Share the fruit. Share the love.

25 Jan

Sometimes I think that my college education wasn’t very useful, and other times facebook shows me that I’m wrong.  People post links to articles with flawed arguments on their pages, and they caption it with ‘well-stated’ or ‘great argument.’  In methods of sociology, we learned how to recognize good arguments and evaluate (tear apart) bad arguments.  Not everyone has taken that course, it seems.  I am going to Miami next week with one of my best friends, who is gay, to celebrate my upcoming marriage, but there is an argument I need to have a public beef with before I do that. It is a testimony that was delivered on Monday, January 13, 2014 to the Indiana House Judiciary Committee by Ryan T. Anderson, author of ‘What is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense’, and a doctoral candidate in political science at the University of Notre Dame. I don’t know why a doctoral candidate at Notre Dame presented an argument without strength.  Not only is it unsound and colorless, but it is deceptive, unrealistic, twisted, shallow, and full of holes.  Standards are looking pretty low over in Indiana, what’s going on Notre Dame?  It would make more sense if he were a doctoral candidate in tap-dance.

ImageFor real.  Buckle up, let’s do this.

This is a blog so I am going to take creative freedom and refer Mr. Anderson as Andy.  No need for formality here.

Andy opens his argument by claiming that he is in support of marriage equality, but only if what defines a marriage is between a man and a women.  Well, that’s twisting words.  When most people talk about marriage equality, they’re talking about gay couples being able to get married.  Come on, Andy.


And then he goes into this:

“Marriage exists to unite a man and a woman as husband and wife to then be equipped to be mother and father to any children that that union produces. It’s based on the anthropological truth that men and women are distinct and complementary. It’s based on the biological fact that reproduction requires a man and a woman. It’s based on the sociological reality that children deserve a mother and a father…marriage is the institution that different cultures and societies across time and place developed to maximize the likelihood that that man would commit to that woman and then the two of them would take responsibility to raise that child.”

It’s a sociological reality, Andy, that there’s a ton of freaking kids out there with cracked out mothers and deadbeat fathers who deserve a stable home.  I don’t need statistics to back this up- it’s an obvious and sad truth, but I’ll throw some out there anyway.  Over 500,000 children were put in care in 2011, just for neglect. The estimated annual cost of child abuse and neglect in the United States for 2008 is $124 billion.  The President’s National Drug Control Strategy estimates that 100,00 cocaine expose babies are born each year (and this was in 1990). Over 650,000 children in the foster-care system have spent time in out-of-home care this year, and 15% of foster children live in group homes. Just for fun, I’d like to mention Pope Benedict XVI defrocked 400 priests for sexual abuse of children in just 2 years (and gay marriage freaks you out? Get real)  Turn on the news, turn on Law and Order:SVU, use that newfangled iphone CNN app. It’s an anthropological reality that some people are not mentally stable enough to reproduce, but they do it anyway (you’ve heard of Darwin, no?)  There’s Octomom, Kate Gosselin, inbreeders, and millions more.  What’s even worse, someone even decided that Joan Crawford could adopt a kid.  Seriously.


There are a lot of kids in foster care and groups homes who need loving families because of these sociological and anthropological realities.  Abandoned children, crack babies, orphans.  Children deserve a mother and a father…even if the mother is a crackwhore and the father is a wifebeater?  Tie up those loose ends, bud. Traditonal marriage is not cutting it.  It is a SOCIOLOGICAL REALITY that MARRIAGE IS NOT PERFECT.  There’s lots of divorce, there’s lot’s of children born out of wedlock, there’s child brides, there’s 7th husbands, there’s all those silicones marrying Hugh Hefner, and there’s lots of abuse in marriage.  Let’s do some simple, simple math here Andy.

A bunch of kids without homes + loving gay couples who aren’t able to bear children + marriage equality – people being assholes about gay marriage = Homes for children = balance = good = problem improved.

Did it occur to you, Andy, that if we get over ourselves and let it happen, gay couples can provide a beautiful balance they we need in our society?  Well, now you get it.  You’re welcome.  Simple math solves sociological and anthropological problems.   Let’s give those children loving homes, let’s not deprive them because we think straight marriage is a superhero with a mighty red glittering cape, although it’s super cute and sheltered that you believe that, because this world isn’t perfect and people aren’t perfect.  It’s a reality that sometimes when babies are born, their teenage mothers throw them in the trash or try to flush them down the toilet.  Face the facts, Andy.  Just in case you were wondering, gay parents don’t yield gay children.  The math doesn’t add up that way.  1+1 does not equal 1.  2+2 does  not equal 2.


And then Andy says this:

“We should disavow the notion that mommies can make good daddies, just as we should the popular notion that daddies can make good mommies. The two sexes are different to the core and each is necessary—culturally and biologically—for the optimal development of a human being.”
This is ridiculously passively offensive to women and men who have successfully raised their children without a partner, for whatever reason- be it death or desertion.  My Uncle Ray raised four children, largely on his own.  He worked hard all day, put farm-fresh food that he grew and cooked, on the table, after coaching his kids in Little League, Football, Soccer, Basketball, and Tennis.  He helped all four children graduate from High School and College with top honors.  He raised a marine, a successful engineer daughter, and two passionate musicians.  So f$%# you Andy.  He did a fantastic job without your little equation.  And let’s not pretend that kids who grow up with parents in a same sex marriage are magically safe and happy and successful.  There are a million factor to consider, so put them in your argument next time please, Andy.  I know I am sheltered up here in Seattle where people are fantastic and open-minded and full of equality, but spend some time up with me and the children I babysit with gay parents and then let’s argue.

“Redefining marriage will make it much harder for the law to teach that those fathers are essential.”  He also twists a quote from Barack Obama to support his argument:   “…children who grow up without a father are five times more likely to live in poverty and commit crime, nine times more likely to drop out of school, and twenty times more likely to end up in prison.” Not to mention causality, outlying factors, etc.,  I’m going to show Andy how it’s really done.
It is so easy to argue.  Two gay men adopt a child.  That child has not one, but two essential fathers.  With those statistics, they will super extra get stay in school and stay out of prison!  Furthermore, if fathers are so essential, we should be in families of one mother and several fathers.  Goodbye polygamy.  Hooray!  Oh, Andy. You got served.

