Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Big news

(From BugsyAndSprite)

I'm moving to Oregon! I'm gonna work doing webby things at Oregon State University & be a beaver.

I'm super excited, and super overwhelmed, and ....yeah. Especially since this week is essentially a non-week in that Aaron is out of town, and I'm waiting to go to Portland+Corvallis again to house hunt. So far everything has fallen into place like a dream, and I sort of expect it to continue that way.

However, since this is a blog about my life & adventures, I'm sure I'll be blogging about the moving process along the way, and once I'm there it will be a whole other aventure to explore my new adorable college-y town and make a new home for us!

So, keep reading...

Monday, January 28, 2013

Oh, Lena

When I'm alone I tend to read and watch and eat and do really strange things. I consider it a sign of the times. I'm not supposed to be on my own anymore trying to play Taylor Swift songs on my ukulele & rewatching Gilmore Girls for the millionth time.

But, Aaron is out of town all week, so, unfortunately, those things are just going to happen.

Fortunately, I didn't just watch Gilmore girls & the Office & Parks and Rec all weekend.

I made it my unofficial Lena Dunham weekend. I watched her film, "Tiny Furniture", and many of the "Girls" special features.

I like all of it a lot, but for some reason, it's not my favorite thing in the world. I think it's because I relate to what she's doing a lot, and I think "Hey, I could do that. I could act like life is really that awkward, when it's really just ALMOST that awkward."

The thing about it...and the thing about blogs like Thought Catalog and all that great stuff, is.... they act like, for your life to mean anything, you have to live in New York.

Screw that. The city is beautiful and amazing, but I haven't wanted to live there since I was about 16. That dream faded awhile ago, and now I'm actually headed West. But more about that another day. :)

Saturday, January 26, 2013


I ran seven miles this morning. I'm planning more for tomorrow, and everybody knows that there's nothing better than a post-run smoothie in terms of recovery & refreshment & ...amazing.

My old blender was a hand-me-down that my mom had in college (in the '70s!). It died last fall, and I was blenderless until Christmas, when the aforementioned mother gave me the best blender/food processor combo in the world.

I've used them for approximately 85 percent of meals at home since then. I'm in love. The first smoothie I made with my new best friend was a green one: with coconut milk, green apple, spinach & lime.

This one, much more "traditional". I think my ideal smoothie is strawberry-peach-banana, but peaches aren't in season yet, and the blueberries taste great anyway.


Friday, January 25, 2013

Friday five

1. Parks & Rec

I finally caught up with the show last weekend, so I got to watch my first real-time episode in many, many seasons. Loving it.

2. Chai tea & bagels

Aaron's new years resolution was/is to shop local. So, instead of hitting up Starbucks and Panera occasionally, we've been hitting up our local coffee house/bakery, Cafe Louisa, way more often. Their bagels are delicious, and I don't like Starbucks Chai. The food is great; the atmosphere is cozy, and now we're of course questioning over and over again why we haven't been hanging out there all along.

3. Long runs

Extenuating circumstances (or maybe just laziness), caused me to not run at all last week. I've done 20 miles so far this week, putting me at 70 miles so far for the month/year. I'd really like to make it to 100 by the end of January, and I think my planned 13-mile run this weekend will help me get there!

4. Laundry & goodbyes

Am I the only one that puts off laundry until the last possible second? We got a lot of it done this week, which was super nice. But, we had to get a lot of it done because Aaron left today to go home to Little Rock & fly to Colorado with his mom & brother. They're going skiing ...so I booked my own trip to Portland to see my friend Rebekah. I'm leaving Wednesday after work, but I'll be home alone for the next several days. Hmph.

5. Soba noodles

I've been hearing a lot and seeing a lot of great recipes lately including soba noodles, so I ordered some of my own! They'll be here on Saturday, and be in my belly shortly after that. Can't wait!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Reading Joy Harjo

I just finished these two great books by Joy Harjo. This was the first book of poetry I've read this year, and I decided to do so after reading her memoir.

The lady had a crazy tough life, which she writes about in her memoir. It's amazing to see and read about how she ended up on the other end of it all.

"Indian Poetry" as a genre has been interesting to me since I discovered Alexie Sherman on my own in high school, and later studied him in my postmodern American poetry class in college, which, coincidentally, was the best English class I took in my career as an English minor.

From what I've read about Harjo, people like to talk about how she's such a strong woman and a strong feminist. I kind of take that for granted in the female poetry I read. What struck me was her relationship to the world around her: to the horses (duh), but also the people (which the horses are basically a metaphor for), and the moon and the sky and the roads she's traveled.

I hope I can get around to reading more of her work eventually.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Birthday wish list

The big 2-6 is coming up soon. It's really not a big birthday at all. And this isn't really a "birthday wish list". It's an, "I'll probably eventually be buying this stuff online list". No pressure. *wink wink*

1. Uggs

Um...what? I've never liked anything Ugg before in my life. But, during college, I had a pair of Walmart moccasins that I wore until their bottoms practically fell off. Because these are so expensive, I doubt that they would ever wear holes. They look so cute and fuzzy. I can't stand it! (*ahem* size 6).

