7.21.19

What I’ve been up to:

Largely just unpacking and trying to find places to put things. This house and garage are slightly smaller than our place in Seattle but we also have tenants that live in the suite downstairs so we are Marie Kondo-ing the hell out of our stuff.

Whenever we need a break we take the dogs and head out to explore the neighbourhood – Hastings-Sunrise – in a new direction. It has historically been an Italian neighbourhood and you can’t go a block without passing an urban farm covered completely in tomatoes, grapes, runner beans, huge fig trees, and at least one mature olive tree. We’re walking distance to Rupert park, New Brighton Park (and pool!), and an excellent cafe and coffee roaster. All the delicious restaurants and small grocers on Hastings and Commercial are within reach as well and getting out of the city is so easy. We (dogs included) are so stoked.

We celebrated being moved in by going to see Rebirth Brass Band perform at the folk festival in Jericho Beach Park and it was so great to hang out in the sun with our friends, listening to great music. The night unfortunately ended with me losing my phone, getting a parking ticket and discovering that someone had hit my truck in the parking lot, but our happiness remains unaffected. It is so good to be home.

What was beautiful:

Our new house and our neighbourhood are basically the best but seeing the sun set over the city from the folk fest at Jericho Beach Park – as well as this rad split-window VW bus – was incredible.

What I’m reading and listening to:

BOOKS –

Nothing new. The paper books were all packed and I lost my iPhone so no audiobooks either.

MUSIC –

Our neighbour is a very accomplished ragtime pianist so we’ve been enjoying hearing him, and it seems our tenant also plays guitar.

ARTICLES –

Creating intimacy – how to do it and why we need it so badly, but also includes this gem that feels very true:

“Friends are those rare people who ask how we are, and then wait to hear the answer.”― Ed Cunningham”

How I made myself lose my phone – interesting read made even more so since I lost my phone last night

Climbing Mt. Rainier. This is something that I really want to do so the detailed account is pretty great

Coral Bleaching Caused by Excessive Nitrogen Levels (and not *just* from global warming). I’m not sure I care that much about the cause, but it’s good to know.

Habits of UNsuccessful people. What not to do.

Floating artist residency re-established in Vancouver. This is just so unbelievably cool. I want in.

>6500 recycled flip flops used to create wildlife art

What to do when the excitement fades

Noble Pursuits:

  • Inward (health, joy, and peace)
  • Outward (communion, purpose)
  • Upward (wisdom, freedom)

Hacking your creativity – “particularly creative people have higher levels of alpha activity, the brain waves that are associated with a relaxed and “ready for anything” state of mind. And how can you encourage this alpha activity? Meditation.”

More on quitting drinking

ON HASTINGS-SUNRISE HOOD –

7.14.19

What I’ve been up to:

Well first and foremost, we are still in the midst of moving to Canada and while there have been some serious snafus this week, we are getting past the point of no return. MANY papers have been signed, the car has been sold, all of our worldly possessions (excepts animals, plants, paint and some other stuff the movers won’t carry) has been packed onto the truck and we are camping out. We head north in the morning.

Seattle, we will miss – and especially our friends – but we will be back often and hopefully people will come to visit. But I am feeling the sadness of leaving this house. It was the first property that I owned and we were not planning to move so it will always be the place where we got Tyler and went through his bilateral knee surgeries, quarantining him in the bedroom so that he wouldn’t run or jump and carrying him down the stairs to pee. And then the hours I spent recovering from my motorcycle accident and subsequent surgery staring out the window at the pear tree. There were the raised beds I kept putting in (until we ran out of room at 7), and the stone walkway that I did myself, and my plans to level the yard that ended in the discovery of the surprise well.

