Wednesday, December 31, 2008

At least I'm not pregnant

Over the last three years, there have only been a handful of things that are consistent. The Worleys, Great American Beer Festival and my job. I had started with my job as a temp. I was the executive assistant to one of our Chairman for our Cherry Creek office. This was something unlike I had never experienced before. I complained about the needing to change outfits in the middle of the day because I wasn't wearing the proper attire. I had the chance to go to a beautiful hotel and relax completely. I found areas that I am very confident in and areas that should be left alone.

And while I have been wanting to move on for a while, here's the reality of my life. As of today, December 31, I am without a job. My position was dissolved and I will be working at Starbucks until I find something permanent. There are things I will miss about my job, and mostly it's the people. I have some good friendships at my office. We have a routine there. I will miss those people. I will miss my discussions about The Hills, ANTM, and The Office. I will miss the events that I planned, the areas of strengths I developed and the chances I was given. But at the same, it's time for me to move on. My passion doesn't lay in the financial services area, it's not the best area for me and what I believe to be true about me. And at the end of the day, what I do from 8-5 Monday through Friday, doesn't get me out of bed in the morning. In fact, it makes me want to stay in bed.

But as the news is slowly getting out, the overwhelming question is "what are you going to do next?". I wish I had a more eloquent answer than "I just don't know yet". I have over 50 resumes out in the Denver area. I have applied for things that I don't qualify for to things that I am over-qualified for. I have applied to jobs just to apply and have had two jobs that I really wanted deny me. But unfortunately, I have no idea what is going to happen next. And while I appreciate everyone asking me and their concern, it's a similar question to "why are you still single?". I have no idea how to answer either, so my new standard answer is "well, at least I'm not pregnant.".

I have no idea what the future holds. Actually, that's a lie, I do. I know it involves cleaning the hell out of my place, searching and applying for jobs that I want, spending time with Rowds, breathing deeply, enjoying some much needed space. Sure this might mean that I might have to stay at Starbucks part time a little bit longer and sure this might mean facing some deeper issues about being alone and sacrificing a constant going out, but hey...

At least I'm not pregnant...

Saturday, December 13, 2008

New Year's Resolutions

It's getting towards the end of the year. And I won't lie, 2008 hasn't been the best. There have been many struggles, many sacrifices, many losses. There has been humility given out by the fistful, too many tears, too much heartache.

And with the end of the year comes reflection and hope. While I haven't taken the time to read through my posts from 2008, I have begun to think about what I want out of 2009. There is the possibility of going back to Kenya, a place where my heart is still kept, where I still long to be. There is the possibility of Spain. There is Vegas, Chicago, Fargo... There will be new jobs, new adventures, new loves, new heartaches. And instead of making the traditional New Year's Resolutions which are bound to fail, I came across some mantras from the Dalai Lama. Perhaps these should be the goals I have for myself in 2009:

1. Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.

2. When you lose, don't lose the lesson.

3. Follow the three R's:
Respect for self
Respect for others and
Responsibility for all your actions.

4. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.

5. Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.

6. Don't let a little dispute injure a great friendship.

7. When you realize you've made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.

8. Spend some time alone every day.

9. Open your arms to change, but don't let go of your values.

10. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.

11. Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you'll be able to enjoy it a second time.

12. A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.

13. In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation. Don't bring up the past.

14. Share your knowledge. It's a way to achieve immortality.

15. Be gentle with the earth.

16. Once a year, go someplace you've never been before.

17. Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.

18. Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.

19. Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

next steps

I've been thinking more and more recently about what I should be doing.

Should be. It's a dangerous grouping of words. I should be cleaning my house, walking my dog, studying for the GRE, working more at Starbucks, creating more intentional time with friends, meditating, caring for my soul...the list could go on. But those two tragic words together induce such shame. I really should be doing what I think is best for me.

I'm tossing around the idea of going back to grad school. However, this is where the pull is. I already have a master degree. Why do I need another one? If I go back to school, shouldn't I be going after a PhD? Not that my first isn't important, but outside of the church, most companies have no idea what the hell to do what a Master of Arts in Transformational Leadership, hence the fact I leave the Transformational part out on my resume. And really, do I need another master degree to do what I want?

But that leads to the ultimate question...what do I really want to be doing? I know the things I believe about myself, that I was put on this planet to create change in it. That the systems we have in place aren't helping people and I want to help people. So does that mean I need a different degree? Do I need a Social Work or Public Policy degree?

(And if someone could tell me what a degree in Public Policy really does, I'd appreciate it.)

But in the same breath, the ultimate question brings up some great fears. Do I really want to pay $90,000 for a degree in Social Work when making that will never happen? Why do I have to take the GRE because I suck at standardize tests and already have a degree, shouldn't that be enough? How would I make ends meet?

Maybe this is all a ramble, but at the end of the day, I need some direction. But I know, I definitely need to start looking at some next steps for my future.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

What an interesting time we live in...