2. Aladdin sweatshirt

Forever 21 did a Disney series awhile ago, and they were such a hit, they're reordering a lot of them. Almost everyone I know loves the Lion King the most, and that one does have a special place in my heart, but when it comes down to it, Aladdin is my very favorite disney movie, and I'd love to cozy up in an oversized one of these.

3. Hobbit things

I read the Hobbit and the rest of the LOTR series for the first time last year, and obviously fell in love. Thus, I now must have this Moleskine journal and This adorable ring. I would also like my own Hobbit hole to live in for the rest of forever.

4. Lulu pants

Last year's biggest...er...problem/development was that I became obsessed with Lululemon. Right now, I'm loving the navy color they're working with, and specifically these Will Pants. In the craziness that is Lulu sizing, I'm almost always a 6. Go figure.

5. The Newsroom

We are watching the West Wing at the moment. But, eventually, The West Wing will be "over", and then I'll need something else to watch, what better than Aaron Sorkin's newest burst of genius?

Sunday, January 13, 2013

This has been a very un-blog-worthy, un-rememberable weekend.

It was freakishly warm, though.

(There's probably a certain age where a girl should stop taking pictures of her feet. I'm not 26 yet, though, so we'll say it's somewhere past there. I also painted my nails with this awesome purplish blue. love.)

On Friday night, we went on part 1 of our grocery shopping mission to the organic grocery store. After that, instead of eating all the delicious food we'd just purchased, we went to eat at El Rey Burrito Lounge, which was delicious. We were planning on seeing Anna Karenina after that, but we took too long and drank too much.

I ran 11 miles this weekend.

Most of Saturday was spent completing chores & addressing wedding invitations (or at least the RSVPs). Very productive.

I made Laura Vitale's roast potatoes for a snack, and some alfredo with a goat cheese-roasted red pepper sauce. I will never stop roasting vegetables. Never.

Today? Not so productive. It's raining. Hopefully that will cool things off. We went to Birmingham. Ate Chipotle & Cheesecake. Climbed at the gym. Bought Boone a toy, which he's annoyingly chewing on beside me as I write this. Of course, I'm not actually annoyed. I'm seriously comforted by the adoration of the little monster.

I read on the way home.

I'm catching up on YouTube videos & Tumblr posts & watching Girls, which was shipped to me much earlier this week, but which I hadn't had time or focus to start until now. I'm loving it, obviously. I knew I would.

I'm also glad my life isn't much like it. I can relate to some [most?] of it, sure. But, I'd much rather live quietly in my little apartment with my dog and the man of my dreams. That's really all I need.

This week will be busy. Stressful. Important? Maybe. I'll let you know.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Friday five

1. leftovers
2. the left coast - planning
3. Joy Harjo
4. sleepytime tea
5. My new, ridiculous Horsepens 40 t-shirt

Thursday, January 10, 2013

A tiny excerpt

My head is resting against the passenger side window of my boyfriend’s old Subaru, and it’s raining, so I’m playing the game I always play in cars: watching one rain drop eat up all the other, smaller raindrops. It’s like PAC-MAN, except PAC-MAN can eat those little, pixel balls of food forever and never grow or get full. Not the raindrops; they eventually get too full and heavy and end up sliding down the door of the car, and then the game has to start over again.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Promise Land

Friday night we got to see Promise Land!

I was very excited about this film. ...Mostly because of John Krasinski, because I'm a huge fan of the office, but also because of the subject matter: natural gas drilling.

I first learned about natural gas drilling in 2010 when I started reporting for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. My coverage area was right on top of the Fayetteville Shale, and I wrote lots of stories about how natural gas drilling affects the environment.

It turned out be an amazing experience, offering me experiences I never dreamed of: getting to write lots of amazing stories; learning complicated things about science and engineering and the environment; earning the trust of some pretty conservative city and county officials; pissing off some state senators; meeting one very courageous filmmaker named Josh Fox.

He made this documentary:

Of course, as a reporter, I was supposed to remain neutral, and I think I did a pretty good job of that in my writing at the time. But as a native Arkansan and as a HUMAN, the entire natural gas drilling process terrifies me. It absolutely terrifies me.

One of my frustrations with almost all the national media when it comes to this issue is that they focus on the areas of the country already hardest hit by fracking: Colorado and the Marcellus Shale in the Northeast.

Arkansas, along with parts of Oklahoma and Texas are being hardest hit RIGHT NOW, and the problem with Arkansas' Fayetteville Shale is that it's not as deep as other formations. That means that the chemicals, water and sand being injected at high pressures isn't going as deep into the ground as it is in other places... But, I'd like to talk to the person who thought shooting chemicals into the ground was a good idea in the first place. (I could go on and on about this forever...)

I love the simple fact that this film was made, but I love that it was made well. And, SPOILER, John Krasinski turns out to be the bad guy?! I'm not sure if that particular plot turn was realistic or not, but I'm sure a lot of the other parts of the movie was. In fact, I teared up when the people from "Global" met with landowners and basically bribed and blackmailed them into signing their rights away. I know the same thing happened in some of the amazing communities I covered back home, and it hurts me to think about.

