Tuesday, March 30, 2010

It's a Beautiful Day.

Are you singing U2 yet?
But really, it is a gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous day in Boulder.
The kind of day when it's impossible to be in a bad mood, because such a thing would just make you utterly incongruous with the rest of the world. And whether you can share it with someone
else, or even if you're all alone, it's the kind of day you can't help but smile.
photos: vintage balloons from Millie Motts, couple image from Blog Axioo, Tim Walker photograph.

Friday, March 26, 2010


My life is currently somewhat akin to walking through a really fantastic library, where there are a million books and I want to read them all.
And the appeal and allure of each book has a little to do with its placement on the shelf, its cover, its contents, the effect that its had on the other people that have read it, and the effect it will have on me when I break open the cover and inhale the smell of paper and ink.
Except I'm not contemplating books. I'm contemplating life plans, make-ends-meet possibilities, and career avenues.
Or maybe it's more a forest- gorgeous natural surroundings, perfectly edifying at the moment, but no particular path is forthcoming.
Or like being at the Mad Hatter's tea party- bombarded with image and sound and bewilderment at what to do or where to go.
I'm walking through the shadows of pre-planning. The frightened darkness that comes when you can't commit to a particular plan, and you're almost afraid to choose one, because what if it doesn't work out? What if that bird never sings??
I'm absolutely ready to conquer my Horizon.
I just don't know which way I want to walk.
But nonetheless, Bring me the Horizon, oh Life. Bring me the Horizon.
photos: Colorful Bookshelves from colourlovers.com, Green Quilts by Samantha Lamb, The Avenue by ~absolutpe at deviantArt, The Trees, at Night by Keely, Alice and Wonderland fashion image, Blackbird Singing by Jill Willcott, behance.net typography category,

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Leap and the Net Will Appear.

Okay. 6 months after I leapt in a decidedly westward direction. Still no net. But no broken bones, either.

I attended a fantastic dinner party last night. As the snow fell down to coat the rain-sodden ground, I stood in a kitchen snapping green beans with three of the most charming people I've met in Boulder. They're honest, educated, kind, and witty, and that's a rare combination in this world. We worked through 3 Julia Child recipes and 2 bottles of wine, and ate until Midnight. At which point, the hushed outside world was blanketed in a foot of soppy snow, and the boughs hung low under the weight of the ages. It was magical.

The question of the evening was this: Do you believe in some overarching power that orchestrates our lives? Whether you call it God, or Serendipity, or Fate, or you just maintain that the power of the human consciousness far outreaches what we learn in science class. The answers ranged the gamut, but no one said "no." Different upbringings, belief systems, and life experiences colored the answers.

So what do you believe? When you leap, what, or who, puts the net in place?
photos: untitled by Crystal from flickr, Little Prince Graffiti.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Innovative Philanthropy, Round 2.

Give, give, give. And then Give some more.
I've been reading The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis. It's fantastic and insightful. But the point is, I ran across this passage: "The good of one self is to be the good of another."
I just finished reading Three Cups of Tea about Greg Mortenson's initiative to build schools in Pakistan, combating terrorism and war with books and education. It's a modern-day example of how we can overcome bigotry and bias by recognizing similarities among the vast human family, instead of the differences. The villagers living in the shadow of majestic mountains, beyond the reach of central electricity and running water, want an education for their children - boys and girls alike.
Their religion of Islam is beautiful, and their everyday banter constantly reflects a dependence on God, not a dependence on technology or self. I think people in my circle take Education for granted. I know I did. In fact, I took the multi-dimensional, spiritually-and-terrestrially-applicable education supplied by Catholic School for granted. And it taught me how to see, not through tunnel vision, but with an arsenal of lenses. (P.S. Thank you, mom and dad.)
So, if you believe that Education is as imperative to humanity as water is, visit Mortenson's website and check up on his progress: www.threecupsoftea.com
And what about water?
Some friends and acquaintances and fellow graduates of Villanova began an organization called Water for Waslala. Quite simply put: they visit the villages of Nicaragua, and find ways to provide clean water for the citizens.
photo by Eric Ian

Waslalans live in a mountainous territory and can't rely on wells or on rainwater. The water they drink is often contaminated, and often results in water-borne illnesses (something we 1st-worlders aren't very familiar with.) Through the efforts of WfW, Villanova engineering students help survey and design water systems that use concrete holding tanks and PVC pipes to transport clean water from the high mountain springs down into the villages, where it becomes available to school children, the mothers, the men in the fields. Villanova nursing students sometimes tag along for the trip, teaching the locals simple sanitary rules that we take for granted. A good friend of mine just finished revising the WfW website, so visit and let me know what you think: www.waterforwaslala.org
And if you think it's a good idea, tell your friends about. Just forward it to someone else. If you can't spread the cash, spread the awareness. Call me an optimist, but I think that a better world lurks just on the horizon. We just need to get everyone looking for it.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Innovative Philanthropy.

Annual Funds.

I realize that this is how many organizations stay afloat, build or rebuild, gift or re-gift. In the past month, I've been contacted by charming students from my alma maters. And as much as I cherish the memories of Christ the King and St. Pius X and Villanova, I don't have the expendable income to eke out a donation. I particularly love when they highball and ask for $500. The student volunteers REALLY get confused when I say, "When I do get a full-time job, and have the means to donate, do you have a website or a number that I can call?" There's a confused pause, and then, "Um. No."