I won't lie. With the election just around the corner, everything is heating up. The conversations are heated, the vibes are heated, even The Onion posts are heated.

And here's the truth...I.LOVE.IT.

I don't know if our country has ever experienced anything like this before, and it might never happen again. People who have never been involved with politics are making phone calls, purchasing buttons, and supporting the hell out of their candidates.

We will all never agree, however, living in this country allows us the freedom not to agree. It allows us to speak our minds freely and have the fun/hard/heated conversations. We are living in a land that gives us the chance to try something new and think about possibilities. If we all agreed, what would be the fun in that?

It surprised me the other day to find out that someone who is as avid McCain supporter removed me from their friends on Facebook because I support Obama. They have every right to support McCain and I have every right to support Obama. It doesn't make either one of us a "bad" person because we support the candidate we do. Our country, our liberties give us this chance...why shouldn't we embrace it? Hell, even the avid McCain supporter I sit next to in my office looks past who I am voting for and we still get along.

It's my hope that somehow this election, these times, allow us to embrace each other's opinions. Why we don't, why we choose fear and why at the end of the day, it's easier to hate instead of breathing deep and seeing a chance to learn how to listen better is beyond me.

Do the research, register to vote and take a chance. Embrace the opportunity we may never get it again.

Obama/Biden 2008

Monday, September 01, 2008

Issued by the McCain campaign

Someone recently asked me to engage a conversation on why I feel so passionate about this Presidential election.

There are many reasons, but one of the major reasons is McCain's stances on women's issues.

Here is where John McCain stands on basic women issues:

McCain Opposed Equal Pay Bill for Women, Said They ‘Need Education and Training’ Instead. McCain skipped a vote on the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act that would ensure women have the opportunity to recover back pay for discrimination once they discover it. If he had been there to vote, he said he would have voted against it and that women “need education and training” rather than an equal pay bill. The bill addressed a recent Supreme Court decision that said Steelworker Lilly Ledbetter could not recover back pay for 19 years of discrimination at Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. because she had not discovered the unequal pay until she retired. The bill would amend the 1964 Civil Rights Act to allow employees to file charges of pay discrimination within 180 days of the last received paycheck affected by the discrimination. [Source:; H.R. 2831, Vote 110, 4/23/08; Associated Press, 4/28/08]

McCain Voted to Gut the Family and Medical Leave Act.
In 1993, before finally voting for the Family and Medical Leave Act, McCain voted to jeopardize leave for millions of workers by gutting the bill. He voted to suspend the Family and Medical Leave Act unless the federal government certified that compliance would not increase business expenses or provide financial assistance to businesses to cover any related costs. [Source: S.Amdt. 16, S. 5, Vote 7, 2/4/93; H.R. 1, Vote 11, 2/4/93]

Source for the following information: Planned Parenthood

McCain opposed spending $100 million to prevent unintended and teen pregnancies.
In 2005, McCain voted NO to allocate $100 million to expand access to preventive health care services that reduce the numbers of unintended and teen pregnancies and reduce the number of abortions.

McCain opposed legislation requiring that abstinence-only programs be medically accurate and scientifically based.
McCain voted NO on legislation that would help reduce the number of teen pregnancies by providing funding for programs to teach comprehensive, medically accurate sexuality education and other programs to prevent unintended teen pregnancies.

McCain opposed Title X, the nation's family planning program.
In 1990, McCain voted NO on legislation to extend the Title X federal family planning program, which provides low-income and uninsured women and families with health care services ranging from breast and cervical cancer screening to birth control. (Because low income families should also worry about cancer and the inability to pay for screenings on top of every thing else.)

McCain opposed requiring insurance coverage of prescription birth control.

In 2003, McCain voted NO on legislation to improve the availability of contraceptives for women and to require insurance coverage of prescription birth control. (Because paying for a birth is so much cheaper than my $30 a month birth control)

McCain opposes comprehensive sex education.

In an interview aboard the "Straight Talk Express," McCain struggled to answer questions about comprehensive sex education and HIV prevention. He also stated that he supported "the president's policy" on sex education. (Because obviously giving teens all the information possible will lead them to have sex. I was shamed and scared into waiting till marriage to have sex by a youth group and that was such a better tactic.)

McCain unsure where he stands on government funding for contraception.

"Whether I support government funding for them or not, I don't know," McCain said about contraceptives.

McCain opposed repealing the "global gag rule."

In 2005, McCain voted NO on legislation to overturn the "global gag rule," which bars foreign nongovernmental organizations from receiving U.S. family planning assistance if the organization (using its own, non-U.S. funds) provides abortion services or information or advocates for pro-choice laws and policies in its own country.

McCain supports overturning Roe v. Wade.

In February 2007, the AP quoted McCain stating, "I do not support Roe v. Wade. It should be overturned." In May 2007, he reiterated his desire to overturn Roe v. Wade during an appearance on Meet the Press stating, "My position has been consistently in my voting record, pro-life, and I continue to maintain that position and voting record."