And then Andy says this about gay marriage:

“First, it fundamentally reorients the institution of marriage away from the needs of children toward the desires of adults. It no longer makes marriage about ensuring the type of family life that is ideal for kids; it makes it more about adult romance. If one of the biggest social problems we face right now in the United States is absentee dads, how will we insist that fathers are essential when the law redefines marriage to make fathers optional?”  Marriage is not working, and keeping loving couples out of the institution ain’t gonna fix it, bud.  Where is the evidence for your argument?  And what about marriages that don’t produce children…what about those ‘golden years’ second marriages that produce no children- are they irrelevant?  Do you want to restructure marriage so that every married man and woman is require to recreate?  Because that’s pretty messed up.  So, read the points I made above, and that should sort you out.  And then take a look at this picture.


Jane Lighty and Pete-e Petersen, partners for 35 years, were married during a performance by the Seattle Men’s Choir last year. According to Andy’s way of thinking,  their lifelong partnership is a sexual and selfish ‘adult romance.’ Please, sir.  Get your argument together.  Let’s recognize that anyone would be ridiculously lucky to have a marriage with that much joy and longevity.  Any child would have been lucky to grown up in a home full of joy.  And the epic ceremony? I would have been so happy to witness an occasion with that much love and support and joy and excitement.  It’s momentous, and a beautiful representation of love.

Andy talks about the social liberties that will plague florists and bakers if gay marriage is enforced.  They’re business, not people, and it’s called the law.  It’s the law to treat people equally, it’s the law to recognize marriage.  Sometimes I feel like God is telling me to speed down the highway at a million miles an hour, but I don’t.  Not just because I’m a speed wimp, but because it’s the law, and it the law for a reason.  It’s selfish and harmful to do so, and therefore I abide.  If the WDOT changes the speed limit in my neighborhood from 30 miles per hour  to 35 or 25 (haha, it’s Washington, I’m sure the speed limit is 2 mph everywhere) I will recognize that that is the law.  If I get a speeding ticket, I will not create a giant fuss about it.  The florists and bakers in states where gay marriage is legal can certainly deny service to gay couples, but they will have to face the law.  Everybody has to abide by the law in this country- it’s called order.  Andy, maybe have heard of Martin Luther King, Jr.  He and a lot of people around him did a lot of cool stuff.  It used to be illegal for black people to attend school with white people.  They were denied a ton of civil liberties, and they were treated like secondary citizens.  Then people protested enough and put their lives and hearts on the line to changed the law.  It took a while to get used to, some a$$##%($ are still trying to get over it, but now we are all benefitting from a bigger pool of educated people- more Doctors, more lawyers, more engineers, more programmers, more people making a positive impact.  It’s been a process, long overdue, but well worth it.


It’s called, ‘History 101.’  Did you not take that class in Notre Dame?  There are a lot of great pop-culture movies you can watch to catch up.  I can make you a list, Andy.  By the way, this is 2014.  Just so you know.

Andy goes into a lot of weird talk about group marriage and monogamish.  My question pertains to relevance:  What are you talking about, Andy?  I’m not following you, and your argument is getting weird.  You are trying to correlate gay marriage with a bunch of weird horseshit, and I’m not eating that, Andy.  It’s not delicious, and it makes me think that you’re mildly delusional.  What are they feeding you over there at Notre Dame?

There’s a lot more empty words, and he talks a lot about social costs, and how gay people have all the rights they need, but it’s simply not true.  The truth is that we are making it much harder for children in need to have loving homes.  Put that truth on your silver spoon, Andy.

The whole thing is really like those diets that tell you to avoid certain fruits.  No.  Fruit is natural, it is healthy, and I am going to eat it (ok, ok,  I do avoid citrus fruits because they hurt my mouth- but that’s not the point).  Same with love.  It is natural, it is healthy, and everyone should experience it, man woman, child, LGBT.  Like a doctor who would tell me not to eat fruit, I would be suspicious of anyone who preaches that any love is not natural, and certain people who love each other should be denied all the joys, tears, happiness, and sweet, sweet, natural love that everyone deserves.  We aren’t living in the Garden of Eden, and no-one is afraid of apples anymore (not to mention the separation of church and state).

I love my gay friends.  I love my gay family.  I love my equal state that supports my gay friends and family.


Thanks,  Andy, for the inspiration.

One last thing while we are on this topic.  Religion.  I just don’t understand why the nicest people in the world are so against sharing something they cherish so much.  The selfishness baffles me more than outer space, more than Madonna’s face.  Love spreads.  If you love family and partnership, and children, and all of those beautiful moments you shared with your family, then why would you want to DENY people that experience and shut down love?  There was a facebook discussion a year or two ago when a very nice married Mormon woman whom I attended high school with, was really trying to wrap her head around gay marriage.  She has gay friends, and really likes gay people, and wanted to support them, but just could not support gay marriage.  She was getting bashed, which was ridiculous because she was being so earnest.  Instead of being explanatory, people were getting irate. Her biggest concern was that because she believed wholeheartedly that marriage is a special thing between a man and a woman, and that two women or two men getting married would take away from her own marriage.  Among other things, I replied something along the lines of, ‘if two people sharing the joy of marriage is going to take away from your own marriage, then your marriage isn’t that strong and you should really evaluate that (I think I said it in a less bitchy, Dr. Phil way)  If divorce, 6th wives, starter wives, polygamy, molygamy (is that a thing?), abusive husbands, marrying for money, pervert priests, and child brides, haven’t ruined your marriage already, then gay marriage is probably not going to ruin your marriage either.  Two people joining together in a loving partnership is only going to reinforce marriage.  Please think about that before you decide that two people should not partake in all the joys that come with having a family.’  So think about that.  Talk it over with your preacher, your priest, your pastor, your partner, your person.  Talk about why you’re denying love, why you’re denying family, loving homes for children in need.  Think about it, reflect on it, and think about all of the beautiful things that you haven’t been sharing, that you don’t want to share.  I wonder if it will make you sad.  I wonder if you know how badly you are hurting people, including your gay friends and family, and the children without a home for Christmas.  I hope it will begin to change your mind, and I hope you talk about it.


