Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Last night I had a conversation with a friend of mine who is a mom.  I was telling her that I want to go to India.  "Is that possible?" she asked.  "Sure," I responded, casually looking to the crossword puzzle on the table.  I explained to her that I want to find my mom.  "Is that possible?" she asked.  "I'm not sure," I told her, "but I have to try."

When I was younger, I had a dream once in which there was a map of the world hanging on the wall.  Each person had a pin in the location they were, and each pin was connected by a piece of yarn to another pin on the other side of the map.  But then there was my pin.... all alone, no yarn, no connection, nothing.  

I've always remembered that dream, and haven't neccesarily been able to let that go.  My friend asked what it's like in India, if moms there were allowed to feel remorse/sadness/wonder if they gave their kids up for adoption.  I told her I wasn't sure, but I could imagine that any woman who has carried a child is going to think about that child every day of her life.  I have to believe that.  I can't fathom the idea of my mom giving birth to me and never looking back.  She must wonder....right?   I wonder about her, most days.  I wonder what she was like, and who my dad was.  Do I have siblings?  Do they know about me?  I tend to think about my birth family more when I'm feeling down, and lately it's been on my mind and in my heart so strong.  I feel a sense of emptiness without knowing. 

Truthfully, I don't know that I will ever be able to find my mom.  I have to try though.  I have to.  Because what if she's in India, drinking tea, or doing chores, or studying, or mothering... all the while wondering what happened to me and if I'm okay.  I want to tell her that yes, I'm okay, but that I'm also incomplete without knowing her and where I came from. 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

People on my List to Meet..

Stevie Wonder...

who sings songs like this, that make me want to dance, cry, and sing.  

It's funny when you hear a song that hits a little too close to home.  If you're a musician, musically inclined, or even just musically curious... well, i guess if you're in this mindstate, it means more to you than it would otherwise.

Can't wait to meet you, Stevie!  Thank you for all that you have done.  

The Non-Religious Nun

If being a nun is anything like it is in "Sister Act Two" I'd love to be a nun.  
I'd love to be in an environment where I can give back to my community, sing with Lauryn Hill, not have to pay rent, and not have to worry about relationships.

That would be rad.  Just sayin'. 

I believe in higher powers.  I have to...I've lost too many people in my life to not believe that things don't happen for a reason/power bigger than me.  

I just don't know about the whole Jesus/God thing.  If you do, and are willing to share your story/experience, I'd love to listen/talk.  If you don't believe, or are like me and are questioning/trying to make sense....lets please also talk.


Do You See Me?

I'm running down summit or selby avenue in little shorts and a sports bra.  The following things happen as I pass people:
1. Man- occasionally checks me out, but not always.  If he's running the opposite direction, rarely will he wave or acknowledge me.
2. Woman- more than half the time ignores me, even though I wave, nod, or say hello.  A few women who run will wave, but most do not.
3. Man and woman- man ignores me, woman looks at the man to see where his eyes are.
4. Woman and woman- occasionally wave, but usually are too into their own conversation to see me.
5. Man and man- doesn't happen to often, so I don't know.

An average day, I'm walking up selby in jeans and a sweater, carrying my messenger bag:
1. Man- usually ignores me.  Unless he is older (70+), then I usually get a hello.
2. Woman- usually ignores me.  Unless she is older (60+), then I have a 50/50 chance of getting a hello.
3. Man and woman- slight chance they see me, but more often than not, I am still ignored.
4. Woman and woman- they see me, but usually pretend like they don't.
5. Man and man- again, doesn't happen very often.  When it does, I usually go unnoticed.

Last night, I'm walking up selby in huge basketball shorts, and a black sweatshirt with the hood pulled over my head, carrying a six pack of Winter Ale from Solo Vino:
1. Man- looks at me, but doesn't say hi.
2. Woman- looks at me, but doesn't say hi.
3. Man and woman- look at me, and keep talking to each other.
4. Woman and woman- look at me, become silent until I pass, and then continue their conversation.
5. Man and man- I don't think they saw me.
6. Man, woman, and child.  The man noticed me, the woman noticed the child, and the child was engaged with the woman and her shoes.

