Nov 30, 2008


My brain is mush.





Three things left to do:
1. Finish my personal statement.
2. Write a cover letter for each application.
3. Fill out the basic application for each school.

It seems so basic, and yet I'm scared shitless. I worry about writers block. I worry that I should have gone to get lunch before finding the perfect spot in a coffee shop that is the perfect blend of noise, people watching, and espresso. I worry about being worried. I worry that, even with verses reminding me NOT to worry tattooed on my body, I won't be able to stop.

Perhaps all I need is a deep breath of fresh air, my headphones, and the peace that comes with reminding myself to, "be at rest once more, O my soul, for the LORD has been good to you."

Nov 28, 2008

this is a story about a girl named lucky*

I don't know how I got so lucky. I don't know how I ended up with so many amazing friends. Sometimes I feel like I'm being greedy, like I've taken all the legos so I can build the most amazing house and now none of the other kids have enough to build even a simple lego car.

I am, of course, too selfish to actually give any of them up. And can't imagine my life without a single one of them. And just when I think I've reached my quota, that I've maxed out my friend limit, another person finds their way into my heart over nothing more than a simple cup of coffee or a conversation about swim team and philosophy.

I really don't know how I got so lucky, but I do know that I am forever thankful for each of these amazing people. My life would not be the same without you. I would not be who I am without each and every one of you.

*Oh Britney...

Nov 25, 2008

beauty on the bridge

One of the things I love about Portland it its bridges. I love coming around the curve on I-5, just after I-405 splits off and takes you over the Fremont Bridge, and you can see all the bridges lined up, ready to take you from the east side of the Willamette to the west.

This morning on the bus, even before seeing the Fremont, Broadway, Steel, Burnside, Morrison, Hawthorne, Marquam, and Ross Island Bridges lined up like a welcoming committee, ready to wish me a lovely day in Portland, I happened to look up as we crossed the Columbia River via the Interstate Bridge from Washington to Oregon. Through the green I-beams I could see the silhouette of Mt. Hood back lit by this morning's sunrise. It left me speechless, not that I'm one to chat up folks on the bus, but you get the idea. I wanted to stop the bus. I wanted to ask every rider to put away their books, morning sudoku, daily crossword or paper and just LOOK. I wanted to remind them to take a deep breath and forget about what was ahead and simply enjoy the subtle changes in the pinks and oranges, to appreciate the contrast between the dark navy of the mountain and the clouds and the rich golds, pinks and blues.

As the bus rounded that favorite corner of my and proceeded along the east side of the Willamette to the Marquam Bridge I found myself searching for one last glimpse of the mountain, one last reminder that today was about more than my to-do list. But the sky was dark, and the clouds that had framed the mountain now shielded it, making me all the more grateful for the short time I was allowed to enjoy something so jaw-droppingly, mouth-shuttingly, totally-forget-your-morning-routiningly beautiful.

Nov 22, 2008

personal statement

I sit, winter sunlight streaming through the windows, at Ground, the closest place with wi-fi to Glenwood, Washington. I am here to write my personal statement. I arrived with the goal of a first draft, no more than 500 words, that sums up:
My areas of research interest
The faculty with whom I am interested in working

I have all the necessary tools for a successful day of writing:
Headphones [currently playing my most recent purchase from iTunes]
A cup of coffee [with free refills]
Glasses [for tired eyes that squint in concentration]

Here goes nothing....

Nov 21, 2008


No intentional plot spoilers, especially if you've read the book. That said, read at your own risk.

Yes, of course the book was better than the movie.

That said, THE MOVIE WAS WONDERFUL! Everyone was standing outside in the freezing Northwest night air with books in hand. Some were wrapped up in blankets, others, like myself, appeared to have been so excited about getting to the theatre that they forgot their coats and gloves. [Oops.] Once they let us inside, at 9:45, I began to thaw as I passed the time by rereading New Moon, chatting occasionally with my neighbors about our opinions on who was best for Bella [EDWARD, duh], our favorite book from the saga, and, of course, the casting choices. I was able to get to my favorite chapter in New Moon [20: Volterra] just as the lights dimmed and the screen readjusted to the appropriate size for something other than multitudinous versions of the same message, "You're at a movie, don't use your phone!"

Let me break, briefly, from the Twilight love and say that the new trailer for Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince was delightful, but I still begrudge the decision to wait on the release of the movie simply for profit's sake.