(Thank you Barak Oblogger for posting these!)

I'm not here to argue whether or not Roe v. Wade should be overturned (though I do think it should be available), but as a woman, I can't think of a worse possible President (let alone a male) to dictate my body and my reproduction system. That should be my choice, with my ethics and my morals that lead me to make those decisions, not the government.

So, maybe the picture wasn't issued by the McCain campaign, but I have a feeling he might agree with it.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Attending the Acceptance Speech

Yesterday, my friend Julia came to my desk to ask if I wanted to go see Obama. I simply thought she meant go back outside to the hotel where he is staying and watch the motorcade drive by again. I grabbed my camera and said sure.

That's when she surprised me. She meant go see Obama. I immediately said yes. No matter what needed to be done throughout the rest of the day, I had to be there. After clearing it through everyone, we left.

Unfortunately, we didn't really think this part through. We got a taxi that took us to the Pepsi Center and then walked the 2 miles to meet our tickets. Her friend, a lobbyist with Planned Parenthood, had 2 extra tickets. (Thank you Planned Parenthood for the seats and I will be voting against 47 in November!) And then we waited. And we waited. And we waited. We stood in line for 3 1/2 hours to get through security and up to our seats.

When the Rockies were in the playoffs last year, I sat in the 2nd to last row of the stadium. When Obama spoke last night, I was in the 10th to last row of the stadium. We had a great view of the back of every speakers head. But I was there. I was there when Obama accepted the nomination. I was a part of history.

My only complaint about last night isn't the walk or the long line, or the location of our seats. It was that I couldn't hear Al Gore or Obama speak. The echo was horrible that high up and when the crowd got excited, well, it should have been an adult from a Peanuts cartoon. Thankfully CNN always posts the text from the speeches and I was able to read what each man had to say.

Historic? Definitely. Aw inspiring? You betcha. Chance of a lifetime? Of course. Would I do it again? In a heartbeat.

And if that wasn't enough, in a crowd of 75,000, I was able to see my friend Jeni, randomly on the street. Want proof of the evening? Click here.

Thursday, August 28, 2008


yes, you should feel the excitement.


Once this week finally settles down and I can finally breathe, I'll post on what having the DNC in town has meant to me. For the time being, after watching most of it on TV over the last few days (and tonight at a watch party), here's one of the better parts from Bill Clinton's speech:

The Republicans will nominate a good man who served our country heroically and suffered terribly in Vietnam. He loves our country every bit as much as we all do. As a Senator, he has shown his independence on several issues. But on the two great questions of this election, how to rebuild the American Dream and how to restore America's leadership in the world, he still embraces the extreme philosophy which has defined his party for more than 25 years, a philosophy we never had a real chance to see in action until 2001, when the Republicans finally gained control of both the White House and Congress. Then we saw what would happen to America if the policies they had talked about for decades were implemented.
They took us from record surpluses to an exploding national debt; from over 22 million new jobs down to 5 million; from an increase in working family incomes of $7,500 to a decline of more than $2,000; from almost 8 million Americans moving out of poverty to more than 5 and a half million falling into poverty - and millions more losing their health insurance.
Now, in spite of all the evidence, their candidate is promising more of the same: More tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans that will swell the deficit, increase inequality, and weaken the economy. More band-aids for health care that will enrich insurance companies, impoverish families and increase the number of uninsured. More going it alone in the world, instead of building the shared responsibilities and shared opportunities necessary to advance our security and restore our influence.
They actually want us to reward them for the last eight years by giving them four more. Let's send them a message that will echo from the Rockies all across America: Thanks, but no thanks. In this case, the third time is not the charm.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Why I feel like I'm going to fail at the DNC

In recent months, I had a brush with a celebrity and froze in the moment. I figured that I could redeem myself and somehow, I wouldn't embarrass myself come DNC time.

However, after last night, I think that I am going to fail miserably in the next few weeks.

My friend Sara and I went to see Joshua Radin last night at my favorite venue in Denver. As we stood in the crowd, I realized we standing next to Joshua. Eventually I asked him if he often stands in the crowd and his response was no, but that he thought he should. When the opening act finished, I reminded him that he had to go get ready. His response "Oh yeah, I have to go put on my eyeliner".

When the lights dimmed, I realized my mistake. The person I had been talking to wasn't Joshua. It was his bass player.

Oh. My. God.

I felt like the perpetual L should be branded on my forehead. I felt like the biggest idiot in the world.

I realized in that moment, I'm either going to confuse someone or not even recognize them come DNC time.

But the show was fantastic. Especially the part where Joshua came out to the crowd and stood about 100 feet from us and played acoustically.

Monday, July 21, 2008

"That could have been a really difficult conversation"

On Saturday, in the 99 degree weather, Christen and I went to the Mile High Music Festival to see some great bands, enjoy the great weather and do some great people watching.

