Let’s chat.

Have you ever seen those “coffee-date”-format blog posts, where you and the blogger are seated across a virtual table sipping on respective caffeinated drinks, and supposedly you’re talking to each other but really the blogger is just droning on and on about their lives while you stare at pictures of said drinks?

Well, aren’t you in for a treat.

Have a lovely, classy, monochrome cappuccino.  It tastes wonderful; warm, smooth, and a bit bitter–and you’ve got a brownie to wash down too, it’s just been cropped due to Instagram’s weird photo shaping lens.

Firstly, I want to say, thanks for the responses to my last post!  I really feel like I’ve been welcomed back with open arms.  Muchas gracias!! (As a side note, though: wth are you people doing commenting at 6:30 AM?? Sleep, sleep, my children.  We are on winter break!  Am I the only proper teenager here?  I myself only slithered out of bed at 10 this morning because I needed to get food in me and make sure that last post published.  I’m quite sure I could sleep all day if I didn’t get hungry.)

And obviously, since I’ve been gone for so long, there’s things that have happened since my last post that I need to fill y’all in on.  Not anything big or scary, just a bunch of mildly exciting pit stops on the road of everyday life.

  1. I performed my poem ‘The Professional Aimless Wanderer’ two months ago at the Washington State Poet Laureate’s reading.  The last word you all received on this endeavor was that I was having a hell of a time trying to write something.  I never succeeded, instead digging into my poem backlogs to scrounge up something suitable.  It went over quite well, though, and it was fun and a good experience.  Mother Dearest took a video…but due to her technological ineptitude, it’s mainly a video of the back of someone’s head with me off to the side, perched like a poetic shoulder-angel.  It’s also sideways.  😀  You guys want to watch it anyways?  Anyone know how to rotate it, at least..?
  2. Just 2 days ago we returned from a trip to see the extended fam in Klamath Falls, Oregon.  At Crater Lake we got a very detailed and lovely shot of a bird’s butt:IMG_0100
  3. IMG_0046 as well as this striking fisheye-effect shot of yours truly.  🙂  (NOTE, FOR CLARIFICATION: THIS IS NOT MY ACTUAL FACE.) We toured Captain Jack’s Stronghold (in Northern California), attempted to ice skate, and ate more hash browns than could possibly be healthy. Life was good.
  4. I got a new computer!  DSCN4325Its name is Cecil, he’s my birthday and Christmas present and probably blackmail material for this year and next, and he is just…the sexiest thing. Seriously.  So sleek and shiny and light and fast…I think I’m in love. Many thanks to the parental units.DSCN4327
  5. In way more recent news, today we took a day trip to Portland, Oregon, and visited the famous CITY OF BOOKS!!  Is it a bit drastic to proclaim that, post-high-school sometime, I really want to live in Portland, just for the sake of Powell’s?  Maybe I could work there as a supplement to the writing thing…I just really, really love this place, you guys.  For some reason it’s extremely comforting to wander around alone inside a huge building filled with books–like being swathed in stories.  Plus there was a cafe, with scones and chai lattes.  DSCN4328(Upon bringing out the camera to snap a picture of the lemon-blueberry scone, Daddio exclaimed from across the table, “You must be back to blogging!”) 😉DSCN4330

My haul.  Hyperbole and a Half is the…the greatest thing ever, you guys.  I cannot even begin to express my love for this comic.  If y’all aren’t reading her blog, get on it, stat.  Her dog-themed comics are the only thing that will guarantee me a 10-minute, laugh-so-hard-I-cry session, no matter how bad of a day I’m having.  I’m usually guffawing so loudly Citrus joins in (he knows how to mimic my laugh), and there’s no way my day can continue to go downhill from there.  Hyperbole and a Half, guys.  Seriously.

And now I hold the awesome concentrated humor in tangible, dead-tree form.  Nothing could be better.

Also…

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ohmigod I might be really dangerous with this book. 😉

Have a lovely day, y’all.  I don’t know why I’ve slipped into saying “y’all” within this post.  I don’t say it in real life.  It’s pretty fun to type, though.  I hope your coffee was enjoyable, and the brownie too!  We should really do this again sometime.

DSCN3111(Citrus says hi, btw.  He’s missed his adoring people.)

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MIMM: Hatchday, Pretty Light, Knees, and Insane Decisions

Hey everyone!  How’s your Monday going?

