Monday, January 24

this video is not for everyone-seriously, you've been warned

What I Did On My Vacation in Sequim, Washington
Starring-Brooke Lee Russell
Co-Starring and Directed by-Jonah Eyre
Director of Photography-Aja Eyre
Shot on location in Sequim, WA-Eyre Farm

It is pretty cool, but not for everyone.

Friday, January 21

a thought

I think we can't go around measuring our goodness by what we don't do, by what we deny ourselves, what we resist and who we exclude. I think we've got to measure our goodness by what we embrace, what we create and who we include.
-Pere Henri, Chocolat

As a member of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints I think we...I...tend to base my successes on what I deny myself and what I resist (hopefully NOT who I exclude...because we shouldn't be excluding anyone).  And though it is important to resist many things in this life that are tempting and will lead us away from the gospel path, our Father and our Savior...there are so many more things we can actually be doing that will bring us closer to all three of those AND without much conscious effort we will be steering ourselves clear of temptations.  

I think this is comparable to sins of commission verses sins of omission.  It is easy to look at what I have done, in terms of NOT choosing the right...but I so often forget to see all the times that I DO choose the right.  And even if I do recognize those moments, I don't think I really give myself a deserved pat on the back.  I'm not saying that we should have a parade for ourselves each time we do something good, but I think that as we are more able to see the goodness in ourselves we will find ourselves further along on the straight and narrow...further along than perhaps we might be if we are only judging ourselves based on what we do resist.  

The truth is, I am human.  And though I strive each day (some days with greater conviction than being a "less conviction" kind of day) to resist all the temptations around me, I am not always...actually I'm not ever as successful as I would like to be.  Maybe some of you are.  Maybe some of you are pros at resisting.  (Perhaps we could get in touch and have lessons). But I am not.  And though I will work my whole life to overcome all the temptations that I may face, I know that I will not achieve perfection in that goal.  That reality is somewhat disheartening to me.  However, what counter acts that, and gives me the motivation that I need to live a righteous life, is recognizing when I do embrace others, when I do create something to put out in the world that is beautiful or helpful or inspiring or funny, etc... and I definitely find great fulfillment and a continued desire to continue towards the gospel in my relationships with my friends and family.  When I let others into my life, when their successes and failures bring me joy or heartache, when I find my love for them becoming more Christlike, it is then that my desire for righteousness and success in this life is increased one hundred fold.  

My life really is so much better when it isn't all about me.

Tuesday, January 18

Washington=remedy for the inversion blues

As you may or may not know, I've spent the last week in Washington (the state of).  In fact, as I type this post I am currently still in the state sitting at the terminal, hours before my flight (more than I'd like) at Sea/Tac.  But the rain started coming down and I didn't feel so much like spending my day getting rained on.  I can't really complain though because this vacation has been a most excellent one.  One full of a lot of relaxation and spoiling and pure enjoyment and a lot of laughter.

Why Washington you may ask...especially in the middle of January.  Well it's simple, two of my most favorite people live here. (see here and here).  Plus, I haven't spent a whole lot of time in the northwest and I've only heard good things.  So I booked a cheap flight during the "dead zone" of air travel (January to April) and headed northwest to enjoy some insanely picturesque views and the company of friends.

planes, trains, 
(ferries, buses) 
a veggie oil powered automobile

My trip began with a bit of a slow start.  But the less than two hour flight filled with great tunes went smoothly.  Then it was on to my way to Sequim via Link, the Bainbridge Island Ferry, a Kitsap bus ride, and contrary to popular belief, a ride in a Mercedes station wagon powered by veggie oil that did NOT smell like a fast food or Chinese restaurant. 

Since I was going to be doing a bit of trekking through Seattle and across the Puget Sound to Bainbridge island and beyond I used a frame pack in place of a suitcase.  This proved to be a very wise move and has convinced me to always travel this way.  Not too mention, even though I was CLEARLY a traveler, somehow hauling your clothes and trip essentials in a pack makes people think you know your way around whatever city you find yourself in.  I think I was asked for directions no less than three times.  Weird.

I will also make an apology right now for my lack of pictures.  I was enjoying myself so much that I kind of forgot to document a lot of trip.  Plus the Olympic Peninsula is so beautiful that pictures really do not do any justice.  The only documentation regret I have is not getting a photo of Aja, Ashley and I.  How did we miss that opportunity?!  

 Seattle from the Bainbridge Island Ferry

Heading into the dock at Bainbridge Island.  
The homes along this bay are nothing spectacular as far as showy homes go, but they are literally twenty feet or less from the water and worth a LOT of money.

cows, pigs, chickens, crab bisque and green curry
After a long but truly enjoyable trek I met Aja at a park and ride station called George's Corners we headed to Sequim.  The ride was, Green, GREEN.  And the company was the best.  What I love about Aj is that we can go years without seeing each other with occasional emails or birthday wishes, but it always seems that little time has passed.  The mark of a true and great friend.  