I watched the following bands:
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
O.A.R. (Of A Revolution)
Steve Winwood (this is only because part of the Tom Petty concert became a Steve Winwood concert)
Stephen Kellogg & the Sixers
Citizen Cope
Lupe Fiasco
Gavin Degraw
Josh Ritter
Newton Faulkner (where I saw Ingrid)
Eric Hutchinson

And I'll be honest, I now love Spoon. I plan on seeing them the next time they are in Denver. They are totally worth it. It was also hilarious that they interrupted their concert to help the audience member looking for shrooms.

Christen and I beat the heat by lounging in the shade tents, enjoying the bands and the day. We had a great discussion about pepperoni, and that we wouldn't murder each other. We also found out that Steve is the greatest person ever.

The day could have been ruined by awkward run-ins, arguments, and in general horrible vibes, but it was a great way to spend the Saturday vibe free and not being around people who would have been a bust on the entire day.

It was worth it...every penny and I hope it's back next year. I'd go to both days next year.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

My moment of greatness...and I froze

Working downtown provides me with entertainment on a daily basis. I've gotten pretty good at identifying the truly homeless from the posers who want to appear homeless. The investment bankers from the high-end real estate agents. And then, there's the occasional celebrity.

Sure, I've seen the Mayor (at the local bookstore, and he was behind me. Thankfully, I was asking for a smart book) and the Governor (he said good morning to me as I was walking to get Starbucks). But last night, it was a real celebrity.

This guy walked into Starbucks and he had this look like a rock star. He heard my coworker and I discussing concerts and so I asked where he was playing. He didn't answer. He took his bottle of water and left. About a minute later, he walked back in. This time we really got after him. I asked again where he was playing and he said Red Rocks. I asked what band he was in and he said I would have to go home and google it. I asked again and he said Stone Temple Pilots.

This is the point where I could have asked every legitimate question in the book but here are the two questions I asked:
1) Is Scott on tour? His answer yes...
2) Is Scott sober?

Is. Scott. Sober. That's the brilliant question I asked. Not what's it like to play Red Rocks? What it's like to be on tour for ages with a great band? Can I have free tickets? And a backstage pass?

Ugh...Hopefully, when I meet Adam Duritz in September, I won't freeze and will be able to ask him the real questions.

By the way, it was Dean DeLeo, the Stone Temple Pilot's lead guitarist, I met last night.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

drown me in love

it's funny, since I wrote my latest manifesto, I've spent hours, minutes, seconds, wondering how to actually put it into action.

I so want it to be true. I want it more than I've wanted anything recently. And the truth is that I feel like I have a direction in my life again. Over the last year, I feel like I've lost what I want to be in true in my life. And I don't think Kenya is to blame for that, I think it reawakened some necessary areas. But I could not and I cannot reconcile the two areas.

I moved out to Denver with the belief that love could do anything, could change the world. And there is the part of me that still believes that, but I haven't put it into any action over the last few months.

So to read those words, to have it resonate in my soul, to cry tears of aching, to realize that you don't know who you's a hard place to be. So, I did the two things I know best to do...I shamed myself and called my therapist.

I desperately want it to be. I am putting as much energy as I can into making it true.

Friday, June 20, 2008

I wish I had found these lyrics a couple of weeks ago

you can’t play me like that, it’s a matter of fact
your nothing more than a typical whore,
and i won’t be your fool anymore.
maybe someday you’ll get it, perhaps you’ll regret it
or maybe you’ll find someone else who accepts it.
i won’t be the one
-- Tickle Me Pink "Typical"

These are the words I wish I would have said to the person who gave me the biggest load a couple of weeks ago, because sadly, they are true of him.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Truth vs. Reality

"I want to be a better wife, a more conscious and present mother, a more loyal friend, and a better listener. I'd like to handle my anxiety better. I also want to be more organized because I'm tired and fed up with not being able to find anything. Many times that anything is my head. And starting yesterday I feel like I'm on my way to making every day Florida.
Here goes."

I feel like I could swap out some these words and it could voice the struggle I am feeling in my soul right's my version...

I want to be a confident woman, a more conscious and present being, a more loyal and better friend, and a better listener. I'd like to handle my anxiety better. I also want to be more organized because I'm tired and fed up with not being able to find anything. Many times that anything is my head... Here goes.

Monday, June 09, 2008

the reality after 3 years

I was speaking with a friend today about something we are doing this summer. As we chatted about who we wanted to invite, they mentioned this "it's sad when I can't come up with more than 2 or 3 people I really want to invite."

Here's the reality...I could have said the exact same thing. There are 4 people here in Denver that I really want to be around, who I feel like they want to be around me. And in the midst of that, I have to wonder (and I apologize for the language) why the fuck I came out here. Not that things were wonderful in Chicago, but at least there, I had a truer sense of community. I followed a group out here, filled with the desire to love the Trinity more and the reality is that it was lead by a narcistic man who couldn't think outside of himself.