I got home last night, and was really interested in the number of people that actually noticed me.  I wasn't surprised that no one say hi.... why would they?  It was Saturday night, most folks were dressed up and heading to one of the fine dining establishments in the area.  I was shorts and a hoodie, having just finished a workout at the Y, and made a quick stop for beverages.  

What got me thinking the most, is how people don't often see or acknowledge me when I'm in regular clothes, during daylight hours, minding my business.  I often say hi to people I pass in the street, and will almost always at least try to make eye contact with them.  Usually though, it's like I'm invisible.  Last night, I was not invisible.  Why did people see me last night?  Was it because I was in big baggy clothes?  All one could really see was my chicken legs poking out from my over-sized shorts.  Am I really that threatening?  I'd like to think I'm strong and intimidating, but really.... considering size only, I'm not much of a threat.  

Sometimes being invisible is cool.  I can do what I want (for the most part) and go unnoticed.  People don't bother me, I don't bother them.  Places where I'm used to being very visible is when I go into stores.  I'm noticed before I walk in the door.  I have a better chance of not getting followed, harassed or insulted if I'm dressed in nice clothes (but even then, if it's an upscale place, I often get the look of "you don't belong here.")  I know if I walk into a store wearing baggy shorts and a hoodie, I will be treated differently.  I've had this conversation with a friend, who says that she gets followed because she's overweight.  "Yes, but you can change that," I think to myself, knowing that it's not always that easy for everyone, and that I've been blessed with a reasonably high metabolism.  

I can dress the part...and often times I do.  I want to be seen as a respectable person.  I want to be seen as a smart, creative, caring woman who doesn't walk into your store to steal shit, who doesn't walk in my own neighborhood at night waiting to jump you.  I walk into your store because I want to purchase something, ask questions, or feel part of the community.  I walk in my neighborhood to get from place to place, or to just stay active.  

I pay attention to the clothes I wear.  I know how differently I am treated if I'm wearing sweats as opposed to dress pants and a suit jacket.  I think what hurts the most, is when I'm dressed up and still treated like shit.  I'm reminded of a time last winter when I went to one of those fine dining establishments with a (white) friend of mine.  I was in business casual clothes (dress pants, cashmere sweater).  She was in jeans, a hoodie, and a down vest.  We walked in, and the host was on the phone.  She didn't look up, acknowledge us, nothing.  The phone rang again, and she took that call.  After a minute or two of standing there, she finally said "Oh hi.... (awkward silence), can I help you?"  Table for two we told her.  She seated us in the back corner of the restaurant.  After a few minutes of sitting there feeling rejected, we left.  I don't think the hostess even noticed our departure.  Once we were outside, I asked my friend very honestly, "Do you think we weren't seated because I'm not white, because you're in casual clothes, or because we are two women together?" My friend said she didn't know; it could have been a combination of reasons.  We went somewhere else for lunch.

If the only time people consistently acknowledge me is when they see me as a threat (at night, in baggy clothes), that's unfortunate, and something I'm not sure how to deal with.  Do I make myself known?  Or am I okay under the radar?  I can't change my skin color (and yes, people notice).  I can change my clothes, but should it really change the perception of me as much as it does?  

I'm still just me.

(This is a video I made a month or two ago for Greg Laden.  I like the idea of this video, but I don't like the monologue at the end.  I was on 4 hours of sleep, and both physically and emotionally past the point of exhaustion.  Regardless, it kind of helps articulate some of what I've been thinking about last night/today.)

Friday, October 21, 2011


It's day 21 of the shoe project.  I've gotten some compliments on it, and have taken some heat from it as well.  I'm glad I've kept my word to wear a different pair of shoes everyday this month, but I will also be glad when it is done.  I think I've annoyed some people.  Oh well.

Today I spent about an hour writing what the "ideal asha" looks like and is.  It was good to take that time to reflect.  We all die at some point, and I think it's important to consider how we will be remembered.  I don't want to be remembered as someone who is sad, or lazy, or mean, etc.  I want to be known for being positive, witty, brilliant, loving, athletic, etc.... (I've got a ways to go, I know).  I don't live my life to please others, but lately I've not been living the life I want to live.  Time to make some changes.  

But before I do that, here's the last week or so in shoes.  Bare with me... only 10 more days!

October 14, 2011.  Walking to the co-op.  Photo by Kelly.