We got to Sequim where Elsie (Aja's four year old) and I immediately bonded and we got to work shelling Dungeness crab caught just off the coast just moments from their house.  Jonah (Aja's husband) is quite the chef and dinner was so good!

The next four days were full of life's little pleasures...including but not limited to:

castrating this pig...all by myself
(stay tuned for video coverage)

eating crab bisque and green curry
(both homemade...sorry no photos) 
and watching this four year old eat her weight in tofu.

family movie night with treats                                                                

the insane green and moss covered everything of the Olympic Peninsula

Rialto Beach 
the pictures do NO justice to how amazing this place is.  Just take a trip yourself.

 I wish I had been video taping the surf at this moment because about .2 seconds after this shot the rest of the wave followed soaking me up to my thighs.  Which was actually ok because while I was on the beach I was resisting the overwhelming urge to jump into the waves.  

seeing the Olympic peninsula's capitalization on Twilight insanity.

more beaches for shell and rock gathering
(and spur of the moment bathroom breaks...cause when you're four you can do that)

old bridges and Unicorn Princess Awesome who prefers to be called "wingy"

and really calming living quarters.
I don't know what it is about farms but I am just so happy on them
  I am now a believer in the fact that everyone should have chickens
 a farm with cows AND mountains AND mild temperatures

more ferry rides, Indian food, more hilarious and adorable children, 4:00am and downtown Seattle

Saturday Aja, Elsie, baby Po and I headed to Everett to see Ashley.  The trip consisted of some driving, an estate sale and two ferry rides.  I love the Olympic Peninsula area simply for the fact that riding a ferry is totally part of daily transportation for many people.

We arrived in Everette and spent a few hours with Ashley and Brad and Colin and Pierce.  A good time was had by all.  Sorry, no photos from dinner.  Although it was very tasty and really fun.  In all seriousness, I spent a lot of dinner with two children playing on and around me and could not have been happier.  

We said our goodbyes to Aja, Elsie and baby Po and I headed back to Ashley's and Brad's. We took a tour of Everett.  Did you know that they build Boeing plans in Everett in the biggest "garage" I've ever seen!?  The drive also included an Icee AND a UV cleaner for my Sonicare head because not only is Ashley's husband Brad a dentist but he is also one of the nicest guys I've ever met.  So nice in fact he wasn't even upset when I kept Ashley up until 4:00am.  We had a lot of catching up to do.

Oh and on top of that they drove me to Seattle so that I didn't have to ride the bus.  Seriously the nicest people with two of the cutest boys who are hilarious.

And last of all Seattle...I really did not take a whole lot of photos.  I mostly spent the day exploring and people watching and running into a girl I lived with in Boston who I had not seen in about six years.

 about thirty seconds before I took this photo a very friendly Jamaican mad offered me "some really good weed"  What does that say about how I look?
 View from the top of the Space Needle.  I debated going to the top, but I figure, I've been to the top of the Sears Tower and the Arch...I can't really leave the Space Needle off my list.  Plus it was nearing sunset...
 ...and watching the sunset over the Puget sound was gorgeous.  I know it doesn't look sunny but about ten minutes after this it cleared up and it was gorgeous.
 looking up through the trees
 outside Benaroya Hall, home of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra

All in all...relaxing and fun.  
Exactly what a vacation should be.  
Where to next?

Tuesday, January 11

Karma is a fickle girl

In general I feel like I have good karma...even great karma most of the time.  But when it comes to transportation...I do not.  I'm convinced that I must have some sort of electromagnetic pulse that is emitted from my body.  When I travel, particularly by plane...I don't have the greatest of luck.  And it is mainly due to mechanical and/or electrical issues as evidenced below.

Bad Karma Flying Experience #1: flying to Chicago my junior year of high school to go to junior prom with my Chicago friends whom I had not seen in a few years...flight was delayed significantly due to mechanical/electrical airplane issues.  Arrived at Midway airport at two or three in the morning.  Not the best part of town to be in at anytime of day really, least of all in the wee small hours of the morning.

Bad Karma Flying Experience #2: flying to Boston for a work conference.  The adventure begins with a 7:45am flight.  My oh so kind friend Courtney drove me to the airport...and being the truly great friend that she is, parked her car and walked into the airport with me...even though she couldn't go past security.  Well I am thankful for Court everyday...and on this particular day I was especially thankful that she wanted to say a proper goodbye.  When I got to the check in counter I was informed that my 7:45am flight had been delayed until 2:30 that AFTERNOON!  I could have slept in folks!!!