There is no good reason to ban gay marriage.  There is a separation of church and state.  Religious arguments don’t apply to the law.  If you don’t agree with gay marriage, don’t get married to a person of your same gender.  Thank you.

Can’t nobody break my stride

31 Mar

If momentum isn’t glossy, I don’t know what is.  I had a conversation about momentum with a dear friend of mine recently. I hadn’t given it much thought. I’d been feeling stagnant recently, and I asked him how he keeps up with his hectic creative life, making music and teaching and recording and blogging and he said, “momentum.” If you can finish one thing, it will get the ball rolling on the next thing. Hmmm…yes. I think that theory manifested today.

I woke up this morning at 7:00.  Actually I woke up at 6:55, five minutes before my alarm went off.  What?! A moonlighter by trade, I normally roll out of bed around noon.  But today we were going skiing.  A full day on the slopes.  A last hurrah for winter and a full on welcoming of spring.  70 degrees and a mountain of snow.  The sluts were so happy to be skiing in booty shorts.  (I opted for a classier Mary Kate and Ashley bag lady  ensemble complete with boyfriend socks and oversized gloves).  

We got to the slopes around ten.  We skiied until 4:30.  I had zero caffeine, ate applesauce and french fries for lunch, yet I felt amazingly energized.  Maybe it was the mountain sun, or the fantastic company.  Skiing was a nice little workout, but I felt like I needed even more of a burn.  When I got home, I convinced by boyfriend to go on a bike ride.  What?!  Exercise followed by exercise?  We biked to get cupcakes, but I got peppermint tea.  What?! No cupcakes?!  Yup, my body is being temporarily inhabited by a desperate housewife.  Or the offspring of a Jillian Michaels/Moby fling.  Instead of going home, after confessing that I was still craving to feel that burn that comes from  8 miles of strenuous hiking, my boyfriend convinced me to bike up the steepest hill in our part of town, which is no joke since we live in hilly/mountainous Seattle.  I consented so easily.  What?!  I’m a newbie biker.  Where did all this cockiness come from?  
In the middle of kicking that hill’s ass (slowly, er, patiently – in granny gear), I started to feel that rush of adrenaline, that complete confidence that comes with kicking ass.  But only a taste, not the full meal, just the calm, calm high.  When we got home, I still needed more.  The addiction was rising. I did about an hour’s worth of Beyonce yoga (listening to Beyonce radio or The Voice UK while doing yoga/dancing/making random movements that may or may not pass for yoga or dancing).  And then I made cookies.  And I only ate half of one!  Not just because they were terrible and dry and almost sugarless, but because I got distracted by the burning need to do a headstand.  Which I mastered.  And pushups.  I did 10 all night, which is impressive considering my arms are made of string beans and glossy magazines.  And then…I needed more.  Junkie.  Junkie!!!  I was rolling into my high.  Momentum was rolling fast.

I took over the dishes.  My boyfriend was washing them, mostly the mountain that I’d created, but he was moving so slow and it was killing me so I took over.  I needed to move my hands.  I was moving fast, being careless, and I turned the kitchen into a tornado.  And now he knows why the counter next to the sink is constantly wet.  I though it was normal.  I guess not. 

12:30 am.  I wasn’t hardly finished. I lit some candles, changed into a sequined top, and threw myself a dance party in the mudroom (bf crashed out and I needed a good space to rock out).   Beyonce, salsa, kesha, Katy Perry, Phantogram, No Diggity, Aretha, etc.  An hour’s worth of hard-core dancing.  Not Kevin Bacon style because I don’t have an industrial warehouse and I am so far from the 80’s dance movie calibre.    And still, I am considering going for a run around the block.  But that probably wont happen because I am kind of afraid of the boogeyman and not even epic Saturday momentum can make me run fast.  I am not tired yet.  The momentum is turning pink and it is sparkling and I need more!  I feel like I am on a really good drug.  It’s possible.  I could have been drugged. I haven’t felt this energetic since the days when Britney was shaving her head and flashing the world her tidbits (ooh, maybe this is a premonition- I feel like she’s getting close to the edge of too crazy).

There’s a few more possibilities:
1. My diet.  In an attempt to eradicate my allergies,  I have cut out everything that I love.  Dairy, wheat, alcohol, coffee, sugar, and everything full of delicious.  It’s terrible and wonderful and tortuous and gratifying and probably maybe a little bit worth it.  
2. The X-Files.  Someone/something else is taking over my body. Aliens, The Energizer Bunny, the FBI…
3. Crack laced kombucha.  It always tastes funny, so it would be easy to sneak a little something in that living, bubbly, jellyfish granola beverage that I strangely and reluctantly love. 
4. Borrowed confidence.  I went skiing with two brand new snowboarders today.  They killed it.  Full of confidence, tenacity, undaunted, no hesitations.   No stop and all go.  I think it rubbed off.  I think it’s contagious.  
5. I might also be trying to keep up with my boyfriend.  He rode 60 miles on his bike and went skateboarding and finished the day with a run like it was a breeze.  The competition is rising.  I need to win.  I must win.  I will win.  
6. Luck and momentum.  I’ve been slowly starting to get up earlier, go for more bike rides, cook more, dance regularly again, and be a better person in general.  Bit by bit, it just might be starting to work.  It feels glossy.  It’s been far, far, far too long.  
7.  This might also just be a dream.  