October 15, 2011.  After setting a new PR for my 5k.

October 16, 2011.  My grampa's racing flats.

October 17, 2011.

October 18, 2011.  Rental car.

October 19, 2011.  It's getting colder!

October 20, 2011.  My kitchen (and how this project got started).

October 21, 2011.  Photo by Sally at a potluck for brown artists.

I've got hockey practice tomorrow at 7:45am.  I missed the entire fall season with a shoulder injury.  It still hasn't healed, but I'm not resting it like I should be.... therefor, I'll be out on the ice in the morning!  I'm excited to play with a team again.  It's been years since I've played hockey competitively, so I'm looking forward to it.  I'm also just looking forward to meeting new folks, and making new connections.  We'll see how tomorrow goes.  Thank you to all those who read the blog; it means a lot to me.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Driving Music

I was driving somewhere the other day, listening to the radio, when halfway through the song I had an "oh shit" moment.  That moment continued as a listened more intently to the lyrics, and quick grabbed my phone so I could "shazam" what song it was. 

Today I shazamed another song, and was reminded of the one I heard in the car the other day.  I youtubed it (among other things then, of course), and was surprised by the video, as it was not at all as I had imagined.  Regardless of the violence, I still kind of dig the song. 

PS-- Shout out to those who do not hold it against me for turning iphone/internet applications into verbs.

Things That Need to Change

First things first.  A photo of today's shoes.  

October 13, 2011.

This has now become some kind of a game...planning what shoes to wear so I don't run out of "casual" shoes for work.  This weekend will be mostly running shoes/sneakers.  Woot!  I kind of like this game.

Anyhow....things need to change.  Here are a few things that I will do:

1. Workout in the morning.  Consistently.  Even when I don't want to.... I need get out of bed, throw on a bra, and get my brown ass out the door.  It's time to get ripped!! 

2. Play more music.  Write it down, sing loudly, get a 6th string for my guitar, and get a new keyboard.

3. Go to an al-anon meeting.  I'm nobody's bitch.

4. Find more work.  25 hours a week won't pay the bills.  

5. If #4 doesn't work, join the army.

6. If #5 doesn't work, move to India, look for my birth parents, and do volunteer work.

7. Start taking vitamins....because ice cream, waffles, peanut butter and beer do not provide a balanced diet (contrary to what I keep telling people). 

8. Go camping.

9. Get health insurance so I can get an MRI for my shoulder.

10. Get health insurance so I can continue to play rough.  

11. Quit listening to Adele.  If I had her on wax, I'd have ruined the record by now.  It's time for new music.  Suggestions are welcome....as are mix cd's.  

12. Clean my apartment.  Make it shine!  Or at least pick the clothes up off the closet floor.

13.  Start doing the crossword puzzle again. 

14. Go to church.  I don't have to believe in it (church)...but like Buddha (and some others) said...it's not about the destination...it's the journey.  

15.  Start running outside more, so my lungs don't get that uncomfortable-feel-like-I'm-bleeding-in-my throat sensation when running outdoors this winter.

16. Talk to my mom more.  I miss her.  I miss my sister too.  I need to make a better effort to communicate with them.  I know this.  And so do they.  

17. Quit spending money....why by organic when I do so many other "bad" things for/to myself (i.e. occasionally use a microwave, loving high fructose corn syrup, talking on a cell phone while driving, etc).  

18. Get a reasonable amount of sleep.  Ha!

19. Take more photos.

It's midnight now.  My goal is to get up semi early, get to el gymnasio, and be done by 8ish so I can have a phone date with one of my go-to dudes.  I'm sure there's more to add to this list...but I can't think of anything right now.  I just know I need to make some changes.  I will make them, cuz lately (minus the cool new job), things have sucked.  And when things suck, they are not sustainable (except for the bush administration, but that's a whole different story).  I need to make the plans, take the steps, and have the courage to get things done.

20.  Oh yeah.... and learn how to skateboard properly. 

21.  And walk in heels.

22.  Damn.  And my schoolwork.  Hmph.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Getting Harder

The shoe project is getting harder, not because of my shoes, but because I want to make each photo different and interesting.  I learned at work today that we can wear anything but jeans.  This means, we can wear sweatpants if desired!  While I don't want to wear sweats to work, I'd been struggling with how I might make dress pants and running shoes work (because that is likely what I'll be wearing the last week or so of October).  My continued challenge is going to be to take good/unique/interesting photos.  Here are the three from so far this week.