Fast forward to that afternoon.  Sitting at the airport waiting to announcement comes on informing us that our flight is delayed AGAIN.  The plane we are flying on has not even left Sacramento...we're suppose to be boarding in ten minutes.  So I sit at the airport for another two hours or so and FINALLY get to board....only to arrive in Denver in a rainstorm which forces us to sit on the plane, on the tarmac.  Originally I had enough time between my flights to get to the terminal in plenty of time...but due to the Sacramento delay AND the rain, I missed my flight by about four minutes.  So here I am...stuck in the Denver airport...sad because I had plans to see Wicked that evening in Boston and because I was not actually sure when I'd be arriving in Boston and my conference started the next morning at about 8am.

After waiting in a VERY long line to chat with a customer service rep I was helped by one of the kindest and most patient CS reps I've ever met.  Her name was Peg (short for Margarita...who knew).  She set me up in a hotel and dinner and breakfast on the airline because she took the time to figure out why my initial flight had been delayed...and low and behold the plane I should have been on at 7:45 that morning, arriving from O'Hare, had mechanical issues.  I'm telling you folks, it's my EMP.  Although in this case I was ok with that because it meant a free hotel and hot meals.  I eventually did make it to Boston...around four or five pm Monday.  And I did still manage to see Wicked...front row center for extremely cheap all thanks to the very kind English gentleman working at the box office.

Bad Karma Flying Experience #3: Returning home from Boston...layover in Denver (seriously American Airlines...DENVER!  I'm almost home by the time we're in Denver...can we just gas up in the air and keep going to Salt Lake)?!  Arrive in Denver with plenty of time to get to my gate.  (Flights leaving the Logan airport leave on time Boston really is the greatest city).  But alas...on a perfectly clear day in Denver I STILL sit at the airport for almost FOUR hours BEYOND my hour and half layover.  SERIOUSLY?!  And why?  Because the Denver airport does not have their ducks in a row and the airplane at our gate is actually supposed to be getting serviced due to MECHANICAL issues.

Bad Karma Flying Experience #4: On my way to Seattle, Washington for an adventure in Sequim, Everett and Seattle for a week!  Arrive at the airport in time to catch my flight but not too early that I have to sit at the gate forever.  Lost one of my FAVORITE owl necklaces sometime between check in and security.  Get to my gate somewhat put out, but still extremely excited about my ferry ride to come and the possibility of castrating pigs later in the day.  Make it through security without any feeling up or pornographic photos being taken of me.  Arrive at my gate with fifteen minutes to spare until boarding.  AND THEN...the announcement.  "We apologize folks, but it looks like we're going to be delayed today as the airplane is having some MECHANICAL problems.  The mechanic is looking at it."  Ten minutes later, "Sorry again, folks.  It looks like the plane is broken, yes, broken.  We will be getting a new plane.  Our original departure time of 9:45am will now be moved to 10:35am."  Me and my damned EMP.

Ah well...I suppose all I can do is make like the Monty Python boys and "always look on the bright side of life."  (remember this is a Monty Python song from the Life of Brian...sensitive ears and eyes be warned).  At least I'm on my way to a week long vacation.  And due to the extreme anxiety I was having last night...Millie is currently sitting in my lap enjoying the people watching and blogging with me as I type.

Monday, January 10

separation anxiety

This is Millie...
actually her full name is
Mildred Bernadette Macbook, Pro

I love Millie very much.

(She was a gift from my mom...who I also love very you may already know).
She brings me so much joy and comfort and laughter and tears and music and answers and...almost anything a girl could want. it really that strange that she and I are having separation anxiety?

Saturday, January 8

The Perishers

I have loved The Perishers for quite a few years now. A Swedish gem ...even better than the meatballs and IKEA. Listen and love.

This is the official video for their song SWAY

Pills by the Perishers feat. Sarah McLachlan

And this is my FAVORITE Perishers song. Which is tough...because there isn't really a Perishers song I don't love.
(and remember...they are Swedish)

Friday, January 7

my late, late night lullaby

Since Johnny Carson left the late night airwaves (yes, I do remember when that I happened) I've struggled to laugh at late night television.  Don't get me wrong.  There have definitely be moments on practically every late night show that are funny, but nothing that was consistently laugh out loud great.  I'm not sure how many years back it was...quite a few...I discovered the wonderful Craig Ferguson.  You may know him as Drew Carey's boss on the Dewy Carey show.  He is a great comic.  He has written some very funny books and he has the best monologue on late night and late, late night (he writes it himself and does a lot of ad libbing).  Do your self a favor and start the year off right and check him out.  It's worth staying up until 11:30pm (MST).

(remember it is late, late if you are've been warned)

Craig Ferguson, Kristen Bell and Wolfgang Puck

A missing guest...

Best monologue on late or late, late night...

For other great clips if you're not sure that you want to give up sleep just check out YouTube.  He is hilarious every time...and his guests tend to be a lot funnier with him than any other host.