Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Pure Reason & Sweet Rhyme

Everyone loved the princesses because of their great beauty, their gentle ways, and their ability to settle all controversies fairly and reasonably … It was said by everyone that Rhyme and Reason settle all problems...

"They're cheering for you," She said with a smile.
"But I could never have done it," he objected, "without everyone else's help."
"That may be true," said the Princess of Pure Reason gravely, "but you had the courage to try; and what you can do is often simply a matter of what you will do..."

"And remember, also," added the Princess of Sweet Rhyme, "that many places you would like to see are just off the map and many things you want to know are just out of sight or a little beyond your reach. But someday you'll reach them all, for what you learn today, for no reason at all, will help you discover all the wonderful secrets of tomorrow."

-Norton Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth

MY 2008
...year in review, a little more structured than last year's...

Memories of the Year:

*Santa Barbara Film Festival...went to events & interviews & parties for Angelina Jolie, Ryan Gosling, Ellen Page, Casey Affleck, Amy Ryan, and others.

*started Monday evenings running the city college stadium stairs with the other Corinne

*visiting Oregon in the Spring to see my dad and brother and the rest of my dad's side of the family

*the "Last Dance" party at our house on the hill...saying goodbye to that amazing house and also the years of parties that Tara and I have thrown together...

*moving into my studio, running around my neighborhood, falling in love with it

*summer days at the pool with the quinlans and stichters

*conference in San Francisco with my Informed in 08 girls

*becoming informed in 08 with megan, lesley, anna, anna, and emily

*Santa Barbara Museum Nights all summer long with the old roommates

*fourth of july with the Mesa House girls

*Fiesta, when my mom came to visit and we smashed eggs on each other and had lots of churros

*holding my first newborn

*watching the Olympics, especially with my dad and sister when they visited SB

*Labor Day weekend shenanigans in Santa Barbara and LA with Christen and others

*Josiah and Jessica's wedding at Firestone Vineyard, friends dancing the night away in the countryside...

*visiting Tara and family in Phoenix, finally

*weekend in Carmel with my family for my mom's birthday

*a fabulous 26th birthday party downtown with friends complete with the day off work and another chance to sit in on a Rhetoric class with Spencer

*that crazy night in November that started with food at the Chicken Ranch, went on to a high school play, then McConnells tart frozen yogurt, wine at the sisters' house downtown, then to Indochine and a VIP table, to meeting new people with dancefloor smoke in our eyes, to Mad Dog's for the traditional 2 a.m. hot dog, and then Stephen's for a bonfire to cap off the night

*Westmont soccer game post Tea fire, where they won in overtime and I've never seen so many alumni in one place

*hikes at Coyote Hills with family whenever I was in Fremont

*Christmas with 30 plus family members...loving cousins, aunts, uncles, grandmas, parents, & siblings all around

Achievements of the Year:

*buying my mac

*booking a John Mayer Cruise for March of 09... talk about delayed gratification

*thriving while living alone for the first time

*achieving my goal of averaging one goal per game on my soccer team

*booking a major trip... more details to come in 09.

Lesson of the Year:

*every year may not be better than the last, but you can become a better person than you were the year before if you are mindful enough to learn along the way...

Concerts of the Year:

*Coldplay with my family in the Bay
*John Mayer with my family in the Bay
*John Mayer with friends at the Central Coast County Fair
*Bon Iver in Hollywood
*Senior Year at Stateside early summer...always a Westmont reunion


*February 29...the extra day of the year was my most painful.

*Having to leave our dream house on the hill


*Running to the new Coldplay album by the beach. It's a high like nothing else. It healed me and now continues to thrill me.

*My birthday; getting to see so many friends that have made life as phenomenal as it is

*Watching baby Carly grow

Songs of the Year:

*Skinny Love, Blindsided, & Re:Stacks by Bon Iver
*Strawberry Swing, Lovers in Japan, Death & All His Friends, Lost! and Sparks by Coldplay
*In Your Atmosphere & Say by John Mayer
*More Time & Looks Like Love by Needtobreathe
*Forever by Chris Brown
*everything put out by Rihanna
*Kids by MGMT
*Day N' Nite by Kid Cudi
*Hosanna by Hillsong United
*Human by The Killers
*Don't Stop Believin' by Journey
*Dansa På Min Grav by Bo Kaspers Orkester
*Sway by Annuals

I hope your 2008 had plenty of Rhyme and lots of Reason.

stay tuned for a slideshow from the year...

Monday, December 29, 2008

an overdue purge

I'm feeling remarkably unsentimental today. Such a thing is rare for me, so it coincided well with tonight's plan for a closet purge. This was first on my to-do list upon coming home from the Bay Area for Christmas, since when I was packing clothes to go up there I became disgusted with how much clothing I have that I don't wear and/or kinda forget about. I did a purge when I moved into the studio in May but it was clearly time for another deeper purge.