Aside 18 Feb

Some people dedicate entire blogs to what they’ve eaten on vacation.  Not everyone has the budget to eat five star meals while traveling…or ever. I once thought about trying to patent a couple of travel diets.  There’s the “Tahiti Diet” –  starve for a couple of days to avoid torrential downpours, lose your appetite after discovering the army of Jack Nicholson esque sand crabs that invade the island after every rainfall, eat whatever you can find on a tree, burn 500 calories trying to open pineapple, and walk everywhere because hitch-hiking with Romanians is terrifying.  I was bikini-ready by the end of the week.  cropped-freshtalk2.jpg


 And another called “The London Diet”- eat whatever you can for under two quid a day and walk everywhere to avoid paying for transportation.”  It was so successful- I was a string bean within two weeks.  Although after I got a job at The River Cafe, I family meal-ed my way beyond normal weight.  I ate my weight in olive oil and lattes on a daily basis.  

giant cup











If you’ve worked at a top-star restaurant with kick-ass family meal, or traveled through $5-a-day-to-eat-like-a-king-Asia-or-South-America, then you know what it’s like to be SPOILED.  So what happens when you go to New Zealand or Europe on a budget, and you don’t want to give up good food?  Well, there’s two options: 

1.  You can WWOOF or Workaway on a farm or cafe or lifestyle property and hope the food is amazing.  *If you’re interested in working holiday programs, click on the links! 

2.  You can take this recipe with you wherever you travel, and save dollar billzzz.  It’s easy, cheap, filling, and delicious.  All you will need is an oven or toaster oven, a sharp-ish knife, and a few simple ingredients: a chicken named Earl, baby seal tears, mermaid hair, Will and Kate’s Firborn child, and unicorn blood.  Kidding.

egg sandwhich

Roasted Garlic and Egg Sandwich

Shopping List:
Garlic- 1 whole bulb per person
olive oil (any kind of cooking oil works just fine)
bread- any kind works.  You can use a baguette, par-baked bread, tortillas, naan, or whatever is cheap and available
soft cheese, optional. I always find great deals on Brie, but any kind of soft cheese is fine.  
Hard cheese- parmesan, cheddar, etc.  
salt and pepper

Peel away the outer layers of the garlic bulb skin, leaving the skins of the individual cloves intact. Using a knife, cut off 1/4 to a 1/2 inch of the top of cloves, exposing the individual cloves of garlic.  Rub with olive oil. Place on a baking pan or bundled up in aluminum foil.  Place in oven or toaster oven for 30-40 minutes, 400 degrees Farenheit.  They will be finished when the cloves are soft.  Cool for a few minutes, and then squeeze the cloves out of their skins.  You can also use a fork or skewer.  Mash the garlic in a small bowl, and add a drizzle of olive oil and the soft cheese, cut up into small pieces.  Season with salt and pepper. Mix until the texture is creamy.  Spread the mixture onto your choice of bread, halved if it’s a baguette or batard.  Sprinkle with parmesan or cheddar and put it back in the oven on a lowered temperature.  Cook your eggs however you like (fried is my preference- it’s nice to have a bit of yolk).  When your eggs are finished cooking, take the garlic bread out of the oven.  You can put the eggs on the side or right in the middle of the sandwich.  

Bon apetit.  

Oh!  It always helps to have a lemon to dredge your hands in afterward.  The zest and juice almost completely eliminate the garlic odor from your hands….

Eau de Vagabond

26 Jan

I bought a used book at a giant bookstore, read a magazine about knitting, had a fascinating conversation with a very loud bag lady at the bus-stop, sipped on a soy chai latte made by a former mechanic wearing a bow-tie and black-rimmed glasses, and ate lunch at an international food truck.  Where am I?
You guessed it- Portland.

I took the train down yesterday.  My boyfriend was doing a shoot for Nike again this week, and I like to have mini adventures.  And I like my boyfriend.

They just found out that they're BOTH my boyfriend!!!

They just found out that they’re BOTH my boyfriend!!!

The hotel we stayed at had wine hour in the evening, hot chocolate in the morning (a fact I have not verified personally, as morning for me begins at noon), zebra striped bathrobes, organic body wash, and two different recycling bins in the room.  Recycling is very chic here in City of Roses.

I almost didn’t make it though.  I had a doctor’s appointment yesterday morning, and was given some very foul tea to make into a tonic for my asthma.  It was the kind of tea that Portlanders might drink.  I boiled it for twenty minutes, as instructed, when I really only had ten, and the bus was going to leave in half an hour and the stop was at the top of the hill and two blocks over.  Gah!  I ran frantically from room to room, organizing things, sweeping floors, covering up my mess.  My boyfriend’s friend came over to check out his newly finished basement.  I opened the door for him, and proceeded to run around like a madwoman.  My hair was still in curlers (actually it was wrapped up in a headband in my curling method, but I just can’t describe that very well).

Almost as creative as the beer can bong.

Almost as creative as the beer can bong.

After having a chat with him in every single room of the house, he offered me a ride to the train station.  Lucky me, I never get rides to the train station.  Whew.  I had just enough time to bottle my foul tea and put on some coconut oil to hide the odor that had seeped into my pores.

On the train, I was still paranoid that I smelled of foul tea vapors. My boyfriend is practically allergic to tea so I had to cover it up, but I didn’t have any perfume.  Good thing I’ve been a vagabond before.  The things I came up with while down and out come in handy all the time.  I bought an orange from the food car, ate all of the slices, chewed off the white bits (it’s a great source of vitamin C and I was going to Portland so I needed to practice not being wasteful) and twisted the peels, rubbing the oil onto my wrists and neck, hands, and décolletage.  I was sufficiently orange-d and successfully de-odored.  Voilà.  It really does the trick.  I’ve used peels from lemons and grapefruit as well.  This all might have looked very strange were I not on train to Portland.  You have seen Portlandia, haven’t you?  portland-weird-nude-cyclist

I’ve done this many times in situations of few resources.  My friend and I found ourselves in the north of France one morning (the world is a magical place when you’re a 20 year old maniac).  After spending the night in an English gentleman’s tiny car

Oy, let's not tell Gran about this k?