Yes, the gas companies are supporting the community now. Back home in north-central Arkansas, they sponsor community events and help out any way they can. But what happens when they've sucked the shale dry and everyone's riddled with health complications?

I hope we figure out a solution before it comes to that. If you don't understand what I'm talking about, or if you want to learn more check out Promise Land (and Gasland). They're both great films!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Hospital boulders

We took our first trip to the Hospital boulders this weekened. The Southeastern Climbers Coalition recently purchased them, but they still need donations! There are some amazing features out there.

I'm so glad dogs are allowed on SCC property! I hate not being able to take Boone to Horse Pens 40 - our usual bouldering destination. Our plan was to camp at Sand Rock (north of the Hospital boulders) & head back down to Steele on Sunday to climb there. Since Boone was worn out, he would have been fine in the car. But, it rained and rained and rained ...and it was the worst camping night of my life.

Sand Rock was lovely when we got there. But the waters came and the wind blew. Aaron made us a nifty little roof out of a tarp to cook under. We ate dinner in our tent and promptly fell asleep, waking up to this:

We ate bagels and watched The West Wing on the iPad by the fire until we mustered enough energy to pack up the camp. We ended up hitting up the gym in Birmingham on Sunday instead as well as Taziki's and Mountain High Outfitters.

There are times I feel like roughing it. I'll happily let my phone die and focus on where I am, and how beautiful it is at the time. This weekend wasn't one of those times. ;) But that's OK. I still had a great time.

I hope you had a great weekend and are facing a great week ahead.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Friday five

1. running in the cold
2. gold nail polish
3. big bird on the west wing
4. grilled veggie sandwiches
5. fresh starts

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

New year

I hope all 10 of you who've watched it so far enjoyed my "walk in the rain" yesterday. It was fun to shoot & edit a video for no real reason...

Today, I'm back to the grind for what I have a feeling will be the longest three-day week ever.

I brought some brownies for all of my coworkers that I made with my awesome new Christmas mixer (Thanks, Momma!) but, so far I've only had a few takers. People are either still out of town or out of the office, or have resolved to eat healthier.

This, of course, brings me to my own resolutions...

•I really do want to eat less sugar, but not like some of my co-workers seem to want to. Moderation is fine. I LOVE moderation. But, I also have problems with it when chocolate is involved. We did our best last year not to keep sweets in the house, but I want to do better this year, and, as always, to eat as healthy (healthfully?) as possible. I've been totally psyched about cooking since we got home from our Christmas trip with a brand new KitchenAid mixer and chopper attachment, a blender & food processor. So far, I've used my new tools for every meal sans one lunch (sandwich & potatoes..not much you can do there!) So I don't think cooking delicious, healthy meals will be much of a problem.

Read more poetry: I've already told you about this one. Talked about it to death, but now I have some books in my Amazon cart waiting for Friday (payday). I'm going with some contemporary poetry to start off the year. Authors include Joy Harjo, Dean Young and of course, David Ferry. (Also in my Amazon cart is Season 1 of Girls because...yeah.)

Run 1,200 miles: I ran a lot last year, and it's something I want to stick with. This goal means I'll have to do about 25 miles per week, which seems a little daunting right now, but I'm sure I'll get there. Thankfully, the weather hasn't been too bad lately. Today was a rest day, but I'm planning an early morning run tomorrow morning.

•Finally, my creative goals: keep writing and take more pictures. Those are both pretty self-explanatory. I just need to find my SD cards first.... We're hoping for a new camera sometime this spring, though. Aaron's Canon 50D is getting scary errors; my Nikon is still plugging along, but I hate my lenses, and I know I'd be so much more excited about shooting if I had something I loved again. Aaron has tons of great Canon lenses, so we're planning on getting a new Canon body (The not-yet-released 7D Mark II?!) and a new lens or two, and then we'll be all set.

I also have some kind of undefined goal of "being nicer", which is kind of what the brownies were about. I think sharing my baking would help accomplish this. It would also fall under the "eating less sugar" goal, since...if other people are eating what I bake, I'm not. There are still a few brownies safe in my kitchen, though. Surprise, surprise.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A walk in the rain

So, here's a silly confession. I have a youtube channel that somehow, still has over 100 subscribers from back when I tried to make vlogs & pretty videos back in 2007-2008ish. I gave that up after college, but (as I explain in this video posted above), I was looking for my SD card to take some still photos today when I found my old flip cam. Instead of taking pictures, I decided to go for a walk & make a video...

Why not? Let me know what you think, if you're reading/watching. I just rewatched the video now & realized that it exported TERRIBLY. Oh well. I'm not especially trying to impress anybody. It was just for funsies. Unless you like it...in which case, we'll see!

The first day of 2012 was semi-productive. I have lots of plants for the coming days/weeks/months/etc. And lots to blog about. I'll see you soon. :)