DSCN3124 DSCN3127 DSCN3137 DSCN3143 DSCN3160 DSCN3159Mine’s been pretty…pretty, to say the least.  As a Washingtonian, such flagrant displays of sunshine are something of a rarity, and you can bet your bottom dollar I’ve been taking full advantage of these picture-perfect summer days by frolicking about, soaking up the Vitamin D.

I’ve never really been one of those people who need an extra boost on Mondays to get through the week, even when school/activities are in session–I’ve just never hit the “Monday wall” that I guess so many people run into.  I’ve already confessed my nerdship to you guys–Monday is basically my favorite day of the week!  Not only is it usually pretty light on homework because teachers don’t like to take the time to concoct elaborate assignments over the weekends, school STARTS UP AGAIN and I know it’s going to be the beginning of a (potentially gruelingly) glorious week!

Still, it never hurts to get a little extra boost, even if your biggest worry right now is that the hammock that’s callin’ your name is gonna get lonely.

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The weekend was pretty enjoyable marvelous.  I hosted Citrus’ third hatchday party–I made sad-looking but still (IMO) cute cockatiel cookies and we bopped around outside.  There was a sleepover and we all got very slap-happy.  We were tired in the morning but there were muffins (with both lemon and seeds–perfect for a bird named Citrus!) made by me and a frittata made by Mother Dearest (with potatoes inside–tasted like hashbrowns!!).  I do so love hashbrowns.

Alas, we did not have a circular cookie cutter, so I had to shape the sugar cookie dough (nomnomnom) with a beer-can chicken prop-thing.  (My culinary vocabulary falters when it comes to meat…)

To make the cookies, I used the Savvy Vegetarian cookie dough recipe, this recipe for coconut whip as a frosting (tinted yellow with food coloring), Craisins for eyes, chopped up Watermelon Laffy Taffy for the beaks, and mangled “orange slices” candies for the orange cheek circles.DSCN3042 DSCN3052

This totally didn't happen what are you talking about.  Not straight from the beater, never.

This totally didn’t happen what are you talking about. Not straight from the beater, never.

I wouldn't recommend using A Taste of Thai coconut milk (pretty popular brand) for the whip--it has some sort of stabilizer added that prevents it from working too nicely.  I used...whatever this brand is.

I wouldn’t recommend using A Taste of Thai coconut milk (pretty popular brand) for the whip–it has some sort of stabilizer added that prevents it from working too nicely. I used…whatever this brand is.

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Beaks!  Haha

Beaks! Haha

Aaaaand the final result.  Bit homely, but that’s okay! 🙂

Citrus approves.

Citrus approves.

Other marvelous things today…

Can we talk patella bracing for a sec?  I’m in love.  I don’t think that’s hyperbole.  Anything that was enough to lift me out of the forced 8-month running break thanks to these dang knees is virtually a Messiah in my eyes.  (I think it was probably the braces in adjunct with my rest, stretching, physical therapy, orthotics, supportive shoes, and therapeutic ultrasounds, but hey, whatever works…)  To my surprise, I haven’t lost all of my (nonexistent to begin with) running prowess, and the braces allowed me to attend my first *OFFICIAL* XC practice last Friday!  I hope to attend two more this week!  We’ll see how that goes…alas, my mileage maximum right now is approximately 3.  (Maybe four on the hamster wheel?)  By the end of the summer we’re supposed to be easily running 8…

This brings me to my first INSANE DECISION OF THE DAY!  This one is way less insane than my other one, but it’s still a big thrill for me.  I signed up for another 5k!!  This one’s on August 24th, and, while running in the heat ain’t exactly my cup of tea, I’m beyond stoked!  If I can even get close to my time on my first-and-only 5k, then it will be a huge reassurance for me that, though my knees doth plague me, I can get my kickassery and (somewhat) speed back with enough motivation.  (To any “serious” runners out there reading this:  I know a 5k is not a huge distance.  It’s kind of a menial race.  But, alas, my body is NOT DESIGNED FOR RUNNING WHATSOEVER [sitting and blogging is more my speed, how ’bout you?] and a 5k is a big deal to me!)

Sweet Potato Chocolate Pancakes 009(Throwback to the morning of my first 5k, waiting in the starting line.  Pay no attention to the ominous disembodied hand on my shoulder; someone else is cropped out.  And notice the fear hiding behind the forced smile–the glazed eyes, the overall absent disposition.  I was convinced I was going to die that day.)

Incidentally, you know what’s harder than running a 5k?

