Today's Bucket List

I pride myself on the fact that, despite my utterly frivolous ambitions, I do not have one magic gold plated and laminated bucket list. It is a list which grows and flourishes and even ebbs occasionally, when life and feelings change. Here is today's list:

1. Get my equine therapy certification.
2. Own a mobile business (food truck, art truck, music truck, what have you).
3. Write and publish a children's book.
4. Learn the guitar and write a song.
5. Pursue this mixed media art installation I've been tossing around in my head awhile.
6. Live in New York.
7. Re-discover my Spanish skills.
8. Create a night of art, food and music to give me and my girlfriends an excuse to wear/buy a cocktail dress.
9. Fix up a house worthy of someone's love and my wacky but heartfelt aesthetic.
10. Learn how to make my own green tea latte.
11. Live in Red Rock country someday.
12. Find a job that lights me.
13. Spend several weeks on an equine pilgrimage in Mongolia.
14. Please God.
15. Own a dishwasher.
16. Knit two gloves that actually look the same.


Happy Bearth Day

It's more than just Earth Day y'all. It's a very Happy "Bearth"Day to a one Mr. Russ.

 to the man who never stops working- He can't even stop long enough for a wedding reception, he just shoveled straight through.

to the man who has all the dance moves, and at least 1 beat ahead of the rest of us.

to a man who has ridden the high seas....

and the tall ears.

to a man whose fashion sense has been praised and admired by millions of other jealous men and women alike,

and to the man to whom I owe my gratitude for my college education (and all the educations that came before it, too!) and all the other millions of things that he has provided for me, and now for Dan and I.

Happy Birthday Daddy~love you.


The Manic Week of Listlessness

Monday is a terrible day for a rock concert. I got to see one of my favorite bands play an amazing show, and I just...wasn't mentally present for it.  Usually I have all this time to relish it and bask in anticipation, thinking about all the songs I want to hear.  In the case of the utterly epic portland trip to see the Decemberists, I got to spend days thinking about it, and felt fully prepared for what would wash over me. 

Attending Arcade Fire, I raced from work through the usual 5pm traffic crawl down I-15, changed out of my office clothes and raced from will call to the floor in a sweaty mind-numbed haze after a long day at work.  I was utterly non-present for the evening.  The stage was short and the crowd was tall, so I only caught tiny glimpses of the band. Mostly I closed my eyes and listened- to the people yell-talking right behind me about their boyfriends and their favorite food and what they should do after the show, as if the band they came to see was not onstage right that second singing their hearts out.  I could be angry at them, but really, I was suffering a different fate from the same problem- Suburbia.  The humdrum 12 hours leading up to the show had sucked the life right out of me. And if you've listened to the Suburbs album by Arcade Fire, you know just how ironic that is.  I had spurts of feeling and creativity through the show, moments of revelation, but the lack of feeling at all was the true power of the moment. It's left me feeling anxious and drained this week.

the weekend promises long hours apart from Dan, and little respite before the week ahead.  I'm craving something bigger than all this, but I know that to get there, I will have to exercise great patience.  Or at least, that's what my therapist told me the Universe is trying to tell me. She's always right.

The good news is, I also had some really terrible things happen to other people this week that reminded that I married this awesome dude who I hate to be apart from, and that our life together is a pretty special thing in this crazy world.  I know, I know, we're newlyweds and filled with "feelings" that will change, but I also know something powerful and good when I see it.  And he's standing right in front of me. Actually, he's at work right now, and then I have 2 evening events in a row for work this weekend, and then Dan's driving to Montana, and then...like I said, a long weekend ahead.

Dazed, but Lucky. Totally naming my next horse that.


Flashback: From XANGA!!!

This is from my Xanga Blog. in 2006. bahaha. I miss Xanga some days. I re-copied it here for you because it relates directly to the new post below this one.  I hope you enjoy both posts thoroughly.

Me Gusta Comer Cosas Sin Ojos

Currently Listening

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

Walk the Plank
It was a sunday, and the poor study abroad student was starving after a long morning of Catholic Mass and covert pastry ingestion, which as you know, only makes you more hungry for real food. She arrived home, but was not greeted by the usual thick aroma of Churizo or Pescado. She wondered why, and entered the kitchen. There was the family, ready to partake of the Sunday Comida.

