Favorite Wall in Austin for Blog 2

The Past is Still Recorded Online

This blog is out of use and out of date. I am now posting on mercedesorten.blogspot.com

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Best Rush After A Speech and Best Packaging of The Year 2009 #best09

December 14 Rush. When did you get your best rush of the year?

I stood up in front of my running group this past summer to do a short, ten minute seminar on visualization during the marathon. The speech went enormously well, and due to the nature of the speech itself demanding 100% of the listeners attention, it was an amazing experience. During the talk, I had everyone take and easy seat and move up close to the stage. I spoke in a hushed, subdued tone and asked them to close their eyes and visualize the feel of the race that was ahead of them. I could feel the energy of fifty people focusing on one thing buzzing around me. I finished my speech and looked out at the crowd sitting just a few feet from me. Everyone was quiet and for an intstant all I could hear was breathing. They were all still basking in the imaginary finish of their marathon. It was a beautiful moment with me being the one of the only people with their eyes open and I could see it in each of their face. I could see the joy and accomplishment in each of their faces as they sat there for that brief moment and watched themselves accomplish a huge goal like the marathon. A rush of pure, sweet, albeit breif happiness and satisfaction washed over me and I exhaled. It was amazing. Then they opened their eyes.

December 15 Best packaging. Did your headphones come in a sweet case? See a bottle of tea in another country that stood off the shelves?

I loved the packaging that my partner's mom used to give us her currently-not-being used margarita glasses, red wine glasses and white wine glasses. Each glass stood up on its own and was protected by foam walls. They are great glasses, too! Great packaging.

Current book I'm reading: "Reading Like A Writer" By Francine Prose

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Friday, December 11, 2009

3 bests in 1! The Best Place---Best New Food--- & Best Change Made to my House of 2009 #best09

December 11 The best place. A coffee shop? A pub? A retreat center? A cubicle? A nook?

My best place of 2009 is easily within the forest of the Indian Peaks near Granby, Colorado. It is one of the best places in the world to me primarily because every year I go there for a week long backpacking trip with the people that I love most. The quiet and the beauty of this stretch of the Rocky Mountains is unmatched in my mind. It helps that I turn off the cell phone, I forget about email and I just let myself be an exist with just a backpack, a sleeping bag and a water filter. My favorite view within the Indian Peaks is pictured here, it is a view of a peak called Lone Eagle taken by my dad, Jerry. Next year, we plan to scramble up this puppy. I've only been at the base of it so far and I can't wait for the challenge!

December 12 New food. You're now in love with Lebanese food and you didn't even know what it was in January of this year.

The new food that I have fallen in love with in 2009 is not really new to me at all. It is just...different. It is now home-made. You see, very recently, I became friends with a spunky young hippie who landed in Austin from the Northwest. She introduced me to her HOME-MADE BREAD. From the moment I first tasted it, I was crazy about the sweet, light, fresh fluffiness of her bread. And the crisp of her crust! It was divine! And so I requested that my new friend come over to my house and teach me how she makes it. And she consented. And we did. I learned how to make it and I think that I've officially fallen in love with home-made bread this year. I've made several different variations on what she taught me and I have a feeling that this love affair with bread will become more involved and even more delicious in the future.

December 13 What's the best change you made to the place you live?

The best change made to my house: the addition of a gorgeous, sweet, loving mini schnauzer named Murphy...

Photo taken by RC COLA

We added a small animal to our home. I've always been a dog-lover and I always said to myself that I would wait until the time was right to get a dog. And so, I loved on all of my friend's dogs up to this point. Then, an amazing opportunity landed at my feet. I had the chance to adopt a well-trained, older, wonderful dog whom I already knew. A good friend's estranged ex-boyfriend abandoned this gorgeous, six-year old, well behaved mini schnauzer named Murphy. I can't understand why he would ever leave this pup. Of course, me and mine scooped him up and took him in. We adopted him and added him to our household. It has taken a lot of adjustment for me and a lot of training on his (and my) part but he is becoming a better dog day by day. His playful spirit and tendency for cuddling enriches my life tenfold day by day as well. He's small and portable and he loves you if you are sad and celebrates with you if you are happy. I walk him every day and those walks have also enriched my life. I think of new poems and twists to my short stories on those walks. I clear my head and give myself wholly to this wonderful animal during these walks. This addition is one that I never want to part with. Who would? He's just too adorable!

Current book I'm reading: The Virigin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides

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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Best Album of 2009 - #best09

December 10 Album of the year. What's rocking your world?

I discovered Band of Horses this year. They've been around for a while, but I wasn't aware of them until this year. The album that rocked my world actually came out in 2006. Disregard that. It's great, and I love it. My dad and I both love it, and I enjoy sharing music with my dad. It is Band of Horses "Everything All The Time" and it has one of the most awesome songs on it called "The Funeral."

My dad sent me a video with the song "The Funeral" in the background a few months ago. I was hooked upon my first listen. After hearing the song in several spin classes shortly after my dad sent the song, "The Funeral" soon became my seize the day anthem of choice. It is an incredibly powerful song about living life to the fullest. The album, also, is incredible. Check out Band of Horses and all of their work!