Oy, let’s not tell Gran about this k?

in a ditch near a farmer’s field (and having to ask for help from the farmer to fix the car),  we decided to have a little bath at the beach.  Not smart, of course.  Not smart at all, but what is to be expected of 20 year old maniacs?  Sandy, sticky, sleepy, and smelly, we drove around until we found a campsite.  After sneaking in, we came across a heavenly lavender bush  and liberated a couple bouquets. We stole a hot shower and sponged with a wet wipe and rubbed ourselves with our freshly picked lavender.  I’m sure the French, unlike the Portlanders, would have been horrified had they caught us.

We don't make our own perfume, you little heathens.

We don’t make our own perfume, you little heathens.

Huge faux pas. The ride to Paris that afternoon was very calm, and well-scented.  Eau du provence e plague.  We steered clear of tea, tonics, chai lattes, and went straight for the wine and cheese.  We had insatiable cravings for champagne, remedied only by bottle after bottle of warm bubbly underneath the Eiffel Tower.  When in Paris…

Anyhow, after all that drama with the tonic and racing around like a madwoman and having to hitch a ride to the train station, and the orange peels and flashback of French adventures,` I didn’t even end up drinking the tonic. My boyfriend left early in the morning and packed up the toothpaste with him, the key to the minibar disappeared, and I didn’t want to catch my death from taste bud poisoning.  So I poured out the tonic, rinsed out the glass jars and put them in the very posh recycling bin (for glass only- newspapers are segregated) and checked out of the hotel with an insatiable craving for Kombucha.  Portland does that to you.  It really does.

Krabi 69

19 Jan

My favorite 69…

The Krabi 69 is about as about as sweet, nasty, and gushy as you can get.  And it happened in a jail cell in Thailand, which makes it even sweeter.  Krabi later became synonymous with crappy, lame, disappointing, banana hammock, overpriced, or vanilla if you’re of the Kristin Cavallari persuasion, which I am definitely not because vanilla is delicious and Brody Jenner is not.  The Krabi 69, however, is a parallel for sweet, nasty, gushy, romantic, kindred, and memorable. The Krabi 69 takes place on a last minute holiday from Thai School/vacation.  Destination Krabi, in southern Thailand, beaches and beauty galore.


The journey:  was the mother of mood killers (similar to crabs, both kinds), except for the bright Disney bus that brought us to Crappy, I mean Krabi, which I’m not sure even counts, as Shimmer Tits still laughs at my uber-blonde emergence at a snack stop midway through the night.

SugarTits, as we exit the bus to purchase some strange, Thai snacks, namely fried broad beans and corn milk: “Taylor, don’t let me lose you.  I won’t know which bus to get back onto.”


Shimmertits, staring at our bright-as-the-sun, supervamped, bedazzled Mickey Mouse overnight bus parked amongst a bunch of stream-line, plain-jane buses, dumbfounded by my hopeless oblivion: “Um…it’s the bright Mickey Mouse bus that Minnie and Goofy are skiing all over.” SugarTits, figuring out the obvious: “Right.  Well it is the middle of the night, and I haven’t had my Thai corn milk yet. I’m a little out of sorts, as usual. You should know this by now. We’ve spent the last 60 days together. My lack of awareness should be expected.” By the end of the trip, it would be completely embraced, as well as expected. Shimmertits, to herself: “Whew. Seven more hours to go. Bliss, here we come.”

Probably twelve hours later, a few Kinderbuenos and countless glossy magazines later, oh, and one princess towel to cover up against the leaking air conditioner, we finally reached Crappy, sorry I mean Krabi.  And it was, indeed Krabi, and I do mean disappointing/offensive.  We did not find golden beaches and frolicking bliss. We did not find cheap, cute bungalows, and we did not find clear, delicious waters. We found leathery banana hammocked European creepsters and very expensive mascara. We did not find Glitter Bliss (aka Ko Tao).  We found Krabi (aka lame).

The Love Shacks and the Nasty: The day was spent dodging banana hammocks and being absolute cheapskates, which we have a knack for, because we like to keep our wallets nice and plump, just like our hips (that don’t lie). Badonkadonk.  We finally gave in and spent a whopping $14 on accommodation for the evening after hours of exploring and one splashy longtail ride to Ralay Beach.  But there was air conditioning. Glorious.


We were on a splurging roll so I payed $3.00 for a cup of Earl Gray Tea somewhere (during a tea obsession).  Taylor realized she had not packed her mascara (a must!) and spent $9 on some crappy stuff.  We spent the evening bitching about the stench and eyesore of Krabi and reading The Game , which means that I snuck a read in every time she put her book down because I got hooked.  I recommend.

Fearing our wallets needed to go on a diet, we opted to find a cheaper room.  In a state of what now can only be classified as Krabi-crazy, we agreed to rent a jail cell for the evening.  It wasn’t an actual jail cell, but it was definitely worse.  Did you see the Beach?  His first room?  It was way worse.  Down a dark little alley with a barred entrance, no windows, one tiny bed, a smelly bathroom, and a concrete floor.  But we saved a whole $5, which we spent drowning out our misery over Manhattans and steak.  Which actually means that the little jail cell flooded (and it wasn’t even Songkran, but that’s another story so stay tuned) and we went out for drinks to stay dry, but realized that Manhattans are not Cosmopolitans and steak in Thailand is…not steak…and we went back sober and hungry for a night of Krabi 69, complete with coconut incense to cover the stench from the flood. We didn’t actually both fit on the bed ($5 is a lot in Asia, okay) so we had to sleep in a 69 position.  Thank goodness for cheap Thailand pedicures because Taylor’s feet smelled great.  We slept through it.  We laughed a little, and we didn’t get sick of each other, the stench we did get sick of, but not the company. The next morning Taylor lost her swimming suit, neither of us got a tan, or swam in the ocean because it stunk, and we tried to raise our spirits by ordering our favorite morning glory for lunch, but the ritzy lunch place we went to didn’t have it.  Struck out again.  We made our way back to our little university town on another bus where the seats would not recline, with no more glossy magazines, but plenty of leaking air conditioners.  We did not find the Krabi we were looking for.