(translated for your benefit)

"ahh, good afternoon! sit down sit down, we are ready to eat!"
"oh good! what we eat?" (clearly this is how I would sound if literally translated)

"Crab? Have you ever tried it?"

"I don´t know what word you say, but I eat all foods!"
"of course you do! You´ll love this!"

And out comes the plate. Actually a platter. A platter full of inexplicably fresh crabs, completely and utterly intact, raw, and cold. All 10 pairs of eyes staring me down from their porcelain grave. They still have the green of the sea on their backs, little shells attached to their bodies.
"Don´t worry LO-rraine, the are dead."
"Are you sure?"
"Yes. Now eat. These were very expensive."
And with that the family all reaches in takes a crab for themself. What follows is a scene too barbaric for words, as crab limbs are torn, chomped, sucked out and flung across the table back into the once-full platter. No instruments, only teeth. Now you know why europeans have bad teeth.

"LO-rraine, you didn´t eat the eyeballs. Those are the best part. And very expensive. Eat."

I won´t bother to elaborate.

Sunday was an otherwise quiet and lovely day after a very fantastic and adventure-filled Saturday. My study abroad group had taken to the incredible national park about 2 hours East of Oviedo for a kayaking adventure down the Rio Sella. Even as a totally granola nature nut, I was skeptical about the event. Did I really want to spend the extra euros to do something that I could do in Utah any day? Plus the sky was in it´s usual rainy overcast Asturian funk, and I didn´t want to be freezing for 4 hours. And then I realized that I was being a total idiot, and agreed to go.

The first, best, and most humiliating move was donning the wetsuits, but in the end I was very very glad that I had. We got our crash course in Kayaking, and I was glad I had done it before, as the crash course was in spanish. Then we loaded our kayaks onto a moving ramp that takes them to the top of hill overlooking the river. When we reached the top, we got into our kayaks and one at a time they push you off the hill and down a chute that drops you straight into the river. What a thrill!
The view was gorgeous in every way, and I quickly realized that this was definitely NOT something that you could do in Utah. Everything was so green, and the mountains so tall above us, and wildflowers everywhere! Every once in awhile you would see these OLD stone stairs that just came out of nowhere all along the river and end right at the water´s edge. it struck me as something you would see in The Shire or Rohan. In fact many people remarked how similar the landscape and experience was to Lord of the Rings, but less impending doom and smaller feet.

For lunch we stopped under an old stone bridge and devoured our food, and our guide told us that a lot of people jump off the bridge here, because the water is about 30 feet deep. Immediately a herd of boys and I take off towards the road to the bridge. We get up there and I immediately recognize that this bridge is just a tisk higher than my highest jump I have ever done in Lake Powell, but being the only girl, and having a lot to prove for all my talk about the rowing team and living on a farm and stuff, I knew I had to do it! So three boys go off first (there was no way I was going first, I wanted to see if the first kids died or not) and say it´s awesome, so me and two other guys climb the side, girls cheering me on below. On the count of three me and ONE guy jump off, because the third guy was a freakin wuss, and about halfway down the jump I realize that I would really like to be that one guy still hanging off the bridge. but after a very cold impact and a safe return to the surface, I gladly accept the applause of my fellow students. You know how I love an audience.

The rest of the trip was every bit as delightful, and I was happy to return to clean dry clothes that were not inherently suctioned to my body. After that we made a quick stop at a church built into the side of a cliff because that is where the virgin mary ever-so conveniently appeared to some poor monk. So there stands the sweetest little church too small to accomodate an indoor mass, so mass is held outside the church on the edge of the cliff. completely beautiful. below THAT is a fountain that legend says will grant a marriage in the next year to anyone who drinks from it. Me and a number of other girls decide to tempt fate and drink an obscene amount of marriage water, fill a few bottles worth to take home, and of course get a picture or two as well.
Though I have to admit that between the unpurified water from the marriage fountain and the crabs, my stomach has not felt the same since. But what´s a trip abroad without a little stomach churning??

It's a Spaniard Thing

 I used to wake up every morning and look out the window at this: Oviedo, Spain.