So I think I created this post to say goodbye to certain items... which I guess is sentimental, but let me tell you, throwing/giving them away in these two big trash bags is a huge thing for this INFP. I just have a tendency to hang on too long to that which means a lot to me.


-ugly long-sleeved Page B section shirt from freshman year

-pajama boxers i got in 9th grade

-reef sandals i wore through sophomore & junior year of college

-almost all of my button-up "business" shirts...when i started working full-time after college, for awhile I though it meant you had to wear boring dress pants and button-up shirts. i never liked how those looked on me. i'm over it now and actually try to wear clothes i love and are somewhat stylish to the office. makes the workday much more enjoyable.

-tank tops from Thailand I paid to have handpainted. probably only ever wore those like twice.

-the abercrombie jeans i wore probably 2 out of every 3 days on Europe Semester. i hated them from pretty early on... but i haven't been able to throw them out. they are way too big now, thank goodness, and i think its high time they go.

-the darling little dress from the boutique in Montecito i worked at the summer before senior year of college...the owner gave me it as a parting gift, i'd been admiring it for weeks. i never wore it, it always just looked silly on me, try as i might each year to see if it changed. too bad.

-roxy cargo pants i bought in Waikiki on our high school senior graduation trip to Hawaii... i LOVE these. probably the hardest thing to get rid of.

-tennis team tank top from high school

-the t-shirt i got for completing the sprint triathlon two summers ago...i'd like to wear it as a badge of honor but i hate event shirts and never wear them, especially if they are white.

-black workout tank top with "Rinne" on the front in large rhinestones. my friends and i from suite K in Van Kampen Hall made these together sophomore year. shoot, as i'm typing this i realize i can't do it. it went back in my closet.

-a tshirt from Thailand with broken english on the front

-ribbed cute shirt from a gift shop in Ensenada, Mexico that all the girls on our construction team bought together and took a photo in. yeah, never wore that again.

-several items i bought at H&M in Europe, five years ago... haven't been able to throw them out yet, i mean hello, H&M in Europe...

-short denim jean skirt from american eagle that has not only been out of style and not my style for a few years now but also probably too young for me... that happens i guess.

Whew, I feel a lot better after that. And my closet looks great.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

lyrics for the holiday and for life

Sometimes you actually hear the lyrics to songs for the first time, even if they've played every Christmas season before... like these from a familiar favorite...

"Later on
we'll conspire
as we dream by the fire
To face unafraid
the plans that we've made
walking in a winter wonderland."

What a lovely image, and such a thing to aspire to... to face your new plans unafraid. Let's do it.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

a december story: she said yes

I met her at the beginning of freshman year of college. She lived a couple doors down from me in Page B. With big blue eyes and shimmering platinum blonde hair, she already stood out, but the main reason Casey was noticeable was because she was always smiling. And laughing. She was just so happy. We became casual friends, stopping by each others' rooms every once in awhile. Through Casey's eyes, the world was a beautiful fun place, and everyone had something inside them to love. She was so positive and would literally cheer her friends on in such a way that we would ask if she'd been a cheerleader in high school. "Never!" she scoffed. She played soccer, and wouldn't have wanted people to think otherwise. Freshman year continued, and as it drew to a close it was time for sorting out housing for the next year. By chance we ended up getting into the same suite in Van Kampen Hall. That lent us the chance to grow even closer during sophomore year. She introduced me, all of us, to John Mayer. She promised I would fall completely in love with him if I sat still and listened to the lyrics of the sweetly melodic song she had been playing over and over again all week that November of 2001.
And she was right.
Our junior year I spent as an R.A., and she spent in Italy. She studied business and Italian, walked everywhere over the cobbled streets of Milano, took trips to Switzerland and France, and generally had the time of her life. But she kept in touch with consistency and care, sending me letters asking about everything going on with me. Such diligence in the middle of her adventures was remarkable to me, and I knew that it was due to her that our friendship stayed strong despite the distance.
After college graduation we got the chance to finally be actual roommates, and we had a wonderful time for a few months in that old dilapidated house that sat between estates and overlooked the mountains in Montecito. We spent our days not cooking, taking beach walks, and talking the night away about our loves, lost and found. It wasn't unlike what we do now when we get together for weekends, either here where I am still in Santa Barbara, or where she moved back to in Orange County. Eat, walk, laugh, discuss love lost and found...

