City Rain

Some of the most vibrant days happen while it’s raining.
Must remind myself to look.

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running free

I want to be as free as Aimee Mullins when she is running on her metal cheetah legs. I had a realization that the only time I ever ran in junior high or high school was when being punished. I played volleyball and basketball.

If we were late, we ran.

If we missed a serve, we ran.

If we got an attitude, we ran.

If we lost, we ran.

I think you get the picture. I am not sure how to get over the feeling of being punished every time I lace up a pair of running shoes; however, when I saw this picture of Aimee Mullins running I was reminded that running is really the ultimate symbol of being free. I don’t want to imply that you need to physically be able to run in order to experience this freedom. I am well aware of peoples’ different abilities. What I am saying is, I need to try and harness that sense of freedom when I run. For me that means changing my mental picture of running as punishment, to running as a way to be present and grounded. Whenever I run, I immediately start thinking about when the run will end. I instead need to revel in the process in order to appreciate what it means to live. Can you imagine closing your eyes through your entire life only to wake up to the last year? I feel like it’s the same with running. There is something really important about being present through the whole process. I want to start running again, but with passion and freedom in mind. This will require a mental shift, and maybe it looks like this:

If I am feeling grateful, I run.

If I am feeling whole, I run.

If I am feeling creative, I run.

If I am feeling a sense of purpose, I run.

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Embracing My Fears

I have been terrified of everything. For forever. As a hypochondriac of the mental health persuasion, I’ve attributed these fears from everything to either amnesia (of some unknown childhood trauma) or to basically the entire current volume of the DSM. When I was little, I would listen to audiotapes before I would go to sleep to avoid any potential nightmares. I would memorize Bible verses that had anything to do with feeling afraid. And at the time, these techniques really helped.

Let me add here, that there are obviously normal healthy fears, the kind that prevent us from doing foolish things or help us avoid potentially dangerous situations. I have discovered though that my unhealthy fears have at times precluded me from being an active participant in my own life. The first time I realized this was in high school. My cousin was in town and we were going to an amusement park, where I was decidedly NOT amused. I rode ZERO rides and then become the designated purse/jacket holder. It was at this moment in my life that my fear of missing out on anything fun actually trumped my fear of roller coasters. So, I did it: I rode all of the rides at Worlds of Fun that day. I was petrified before and during, but the adrenaline rush after the fact was worth it.

I had hoped that moment would make a lasting impact, but after doing some recent self-reflection I’ve realized that even though I’ve made some good strides, I’m still being controlled by my fears. So, here’s the deal. I’m going to start tackling these bastards one at a time. Any phobia that I deem worthy of being overcome, I will post here to conquer at some point in the future. This will give me both flexible deadlines (helpful for my fear of failure) and leeway to not include serial killers, satan (real or not), doggy-nappers, and scary movies. There are just some fears that I am not willing to lose.

Here’s the current list, which is subject to new additions. I’m aware that some won’t make sense to you until I elaborate in the future. Just know they are very real. Thinking about any of them makes my arms go numb. And not just me, I told Nancy that we were going to go skydiving this summer, and she panicked right along with me.

So without further ado, and in no particular order, I present to you, my fears:

  • Roller coasters (I thought I should at least get one shoo-in.)
  • Spiders & bugs
  • Running fast
  • Haunted houses
  • Performing/singing in public (Turning your co-worker’s random comments into a song doesn’t count and is completely normal.) 10/23/1212/20/12
  • Karaoke (completely different than the above)
  • Playing Rock Band
  • Cooking
  • Failure 10/23/1212/20/12
  • Blogging
  • Learning 12/14/1212/20/12
  • Returning emails
  • Bungee Jumping
  • Skydiving
  • Auditions 10/23/12
  • Shaming my Family
  • Theater Interpreting
  • My Basement

Not too long ago, Nancy shared a poem with me by Joy Harjo, which is much more profound than bugs and karaoke, but it applies perfectly to any kind of fear that threatens to govern your life.

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Colour Changes Everything


Have you seen this design recently?

I bet you have.

Look up the next time you are in Target and you will get to see this little piece of colour candy.

And you thought you were there only for toilet paper!


Also, Target’s most recent “Colour Changes Everything” ad is making me happy. Take a look.

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The Colour Run

I cannot imagine a more perfect race: The Colour Run. Our good friend Tracy just told us about it. Read the rules.

Rule #1 All participants are welcome… fast, slow, runner, walker, old, and young.
Rule #2 White shirt dress code at the official start line and ready to roll no later than 9am sharp!
Rule #3  Completely coloured Willy Wonka goodness at the finish.

Still don’t believe me, watch the video!

Anyone interested in joining Nancy and me on July 15th in Minnesota? Let’s make a group. It will be our own personal Holi celebration.

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Tenor Perfection

There is something about a tenor’s ability to hit certain notes that immediately makes me shake my head in disbelief.  Also, there is something uniquely different about the haunting sound of opera.  It resonates in a way no other kind of music does.  I never thought I would like opera music.  I took 8 years of piano, and I always loved classical music; however, I didn’t really understand the beauty of opera until I watched Amadeus.   I was listening to NPR, and I can’t find the original story, but it was about this South African group of tenors that have become really successful.   They are called The Gugulethu Tenors.  Their story is truly inspiring and their voices are unforgettable.

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Women are Crazy, Irrational, and Overly Sensitive

How many times have I heard people say these things in reference to women and girls?  Please. How many times have I said those things to describe myself? Believing the “you’re just overreacting” mantras, we completely discount our own emotions–to the point we don’t even know them anymore. My friend and sister-in-law Sarah sent me this article yesterday, and I thought it was so good I read it twice. For those of you feeling a bit tentative, I can assure you, it’s written by a man. So no over-emotionalism here.

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Colourful Laundry Soap

I was walking around target, getting tempted to buy everything in sight when I forced myself to focus on the task at hand: laundry soap.  I laughed when I saw Cheer, a colourful laundry soap, and its slogan to “stay colourful.”  I immediately texted Melissa the pics, and I don’t know but I think we may be on to something….


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“The Single Story Creates Stereotypes”

In one of my favorite TED Talks, Chimamanda Adichie, a Nigerian author, speaks poignantly about the problem with the single story. She describes how when we learn only one perspective or meet only one person, we often allow that one interaction to become representative of the whole. We make everything black and white, refusing to acknowledge the many shades of gray. In doing so, we prevent ourselves from seeing the many facets that exist within a person, a community, a nation.

Who Needs Candy When You Can Have Cranberry Chèvre

The holiday season is here, and my life is complete. Trader Joes is once again offering their delightful Cranberry Chèvre:

“This tongue tantalizing, visually appealing bûche de bonheur (“log of bliss”) is a French-American cheese fusion perfect for a fête. We start with a fresh, creamy goat cheese log made according to traditional techniques from quality milk collected on independent family farms in Wisconsin. Then we hand-roll it in vibrant candied cranberries. The tartness of the berries complements the natural tanginess of the cheese. Perfect for an amuse-bouche or paired with post-meal port, this cheese delights at $3.99 for each eight ounce log.”

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