I was fed 3 square meals a day. and then I fed myself a hearty few extras that included a chocolate cookie from the refridgerated vending machine at my language school (cold cookie=GENIUS), 2 scoops of ice cream at the park (which because of my terrible spanish I once accidentally ordered two cones with one flavor instead of one cone with two flavors. and yes, I ate them both) and then whatever pastry caught my fancy at the cookie shop off the corner of the main Catedral El Centro.  And my occasional break-in to the french bread drawer in the kitchen. So many carbs. Which is why I gained 15 pounds in 5 weeks.

omg. look at that chubby happy girl.  I have no regrets.

But really, my host mother fed me the most lovely meals.  such lovely lovely meals as seen in my original college blog.  I will copy and paste that one just so you can see it.  What I want to talk about, ever so briefly, is that fact that for all the fresh and delicious mediterranean food my host mother made, her fridge was almost always ENTIRELY bare. BARE! how did she do it? where did it come from? WHAT DOES IT MEAN?? And the answer was that she bought all the ingredients for every meal the same day that she used it.  and she bought in quantities that were perfect for a single meal for 3 people, and in spain that didn't mean going to Smiths, it meant going to the bread store and then the fish store and then the vegetable store and then the wine store.  It must have been exhausting! Why do it that way?

And that is EXACTLY how I have been buying food for my meals since I got back from Spain.  Even today, it makes no sense to me, but I love to go and get exactly the right thing fresh the day I think of it, and make a meal as I imagined it. Not making do, but making magic.  I relish it!  My kitchen style is in so many ways an omage to my time in that wondrous country.

But with less cookies. A true tragedy. 

Today I'm going to the market to get fixins for a creamy bacon pasta that will uplift my little kitchen after a long week of neglect.  Wish me luck, or, if you prefer, bueno suerte!!


On Life

1. La lee laaa, I never cooked my mediterranean masterpiece because when I left work, I remembered I had no wallet (It was in Dan's vehicle) and could not buy the ingredients.  I still have ambition to make food again someday.

2. Not today. Today I am going to volunteer at the National Ability Center for the Wounded Warriors program, because I've never done it, and it sounds wonderful.  I probably won't cook again until thursday.

3. I hope my peaches last until then.

4. Dan and I went to the Zoo during the blizzard yesterday, which was wonderful because there was no one else there except for another couple, whom we only bumped into once.  We both reached the sandcat exhibit at the same time, and all watched the sandcats watching the goldfish which had been put in their cage in a jar with the lid screwed on.  The girl of the other couple remarked that the sandcats were watching the goldfish the way we watched TV, we all laughed, and I was glad we were sharing the Zoo with one other couple, as long as they were  funny.

5. It just occurred to me that we thought it was strange that the cats were watching goldfish trapped in a tank, when in fact we were humans watching cats trapped in a cage watching goldfish trapped in a tank. The watching chain makes the food chain look like childs play I tell you.

6. I have pictures. I will put them up someday.

7. I would see Rebecca Black in concert. But only on a Friday.  Because the next day is Saturday. and Sunday comes afterwards.

8.  I'm glad that Dan and I are both doing stuff now, and coming out of newlywed hibernation, but I lament that few of our newfound spring activities are together. navigating time with a person is complicated.

9. I took my first riding lesson in ten years this past saturday.  I learned some great new skills, built some confidence in the saddle, found someone that might trailer me to my favorite horse show of the season, and got my stinkin arse KICKED.  I am stupidly sore today.  I'm embarrassed to call myself a horse woman under these conditions.  Stairs and sitting down are hardest (the pain is in my quads. oh my quads.) but at least now I know EXACTLY what muscles I need to improve if I want to not look like Pink did when she rode that horse in that one music video (not pretty.) 

10. Riding is empowering.  I have truly missed it.

11. I would give anything to have a work schedule of 35 hours a week.  Why must a career doom you to spending more time in a cubicle than anywhere else? 

12. Last February, when Dan and I were dating, there was some sort of playoff occurring. probably football.  Dan bravely suggested doing something besides watching a sporting event and I bravely said "but it's the playoffs!" and Dan said "Lorraine, there are always going to be playoffs."  A years worth of ESPN watching later, I realize how very very very very true that is, and how much I wish now we'd done something else that night. 

13.  Thank you for reading, and I hope your day is full of a) warm weather or b) warm weather thoughts.