The Romance: We found losing-our-swimsuit morning, and morning-glory-rejected afternoon.  We found cutting-our-feet-on-coral beach jaunts, overpriced-mascara-runs, and Manhattans-are-disgusting-evenings.  We found banana hammocks. We found Krabi.  But we also found the Krabi 69.  We found that we could travel together.  Through banana hammocks, dieting wallets, jail cells, and disappointment.  Through thick and thin. And so we found romance after all.  We found some kindred for our spirits, and developed a heavy reliance for princess towels, backup mascara, and incense matches for further adventures around the world.  We found that laughter is necessary for disappointment, and lame banana hammock/jail cell vacations make great memories.

Next up: Ko Tao (Surprise Bliss).

Love, Sugartits


Ice Cream is NOT Gelato

17 Jan

Gelato is not ice cream, I discovered on my third round of Italian heaven that dairyful day in Florence.  Ice cream is not nearly as addictive.  The colors aren’t as real, and it’s definitely not something you can get away with having for lunch on an international adventure. gelattooo It’s amateur, what poor college students pair with red vines for a sugar-fix dinner while cramming for exams.gelato...

It’s  a floozy.  It’s cheap.  Gelato is decadent.   It is the proper companion for buying leather goods at Lorenzo Market.  It’s breakfast on the Spanish Steps, it’s every fruit and nut under the Tuscan sun.  It’s bonding with Russian tourists, gelattomore delicious than a gondola ride in Venice, and the only excuse worthy of not visiting naked David, gelato davidor any museum in Europe, for that matter.  It’s the perfect date for writing letters to Juliet in Verona.gelatto juliet

Ice cream, however, is getting an invitation to get together for some ‘casual time’ from that creep who’s stalking you from your much-older brother’s facebook page.

gelato.I’ll PASS.


Pretend Asti

17 Jan

My biological twin sister is going to be in Seattle for a day, one day, the same day that Rabbit was going to surprise me for a birthday present,
which happened to land in the middle of my Christmas present from my thoughtful boyfriend to visit my bride in Hawaii.  Jan blog 1
That’s almost all of my favorite people.  It’s a lot of stars trying really hard to align, but it seems they are off balance.  Maybe the universe should try my hot yoga class (that I stopped going to in July because I’m really lazy).

I am still trying to wrap my head around it.  Thank you stars, for gracing me with these girls that I love!

I actually sat in bed thinking about it this morning, trying to figure out how I met my twin, which is not something that most twins have ever thought about.  We don’t have the same parents, you see, but there is something very identical in our biology- we speak the same color, which is something you might only understand if you are a twin.

 I knew her in New York, moving from apartment to apartment in the bitter cold with a shopping cart and bathrobes under our sleeping bag jackets.  But wait- Paris was before that, with cheese and baguettes for every meal. No, before that.  

Flashes of lazy afternoons in Sydney wearing Ugg slippers, braiding hair, and making rice bread and tres leches cake. Jan blog 7 No, it was even before that.

London.  Of course.  We met in London.  We were living in the same flat, with her sister, Lucy, Starbucks-employed crazed Italian with an unhealthy obsession with The PetShop Boys,  Jennifer, the quiet South African, and Carina, who is still willing to pretend that we share a private jet with a pilot named Roberto. Our 2-bedroom flat was just off Portobello road, with a yellow door, a flat roof over the pantry that we used for movie nights with strange boys, a refrigerator full of River Cafe staff meal leftovers, and tire skids marking the hallway from our ten dollar (five pound) bicycles. Jan blog 6

 But that’s another story, just like the time we met a boy called Harry, drove across the English channel, and spent the night sleeping in a Farmer’s field in France, January Blog 3 and midnight champagne under the Eiffel Tower, Barcelona fruit markets, navigating Croatia in the freezing cold (will someone please just sort us out?), the trips to visit each other in New Mexico and Australia, our Iceland/London reunion, January Blog 4and the countless criss-crossing in New York City.  We’ve lived there, separately and together, with and without her sister, who I still want to call Pumpkin even though she doesn’t look like one, too many times to count.  Well, probably at least five.  I forgot how to do math ages ago.

I would say now, “I digress,” because it’s  true, but I am not that person.  It’s too East Coast for me, and it sounds like something a person would say while wearing a pink-button-down shirt and loafers on a sailboat near Cape Cod. 

So yeah.

Courtney, which is my twin’s name, is going to be here on February 4th (Rabbit will be here the following week, upon my return- thankfully- and that is another story!)  I will be drunk on mai tais, fat off of my bride’s cinnamon rolls,  and sunburned to a perfect crisp (which is partly the reason why I’ll be drunk, but only partly) on an epic beach in Hawaii.  It’s February, so it’ll be bright cold sunny for Courtney, and a whole lot warmer than New York City, where she lives and works.  And since she works for 3.0 Philip Lim, she will be the most stylish stunner in Seattle.  Her rabbit-lined cashmere sparkle scarf (I need one) will keep her warmer than my mai tais and Hawaiian sun.  Since I can’t actually see Courtney, I have whipped up a pretend outline of what we would have done together on her one day in my beloved Sparkletown Emerald City of green and rain and water and mountains and islands and coffee and markets and vintage and everything that I love.
Seattle is not London, and it is not New York City, so I will have to take her to the places that aren’t too reminiscent of  London or NYC.  Maybe some vintage shopping, jan blog 11but no department stores (this is a girl who spends her days visiting Bergdorf Goodman and Barney’s and developed her very own lingerie line, so our cute little Nordstroms downtown will fail to impress).  I’ll have to take her to my favorite views, to give her a chance at some fresh air and blue sky.  Ferries, islands, and The Market.  We’ll probably have to begin and end at the Market.  We’ll say that she’s coming on a Thursday, because that’s probably my favorite day.  It’s going to be a very busy day.  I hope she got plenty of sleep on the plane. Ready?

1. I pick  her up at the airport.  But before I go to the airport, I head over to
Crumble and Flake to purchase a couple kouign amanns to greet her with.  Have you tried them?  They’re amazing.  