I'm thankful that my dad bought and shared the album with me as we drove up to Telluride, Colorado for vacation over the summer. I have great memories of this band and all of their work. Also, I just love indie rock. It rocks my world.


Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Bestof09 Moment of Peace (8th) and Challenge That Made Me Grow (9th)

December 8 Moment of peace. An hour or a day or a week of solitude.
What was the quality of your breath? The state of your mind? How did
you get there?

This past Spring, I did yoga on the beach of Mustang Island State Park. My friends and I had camped there the night before, and as I was running on the beach the morning after sleeping on it, I thought of how nice it would be to do yoga in the sand as the sun rose. I ate a small snack, I hadn't had breakfast yet. My stomach was pretty empty which is ideal for practicing yoga. I went to the edge of the water where the sand is just hard enough so that you do not sink too deeply into it. I did yoga there for an hour or so, barely conscious of the world waking up around me. I looked only out at the water of the Gulf, I opened my heart to the sea. My friend R joined me and practiced next to me for a while, but I hardly noticed her there aside from hearing her deep breathe. I was in the middle of a upward dog when tears came to the sides of my eyes. I felt my chest opening so wide and my breathe coming in so deeply that I began to cry from the sheer excellence of it all. In the middle of this realization I think my friend stopped doing yoga and walked off to get her camera. She took photos of me and I continued to pretend that the world was just me and the water. It was a fun game. I listened to the waves, watched the sun turn golden on the water and I felt the sweet saltiness of the breeze. As I did king pigeon and I stared out at the water and I was so wrapped up in the beauty of the moment that I almost felt I could see myself, look at myself from the outside to the in. I was transparent, then. I felt so much power, gratitude, self-worth, healing, and peace in that moment. It was one of the most powerful experiences of my life and I found it thanks to the beauty of the beach and my ever-growing yoga practice. And I will remember that peace of mind that I felt then and henceforth for years to come because I connect back with it daily ever since then.

December 9 Challenge. Something that really made you grow this year.
That made you go to your edge and then some. What made it the best
challenge of the year for you?

I was talking with a treasured friend and confidante of mine. We were talking about my career and future plans. I finally admitted to her (and to myself) that I wanted to be a writer and a coach and that these were my passions. Firstly, it had taken me a majority of the year to admit this to myself---so that admittance alone was a step and a very difficult one at that. Upon my telling her this, she threw something at me that I was not prepared to handle. She told me point blank that currently, from her perspective, I was doing it all wrong and that I was going about life all wrong. She said that she saw the way I was living and the way that I was living was draining my life energy. I balked. My throat was dry. No one had been so bold and laid it out so plainly to me before this time. I cried, realizing she was right. I have changed my methods since then and I have began to move in new directions. Slowly, but surely. That conversation was one of the hardest of my life and it brought me to my edge because I finally realized what I was doing wrong. My treasured friend challenged the way that I currently look at my world - my employment, my relationships and my art. Since that conversation I feel as if I am slowly breaking out of my old ways, forging a new way of looking at myself and my life as an artist. It is extremely difficult to create this new path. That conversation was extremely difficult for me but necessary for me to grow. I can't keep doing what I've always done. I need to blossom out of this frozen shell that has done it the same way for the past three years and shake it up.

This was the best challenge of the year for me because it forced me to really evaluate what I was doing with my life and it forced me to evaluate if what I was doing each day was or was not bringing me closer to my goal of becoming a coach and an artist. At that point, I wasn't doing anything that brought me closer to these ends. Thanks to the tireless help of my significant other and thanks to many of my dear friends, I have started on a path that is taking me closer to my newly realized goals. I must say, the path has been very rocky but I love the rocks and I feel divine.

Current book I'm reading: Almost finished with "The Sister" by Kaufmann

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Monday, December 07, 2009

Bestof#09 Blog(s) of the Year - The Blog I Found That I Can NOT LIVE WITHOUT!

December 7 Blog find of the year. That gem of a blog you can't believe
you didn't know about until this year.

It is so terribly hard to choose just one best blog of 09! And so, alas, I have two blogs that I really love and feel I can't live without! I am making my own rules with this blog challenge. I like that.

The first blog that I love is called A Print A Day. Yasmine is an amazing artist who creates Parasol Magazine - a magazine highlighting OTHER artist's work. Her blog details and outlines her own, fascinating and adorable work. Every time I read her blog I'm inspired by her. Plus she has free downloads! On her blog, you can download notepads, calendars, patterns, etc for your personal use. This blog is simply wonderful and Yasmine is a wonderful soul who I'm glad I found in blog-land.

Another blog that I came about very recently is that of The Stylist Wander. This is an incredible style blog comprised of mostly pictures which is written by a high school girl who is passionate about vintage, thrift and style. The artistic photos of her outfits that she posts and the raw creativity in the way that she dresses is very inspiring to me. Her love affair with vintage is one that I share and I frequently check her blog for new wardrobe ideas. Her uniqueness and tact are also very admirable to me for someone so young. I can no longer live without reading her blog, either!

Current book I'm reading: The Sister: A Novel of Emily Dickinson by Paula Kaufmann

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I am a marathoner. That means I have a tummy that could sieze a spider.