And here I am, 3 years later, feeling like I know 2 to 4 people that I could call if need be. And it's hard not to feel like you are alone in a large city...

Welcome to year 3 in Denver...God willing things begin to change.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Thank you CA

Random note...

Last night I had a girls happy hour with Maria, Sheralee and Christen. We started at Delite and then moved to Beatrice and Woodsley. It was at B&W that I confessed I had no idea how use T-9 features on my phone.

Christen thankfully showed me how to use it. And all it is, you don't look at the screen. You look at the keyboard.

And Sheralee showed me how to T-9 in Spanish...

I believe this will forever change my life.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008


As I was riding the bus to meet my friend BAC for dinner, I received a phone call from someone. I've know this person for 1 year and our friendship/relationship is one wave after another.

What proceeded over the next 15 minutes was the worst lying I have ever heard. My mom always told me that you can never shit a shitter and with my intuition, I knew exactly what was happening. And in the midst of the conversation, I was able to say finally that I am done. Which if you've talked to me about this person over the last few weeks, you know I've been ready to say "no more".

But after processing with Christen and BAC, what I've come to decide is that the excuse I got was by far the lamest excuse EVER. And what's sad, this isn't a first time I've gotten the worst explanation from this person. Perhaps that's why it's so easy to say "no more" to this person.

It's nice to be done.


Someone asked me recently why they still check my blog every day even though I rarely post these days. And in all honesty, I don't know why she still checks either.

Last night as I was doing dishes at Starbucks (yes, for those of you who don't know, I took up a part time job to get completely debt free by next year), I had the time to process some items that are on the table. I thought about the response I really want to tell someone, about how I want the courage to say I am done. I thought about life, where it is, what it has been, and the disappointment I feel around some of it. I thought about how drastically different it looks compared to what it was imagined to be. I thought about a conversation I had earlier in the day about how a person's job and their true being were so drastically different that they didn't know if they could even be in the same room with each other.

Who knows where this is going and if I even have a point right now, but there is something to be said to the point that moving on isn't a bad just needs to happen...

Friday, May 23, 2008

I will be 30 in 663 days

That has nothing to do with this post, it's just a fact that I'm keeping in mind.

I once had a friend who always talked about moving back to their home town. They would talk about the possibilities and then, it wouldn't happen. And while the hype eventually got to be a little much, I began to wonder if they really ever wanted to move or just wanted the possibility of something new and exciting in their life.

Every 3 years, I get the itch to move. I blame it on my upbringing. We moved every 3 1/2 years. Like clockwork, I began to realize that summers equated moving to a new town. And while KC was the longest I had ever lived in the same house and the same city, I created new things to change every 3 years. Friends, churches, a lot of ways, moving was the most stable thing in my life.

Here it is, 3 years after I moved to Denver. And of course, I feel the need to shake things ups. Besides a handful of friends and the condo, there really isn't anything keeping me here. I've lost more friends over the last 3 years than I think I have in any of my previous years. In a lot of ways, I feel like I've lost a mission for my life.

And if you can't leave (Denver's housing market is the 10th worst in the country currently), how do you shake things up to get a sense of new?

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Hi, you might remember me...

I use to author this crazy blog.

And it's weird to think 2 months have gone by without a post. It's not like nothing has happened. I had birthday, I went to Vegas, I had good friends in town, I had my parents in town, we kicked off spring with a wonderful bbq at my place, I was on federal jury duty, I picked up a part-time job, I've had people come back into my life, and I've had people take steps out.

Winter has finally ended and spring is arriving in Denver. The change of seasons always makes me think. What needs to be put to rest, what should come to life, what eventually should bring new life? And as much as I could force an eloquent post about what is changing in my life, the reality is that I have nothing to say. I don't want to force a post (much like a forced email I read recently) because I must post something.

Here's the deal...overall, I'm happy. I'm content...the people who have left have made me grieve and realize that sometimes, things end. The door is still open and will always be open, but movement is required. I've resolved the fact that my weekends for the next year are taken. I'm excited about the possibility of new friends at my part-time job. I'm really grateful for my friendships, new and old, that are willing to love me, in spite of my stubbornness and my hectic schedule. I have a hilarious dog that keeps me company (even when he breaks the screen door).

For the first time in a long time, I feel centered. And I don't feel selfish for saying that.

