Monday, May 9, 2011

Coffee time with Benny

I got to have breakfast with my dear friend Ben this morning. I met him in Kindergarten, circa 1994. Even though we live 3 states apart, I still manage to see him at least a few times per year. He's a dreamer/wild schemer just like me, so he's a hoot to be around.

Taken at Royal Grounds Coffee in Albany, Ca

Monday, December 6, 2010

Power of Blogging

In a recent conversations with one of my coworkers, I mentioned something about my blogging. (Just for some context, I work at a medical clinic in the records department. My position, although somewhat professional, does not require either experience or a degree, and pays just pennies above Washington state's minimum wage.) In the past few months I've become quite fond of this woman, though she’s twice my age and has the opposite of my political/social views. It came up in casual conversation, and once I mentioned that I did indeed write a public blog that could be accessed by anyone anywhere in the world she became quite visibly disturbed.

“I don’t like that.”
“I just don’t like it!”
“What do you mean you don’t like it?”
“I mean, I don’t like that anyone in the world could read it. You don’t know who might be reading it, it could be murderers! Pedophiles! Anyone could read it and know personal things about you and come find you.”
“First of all, Im twenty. They aren’t pedophiles if Im not a child. And second, I don’t post secure information. I do blog about personal experiences in my life, but I do so because I believe in the power of blogging.”

I went on to explain myself as clearly as I knew how, (which was poorly, as my command of language lies in my writing and not my speaking.) My basic philosophy, as I told her, is that blogging is a way to read a chapter of the human experience as told by someone you would have never come in contact with otherwise. Because of blogs, I have read the personal accounts of missionaries in third world countries, independent artists in New York, and of a call girl living and working in London. I’ve learned of the daily challenges of those who struggle against poverty, depression, and raising children alone. They are complete strangers, but we are connected through blogs. I blog to offer my personal account of life; a female living away from home, and surviving on the line between student and adult.

I felt empowered after my mini speech, confident that at least one of my hobbies is a meaningful one. My coworker was quiet as I swiveled by chair back to my desk and again began filing loose paperwork into charts, my mind still processing the ability of something as simple as blogs that have the power to unite the human spirit across the globe.

“Well, I still don’t like it.”

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Taking time off.

I wish I were in school. I wish I were living in Olympia right now. Classes started up at The Evergreen State College this week. All my friends are now secure in their programs, all set for fall quarter and how I wish I were too. Instead I am working two jobs, one of which I love. The other I merely tolerate, but I manage. In total, I find myself working about 60 hours a week in addition to 28 hours on call time. I find myself to be physically exhausted most of the time and though two paychecks every other friday don't exactly make up for it, it is nice knowing that when I go back to school next year I'll worry less about money.

Not quite freelancing, but close.

I was asked to take over the company blog at work. While I love my job almost as much as I love writing, the subject matter of old people living at a retirement center requires a dose of creativity to make the topics remotely interesting.

In any case, here is the link to my first professional blog:

Woodland Estates Retirement Center

Monday, September 6, 2010

Nifty Thrifty

To anyone who has ever searched for the perfect thrift store--well organized, a friendly staff, awesome selection, and unbeatable prices, you can stop looking. I have found it. Located in sleepy Winlock Washington, just a couple miles from the winding Interstate 5, is the cleverly named Sacks First Avenue. This well established and diverse little shop is on the outskirts of Winlock's main drag in a charming rustic building full of treasures from floor to ceiling. When I went in the woman behind the counter called a cheerful hello and told me of the current brown bag special. For a mere $6, she told me I could fill a paper grocery bag to the brim with any combination of pants, tops, dresses, and jackets. Absolutely delighted, I accepted the offer and wound up with two full bags bursting at their paper seams of beautiful secondhand clothing.

This store was a Godsend. I am still in the process of furnishing and decorating my first apartment, and I was able to find all sorts of little things for my livingroom, bathroom, and especially my kitchen. I even found a pair of shoes for my size 11 feet! This in itself is a rarity at any store, let alone a thrift store. I left with books, pillows, and knives and all sorts of things I needed. All the while I was shopping, the woman behind the counter (who, as it turns out, was the owner) went out of her way to be friendly and even helped me out to my car.

With every knick knack and paddy whack imaginable with the friendliest service west of I-5, Saks First Avenue is your only answer. Definitely worth the trip.