Thursday, February 5, 2009

Crazy Day Bubububreak down, Break down

1. 82 degrees in February seems noteworthy to me!

2. My long lost cousin/sisterish person (i was raised with my uncles kids so they all seem more siblingish than cousiny) found us. We, and by "we" I mean practically the whole extended family, have been looking for her for over 20 years! This feels surreal--and exciting--and confusing. There are so many emotions and I know that my uncle and my cousin beth are feeling even more than I am. I am so excited to know her, but I don't want to overwhelm her so I'm staying on the sidelines till everyone else has had a chance. I'm so curious about her. I want to know her story. I want so badly for her to have had a good life. Lots of what ifs come with this event.

3. I studied my Anatomy and Physiology, and Chemistry pants off. ...wait that's not crazy. that's totally normal.

4. The Tailenders got an amazing review in The Stranger:

The Tailenders, Red Sea Sharks, the Pleasure Kills, the Bug Nasties

(Comet) Jesus Christ, don't you ever get tired of banging your head against guitar rock every weekend? Here, listen to the Tailenders. I know—that voice, right? It's deep and intelligent, and he sounds kind of like Robert Smith or early Scott Walker. It's a relief to hear a frontman who doesn't sound screechy. And those keyboards are really beautiful, too, aren't they? It's tuneful and just the right amount of mannered. It's like you've been wearing a punk-rock sweat suit for weeks, and you're finally putting on some fancy clothes and going out on the town. PAUL CONSTANT

Way to go Shua!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

7 things about christine

Steph at The Little Stuff of Life, Ian's sister, tagged us on her blog to do this little blurb: 7 things about ourselves. Well, it's been sometime since he or I have said anything to you all so it seemed like a good way to get back into this thing.

7 things:

1. I can do anything, and often do, until someone sees my accomplishment and says "Wow! You did that! Must have been hard!" exclamation point exclamation point. And then my head says. "oh! that was hard? I guess I can't have done it. must have been luck." and consequentially I rarely am as good the second time. Self defeat is my worst enemy next to fear.

2. I want more than anything to get into NAU's nursing program, get great grades, find a kickin job and be able to put Ian through school, or let him spend some time just writing, while neither of us worry about money and I spend all day helping people. This thought makes me giddy :)

3. Sometimes I chew on my tounge...which is a muscle...weird.

4. Billie Holiday, probably my all time favorite singer-who can bring me through any emotion-was my first secular music love. I fell in love with Lady Day when I was 12 years old after watching the movie Forever Young. And The Very Thought of You is still in my top 10 favorite song list. ::sigh::

5. I learned to love from Eric and Misha. By the way they love each other, their kids, and everyone around them. Thanks.

6. I find the longer I spend with myself the more I find that I don't actually change that much. My ideas I mean. It pleases me, really when I look back at myself as a child. Don't get me wrong, i was a hellian--my awful temper was explosive, but I know most of that was situational. I remember so much of my childhood, that little girl that i see, her heart was really full love, I think she just didn't know where to put it. I think that gives me hope for myself.

7. My brother Josh is my favorite person in the world, next to Ian. I can't imagine being more proud of anyone. He's an amazing person, full of love and concern for the community surrounding him and the world at large. He is one of the smartest people I have ever met. I spend an awful lot of time wishing i could convince him of what an impact he has made on me, Ian, and so many of the other people he meets and has relationships with. I can always count on him to make me feel better and there are few people who can put me into tears like he can just by the amount of pride, concern, love, hope, and appreciation that I feel for him. All that at once just makes me a mushy-sister mess. now i'm all drippy!

:) and there you have it.

oh, so tagging!

I'll tag Eliza Jane at Best Laid Plans of mice and Beth whom I love and adore.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Hello. I just have little thoughts to share today. Maybe I will have big ones later, but I need to learn to let myself say things in little chunks too. That's what this whole kooky blogging thing is about, right? Right.

~ Garage Sale is coming up, as Christine already mentioned. Pretty incredible how hard it is to part with possessions even if they're 'junk'. It's so hard not to think "But what if I need that..." or the even more insidious "But I've had that for years!" Such strange attachments we form to our stuff. I know very few people who do not idealize a exceedingly simplified, borderline ascetic lifestyle in some capacity, and yet the process of letting go of the things that you don't actually want still seems nigh on impossible. Silly humans. Well, a good old fashioned possession purge is in my near future. Wish me luck.