So, while I could tell you about the 7 mimosas I drank in Vegas or the fact that kissed Beth or that jury duty was a needed break and that I think I've made a decision about grad school, until the real words come, I'm okay with the silence.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

100 things to do before my time is up

Fifty-one through Seventy-five:

51. Be at peace with those who have hurt me
52. Understand my spirituality
53. Know how to start a fire
54. Practice Yoga on a daily basis
55. Learn how to rock climb
56. Learn how to give up and give into love
57. Ask for the raise I deserve
58. Ask my parents the stories of their lives
59. Drive a Vespa through Paris
60. See Saturday Night Live in person
61. Complete the Sunday New York Times Crossword pen
62. Perform with the Coyote Ugly girls
63. Create my will
64. Plan for my retirement
65. Live in the same town as my best friend
66. Begin annual trips with my best friend
67. Complete a half-marathon
68. Meet Heather Armstrong (aka: Dooce) and become friends with her
69. Get back stage to a major concert
70. Hike all the 13'ners in Colorado
71. Score under par on Disc Golf
72. Be able to identify the difference between Mozart, Chopin, and Beethoven
73. Buy season tickets to the Opera
74. Audition for local theater
75. Revisit all the childhood homes I had

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

100 things to do before my time is up

Twenty-six through fifty:

26. Go to the Golden Globes
27. Adopt a child from Kenya
28. Dance in the rain
29. Stand on the pyramids
30. Run with the bulls
31. Learn how to surf
32. Live without TV for a month
33. Live without Internet for 3 months
34. Discover the next big band
35. Write an article for "The Onion"
36. Contribute to a charity that I believe will change the world
37. Meet Zach Braff
38. Live in Hawaii
39. See a Broadway premier
40. Spend NYE in New York City
41. Attend a black tie affair
42. Own a house that requires a front porch swing
43. Fly first class to an exotic location
44. Find a job that makes me happy
45. Learn how to drive a manual transmission
46. Cliff dive
47. Have lunch with Bono
48. Learn American Sign Language
49. Contribute an article to "Real Simple"
50. Have Stacy and Clinton be honest with me about my wardrobe

Monday, March 10, 2008

100 things to do before my time is up

My friend Jeni recently began her list of things to do before she goes and of course, I began to think about my list...I'd love to hear some of yours.

One through twenty-five:
  1. Live without my meds
  2. Get married
  3. Raise compassionate, self-aware children
  4. Set foot in all 7 continents
  5. Become a published author (on what, I have no idea)
  6. Purchase a pair Manolo Blahnik
  7. Become a paid photographer
  8. Sky dive over the Sahara
  9. Climb Kilimanjaro
  10. Learn how to do the following well:
    1. Ride a horse
    2. Use a knife properly
    3. Sail
  11. Learn to speak Spanish fluently
  12. Learn to speak Kiswahili well
  13. Learn to speak enough Italian to live there for a year
  14. Make love on the beach
  15. Learn how to take a compliment
  16. Become a doula
  17. Take the train from coast to coast
  18. Start a non-profit
  19. Join the Peace Corps
  20. Visit the Holy Land
  21. Figure out my family tree
  22. Invest in crazy invention
  23. Spend extensive time in the following places
    1. London
    2. Paris
    3. Madrid
    4. Nairobi
    5. Hong Kong
    6. Tibet
  24. Spend the whole day naked and be comfortable in my own skin
  25. Drink beer at the Oktoberfest in Germany

Monday, February 25, 2008

it's time

Last night on the Oscars, I heard one of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard. And within hearing it for the first time, I can't stop playing it on repeat.

Tonight I figured out why.

The lyrics say the following:

Falling slowly, eyes that know me
And I can't go back
Moods that take me and erase me
And I'm painted black
You have suffered enough
And warred with yourself
It's time that you won

I feel like this is so true in my life right now that I can't stop repeating to myself...

It's time that you won...

It's time that you won...

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Goodbye to you...

In recent years, this day hasn't bothered me. Of course I wanted someone to share it with. But it didn’t consume me.

Yet, this year, I’m consumed by the shame that comes from this day and what it says to the single people in the world. That, by being single, we are not worthy on a day like today. It’s no wonder that the rate of suicide is up around this time of the year.

And of all the people I could share today with, I can’t. There were two emotions I had when I got up this morning. One was to call someone in Oklahoma and let him know how I felt about him dropping off the face of the earth. The second was to call another boy and ask him to be my valentine.

I can’t do that…I can’t put him or myself in that position again. It’s not fair to either of us. I want to shake him out from under my skin. So that I don’t think about him all the time, so that I can move on…but it never seems to happen. Every day, he’s still there in the back of my mind. I’ve kept playing Michelle Branch’s “Goodbye to You” on repeat because I want it to be true. I want to say goodbye to him and be released from the emotions I constantly feel about him. But until that happens, I’ll continue to listen because hopefully, it will stop.