Now first: for educational institutions that, I believe, did an excellent job educating students, you'd think they could do a little intuitive research. I realize that background-checking all the alumni on the call-list is out of the question, but perhaps when the query "So, what have you been doing since you graduated?" is answered with, "Well, I worked as a Marketing Manager for an airline until I lost my job. Now I'm a freelance writer and photographer's assistant," the plea for money should be lowered from $500 to something more like $50.
Secondly: Someone in the ranks needs to come up with better follow-up to the response, "I'm sorry, I can't donate right now." Perhaps, "Okay, well, be sure to visit our annual fund website to track our progress and observe the practical benefits of the drive." Or, "I see you live in the Denver Metro area. Are you in touch with the local Alumni Association?"
Because for 4 years, I was an extremely productive member of the student body. I worked my work study job, I was on the board of my extra-curricular activities, I made all the Honors Societies I was supposed to make, I volunteered for this, that, and the other, and I did my part to keep the GPA average up. Now you only reach out to me when you want money, and when I tell you I can't give, you have nothing else to say to me?
Never mind that I'm still eking out monthly payments to pay off my student loans. I'm still proud to be a graduate of your institution. I just can't fork over $500 to you right now. But I can meet with local prospective students or write for your newsletter or website or take a raincheck on donating my rent. Just give me another option, please?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Mountains to Conquer.

Off to Vail.

Heading westward to enjoy Bridge Street and the Coffee Shop Hill off of Chair 4. See you later this week.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Piccola Stella Senza Cielo...

by Ligabue, the most amazing Italian Rockstar Ever.

Cosa ci fai in mezzo a tutta questa gente?
Sei tu che vuoi
O in fin dei conti non ti frega niente?
Tanti ti cercano
Spiazzati da una luce senza futuro
Altri si allungano
Vorrebbero tenerti nel loro buio
Ti brucerai
Piccola stella senza cielo
Ti mostrerai
Ci incanteremo mentre scoppi in volo
Ti scioglierai
Dietro una scia, un soffio, un velo,
Ti staccherai
Perche' ti tiene su soltanto un filo lo sai
Tieniti su
Le altre stelle son disposte
Solo che tu
A volte credi non ti basti
Forse capitera'
Che ti si chiuderanno gli occhi ancora
O soltanto sara'
Una parentesi di una mezz'ora
Ti brucerai
Piccola stella senza cielo
Ti mostrerai
Ci incanteremo mentre scoppi in volo
Ti sciogllerai
Dietro una scia, un soffio, un velo,
Ti staccherai
Perche' ti tiene su soltanto un filo lo sai

photos: inspireplease - I only dream in monochrome - dossier journal, FallenStar - Patricia Snook-flickr, Power to the Peaceful - pinkpopcorn - tumblr, Silhouette - Hananya van den Berg, In the reflection - infinite butterflies - tumblr, face - imgfave.com, i.Anton - flickr, Gala Collette - ffffound.com, raining stars - hoppipoppi - flickr, Dots and Stars II - *littlemewhatever - DeviantART, Underneath the Stars - weheartit.com, Kama Sitra blog - page 181, Stars - torpore kari-shma - tumblr, quote from rasberrytart - tumblr, Lustro - minililimi - flickr, Stars - Suzette McGrath, Where to Miss - tumblr.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Meryl's Party

I love the Oscars.
I remember watching them last year, while America was still getting situated in its new Recessionary frock, and hearing the arguments that the pomp and circumstance was out of place and inappropriate.
No darlings. Celebrating the Silver Screen is never inappropriate. Sometimes I don't want to think about how I'm unemployed and keep hearing, "gee, you're really qualified, but no, we don't have a job for you." And that's when I turn to Audrey, and Bogey, and Fred, and Meryl. Hollywood is full of people with opinions (see: Obama Campaign Support) who are awesomely talented (see: Casablanca) and who can sweep us away to magical, real, inspiring places (see: 2010 Best Picture Nominations). And I love them for it.
I love the movies.

This year, for the first year, I was surrounded by non-movie buffs. I'm used to watching the Oscars with friends who know the life-accomplishments of the actors, who understand the ins and outs of finding a plumb-line, of performing on stage, of captivating an audience, of feeling a role. Instead, 2010 found me gaping at the glitter with the types of people who can conquer an un-rated heli-ski drop, but don't know who Staney Tucci is, or Hattie McDaniel, or that Anna Kendrick was a marvelously sassy pre-teen in Camp. For the first time ever, I was the Movie-Trivia girl, who knew the when and the wherefore of the marvelous Silver Screen.
And so they didn't understand how Sandra Bullock's performance in The Blind Side was a revelation. But I knew. And I'm so glad she won.
And her speech was marvelous, and heartfelt, and gracious. Her immediate recognition of her peers was marvelous. Her dedication to Mothers was also so perfect. And she looked like a 40's movie starlet.

But everyone who knows, knows that the Academy Awards are really just Meryl's Party.
Each year, she arrives, looking stunning and refined, and, I'm sure, somehow knowing what the evening's outcome will be. She is an unparalleled performer, as evinced by her nomination tally. And I think she's fabulous. It may be about time for a Meryl movie marathon...

Friday, March 5, 2010

Let's Blow This Joint.

I wish to round up the fairy tale princesses.
I wish to bust down the doors of complacency,
To challenge the status quo.
I wish to gather the gals and demand the attentions of fate.
To change the way things are through the sheer power of will,
And create for myself a new reality,
Where fear is a thing of the past,
And the horizon is bright with the light of possibility.
I wish to gather Cindy and Rapunzel, Beauty and Ariel, Alice and Bianca, and say,
"Enough of this, ladies dear.
Let's blow this joint."
photos: Tim Walker for Vogue, The Doors of Obernewtyn by Donato Giancola, Amy Brisco from ffffound, Scarlett Horizon by himitsuhana from flickr, Patrick Demarchelier