………………………..Biking two hundred and two miles.

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Yeah, it’s insane.  We’ve covered this.  And it will require buying a new bike, and/or some road tires for my current trusty steed mountain bike.  But recently (yesterday-recently), la madre de una de mis amigas (I’m not sure why I phased into Spanish here, but I couldn’t think how to word it in English) participated in the Cascade Bicycle Club/Group Health Seattle-to-Portland bike ride, a one- or two-day event that spans a total of 202-point-something miles.  Which gave me a sudden and intense burst of inspiration.  It’s a recreational ride, not a race, but from my extensive Googling of the thing last night it looks. epic.  And everyone says you need to dream big and set high goals to keep your morale buoyed, right?  So.  I’ve got a year to train.  I post this to the internet so I can’t back down–next year, Daddio and I will be participating in the 2014 Seattle-to-Portland ride.  And we will rock that epic $#*@.

Much moreso than for running, my body (and quads) like biking.  While the farthest ride I’ve ever taken to date was just 40 miles with lots of hills, and I died afterwards–I’ve got a year.  Best get on this.

Ahh.  The inevitable foot selfie.  (For some reason I just tried to spell “foot” as “fut”…)  Daddio and I went on a short (10 mile?) ride today, and I plan to get some running on the hamster wheel done as well.  Fitness, here I come!

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And arrachgha, yes, I need to do a poemography post today, since I’ve skipped out on that for, what, three weeks?!  Problem is, I only have one line to work with… #poetictrialsandtribulations

“Rather than people who shine–

I like people who glow

is the line, but I’m not sure how to weave that into a poem.  Would it be all right if poemography was extended to flash fiction?  I know I made the rules, but you guys can change them.  I’ll luv ya forever 😉

Costa Rica Photo Dump

No, I don’t have anything earth-shattering to say right now.  No, I have no spunk or seriousness or awesome alliteration to share today.  No, I have nothing worth blogging about, really (I’ve been curled up on the couch all day for the past two days nursing a wicked GI bug and a protein smoothie) but I realize I’ve kinda left you guys alone for more time than I am comfortable with! 😉  10 days…where are my manners?  So, just to reassure you that I have not died (and was in fact having the time of my life on vacation), I’d like to provide you with some of the stunning vistas of my last 12 days of existence…

Smiling tree!

Smiling tree!

Ladies and gentlemen, the single scariest creature in the universe.  Not only is it as long as your forearm plus the length of your hand, it can carry 25 pounds (I half expected to see my backpack scuttling away in the night...)

Ladies and gentlemen and those in between, allow me to present to you the single scariest creature in the universe. Not only is it as long as your forearm plus the length of your hand, it can carry 25 pounds (I half expected to see my backpack scuttling away in the night…)

Tacos made by angels.  The best in my life!  (Broccoli..?  And copious amounts of cheese!)

Tacos made by angels. The best in my life! (Broccoli..? And copious amounts of cheese!)

Chester, the walking stick

Chester, the walking stick

Zip lining through the canopy!  (I am ridiculously proud of this photo!)

Zip lining through the canopy! (I am ridiculously proud of this photo!)

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Post-zip-lining face. The wheel spat so many little flecks of grease back onto the zip liner that I became freckled for a day. I dunno, you guys, I would date me…

I also became Angelina Jolie for a day, thanks to a special tropical leaf-flower thing.  Except Angelina probably has better hair.  Give me a break.  There were minimum showers and cosmetics available.

I also became Angelina Jolie for a day, thanks to a special tropical leaf-flower thing. Except Angelina probably has better hair. Give me a break. There were minimum showers and cosmetics available.

No words...except I must state that 7 different hummingbirds landed on my finger at the sanctuary!  (They can sniff out the avian personalities, I tell ya...)

No words…except I must state that 7 different hummingbirds landed on my finger at the sanctuary! (They can sniff out the avian personalities, I tell ya…)

Baby leatherback turtle, just hatched and being released to sea...again, no words.

Baby leatherback turtle, just hatched and being released to sea…again, no words.

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I was feeling poetic, you guys.

I was feeling poetic, you guys.

A very iconic-looking stick.  I'm not sure why I thought this...just stick with me here...

A very iconic-looking stick. I’m not sure why I thought this…just stick with me here…

Attempting to do yoga in the surging sea.  (In a lightning storm.  I'm smart.)

Attempting to do yoga in the surging sea. (In a lightning storm. I’m smart.)