The thing about Casey is that guys love her. I mean it. They fall in love with her easily, and it is difficult for them to fall out. They are drawn to her carefree bubbly gorgeousness... and then their hearts get inextricably bound by her deep and observant perspectives and beliefs on life, faith, friendship, and love... her devotion to friends, her knowledge of business and philosophy, her commitment to truly living life to the fullest. I've watched it happen again and again. Casey sometimes loves them back, but she has extremely high standards for how a relationship should be and how she should feel and what would be good for her. She has never apologized for that, and always knew she'd find what she was looking for.
A few months ago she started dating a boy she knew from when they went to high school youth group years ago... Chase was the good-hearted guy that would take girls to prom that had really wanted to go but didn't have a date. He was the quiet and dutiful soul she never really got to know. So in early June they reconnected and he invited her over to his house for dinner, and once she got there she realized it was a full-on date... made evident by the elaborate lobster and steak dinner he had been working on for hours. She was impressed by his thoughtfulness and genuine display of affection for her. Summer crept by, and Casey and Chase became inseparable... and of course Chase fell in love.
But so did Casey.
They passed through Santa Barbara a few days ago en route to Cambria and then San Francisco for a birthday trip they'd planned together for Casey's birthday. I joined them for lunch, we caught up... Casey was glowing with excitement for their coastal road trip. Chase was content and smiling, happy to just be sitting by her side, as always. We said farewell, and they wound their way up the 101 along the ocean.
Hours later I saw a missed call from Casey. I called her back.
In Morro Bay, Chase had suddenly pulled off the freeway as the sun was setting. "Let's get out and check out the sunset! This looks like a path down to the beach!" They got out and followed the path, neither of them sure where it would lead, but only one of them knowing why they had so spontaneously taken it. It wound through tall grass and over some hills before delivering them to a stunning lookout point with views of the fading colors of the sunset and the hills of the central coast that roll so gently towards the beach. They sat to take it all in for a few moments before Chase popped up, fidgeted for a moment, then turned to Casey. He said some beautiful things to her... and then he had something sparkly appear in his hand...and then he asked her.
And she said yes.
My best friend is getting married.

Monday, December 15, 2008

"all it takes is a little faith, and a lot of heart, sweetheart."

I stood here, overlooking this view, at a property today. I stole as many minutes alone as I could... going over again and again in my head the changes that are upon me. Change has taught me how to be adaptable, to be stronger, and it has taught me that it can bring a more beautiful life, too. It can be scary, but I really feel ready for it, ready for the challenge and for the differences it will bring.

The place I come home to will change next month. This is unexpected and I was resistant at first, but I can't believe how blessed I am to have people in my life who will go great lengths to help me and have me near. More details another time...

My job is changing. This is a development that is a long time coming, but it is evolving differently than I expected. Like everything else, I suppose. So, I continue with Mary but alongside that, something new awaits as of the New Year...

And then, there's the change that has lost me sleep, texts me in a different language, taught me how to make a pasta sauce, likes to make people laugh, and asks how my day was... So yeah, there's that.

It all amounts to a lot, doesn't it?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

quotes encountered today

"Oh, my life is changing everyday,
In every possible way.
And oh, my dreams, it's never quite as it seems,
Never quite as it seems."
-The Cranberries... lyrics to my favorite song, which woke me up this morning and made me smile despite so little sleep.

"Do not kiss your children
so they will kiss you back
but so they will kiss their children,
and their children's children."

-Noah benShea... found on my Starbucks cup at lunch.

"Oh yeah, go shorty, it's my birthday, it's my birthday."
-Mary... to me upon hearing word back that we got a new awesome listing on the Riviera. She's hilarious.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

toe tapping

I'm jittery. The kind where you tap your toes constantly, not necessarily to a beat... I get up and then sit down and then up again for little unnecessary errands. My mind races, like it's got an obstacle course to finish.

That's what coffee does to me sometimes on Wednesdays. I don't have it too often, but on Wednesdays I like to, even though I know what I might be in for. The caffeine shoots through me, delighting in this body that does not like to be affected by stimulants of any kind and is not inured to its effects.

But I can't resist a pumpkin spice latte as I join the girls so early in the morning, talking like we do every Wednesday before work about our varied lives...
of CPA tests, new outfits, in-laws, job searches, traveling plans, Christmas parties, text flirting, the economy. It's a safe place, made specialer with a warm holiday drink in this cold weather.

But now I wish I were busier at work at the moment, with plenty to do to keep my hyper mind occupied, my hands on task. Since there's not so much to do, all I'm thinking about is the day ahead, thoughts hopscotching over one another, often drowning out my lovely pandora station which seems to be reading my mood and circumstances perfectly...

noontime, leave office to meet Mary and new clients and interior decorator at the new property, i wonder if i look professional enough today, i wonder when i will eat, or what i will eat, don't want to eat too much, i'm still full from jodie's enchiladas last night...

after that, go to the courthouse, do some research for work, i love going downtown, wonder if i will find what i need, and by the way what in the world am i wearing to our work christmas party tomorrow, how do you dress for a "holiday ho-down"?

then i go home and finish straightening my hair, which this moist chilly weather will certainly ruin after i'm outside for a few moments, oh i'm getting my roots touched up tomorrow, can't WAIT...

gotta meet karen and the little kiddos at the new silvergreen's downtown for dinner, can't wait to squeeze the little baby and tackle my favorite six year old...

and then. i know where i'm meeting and with whom. don't know what we're doing. i do know what i'm wearing though. and i do know that it will be cold. so i'll probably want another warm drink...and so maybe this wednesday will end like it began, with wonderful conversation in chilly air. my guess is that it will be a bit different in other ways though...