2. After we shriek with delight and irritate everyone in the arrivals section, we will take a slight detour over to Bakery Nouveau for a couple twice baked almond croissants, Cupcake Royale for a latte, and head over to Alki Beach (if it’s not too windy) for a romantic walk with a view of Seattle and Puget Sound and her dashing islands.  We’ll catch up on our lives, and squeal about 50 times about how weird and awesome it is that we’re growing up (awesome because we’re growing up on our terms).

3. We’ll head over to Pike Place Market, my favorite.  We’ll buy flowers, browse the different stalls and buildings, sample olive oil, fruit, taste the cheese at Beecher’s, which is just as delicious as that famous place in Greenwich Village whose name  I can’t remember, buy CD’s from buskers (definitely the guys who are outside starbucks.  We will not go into the original starbuck, because we’re not in Spain -where Starbucks is the only place where workers HAVE to be nice to you).
We’ll taste wine, head into the magic shop, buy candy, and maybe something kitchy with the Space Needle on it, or some Chinese slippers for Pumpkin.


jan blog 10
We’ll have lunch at The Pink Door, the magical pink place I’ve summered since I’ve been in Seattle.  It’s my Cape Cod, what can I say?
We’ll sit in the sunny lounge at Table 204, the one that overlooks the Big Wheel, and Brigitte the mannequin, whose outfit changes seasonallly,  and Brigitte the Cat.  We’ll take a picture to send to Brigitte (Pumpkin), Courtney’s sister.  We’ll have lots of cocktails and eat Beecher’s grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato basil soup.  We’ll have another cocktail for dessert, I’ll definitely have the black walnut Manhattan, not because we’ve lived in Manhattan before, but because it’s the only Manhattan that I’ve had that doesn’t make me feel like I’m going to grow hair on my chest.  Too bad it’s not Sunday or Monday night because that’s when the aeralists perform.
 Well, if we’re playing pretend, then we’ll pretend that Rachel makes a special lunch appearance.  We’ll marvel at her performance and feel very lazy about ourselves.

5. Then, since we’re getting good at playing pretend, we’ll have our driver, probably the driver of a Subaru because this is Seattle and they always have seat warmers, take us to Ballard.  We’ll drive over to the Ballard Locks, maybe take a little detour to Golden Gardens, and then he’ll take us over to Ballard Ave.  We’ll pretend it’s London’s Portobello Road.  jan blog 12
First stop, Trove.  It’s full of treasures and it’s what I want my life to look like.  It’s the most perfectly curated shop I’ve ever set foot in.  I want to buy everything in there.  We probably will buy everything in there because that’s how the game of pretend works.  I will be her Philip Lim vintage counterpart, without the dustball fragrance.
Next, we’ll stroll down Ballard Ave, and tuck into my favorite Ballard coffee shop.  I can’t recall the name, but it’s the one with rice milk chai lattes that don’t taste like hippie.  It’s attached to a sewing shop, and  has a little loft nook with tiny furniture and beautiful plants.  We’ll sip our faux hippie lattes and read vintage glossy magazines.

6. After that, it’ll be time to have some hot chocolate because pretend lets you be decadent.  Our driver (how very New York of us!) will show us the sights in Fremont.  We might even take a picture with the troll under the bridge in our new-to-us vintage party dresses that smell like Miss Dior.  We’ll pick up some hot chocolate and a slice of coconut lemon cake at Simply Desserts, and head over to the tiny neighborhood park on Palatine.  It’s he one that overlooks the Olympic mountains, Ballard, and its canal.  It’s a secret little view, and we’ll drink hot chocolate and look at the twinkly lights of the city until we get cold.jan blog 9
7. And then we will head over to Capitol Hill for dinner and drinks, so I can show her our little Brooklyn.  I really don’t know where we’re going.  Terra Plata?  Melrose Market? Spinasse?  Dinette? I’ve only been to Spinasse, and the pasta is amazing, but it’s not cosy enough for our dinner.  I’m always freezing in there. We might head over to Needle and Thread afterwards, but I can’t decide if the secret telephone bit is too New York.
We might skip drinks because there’s no Beach Blanket Babylon in Seattle.  

8. We’re going over to the ferry next, anyhow, packing a bottle of Asti,asti and some dark chocolate and heading over to Bainbridge Island just for the ride.  We’ll drink and each chocolate, and talk about boys on the ferry (it’s a heated indoor ferry, you know).  If it were summer, we’d finish up our bubbly at Myrtle Edwards Park, on a big fluffy blanket overlooking the neon jewels that sparkle the water, in the shadows of the Sculpture Garden.  But it’s not.

9. So we’ll go to a show.  I’m sure Hannalee or The Crying Shame will be playing somewhere.  We’ll meet up with Seattle friends, and spend the night dancing like we were 20 again.  If we end up back at Pike Place, cocktailing at Il Bistro or The Can-Can, that’ll be even better.

10. And when exhaustion finds us, we’ll have our driver take us over to our luxury houseboat on Lake Union and we’ll watch Amelie until we’re asleep.

Jan blog 5

Dear Portland,

30 Oct

You are an afternoon spent at a teashop sipping Love/Rose kombucha from tap and sampling chai, while listening to Moby and Bjork, inhaling the scent of granola, co-op store, and sandlewood, while wondering how many wide glasses have real vision lenses, and counting the pairs of tevas that walk by, and noticing that there is enough flannel and organic cotton tees in the city to clothe an army for centuries to come.  

You are homogenous in your mustached, Kurt Vonnegaut-reading, skullcandy, vintage record-store fostering, cowboy-boot hoarding, greasy hair, homeless teens, and holes in your thrift store ‘new’ threads population.  You are charming and alarming.  

You are a vortex for kindred spirits of the kombucha-worshipping, teva-obsessed, peace-sign slanging, is-my-chicken-really-organic??? people of the world.  

I am in great need of a uniform to  disappear into this place, but as it is, I am sipping on an organic, free trade coffee just one crosswalk away from a Buffalo Exchange.  