~ National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo for short) is November, and Christine and I and a handful of other friends are going to give it a shot. The notion is to slap down a 50,000 word story in the thirty days. I am setting a personal goal of 2000 words a day so that I have a little buffer if I can't get enough down in one day, or maybe even have some time to do a little editing at the end. Who knows. As I was telling a friend last night, I think the practice of forcing yourself to write a certain number of words everyday is an excellent goal for anyone - it doesn't have to all be one story, or even a story at all. Give it a shot, even for a day. And if that goes well, try another.

~ I feel like it is becoming more and more of a rare blessing these days for people to live in an actual home rather than just a house. I feel awed and honored and privileged that I can count myself among that number.

~ Also? Peanut butter is awesome.


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Burundi or Bust!

Hello Friends! It's been a crazy month or so. Fall has come everywhere but Phoenix, though it has cooled off a bit. Ian and I have settled in out very own apartment and into the daily grind of school, work, rest.

So now that we're all comfortable and settled, our next project is a community garage sale to benefit the Global Citizen Journey Burundi trip that Ian and I are going on in June. We are currently collecting any garage saleing items from people around the phoenix area and we will sell them off in mid-late November. All proceeds will go to the project.

If you're not in Phoenix how can you help, you ask? or if you are in phoenix and want to help in other ways? What thoughtful questions! Here are some ideas:

If someone is outside of the phoenix area they could do as follows: If they wish to send money to GCJ they can go to the GCJ website:, They can put either my name or Ian's on the donation and the money will go toward our part of the funds--also their contribution will be tax deductible.
If they would like to have their own garage sale and donate the proceeds to GCJ they can do so and write a check and send it along to GCJ as per the address on their website or they can send it to us 2855 E. Broadway #240 Mesa, AZ 85204.
Other ideas would be to invite folks over to their house for a dinner party and ask for a 10 dollar donation per person. They could have a movie night, again asking for donations to benefit the trip and show Hotel Rwanda and have discussion afterward--it is important to note that Rwanda is Burundi's neighboring country and shared in this race war. The same groups of people were effected. Burundi simply didn't get the publicity. It is a question of global citizenship. Burundi is poor and small and so doesn't get the face time that its neighboring countries do.

Anyone here in the phoenix area can again, send money for the project directly to GCJ or to us. Also they can volunteer to help us with the garage sale, they could have a dinner party with us over to talk to their friends about Burundi and explain a little more about the project, show Hotel Rwanda and have conversation etc.

To recap from previous entries: This trip is through a federally recognized 501c3. Please check out their website: They have done other trips, one to Ghana, and another to Nigeria. Our trip to Burundi will be to do a couple of things: we will be working with a Farming Co-op that is opporated by several widows whose husbands', the fathers of their children, were killed in the war. We will also be meeting with civil and community leaders to discuss subjects such as Burundi's place in the world community, racial and gender prejudice, global citizenship, etc.

Have any questions about the project or how to help out? Please Please contact us. We could really use your help! And part of this project is educating the masses :)

We have until June to raise the money necessary to get this project off the ground. Thanks for all who have already helped.

-Love, Christine

Sunday, August 31, 2008

beauty in contentment

Today I've been thinking about contentment.

I remember one day when I was getting ready to move off to Seattle for school my mother said to me, "I don't think you'd be happy no matter where you were."

At the time the statement (which I'm sure was made in reaction to some emotionally charged comment I made or was said in the pain of her last child leaving home) felt very hurtful. Unfortunately, today as I was thinking about my own tendencies to not "count my blessings", or my frequent feelings of worry and stress I realized that she may have been right. Is this the human condition?? The inability to hold oneself together and really appreciate all we have? I know that I spend a lot of my time and energy trying to feel positive for friends and family because often they have a hard time harnessing that for themselves. I also have a hard time maintaning a healthy respect for just how wonderful my life is. But this last year or so something's been floating around in my brain that was put there years ago--something that my Grandma said, "You just have to wake up and decide that you're gonna be happy. Not everyday is gonna smell like roses.". Now maybe it shouldn't be hard to see how a kid like me, who really did have a rough time of it in so many ways just heard that statement in bitterness, but roughly 16 years later it's starting to seem like that attitude should really just be second nature. (i'm not there yet!)

Not every day is gonna "smell like roses," or creosote after a good storm if you're a desert dweller, but maybe you and I should pick a little bit of the metaphorical flower and rub it between our fingers and bring out the smell ourselves. Maybe reminding ourselves, counting our blessings, is exactly what we have to do. At 8 when my grandma said that to me I dreamed of so many things, big aspirations; now my biggest aspiration is to become an elegant and contented woman content in love and life, but unwilling to rest until all those around her can feel as contented as she. I feel like having that aspiration is a wonderful blessing in itself. so count: 1.