Also where we built a free library and cooked paella over an open orangewood fire – although that didn’t happen until our going away party last week

But prior to the whirlwind of packing and paperwork, I took a quick trip down the coast with my Triumph, almost to LA. Partly I was killing time until the movers arrived, and staying out of Matt’s way while he cleaned up his garage projects, but it was also a chance to visit the remaining locations in my McMenamins passport and some other points of interest. So down to Portland then hopped through McMinnville, Salem, Corvallis, Eugene, Roseburg to arrive in Grant’s Pass.

Then through the Redwoods where I passed many trees much larger than my motorcycle – and actually drove through one , down Hwy 101 to the sea glass beach, past otters and sea lions and an elephant seal rookery, through all the twisties to the top of Bolinas Ridge, then down over the Golden Gate bridge, up and down a crazy San Fran street hill that I shared with a streetcar, through Big Sur to Morro Bay where I spent two hours in a cafe courtyard feeling warm for the first time on the whole trip. I decided I didn’t have enough time to do all the things I wanted to do in LA so saved it for another time and went inland to Bakersfield (almost immediately becoming way too warm). The next day I didn’t want to hang out on I-5 so got up early and barreled 830+ miles north back to Portland and home the next day via the newest and most beautiful McMenamins property in Tacoma.

Normally I do not stop in big cities when I’m on a road trip with limited clothing and makeup but I’ve been wanting to visit the Musee Mechanique in San Francisco since the last time I drove through there (20+ years ago) so rode my motorcycle right onto Fisherman’s Wharf and started exploring. It did not disappoint.

And now that we have some downtime between moving events, I have started planning a dive trip to the Arctic. I was so cold on my moto trip to Cali that I think I’d better get this booked ASAP. The most likely option is this one but if I win the lottery or fall in love with ice diving, this one (hosted by the company that made my drysuit) sounds like a dream.

Plus Airbnb has launched an Adventures page, where you can book whole trips like this amazing one around the world. So now I am updating wish lists and travel plans.

Finally, Duolingo (one of my favourite apps – for language) introduced Arabic (which I have badly wanted to learn) so fitting that into the cracks.

What was beautiful:

So many beautiful things from my trip but the collections that struck out were the vintage neon and ghostwriting (usually in smaller towns), beautiful wildflowers blooming everywhere (plus gorgeous succulents in SoCal), the treasures and art in various McMenamins locations, but mostly I fell in love with what I came for – the trees and the sea – and what I brought with my – my motorcycle.

This etsy shop

These two stories of the day by Brian Andreas that really speak to where I’m at right now – signature move and fine line:

People spending the 4th of July sitting with shelter dogs

Stolen wallets from the 1940s found stashed behind a bathroom wall

What I’m reading and listening to:

MUSIC –

Tangled up in Blue, Johnny Cash, Janes Addiction and our signature moving song – Eye of the Tiger Remix

BOOKS –

It can hardly be called a book but with all the helmet time lately, I’ve been trying to memorize Howl, so have read that poem over and over again.

ARTICLES –

Annie Leibovitz photographs five women running for president

What’s wrong with a little validation?

Hang out with people who fit your future, not your history

The best love is ordinary

On adjectives – https://medium.com/@JessicaLexicus/adjectives-you-want-to-hear-about-yourself-f15e1c14e9bd. I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately – how other people must see me and it’s interesting because it is such a rare thought these days. At some point, I did really stop caring or at least considering it. Sure, I conform. I get all the subliminal messaging about culture but I don’t often stop to think about how I am perceived. Even when I am looking at photos I am judging myself, instead of seeing a new angle. But I have been thinking that I am not well liked and trying to figure out why that is…how I am categorized. What certainly doesn’t change is that I will continue to try to be a good person and try to be kind, because it is the right thing to do. “Kindness isn’t an investment in a specific person, but the kind of world you want to live in.”

ON HEALTH –

Ways for seniors to stay active. I am kind of obsessed with not being old and decrepit.

Recovering from Creative burnout

When your partner won’t say how they feel “A mismatch in emotional expression is commonly described in therapy. But the answer is not to press your quieter partner into being the same as you.”

