this post like this: What do you think about online RSVP? and left it at that, but verbosity seems to always get the best of me.

Monday, October 19, 2009

An Open Letter to the Parents of Balloon Boy

Dear Parents of Balloon Boy,

I can smell your stench of narcissism and dishonesty from here and let me just say that I would rather smell rotting fish guts on a 100 degree day.

Jocelyn Stott

Friday, October 16, 2009

Me Bridesmaids

I just wanted to share the bridesmaid dress that I have picked out for my lovely and beautiful bridesmaids, but first I want to introduce the little ladies:

This is my stupid sister, Caitlin, who is my Maid of Honor. Please excuse the use of the word "stupid" but for many, many reasons known to only her and I, it is imperative that I call her that. She will surely return the favor not long after reading this. Love you Caitie!

This is my cousin Olivia. She lives in Pennsylvania and is in her senior year at high school. She is really, really awesome and I wish every day that we lived closer together.

This is Ari and I hope she doesn't kill me for putting this picture up, but I love it. It perfectly represents her in so many ways.

And this lovely lady is Karla. She, along with my sister Caitlin, has been involved in many of my, "Oh my God - can you believe last night???!!!?! (followed by laughter)" kinds of stories.

Last but not least, Amy. She is currently living in NYC and I miss her terribly but we manage to g-chat far more than we should.

So - there is the lot. I know I am biased, but I think I have some beautiful friends and I am so in love with all of these girls and so excited for them to be my bridesmaids. Each one has indelibly left their mark on my life and I cannot imagine it without them. Yay for girlfriends (and stupid sisters)!!!!

So - for the dress they will be wearing on my big day - here it is:

Theirs will actually be in black, but this was the only picture I could find. I just love this dress. It is modern but classic. Formal but casual. AND it has pockets, which is my favorite dress trend lately.

So there you have it. Less than 6 months now to the big day...I'M SO EXCITED!!!!!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Chores Schmores

You know when you go the empty the dishwasher and you pull out a glass and you see that the dishwasher didn't clean properly and there are all sorts of little grimy speckles in the glass and so you sigh and reload the dishwasher with the dishes that didn't get quite clean?

Then, you realize that the reason they didn't get clean was because you stuffed the freaking thing to the gills, because God forbid you actually hand wash an item, and the water spray was not able to get to the top level because of your laziness.

So, you reach for your fancy Cascade Action Pack dishwasher detergent tablets only to find that you are out and so now you are left with the "clean" dirty dishes combined with the "dirty" dirty dishes that you had already been neglecting and suddenly a simple chore has turned into a kitchen full of grimy yuckiness that starts to close in on you while echos of your parents telling you to "just keep up on your chores" bounces around in your head.

Then you just walk out because...well, it doesn't matter why - all that matters is that suddenly really OTHER important thing that you have to do that second because well, you just have to, okay?

I, personally, know nothing about this...I am just wondering if you do...

I have heard that this happens to people sometimes.

Shameless Plug #3

Back in the spring, my darling fiance Dan was a 2nd Assistant Director on the soon-to-be-released stop-motion film Fantastic Mr. Fox based on the acclaimed book by Roald Dahl. It was shot in London and many of the folks who worked on Coraline also worked on Fantastic Mr. Fox. Because of this fact, knowing so many involved in the project, I am rooting for this one to be a success and so I am shamelessly plugging it on my blog because I wanna and because I canna.

This film was directed by Wes Anderson (The Royal Tenenbaums, Rushmore, The Darjeeling Limited) and is voiced by George Clooney, Bill Murray, Meryl Streep, Owen Wilson and Jason Schwartzman, among others. From what I have seen so far, Wes has definitely left his artistic stamp on this film even though it is his first crack at animation and I am super excited to see the final product.

What sparked my little blog promotion is the fact that last night in East London, Bill Murray decided to take the entire crew out for drinks at a local pub and so Dan got to spend the evening with him and let's just say that I am a little bit jealous. I have long been a Bill Murray fan as his movies were quite often played in our house growing up. From Caddyshack to Groundhog Day to What About Bob - we are a Bill Murray lovin' bunch. Then, Wes Anderson and Jason Schwartzman showed up and they all had a good 'ol time.

Let's face it, I am a sucker for celeb sightings and it was one of my favorite pastimes when I lived in L.A. - looking for celebrities. Dan has a much more rational approach that they are just people - but what is the fun in that???