Failing, and deciding to try summoning Poseidon instead.

Failing, and deciding to try summoning Poseidon instead.

Pots full of warm mud, at a spa...*shudders* at least my skin seems softer now.  It felt like slathering warm bird weaning food all over one's self.

Pots full of warm mud, at a spa…*shudders* at least my skin seems softer now. It felt like slathering warm bird weaning food all over one’s self.

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Yes, the name of the owner of our tour boat was actually Victor Hugo!!  I die.

Yes, the name of the owner of our tour boat was actually Victor Hugo!! I die.

 

First time ever trying Kona (coffee) Cake...I did a lot of worshipping the Dark Lord over this trip.

First time ever trying Kona (coffee) Cake…I did a lot of worshipping the Dark Lord over this trip.

We saw the elusive Resplendant Quetzal!!  I didn't get the best picture of him out of my group, but you can still marvel at his beauty.

We saw the elusive Resplendant Quetzal!! I didn’t get the best picture of him out of my group, but you can still marvel at his beauty.

I also saw fireflies for the first time in my life; I feel my childhood is now complete!

With this, I bid you adieu, at least until tomorrow.  Wish me a speedy recovery! 😀

To The Newcomers

(Am I allowed to post Shel Silverstein poetry on the internet if I give him credit?  I’m pretty sure it’s violating some sort of copyright law…regardless, what follows is pretty widely known, so I am going to play the naive-teenage-girl-just-reblogging-awesome-things-here card:)

If you are a dreamer, come in,
If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar,
A hope-er, a pray-er, a magic bean buyer…
If you’re a pretender, come sit by my fire
For we have some flax-golden tales to spin.
Come in!
Come in!
— Invitation, by Shel Silverstein

🙂

So recently, I’ve just gained…so many more followers.  I really have no idea what happened here.  Maybe I posted something magic or something.  Anyway, it’s, like, the baby boom of followers.  0_o A lot of these people are people I actually know “irl”, which is kind of freaking me out–specifically adults that I know in real life; friends of parents, teachers, things of that nature.

I shouldn’t be freaked out, because I fully realize that by choosing to maintain a public blog in which I share a big portion of my life, I have made myself indexable, searchable, totally and completely public–I’ve built a whole internet persona for myself.  This has UNLIMITED benefits; I can connect with people all around the globe now, more people have heard of me and my little ramblings/writings, and I get a fantabulous almost-free creative outlet that I can choose to immerse myself in or neglect in favor of academic pursuits, whichever suits my fancy.  I wield the power of a globally-accessible writer, (occasionally photographer), editor, and publisher at once, all while seated in front of my laptop–I can broadcast my thoughts to the world with the entering of a password and a click of a mouse.  Andheckyeahthat’sawesome.  I totally want more people to partake in this.  So, welcome, people-who-actually-know-me-offline.  I’ve decided not to be creeped out by you. 😉

But I must introduce myself!  We’ve only just began our tender internet relationship here, you know; there are clarifications to be made, introductions to be hastily delivered, virtual handshakes and howdeedoto be extended.

About the Blog

Well, read my About page, if you haven’t already.  I explain and ramble a lot there.  In addition…

category cloud 5-17-2013

Just by checking out my category cloud, you can see that I ramble.  Probably a bit more than is optimal.  Most blogs have a set genre–travel blog, food blog, design blog, fashion blog, photography blog, bird blog, etc.

InfographicUm, yeah.

As you can surmise from “food”‘s largesse on my category cloud, and probably from reading my last post, I talk about that a lot here.  Man, does this girl love her some food.  Sometimes I take pretty pictures and sometimes I dabble in recipe developing, but mostly I’m just a food fangirl–Pinning and blogging and nomming on awesome stuff and gushing about it to everyone.  Oh, yeah, I’m a total teenage health nut too.  I love enjoy exercise and my current fitness goal is to increase my bufftitude, of which I have little.  On a daily basis, I down things like chia seeds, hemp protein powder, green smoothies, sweet potatoes swimming in almond butter, etc.  LOTS of veggies!  I also really like weirding out my friends at school by seeing just how repulsive-looking I can make my smoothies 😉

This is actually a kind of pretty one :)

This is actually a kind of pretty one 🙂

To see my philosophies on food and nutrition, click here!

