Tuesday, October 30, 2012

On the search for a new life mantra...

This dog told me that the secret to life is 

A fierce, unshakable hopefulness paired with a realistic understanding of your place in the world. 
(And subsequently his favorite thing is licking spaghetti off own face.)

Sounds like a good mantra to me. 

This Dog With Spaghetti On His Face

A close runner up was this dog who says the secret to happiness is

a persistent, unmitigated enthusiasm without context.

This Dog

Still on the search for a life mantra? For other happy animals, go here. 

Friday, October 26, 2012


Wall Art - 8x10 Illustration Art Print - You Can Do Anything - Cute, Motivational, Bike, Inspirational, Wall Decor

Sally was not the first person who told me I was strong, but she was the first person who I believed.

I spent the first two decades of my life telling myself I didn't need to be an athlete, didn't need to be strong, didn't need to be fast. When you are young, you define yourself against others, don't you? Try to find your identity in what you are, but emphasizing what you are not.

Me? I was the goofy brainy kid. I was the sibling that was on the math team, the friend who could make you laugh, and the roommate who was better at jumping up and down in the stands than being out on the field.

Sally taught the first cycling class I ever took. She was a couple decades older than I am and wore her life experiences proudly, and she had had a few. Small, bubbly, and with a dash of wild, Sally never stopped grinning. She screamed her way through class, encouraging and pushing and yelling, all the while wearing a maniac grin. (Admittedly this was a bit annoying, sometimes you just want someone who says "This whole exercising thing is a pain in the butt. Wouldn't it better if we were eating a big ham sandwich right now?" And lead the class to the nearest sub shop.)

We bopped along to the Stones, sang along to Sweet Home Alabama, and sweated in a ubiquitous small dark cycling room.

Let your body surprise you, she said.

Sally gave me permission to be strong, be fit, and to get pumped up. And to be completely okay with my average but sufficient ability.

She taught me that when I was working out and I was thinking about other things (most likely what was for lunch), I wasn't working hard enough.

Girl, she said, you are stronger than you know.

And, almost as importantly, she also taught me it was okay for small white girls to say a sassy "girrrrl" now and again.

I learned the other day that Sally is not doing well, the revenge of a brain tumor. She has no clue about the fork in the road she brought me to. It made me think of the constant flow of characters in and out of our lives, sometimes people arrive as game changers, sometimes they are just good company for a little while. But I wish I had the chance to tell her how rad she is, or at least burn her a killer CD.

Sally, I sure hope your body is stronger than you know.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A Bumper Crop of Deep Fried Fun

Here's a question for you...what is advertised with a giant blimp with "fried pickles" and "fried cheesecake" on either side?

The North Carolina State Fair.

When we first moved here, we went to the state fair about two months after we lived here. We stuck out noses up at the fried foods and in a attempt "when-in-Rome" acclimation, we chose the one fried food we deemed the healthiest and ate a fried PB and J. During our first visit we made a game of counting the Confederate Flags on people's t-shirts (any other placement - tattoos, hats - didn't count). We got to 25 in a half hour and had to cut the game short because this was clearly a slippery slope into piling back into the Camry and driving 3000 miles in the other direction.

This was our third time at the State Fair in five years, this time with Marty's paremts. Well, things have changed. And here's the evidence.

 Marty turned into Frog Boy

Here we are in front of Smokey the Bear. 
He talks to you.
"Hey Folks", Smokey said to us "Say Blueberries! Smokey looooves Blueberries!"
Blueberries, blueberries, blueberries!"
What a funny bear.

I milked a cow! This is right before I tried to squirt the guy milking the other cow. 

Prettiest Melon.
Sure is.

French fries at 10am.

Don't let this picture fool you.
We washed down the lemonade and corn with ham biscuits.

What to choose?
Fried Oreos? Fried HoHos? 
Fried Snickers or MilkyWays?
Fried cheeseburgers? Koolaid or Reeses?

Nah, I went for this year's thing.
Fried cinnamon bun (with frosting) rolled in bacon.
It. was. delicious. 
(And will be sticking with me for a few years)

Then to the demolition derby!

And whac-a-mole!


Meet Ras Ben. The newest addition to our family.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Love Yurt

One place we like to remember is this yurt, for no particular reason other than it provided a welcome retreat for us a few weekends when we were in college and the stress of being in school was just too much.

When we moved to North Carolina, I searched for a similarly shaped retreat but found only one in a distant corner of the state at a crazy price. But after four years, the powers of the interwebs stepped in via LivingSocial and we are off this weekend to a Yurt in the mountains. A weekend away just the two of us is now a rare treat, as getting two days off (known to non-science grad students as a weekend) is generally reserved for visiting family or friends who tug at our hearts.

A retreat in the woods during the fall is just what we need.

And check us out in 2005! Looking good... (yes, that is a Che Guevara shirt from Fred Meyers)

Monday, October 8, 2012


I know, I have been out of touch. I have been adjusting back to 'Merica by going to football games.

Recently Enjoyed

Did I tell you that Marty bought me this KitchenAid mixer that I have been pining for?
And did I mention that it is the same color blue as my alma mater and not his?
And did you know that it probably killed him a little (a lot) inside to buy something Duke Blue?

Recently in Penguin Humor

(put your mouse over the image for guaranteed hilarity)
funny gifs

Recently Saluted

A couple weekends ago we went to Denver to go to a Broncos game with our great friends.
We gave the mile high salute 
(apparently that's a thing. I am new to this)

Recently Bang'd

In July I went for the half swoopy emo bangs.
Last week I got the full on bangs. 
And now this song can be heard on repeat at my place.
(Marty has been very sure that I know its the William Hung version).

Recently Downloaded

I guess I gotta keep up with the Joneses, and all their faded pictures.
Here are Me and Linds, looking totally retro fab.

Recently Intimidated

The world.
By Jenny and I's intimidating football moves.
Photo: Are you ready for some football???

Recently Rooted

For the HEELS!
We went to our first UNC football game. It was my first D-1 football game
(you can't really count Duke football)
I think Marty was a bit confused when I said we were going to the football game,
seen here in an Argentina soccer jersey.


Recently Tasted

Marty and I were arguing about something in the grocery store yesterday.
I went off to get some space and to get a few things. Including toothpaste.
Marty is very particular about his toothpaste. He likes Aquafresh, the kind in the blue box.
So I served up revenge cold - in the form of Vanilla Crest.
 Ha, I'll show him for picking a fight in the grocery store.
Oh. Gross. I have to use this stuff too?

Recently in the Seasons

It's Fall!
Fall is something I learned about when I moved to not-Washington.
Shown here in the Aspens in Colorado

Recently in Politics

Check out this doozy of a sign.
Blown away by the intellectual appeal.
(Are you registered to vote?)