Anyway - Fantastic Mr. Fox hits theaters November 25 and you should all go and see it. I will surely do another shameless plug as the date approaches - so my apologies in advance - I cannot help myself.

Have a great Tuesday everyone!

Monday, October 12, 2009

My Problem With The Store Target

I have a MAJOR problem with the store Target. This problem has been going on for a long, long time and it doesn't seem to be getting any better.

My problem with Target is that I have no problem with Target.

This is the most severe problem of them all.

There is a Target about 2 miles from my house, which is much, much too close as I can practically hear it calling my name when I am bored on a Saturday afternoon.

It is always clean. Items are always in stock. The employees are always friendly and willing to help. I have actually done price comparisons on a variety of general household items and the Target price almost always wins. NO good can come of this.

For those of you who do not live in The United States, Target is a store that basically has everything you could need, and then some. In addition to the basics like toilet bowl cleaner, mascara and wrapping paper - they have clothing, shoes, home decor, small appliances, food, jewelry, a pharmacy, etc, etc.

"Oh look, a doormat shaped like a pumpkin," I say.

"Ugh," says my wallet.

"Oh shut your pie hole wallet, you little reclusive freak, and do as you're told," I reply.

Don't EVEN get me started on the current Halloween section they have going on. It is a thing of beauty. Due to my new-found sense of financial restraint that has been struck upon me by the hand of something that I like to call "being an adult" (which is code for immigration fees and getting married), I was able to walk out of there this weekend with only a few items in tow, but it wasn't easy people.

Oh yes, Target. I do love you. But I hate you - in the same way that I hate ice cream and US Weekly magazine. It is a hate based on a deep, deep love. I know that makes no sense, but something tells me that many of you will understand - I cannot be the only one with this problem...please tell me I'm not the only one...

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Open Letter to Fruit Flies

Dear Fruit Flies,

I hate you. Please die.


Thursday, October 8, 2009

Orla and Gorla

Random fact #2,687 about me: I used to have 2 imaginary friends named Orla and Gorla. Where I came up with those names, I don't know.

They lived in the grocery store in the refrigerator behind the yogurt section. Doesn't have quite the same ring to it as "a boy who lived in a cupboard under the stairs" or "an old house in Paris that was covered in vines," does it? (Name those books.) Again...I don't know...I was a weird child.

I have memories of going grocery shopping with my Mom and saying hello to them as we passed the refrigerated dairy. I don't really remember what they looked like except that they had brown hair and wore pink and purple - go figure.

I also don't remember when their presence in my life disappeared. Perhaps my parents remember - but it's as if they suddenly evaporated into thin air never to be heard from again. I know that children having imaginary friends is a normal thing, but why they appeared in my imagination and then why my imagination no longer needed them, I don't know.

Maybe even kids need an escape from reality sometimes.

In fact, maybe the imaginary friends never really went away but simply morphed into something else. Something called day dreams. Something called your "real-cation" - vacation from reality.

The other day I was talking to one of my very dear friends, Amy, who lives in the hustle and bustle of New York City and I said something along the lines of, "I want to move to the country and open up an antique store and listen to bluegrass all day while sipping on lemonade in the summer and hot cider in the winter." As I said this, I was really and truly envisioning that this, perhaps, was the life for me.

Without missing a beat, she replied, "You'd get bored." And she was right. Totally right - but I still LOVE the thought of it all. It is 1 of about 8,000 "happy places" that I like to go when I need a little escape. It's the 27-year-old version of Orla and Gorla. Perhaps now my little world of make-believe cannot be found behind the yogurt section at the grocery store, but it is still there, and that is the important thing. I am a BIG advocate of a delicious daydream - no matter how old you are.

Where do you like to "go" when you need to?

p.s. - I asked Amy what her happy place is. She said, "Probably on my couch when it is rainy outside with really good food and a movie." Her answer is just one reason of about a million why I am lucky to have Amy in my life - anyone who appreciates rain, good movies and good food is fo' shizzle in my books.