Of all the things I've believed in
I just want to get it over with
Tears form behind my eyes
But I do not cry
Counting the days that pass me by
I've been searching deep down in my soul
Words that I'm hearing are starting to get old
It feels like I'm starting all over again
The last three years were just pretend
And I said,
Goodbye to you
Goodbye to everything I thought I knew
You were the one I loved
The one thing that I tried to hold on to
The one thing that I tried to hold on to
I still get lost in your eyes
And it seems that I can't live a day without you
Closing my eyes and you chase my thoughts away
To a place where I am blinded by the light
But it's not right
Goodbye to you
Goodbye to everything I thought I knew
You were the one I loved
The one thing that I tried to hold on to
The one thing that I tried to hold on to
And it hurts to want everything and nothing at the same time
I want what's yours and I want what's mine
I want you
But I'm not giving in this time
Goodbye to you
Goodbye to everything I thought I knew
You were the one I loved
The one thing that I tried to hold on to
The one thing that I tried to hold on to
Goodbye to you
Goodbye to everything I thought I knew
You were the one I loved
The one thing that I tried to hold on to
The one thing that I tried to hold on to
And when the stars fall
I will lie awake
You're my shooting star

Monday, February 11, 2008

soul purge

"You may never know what results come of your action, but if you do nothing there will be no result." Gandhi

The ebb and flow of life seems to be messing with my mind and my soul recently. I had so many expectations for 2008. That "2008 will be great" feeling was upon me when the clock struck midnight on December 31st.

And the reality is, what I’ve seen 2008 to be thus far hasn’t been fun to watch. I’ve pretty much owned up to a major downfall in my life, and I’m not allowing for much grace for myself or from others.

I feel like the goals I’ve set for myself a while ago really aren’t happening. I’m not being as proactive on some of them as I had hoped to be and there have been harsh realities in dealing with the others.

I was telling a friend today that I feel like I’ve let myself down over the last month and half. And not only that, but I feel like situations and people have let me down.

And the reality is, I’d much rather hide and stick to the life I’ve created in my house than face the reality outside. Becoming a recluse is really what I want to do.

If you had talked to me on Thursday, you would have thought I could have taken over the world. I had finally resolved the fact that a guy I had been chatting with on eHarmony had cut the ties (considering I haven’t heard from him in ages) and that I had received the apology I so deserved from my ex. I felt like I was winning the break-up in that situation. I even had enough courage on Friday to talk to guy in my building that has caught my eye for a while now. Friday night, I could speak to anyone with the courage and strength that had been pushed out of me for a while.

Then over the weekend, I had time to think. I thought about the relationships I have in my life, the new and the old ones. I thought about love. I thought about change. I thought about the reality of what I know to be true and how I don’t feel any of that truth on a regular basis. I thought about some of the situations I was in, and how I loved most of them, and others made me frustrated beyond words. I thought about the lack of grace I give myself and how easily I tend to give it to others. I thought about selfish decisions, about grasping, about the bottom. I thought about Denver and the hope it once had and how now I’m realizing that hope was never there and has never been here.

So what do you when in one moment you feel empowered and in the next realize your reality is pretty much not what you had hoped it to be? Do you tuck and hide or do you cling to the empowerment and figure out what your grasp is when the wind is blowing?

Friday, February 01, 2008

You can help!

In response to the last post, I've created a set on my flickr page in order to help the Were family.

This set is to help the Were family find safety.  All profits will be going directly to help this cause.  Should you want to help, please contact me to order prints.

5 4x6 -- $5
1 5x7 -- $8
1 8x10 -- $10

All prices include shipping as well as the story involving the picture.

I thank you and the Were family thanks you for your support.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

In order to help

On Tuesday, we learned that Julius' brother had been murdered in Kenya. Just when we thought it couldn't get any closer, it has.

Julius left yesterday to fly back to Kenya to help settle his brother's estate and to help find safety for his siblings. And while I am praying for his safety while he is there, I'm seeking another way to help.

Financially, the Were's need money to get out of Kenya. Starting on Saturday, all of my Kenya pictures will be for sale with all the profits going directly to helping the Were family.

Please stop by my flickr page on Saturday to see what you could purchase to help this family get to safety. More details to follow on how to order your pictures.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

And it continues

I had a dream recently, one where I was back in Kenya.  The Kenya I knew and fell in love with over the summer.  I was sitting around with my Kenyan friends, laughing and playing spoons.

And the reality slowly becomes that the Kenya I knew and fell in love with this summer is ripping itself apart.  And I become nervous.  My friends are suffering great losses and from here, I have no idea what to do.

I received news this morning that my dear friend Julius has lost a family member in the midst of this saga.  And my fear as Julius flies back to Nairobi is what is going to happen to him while he is there. 

This is huge trauma to Julius and his family, but also to us as his friends.  I know I've asked it before, but what do you do when a place you love is falling apart at the seams?  Until I figure out an answer, I read articles like this and cry over the loss and the helplessness I feel.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


God is with us.  This is what Emmanuel means, however, Emmanuel also means a beautiful father who cares for his children deeply and who loves people fully.

Emmanuel is Julius' brother, who lives in Kenya with his three children.  We were fortunate to spend quality time with him this summer and I love him...he's amazing.