“It can be hugely frustrating to be with a “silent” partner when you like to talk.”

Getting through procrastination “Remember: if you’re engaging in something that is not your High Impact Action, then you are likely procrastinating.” Also remember: “never, EVER, skip twice”

Resisting the attention economy

On marriage – “This is what marriage does better than anything else. It forces you to look hard at what you want to be and acknowledge that someone else, someone you love, cannot give it to you. Even after spending 25 years with that person, the only way to get there is to change yourself.”

On marriage health – Spotting cracks before they become canyons

Reversing the scarcity mindset – “scientists have found that loneliness can induce a scarcity mindset. Being narrowly focused on what we don’t have erodes our capacity to make choices that serve us long-term”

7.02.19

What I’ve been up to:

Oooph, it’s been busy! We had a party where we (finally!!) made paella over an open, orange wood fire and it looked, smelled and tasted amazing. More importantly, no one caught on fire and even more importantly, many of our friends came to see us off on our next adventure moving home to Vancouver.

Then I rode with my Rainier Ravens and Dykes Who Ride (aka Dykes on Bikes) in the Seattle Pride Parade. This was an amazingly joyous and beautiful experience but also triumphant because it was my CB400’s re-debut back into the world (in grand style) after we crashed into a truck.

And then to celebrate Canada Day, I went to visit the wolves and their friends at an animal rescue. What an amazing experience.

Seems like a long time ago but Matt and I also went to see El Dorado at the Can Can and laughed our asses off. So funny, and sparkly!

El Dorado at the Can Can! Glitter chaps and pasties.

Now I am planning to go on a bit of a road trip to kill some time before the movers come but I’m exhausted and sore and not packed and it’s raining so not a lot of progress has been made there yet.

What was beautiful:

This article about my cousin’s project in the Straight. It’s a couple of years old but really good, especially in context with the musical component.

This story by Flying Edna. “It’s too easy to get caught up in the big death, she said, but it’s the little deaths that kill you.”

The chairs and tile in this old diner
Summer nights riding around, chasing sunsets.
Gypsy Caravans

What I’m reading and listening to:

BOOKS –

MOVIES –

Nina Simone’s “Feeling Good” Not sure how this got stuck into my head but I am loving it.

Belén López‘s music

The Anthropocene Reviewed podcast that I have recently become acquainted with, but I particularly loved this episode. So many good lines in there that I don’t have time to transcribe.

ARTICLES –

Birds fly by seeing magnetic fields

Three suprising solutions to climate change

The Hidden US Empire

The importance of life lists

The real story behind Gastown’s Gassy Jack. Doesn’t seem surprising to me.

Good news:

Peregrine Falcons Nesting in Seattle. Actually very common – they are a species that has adapted well to urban living – but cool to see some locals.

Cold swims could help with anxiety and depression. And here I thought I just liked cold water diving for the octopuses.

Bad news:

The high cost of cheap fashion

Greenland temperatures soar, melting record amounts of ice

Men and Women who perished trying to reach Europe

Animals are becoming nocturnal to avoid us / survive

Links found between grain free dog food and heart disease

A heartbreaking exhibit of clothes worn by rape victims – to prove it wasn’t their fault

Companies drain women’s ambition after only 2 years

ON EMPATHY –

Empathy vs. Sympathy. An oldie but a goodie.

ON SOBRIETY –

Breaking the booze habit “For drinkers who have become alcohol dependent, taking a short break is likely not an option. Many people who drink heavily have not had an easy road in managing their relationship with alcohol.”

“All my drinking was really centered around community and wanting that connection so badly with other people,” he says.

ON WORK –

Doctors without Borders do mental health

Counselors without Borders

People have more control over their emotions than we thought

Screentime and Depression

BC launches increased support for mental health and additions

Kids Around the World Photographed Surrounded by Their Weekly Diet