Unless you drive slow in the fast lane - then we might need to talk.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


While going through some old photos on my computer, I came across this one. I took it around late October - early November last year. Dan and I, who had both recently finished working on Coraline and were enjoying some hard-earned time off, decided one day to drive the 1.5 hours to the coast and just find a place to stay once we got there. We ended up finding this place that is more stuck in the 70's than the Brady Bunch - but it was right on the beach and this was the view. I took this from our room as the sun was setting and it still takes my breath away how beautiful nature can be - especially the ocean.

Dan and I have a thing for any ocean. There is just something about it - it is so calming and gives you a chance to take a deep breath and chill out. We often talk about having a place by the coast some day and it is a dream that I intend to keep on dreaming. Having spent my entire life so close to the ocean, I cannot imagine living in a place far from one.

I didn't know it at the time, but the day we left for this little get-away, Dan had gotten up early to buy my engagement ring. Within two months of this photo being taken, I would be in Paris with the man I love as he asked me to marry him. However, this was a difficult period for us as well. We knew Dan's work visa with the film production company we worked for was expiring soon and that he would have to leave in a month or so...and then what? It was a scary and painful time all the while being the best time of my entire life.

And now - here we are. One year later and so, so close to being back together - finally and permanently. We are so close now. He will be here soon - we are just waiting for our final approval.

I will admit that tonight was a tough night for me. I was sitting at home just missing Dan like crazy and I had a bit of a moment which produced sniffles and required tissue. I am so tired of being apart. I am so tired of filling out immigration forms. I am so tired of having to prove our relationship to nameless and faceless people who simply see us as a case number amongst thousands of others. I was feeling like, when is this EVER going to end - and then I found this picture and it brought it all home for me. I was able to stop and refocus and think about how far we have come. I was able to see and feel how close we are now. I remembered that no matter what, this too, shall pass.

I felt calm, took a deep breath, and chilled out - just like I was able to the day I took that photo. Not long now...

Monday, October 5, 2009

Food For Thought

“When one lives a life of permanent purpose, decisions become wiser, outcomes soar and relationships thrive. Simply put, when we understand that every action matters, every result of our actions immediately improves.”

- Andy Andrews

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Happy October

My maternal Grandfather was a writer and it was a legacy he passed on to my Mom who is also an extremely talented writer, which proved to be quite useful during the entirety of my schooling years as she can edit like a pro.

Unfortunately, my Grandpa died when I was about 9, but the imprint that he left on me runs deep. He was a newspaper man who spent long hours over his typewriter churning out article after article, most likely with a cigarette always nearby. When I picture him in this part of his life, I see it as it would look in a film noir from the 1940's - all dark and full of shadows, with cigarette smoke billowing in every scene. Cigarettes, in real life, I despise - but cigarette smoke is known for looking phenomenal on film and I love to picture it like this. Perhaps this all boils down to my tendency to imagine things as they would look in a film, something I have done from a very young age - but nonetheless, I love thinking about what life was like for my Papa, working as a writer.

Aside from his love of the newspaper, my Papa loved, loved, loved literature. From poetry to novels - you name it. One of his favorites was the stories from The Wizard of OZ and the copies that he gave me of these books are still on my list of my most prized possessions. This also vastly contributed to me, as a young girl, falling in love with the film version which I adore to this day. However, there was another book he gave me when I was far too young to appreciate it, and that was the Collected Poems of Emily Dickinson. My middle name is 'Emily' and so, as a child, I was attracted to people with the name Emily as children often bond by connections of names, ages, favorite colors, etc.

My Papa obviously felt the Emily connection as well, based on what he wrote on the inside:


Dear Jocelyn Emily,

Perhaps one day you will come to love as much as I do, the other Emily in my life - Emily Dickinson, "The Belle of Amherst."

Papa Bothwell

At the time I had no idea who Emily Dickinson was, but I knew that she must be good if he would give me an entire book of her poems. I remember trying to read the poems but I was too young and their meaning was lost on me. However, through the years I have revisited the book many times and each time I find something beautiful and meaningful within it's pages. Last night, for whatever reason, I decided to glance through it and I found this adorable poem below. Seeing as it is the first day of October and it officially feels like Autumn outside, I felt that it was the perfect time to share it.

Nature XXVII, Autumn
The morns are meeker than they were,
The nuts are getting brown;
The berry's cheek is plumper,
The rose is out of town.
The maple wears a gayer scarf,
The field a scarlet gown.
Lest I should be old-fashioned,
I'll put a trinket on.
- Emily Dickinson
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