We recently got this email from Julius regarding his brother:  He has been robbed by policemen who beat him with those big sticks they carry for no apparent reason at all.  He has been robbed at gun point but all in all he will live to see another day.  Right now, I [Julius] am unable to keep in touch with him over the phone because that too was stolen...This is the scary news yet we still pray for peace and common sense to return to Kenya.  He will be okay.  Pray earnestly for peace and calm to return to Kenya.  I am trying to pretend that he is okay...

I'm so angry, so frustrated, so disturbed by this.  I know that there is nothing I can do from all the way over here, but I feel helpless now.  Please continue to pray, please continue to ask questions...I can't see a piece of my heart, my home, my family continue to be ripped apart like this...

Friday, January 04, 2008

An update from Kenya

Josie Mai, the Executive Director of Soulfari, recently sent out this email to update us all on what's happening in Kenya. I wanted to share it with all of you that keep Kenya on your mind:

Do you remember having growing pains as a kid? I remember lying in my bed at night, legs aching so badly I couldn't sleep. The pain never lasted long,but it reminded me that my body was becoming an adult,full, it's whole self.

This is the only way I can view the current violence and aching in Kenya. Relatively, they are still a new country, only recently playing by their own rules, not the colonist's. The rules are set, a few people are not playing by them, and the masses suffer. I won't goon about the details. As of this morning, a secondarily of protest has been stifled by the police and Kibaki is softening toward a recount. Transparency of this recount is the only thing that will ease Kenyans back to their daily lives. The media source I am following is BBC radio and internet. They are actually interviewing Kenyans, not just showing the"slum-dwellers" running amok as Kenya is "convulsed".

I talked for a long time with Julius on the phone last night. He, like the rest of us, is helpless to do anything tangible for our friends and family in Kenya.He spoke with passion about the situation, and I listened and asked my questions like a good sister,like a good executive director. Emmanuel and the kids are OK. They are in Dandora, a predominantly Kikuyu(Kibaki) slum and they are essentially Luo(opposition). Shops are closed, there is no transport,they are staying indoors. Florence is a sister living upcountry, closer to Uganda. There is even police presence there, in the country. She lives in a predominantly Luo area and reports Kikuyu's fleeing into Uganda. Other friends and family members are OK.I am not concerned about the Missionaries of Charity.They have built a fortress of a compound and can lock the 15 foot gate anytime. I am more concerned aboutVilla Teag in Dandora. The kids are safe inside, but I don't know about Zaria and the workers who usually come and go and do not actually live there.

As an organization, Soulfari Kenya will move through this with our Kenyan friends. We are in this for the long haul. None of our work is in vain. Meaningful relationships are never in vain. The trip for July 2008 is still on. We will make a final decision in April when it is time to purchase airfare. One week of political turmoil does not change the personal friendships we have forged with Nelson, Kym, Kwame,Gloria, the kids of Huruma, Emmanuel, Franci, Mary,and Kevin, Helen, Pamela, Salim etc etc.

In this present moment, money won't help. Shops are closed. But there will be some rebuilding to do. We want to be able to help in this process. If you are interested in donating specifically to rebuild the livelihood of our Kenyan partners, let us know. Or donate right now through paypal at our

Meanwhile, you can also purchase a beautiful calendar created for Soulfari, filled with the faces and service that define us. Hang one where you will see it every day, to be reminded of the growing pains of our Kenyan friends, that it will pass, that there is health, hope, and happiness around the corner. You can order it here:

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers and concerns.Continue to be informed, and hopeful.

Josie Mai
Executive Director and Founder
Soulfari Kenya Inc

I couldn't have said it better myself

Ariannna Huffington recently posted this on her site regarding Obama's win in Iowa.  And for right now, this gives me such great hope for what will happen in November.

Yahoo for Obama!!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

take a second

If you've read this blog for 3 years or 3 minutes, you know that I have found a deep place for Kenya in my heart. After experiencing the beauty and wonder this past summer, it breaks my heart to see and hear what is going on in Kenya.

I've been worried about friends back there, curious to know what their perspective is like. Thankfully, my friend Nelson has kept me up-to-date on his side of the story from Kenya.

Today, I received this email from him:

Today there is a planed rally by the opposition In Nairobi and the government has denied them the permit to hold that rally. We are praying that The Government and the opposition would sit down together and sort this mess they have created. Today there are prayers for our country in a church near where I leave and I plan to attend. Take care and God bless you

I'm asking for 2 things this morning:
1) Please read what is happening and educate yourself. This is more than just a bad presidential election, this could be the beginning of something much, much bigger.

2) In however it takes shape for you, please pray for Kenya. This is a piece of my heart, my home, and I have friends there that I love deeply and miss on a regular basis. It's been so long since I've asked for prayer like this, and to be honest, I don't know what to pray for. At this moment, anything will be helpful.

It just scares me and breaks my heart to see this happening to my home...