October 10, 2011.

October 11, 2011.  My Grampa's Nike Cortez from the 70's.

October 12, 2011.  

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Weekend Jock

I feel like a jock as I post photos from the weekend.  Last night I went to the Wild season opener.  We (the Wild) played hard and won.  It was a great time, and I love the photo that Steph took of my shoes.  It's funny...yesterday I ran 4 miles, and for 3.75 of of them, I was thinking about what shoes I could wear to the Wild game that I hadn't already worn this month.  I have a feeling by the end of October, I'll be wearing the ugliest of the ugly.  

Today's shoe choice is in honor of football Sunday.  I think I'm going to watch the Packers game tonight, so I've got my green/yellow shoes on to show my support.  And no, I never thought I'd be a packer fan....and I'm not sure that I actually am... I just know a lot of really cool women who are... so I tend to tag along.

October 8, 2011.  Wild Season Opener.  Photo by Steph Millar.
October 9, 2011.  Football Sunday.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Clothes Rainbow

If I organized my closet, I'd have a rainbow of clothing.  I explained this (among other things) to my mom this morning, as we had coffee in celebration of her birthday.

"You know, I have a decade old green t-shirt from the rec center I used to get kicked out of everyday, that I can wear under a gray cashmere sweater, and match it to my green diesel shoes."

Why do I have countless other green shirts and two pairs of green diesel shoes?  I do not know.  

I learned today that my new job has a uniform; a "hanes looking" t-shirt repping the program, with any pair of dress pants I have.

I'll have a total of three shirts.  I'm going to have to get creative. 

October 6, 2011.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

ps I got the job!

The interview boots from Day 4 must have worked.  I got the job.  I start on Monday.

Day 5 shoes are oldies, rarely worn, not extremely comfortable, but match my "I got it on, Kawasaki" t-shirt with a motorcycle on it.  Location of photo: Sweeney's Saloon, while eating the poor man's special. Photo by Brian.

October 5, 2011.  I got the job shoes.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Day 4

October 4, 2011.  Interview shoes.

These boots are super comfortable and are my "go to" dress shoe.  I need to get black polish however, as they are a bit rough around the edges.  This reminds me I need to get winter boots this year.  First things first; I need a job.  I wore these boots today for a job interview I had.  #Movingforward.

I'm going to see Esperanza Spalding tonight.  I am geeked!  I was able to get discounted tickets from living social, so I've not totally broken the bank.  If you don't know who she is, check her out. More soon.

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Shoe Project

There's a stereotype about women and shoes.  Being the obedient woman that I am (insert sarcasm among other things here), I do have quite a number a shoes.  While I don't have flats, pumps, or wedges... I do have plenty of running, casual, and awesome shoes. 

Some folks keep their shoes in the closet.  Others on shoe racks, doormats, shelves, or bins.  I keep several pairs by the door, but the rest I keep in my kitchen drawers.  In talking with a friend of mine, I learned not only that it's weird to keep shoes in your kitchen drawers, but also was challenged on if I wear all of these shoes or not.  "Yes I do" I immediately thought.  But in truth, I probably don't.

And so started "The Shoe Project."  Each day, for the month of October (conveniently one of the longer months), I will wear a different pair of shoes.  I realize this makes me seem like a materialistic, rich, jerkface, but rest assured... I'm not.  I just happen to have a lot of shoes, many I got on a big discount.  And..."a lot" of shoes is relative, right?  I mean, "a lot" to some folks might mean in the hundreds.  "A lot" to others may mean 10.  I think I'm somewhere around 30.  Maybe more, I'm not sure.  

Everyday, I plan to take a picture of my shoes and post it on facebook for my friend to see.  I was thinking this afternoon, while fishing with another friend of mine, that maybe I should post them on my blog too.  Here is day 1-3.  I'll update the blog as often as I can.  

October 1, 2011.  Stinky running shoes that matched the pink bra I wore while volunteering at a bike race.

October 2, 2011. Back of right shoe is tainted with bike grease.

October 3, 2011.  Fishing Lake Nokomis in sandals.  Caught nothing.