2011 in 12 Sentences


Big waves at Cape Disappointment Light
I have to look back at my blog because I, seriously, can’t remember what happened this past year. It’s all been a blur…

January: I bought Vibrams and joined Barefoot running/minimalist shoe revolution!

February: More running. Lots of it! yay running!

March: Ukulele Festival was great! Visiting Spokane and seeing my Flickr friends was fabulous! My mom almost dying of pneumonia? not so much.

April: I discovered Live Wire, where I met Scott Poole and took the author photo for his book of poetry. Also, my barefoot running days are over :(.

May: Bloomsday! I actually ran the entire thing (with the exception of Doomsday Hill) and I hiked Dog Mountain!

June: I bought a Chromebook and I visited the Chinese Gardens in Portland and had a fabulous time.

July: Google+ made me happy for awhile, my mom finally visits, I finally find an old graveyard where I have cousins buried, and I had to stop running because of an injury (story of my life).

August: I visited Mt. St. Helens for the first time!

September: Another Spokane visit! this time everyone was healthy.

October: I visited a Zen Center for my first time.

November: Depression, but had a really good Thanksgiving, regardless.

December: Fabulous Christmas at the beach.

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Oh I wish I could tell the the 2009 Monica…


Mt. Hood from Jonsrud Viewpoint in Sandy, OR.

As I mentioned previously, when I moved my blog to WordPress.com I lost all of the categories and  tags to every. single. blog post I’ve ever written here. How long have I had this blog? Since January 2003. So yeah. Lots of updating and cleaning up for Miss Monica (because I compulsively have to catalog and organize. I am a librarian. That is what we do.)

The process has been interesting though. I’ve actually taken the time to read the posts. I am shocked at how much I have changed. How much has changed. My surroundings, My whole life. I was reading some of my posts from 2009.  I was so sad and depressed. Living in Spokane, I felt like such a fish out of water. I never could figure out why, and I still can’t. But I just never felt like I belonged there. I was on the wrong track, or something.

I still suffer from depression, don’t get me wrong. I will probably always have to fight that demon.

But I wish I could go back in time and tell the Monica from 2009 that things will get better. And so soon! In a matter of months I would be moving away and I would be living in Sandy and I would be so happy to be in a place where I feel at home again. Of course, I would have to deal with saying goodbye with Doug, which was horrible. But otherwise, things are pretty great now.

As I read these old posts they transport me back in time. I remember how badly I wanted to get out. We made so many plans but I never really thought they would ever come to fruition. I thought I would be stuck living my ghost-like existence  in Spokane forever. But then I log off of my computer, open the door and step outside, and look East and I see Mt. Hood and I am so fucking stoked. I am home.

The window seat

Life, Thoughts and Opinions

I was boarding the plane from Spokane to Portland on Monday morning and in a bad mood. The news about Osama Bin-Laden broke the night before and the partying-in-the-streets reaction to it had me feeling bummed out. Not to mention, I was tired from not getting any sleep at my mom’s house and sore from running Bloomsday. However, these are no excuses for what I did.

I was flying Southwest Airlines and was in the C boarding group which means I had crap choices for seats. As I was walking down the aisle I noticed that there was a window seat open toward the end. When I finally made my way to the back I asked the woman sitting in the row if I could sit there. She replied, “I’m actually saving the seat, but you can sit in the aisle seat, that’s open.” So I plopped myself down in the aisle seat. I was annoyed. And as I thought about it I kind of got mad. I thought, “well. that’s not fair, saving seats for people. I could’ve had someone in an earlier boarding group save ME a window seat!”

That’s the thought I stewed on for the next few seconds until a gentleman politely asked if the window seat was taken. The woman said, “Yes it is.” and I added “she’s saving it for someone.”

Of course the woman got angry at me for my surly response. Of course. I would get angry with me. But did I care? no I did not. The whole thing wasn’t fair. And I told her. I said, “I didn’t think you could save seats for people on this airline.” (now, to my credit, I don’t think you can. But, honestly, that’s beside the point and really doesn’t matter.)

Now this back and forth was done in a very passive aggressive, polite way. If that makes sense. Neither of us were yelling at each other or anything like that. We were just being kind of bitchy with each other. In a polite way.

After a few moments of quiet she offered, “you know what? Do you want the window seat? I would be glad to offer it to  you.”

“wow,” I thought. “What a nice gesture.” So I took her up on her offer and changed seats with her.

That was a very. bad. idea.

Her husband returned (the one she was saving the seat for) and sat down. As soon as he sat down she started talking to him about me, about how horrible I was. Really loudly and not discreetly at all. I kind of couldn’t believe it. I looked at her and thanked her for offering me the seat and I told her that I appreciated it, very much.

But she kept at it. Just kept right on talking about what an awful person I was. I finally had to tell her to stop.  I really didn’t want to hear about how awful I was all the way back to Portland.

Honestly, I’m not sure if she did because as soon as the plane took off and we were in the air the engine drowned out all other noise and I coudn’t hear their conversation.

But as I sat there I really thought about the situation and what  happened. Frankly, I was miserable. I had gotten what I desired and I was fucking miserable. I was stuck in the window seat. Unable to  move at all. And I had these very hostile people sitting right next to me.

I was tempted to just be pissed off at this woman. I mean she offered me the fucking seat! And then she decides she is going to complain and bitch about it the whole way? But, instead, I decided to step back and see what kind of lesson I could learn from the situation.

In the end, I think this is a good lesson in the whole idea of desire and how it can lead to problems. I wanted that window seat (dammit) and because of it I got angry when I couldn’t have it. And when I got angry I acted on it and look what happened. cause and effect. Karma. I totally deserved what I got.

The photo for today’s Photography Friday was taken this past weekend at Arbor Crest Winery. I hung out with some of my photographer friends and we took pictures for about an hour, and then we got rained out. It was fun, though! 

This is what I sound like


I came across this meme on Sassenach’s blog when I was catching up on my blog reading the other day. Since then I’ve found it all over the internet on lots of other blogs and Youtube. I find this kind of thing fascinating. I’ve always been interested in the study of dialects and accents. So of course I felt the need to participate!

My linguistic background: I was born and raised in Spokane Washington, which is on the Eastern side of Washington State. I lived in New York for a year when I was 20 and then I moved to the San Francisco Bay Area, CA, where I lived for 14 (or so) years. I moved back to Spokane four years ago and am currently living in Oregon in the Portland area.

My video is below and the questions and words that I am supposed to recite are below the video.

Aunt, Route, Wash, Oil, Theater, Iron, Salmon, Caramel, Fire, Water, Sure, Data, Ruin, Crayon, Toilet, New Orleans, Pecan, Both, Again, Probably, Spitting image, Alabama, Lawyer, Coupon, Mayonnaise, Syrup, Pajamas, Caught

And here are the questions:

What is it called when you throw toilet paper on a house?
What is the bug that when you touch it, it curls into a ball?
What is the bubbly carbonated drink called?
What do you call gym shoes?
What do you say to address a group of people?
What do you call the kind of spider that has an oval-shaped body and extremely long legs?
What do you call your grandparents?
What do you call the wheeled contraption in which you carry groceries at the supermarket?
What do you call it when rain falls while the sun is shining?
What is the thing you change the TV channel with?

I used my iPod to film this and realize that I forgot to hold it in landscape mode so that’s why it looks all wonky.

Doing this makes me realize that I should do more video blogs. They are kind of fun! Maybe I’ll shoot some video while out hiking to share with you.

And if any of you decide to make one, please share the link! I love watching these things, especially if they are friends.