Assimilation, here I come.

No more pink wigs in the workplace

30 Oct

Dear Seattle Institution in Queen Anne,

Meet your new Glitter Fairy.

I joined the army of straight-postured, Bordeaux/caviar- speaking, freshly pressed power suits of the restaurant world.  My pink wig will be retired from my work drawer to my after-work drawer in my dresser.  I will wear all black, half in mourning, and half by requirement.  My dansko slut shoes with the studs and cut-outs are under the radar so I will rock those as long as possible.  I will wear glittery Auntie Mame jewelry under my smart jacket, and pink tattoos on my sleeve.  I will hide Lisa Frank stickers and naked lady art on the inside of my tiny wine book.  I will attack my water bottle with princess decals.  Soon, I will be able to write about about closeted bedazzling.

During my third round of interviews, the service director pressed me with a series of questions with a stone-hard face to make sure I had personality.  Thank goodness!  They haven’t seen through me! I almost laughed out loud, though.  People have accused me of farting powdered sugar, being too peppy,  and making crazy faces every other second, but never has a lack of personality been a question.  Sir, how cute it is that your personality radar is color blind!!!  However, I had successfully toned down my silliness, and appeared to be a professional, but now that they have hired me, they soon will find out that I am made of pink, and have an insatiable appetite for all things that glitter.  I read somewhere that kimonos were the mandatory uniform.  I would die to be a geisha waitress.  Maybe I can bring about the ressurection of the kimonos?  Aha!  I feel a new calling twinkling in my bones.

There is no pink.  But family meal is made of magic.  There are no candelabras, but I will pretend that the glittering lights around the 360 degree view of Lake Union are the fairies of Neverland.  There is a lot of gray and a sea of black and starched white shirts, but every time I say ‘enjoy your meal’ I will really mean, ‘I believe in mermaids and unicorns.’ A girl has go to have multiple languages under her belt, and master the ability to spin gray into magic dust.

Bon appetit, and enjoy your meal.

Billie Idol in Peru

20 Oct

Brittney and I first spotted Billie in the customs line at Lima airport.  Having known me for almost two decades, and fully aware that my biggest aspiration is to own a pink cadillac convertible when I hit the social security years (not that our generation will ever see a dime of that), Brittney took one look at Billie and knew that I had found my idol.  “That’s you in 30 years, Sam,”  She said.  “I hope I’m that cool,” I thought.  Thank Heavens Billie and her husband Alan were in our two-week Gate one Wonders of Peru tour group. 

When we finally found internet at a cafe in Lima, I wrote to my boyfriend about Peru and the obvious highlight of the trip so far:

There is a lady with purple cotton candy hair named Billie and she is my idol. She is a former elementary school teacher, met her husband while Latin dancing, lives in Texas, has a vacation home in Central America, has a pink iPad case, sparkly purple nails, and hot pink accessories. She is calm, kind, and perfect and that’s what I am going to be like when my hair goes white, minus Texas.

The rest of the trip was fantastic.  Another highlight was spending time with my childhood best friend, Brittney, and making fun of the fact that although were were the youngest in age (by far) of anyone in our group, we were the only ones acting like senior citizens.

We thought it would be funny/appropriate to tell the folks on our tour that we met in a gang or in juvie, but it turns out that we are the oldest people in our group. We got in bed at 630 last night and ate cheese sandwhiches for dinner. We skipped the impromptu activities of the day in favor of a ‘rest’. We had trouble finishing one alcoholic beverage before retiring to our room at 9:00 after a 2 hour nap. We are so lame and we think it’s hilarious. Plus, I did her hair in braids so she is an 80year old trapped in a 13 year old’s body and I have mad giggles about that. I am wondering how we made it past 13 with the abandoned house exploring, treehouse cigarette fires, gang member associations, witchcraft, short shorts and fake knives to the gas station for candy, etc. I am in charge, which really blows for us because my brain doesn’t work that way and I’m really shy which I forgot about but I think Brittney is going to bitchney/nag all of the shyness out of me by the end of the trip so that’s good probably.  I have taken to pronouncing every  Spanish word on signs/menus/billboards with gusto y mucho vigor with dramatic hands just to irritate her as much as possible, which is something I love and treasure/ need more of in my life.  Brittney is obsessed with jeggings and is missing her uggs with passion so that’s pretty hilarious to me. She misses her dog more than her fiancé, which is a no brainer because Nahla is the best thing ever. I love her more than cotton candy and caramel apples combined.

We almost died on a LAN flight from Lima to Cuzco, but thankfully Billie’s husband Alan had already been in a plane crash, and we all know that NO-ONE experiences two plane crashes in one lifetime.

Brittney and I couldn’t sit together on that flight, which could have been fatal: she is terrified of flying and depended on me to distract her with Thai hand massage and People Magazine Trivia.  Thankfully, she got to sit next to Billie and Alan, who assured her of the positive outcome of our LAN flight.  Brittney now hopes to sit next to Alan on every future flight of her life.

Macchu Picchu was awesome.  My favorite things were the llamas, the alpacas, watching Brittney’s terrified expression as I pretended to fall off a cliff, the Japanese tourists’ outfits, and Billie’s cotton candy hair among the ruins.  The scenery was pretty cool, too.


Lake Titicaca was fun.  I loved riding on a boat made out of reeds, visiting islands made of reeds, and getting my passport stamped with the Lake Titicaca logo.  I loved the sassy little girl named Rosalinda, who wore a fluffy pink skirt.  I loved dancing with the elemantary school kids in the south.  I loved all the ancient Inca ruins whose names I have already forgotten.  I loved the fear of getting stoned to death by menacing pre-teen boys on the windy passage down to the beach in Lima. I loved the coffee.  All in all, Peru was amazing.  But meeting Billie with my best friend was amazing-er.  Purple-streaked-haired broads are on shortage in this world- you don’t wanna miss out. Get ’em while they’re hot.

wine not

Life is short, savor every moment. Wine not?