AND here's a little mixed media of counted blessings in no particular order and perhaps a little abstracted:

I feel my bones. They are small and concentrated within my body, making up a frame that only I am privy to. The delicacy of my own constitution starts here—erect in a strait back and long neck—the features of something elegant, smooth as pearl or bone.

There is a picture of me on the eastern coast with my mother, my four year old body crouched close to the sand. We are looking for the skeletons of dead sea creatures, the shells that were their homes. My baby suit hugs my body tightly, slippery, salty-wet. It moves with me and my little girl eagerness. I remember the freedom of my bones then. They were not so hidden. In that picture you can see my small shoulder blades pointing out to openness as I lean to point to something in the sand. My ribs line my core, openly protecting the vitality of youth, life. From such a picture a mother might gawk at the potential of such a child. Long legs, smooth elongated lines. I might do the same or feel regret. But I still know those bones. I still feel their fine construction and careful movements. These days they rarely reveal themselves. They coil and compress. But I still see myself stretching and contracting wryly, elegant in the freedom of movement.

just to name a few...

peace and love-christine

Friday, August 29, 2008

Storm watch

So lightning struck the city of Phoenix 6,500 times in one hour last night. Now, that's the kind of storm that I was missing while I lived up in Seattle. The kind of storm that grabs you by the lapels and demands that you sit down and respect it for a little while. It's very easy to get comfortable with our SUV and latte existence and every once in a while it is exceedingly refreshing to have your day to day, neat and tidy little life shaken up by something so massive and primal and wondrous and scary - and it to get it in your own home to boot! Usually for that kind of experience you need a roadtrip or a good hike or to travel to a different country, but when nature brings it's A-game directly to your living room you have an immense sense of perspective forced on you. We are not so different from our ancestors who believed that God was in the storm. We are not so far from our dependence on capricious weather cycles to prevent us from flood or famine. We with our gizmos and trinkets have not in fact advanced humanity in any particularly meaningful way. It is only blinding arrogance that prevents us from being moved by compassion to action to improve the lot of our fellow man, who have not even the security of our meager defences.
While may have learned to make our small crafts more stable, we still have no control over the waves that rock our lives. And it doesn't actually matter how protected the individual is, beacuse the only true measure of security we have is provided by lashing ourselves to one another and being committed to each other's wellbeing. Knowledge and technology and luxuries be damned, humanity's greatest asset is still humanity.


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Life, Love, and the pursuit of growing up.

Hello all, just a quick note before I finish packing for our four day trip to Seattle and then find the peace to settle down and sleep for a few hours before we catch a jet plane to cooler weather.

Things are panning out. We're finding ourselves penny-picking-poor but there is hope. And I've been more destitute; I'm sure. But our finances are not what have been on my mind lately (thank god for a time in my life where financial stress doesn't steal my sleep!). I've been mulling over, and stressing about, and talking about growing up lately.

It's a new and fabulous thing, living with Ian's folks. They're amazing people who have such wonderful stories and ideas and dreams and opinions, and listening to all of theirs challenges all of mine. Everything from politics, gardening, family, community, personal growth, pacifism--have popped up and I'm starting to realize that all of those loud opinions I formed before, during, and after college were so often based on the need to have an opinion. Does that make sense? "I'm a pacifist!" is much easier to say than to think and wonder and ponder weather or not pacifism is the right answer--or even a possible answer at all. And just to add a disclaimer to that--I have no idea! Isn't that wonderful and awful all at once? The point is I thought about them, but just long enough to convince myself that I had. I never realized how much time and energy--emotional energy it takes to really consider these huge life problems. And I have to tell you friends, thinking about these things is hard work. If you know me well at all you will know that I'm a huge fan of people thinking before they believe--researching, reading, challenging and i have tried to do this. But something I never took into account is experience, probably because none of these big life issues had ever been challenged until recently. It's a hard lesson to learn when you find yourself desperately wanting something that you were sure you found and believed to be morally wrong. "Who am" you ask yourself--and those around you, who love you ask the same--"Who are you?". But something I have pledged to myself is to watch and learn and let life cut away at me, and to allow myself (in spite of my self) to find my soul and mind as beautiful and friendly. Intentionality is necessary, but realizing that as we form opinions there must be much room left for real life to happen. Books are not always enough. Love and life get in the way.

I'm currently living off of the high that Ian and I will challenge each other and grow. And I think that love might just be embracing that in each other--watching each other form opinions and reform opinions.