And then...the production company's logo fills the screen, fades and the voice-over begins.... I thought Catherine Hardwicke did a wonderful job capturing the awkward way in which Bella and Edward's relationship evolves. While I think Edward and Bella, and the rest of the characters for that matter, look different for each person as they find themselves engrossed in the pages of Stephanie Meyer's novels, the casting was believable and...good. I was pleasantly surprised. I think my biggest disappointment in the casting department was the Cullen's house. It is described as, “painted a soft, faded white, three stories tall, rectangular and well proportioned,” with a, “deep porch that wrap[s] around the first story.” Bella guesses it is a hundred years old and characterizes it as, “timeless, graceful.” The house they chose was beautiful, but almost the antithesis of Bella's description in everything but the openness and exceptional number of windows.

It was a wonderful way to spend an evening turned very early morning. I loved the scenic shout-outs to places that I see on a semi-frequent basis [Haystack Rock, Multnomah Falls and the Columbia River Gorge to name a few]. I loved that the sweetly chaste relationship between Edward and Bella [mostly] survived Hollywood. I loved it, all of it, including the tired eyes that greeted me in the mirror this morning.

*Oh My Edward

Nov 20, 2008


Okay. I admit it. I'm a little obsessed with The Twilight Saga. I know, I know, me and every other 14 year old, and of course all the Twilight Moms. I've read the books. I'm working my way through the saga for a second time having finally gotten the first book back from my Sister. You also may have noticed that I have a little counter on my blog. Yes, I do realize that it's set to EST. Whatever. I don't even care. I can add three hours even in the midst of my excitement.

And I'm going to the midnight showing tonight.

Nov 19, 2008


Whenever it's stormy on the Oregon coast you can tell because the seagulls decide to make their home further inland. I used to get annoyed because they'd fly everywhere, dig through the trash cans and I was always worried they'd poop on my head [because my sister Clare had seagulls poop on her twice in one day years ago]. Now the sound of seagulls elicits a different response. I hear their squawking and it tugs at my heart just a little. I am reminded of walks down the the village with BFF, cups of coffee from Toot's warming our wind chilled hands. I think of early morning runs with Mat Karney in my ears and the sunrise along East Cliff to encourage me and keep me company. I'm not so worried that they'll poop on my head any more either, but I think that has to do more with familiarity and less to do with statistical probability.

Nov 2, 2008

come down to the water

Over a year ago a friend introduced me, through brief and thought provoking quotes posted on MySpace pages and as signature lines at the ends of emails, to the beautiful words of Annie Dillard. I will confess that I have yet to read an entire book or essay of hers. Regardless of that fact I still manage to catch snippets of her insightful observations of the world around us. This morning I picked up Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, a Father's Day gift I gave my dad this year. The corner of page 10 was bent, and I turned to see what Annie had to say. Half way through page 11 I stumbled upon something that resonated with me and with the drive I made to and from White Salmon yesterday.

"At the time of Lewis and Clark, setting the prairies on fire was a well-know signal that meant, 'Come down to the water.' It was an extravagant gesture, but we can't do less. If the landscape reveals one certainty, it is that the extravagant gesture is the very stuff of creation. After the one extravagant gesture of creation in the first place, the universe has continued to deal exclusively in extravagances, flinging intricacies and colossi down aeons of emptiness, heaping profusions on profligacies with ever-fresh vigor. The whole show has been on fire from the word go. I come down to the water to cool my eyes, but everywhere I go I see fire; that which isn't flint is tinder, and the whole world sparks and flames."

Doesn't that just...leave you speechless?

Doesn't that just make you want to run outside and take everything in!?

Remember when you were little and you would examine everything? There's that picture of you from when you were three and you're squatting above the driveway with a rock inches from your nose. Or maybe your shoulder deep in grass with a leaf pinched between your chubby two year old fingers. Or you've got one of those cheap plastic magnifying glasses and you're examining a flower.

What happened? When did the extravagant intricacies of life become common place? When did I begin focusing on the center line and staying in my lane? Why did I stop pulling over to the side of the road so I could really stop and take in the beauty around me?

I have realized, after being back in the Pacific NW, how beautiful the leaves are as their changing colors marks the changing of the seasons. The leaves of the trees are these incredibly rich shades of gold, auburn, maroon, and orange. Some are all four and still manage to have a hint of green at the stem. How did I forget that leaves did this? It took removing myself from them for three years to reintroduce the response of profound amazement at their fantastical beauty.

And it's not just the leaves.


We just have to look, to notice the extravagances of creation, to notice that "the whole world is sparks and flames."