In addition to food fangirl extraordinaire, I am an avid writer with big aspirations and some big successes already.  Over summer vacation, I really live out my dream because I can write, run, eat, and blog all day–I really hope my adult life can at least be similar to this. 😉  I write novels I was writing a novel that got much too long, so it’s on the backburner now while I try my hand at a different genre entirely.

My ultimate goal is to be a published novelist with a blog on the side…and then see how far I can go from there!  I don’t write for the purpose of maybe becoming famous, though; I write because I need to write.  I need literary abandon like oxygen, because if I don’t then I get the voices in my head (the good kind…the ones of angry characters urging you to bring them to life).  I write because it’s the only thing that’s been a lifelong passion for me, and because I hope I can, someday, touch people’s lives with words, give them a sense of belonging, or simply entertain them.  Other people’s works have done all that and more for me, and I really want to repay the favor to society.  Where would we be without creative writing?

My posts about writing are more sporadic, though I do foresee their increase in the future…I post about achievements, obviously, but occasionally I’ll embark on a little self-challenge or share a piece of work I’m proud of.  About a month ago I started a (supposedly) weekly writing segment which I not-so-creatively titled Poemography.  These posts are always prefaced by a shorter, descriptive post, and the Poemography segments themselves are hybrids of my writing and photography.  You can check out the archives here.

What else do you need to know?

Oh, yeah; photography!  I am not an artsy person in the SLIGHTEST, and because of the massive avalanche of work that is finals season currently, I’m not putting much effort into my photos as of late–but I’m a dabbler in the photographic realm as well.  Mainly food. 🙂  (Are you at all surprised here?)

Lastly…

DSCN0680Meet Citrus.

My best-ever non-human friend, my daily source of inspiration and absurdity, I’ve owned this cockatiel for three years now (celebrating each hatchday with a party dutifully, dontcha worry), and we’re both just getting better with age.  I don’t blog about him maybe as much as a good bird owner should, but that’s mainly because then we’d REALLY get into rambling, too-many-topics-on-this-blog territory–also, he prefers to maintain sheltered anonymity.  He’s into artistic mystique like that.  But he’s a big part of my life, I love him like an annoying child, he’s my profile pic on a lot of social media sites–I can’t fathom what my life would be like without him.  We’re a duo, yo.

So…that’s that.  Hope you enjoy your stay here at TGITO!

Marvelous in my Monday, the Woodpecker Way

I’m going to take a leaf out of Katie’s book today (and, by extension, The Healthy Diva’s), and spread a little Monday love!  While I have to admit that I don’t necessarily love Mondays, they are a necessary evil if, like me, you find yourself resorting to reading food blogs or (insert your preferred generic time waster here) all day without some type of schedule to adhere to.  School has started up again after a week of break…and we have exams just around the corner…but Mondays aren’t all bad!

Marvelous today is…

A brisk 2.5-mile run this afternoon when I saw more Pileated Woodpeckers than I’ve ever seen in my life!  They must be migrating–but it’s strange to see so many of them, when they usually literally “fly solo”.  They were swooping low over my head and landing in our apple trees to peck at the last of the straggler fruits.  I’m a sucker for birds in general, but these guys were gorgeous!!

(Not so marvelous–I had every intention of doing another full 5k distance today, but had to cut it short because of pain/tightness in both my knees.  Sadly, I think I have developed runner’s knee.  Apparently it tends to strike females, recreational runners, and otherwise healthy individuals.  [Sighs, raises hand.]  My next race is in a little over a week, so I’m taking it easy now, icing them both and keeping them elevated.)

Marvelous today is…

Taking a short meditative break to refill my fountain pen (my inkwell was getting dusty, gasp!) and jot down some pretty great quotes I picked up today.

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Marvelous today is…

Eating my body weight in baked oatmeal, my newest healthy addiction.  Ever since I tried PB Fingers’ Vanilla Pecan Baked Oatmeal, I’ve been obsessed with the stuff and am currently fiddling around with a recipe of my own to post up here!

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You guys should be grateful for all the hard work I put into this blog. Testing a new variety of baked oatmeal is taxing, peeps! 😉

(Another not-so-marvelous–I was taking the garbage out earlier today and was greeted by our hunting dog…a big, fat, partially-gutted squirrel hanging out of his mouth.  I still refuse to look at the dog.  There’s blood all over his fur,

and his breath smells worse than it usually does.  I know.  I’ll give you a minute to try to process that.

He smiled and wagged his little stubby tail.

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Aaach!)

Sigh…well, what was marvelous in your Monday?