me me me me me

There is a little meme floating around facebook where you share 25 random facts about yourself. Then you’re supposed to tag 25 of your friends so you all can share and know all sorts of random facts about everyone. Fun. Timewasting, and everyone likes to talk about themselves all the time, right?


So here are 25 “random” facts about me.

25. I get along really well with my brother. I often feel as if he’s the only person who truly understands my sense of humor and is never offended by it. We are especially ridiculous when we are together and feeling mischievous. Take this little message we sent our cousin as an example” “M, This is K and C…aka the Moscow Richards…aka the progeny of the Superior Richards Son…aka KriCon. We are HIGHLY offended by the post on Cousin A’s wall that insinuates we Moscow folk are not of the norm. We believe you are all mere mortals and simply aspire to our height of greatness. Indeed. Toughen up buttercup.” Seriously. I’m pretty sure we’re the only two people on the planet who find that funny.

24. I watch shows like “My Super Sweet 16” and am flummoxed by them. Who are these kids? Who raises their kids to be such nasty egomaniacs? Who lets their kids treat them like garbage? Shows like this make me never want to have children, and make me think that if I ever do have children then they will feel very very unspoiled.

23. Horror movies scare me. Tense movies scare me. I think I might have an overactive imagination. My mind tends to dwell on things (all things really) and scary/tense images from movies pop up in my dreams. After I saw the movie “Body of Lies” I had nightmares about being tortured for a week.

22. Sometimes I’m astounded that I actually live in Portland. This mostly happens when I’m driving home at night along Naito Parkway and I watch downtown as I pass. It’s a surreal feeling that usually passes by the time I’ve hit the Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway. But weird nonetheless.

21. Those clear.com adds make me incredibly irrationally angry. Something about the green and the “this is not a bus stop” just irritates me and I see tiny flashes of red whenever I pass one.

20. Microbiology was one of my favorite classes in college. There was something so satisfying about identifying those tiny clusters of microbes, and though I spilled an entire bottle of Gram’s iodine all over my lab coat, doing Gram stains were my favorite. I even contemplated switching my degree to Medical Technology instead of nursing. In retrospect, I’m glad I didn’t.

19. Everytime I go to Starbucks I get the same quote. It’s the one about commitment. I can’t decide if this is just a massive coincidence or if the universe is trying to tell me something.

18. Speaking of commitment, I’m massively commitment phobic. This is a relatively new development in my personality, and I’m sure it stems from my already cautious nature. Getting hurt sucks and I’d like to avoid it again at all costs.

17. I love all things Harry Potter. I’m super excited for the next three movies. I’m also really sad that there aren’t any more books to come. Really sad.

16. My parents raised my brother and I with no cable television and they sequestered the PBS only TV to the basement. To this day I still am fascinated by cable television and have a hard time concentrating on anything else when it’s on.

15. Whenever I see an old couple walking down the street or holding hands or anything, my heart melts. I really really really want to be one of those couples someday.

14. As a bizarre combination of really shy and really sarcastic I feel that I often come off as really harsh or elitist. I’m not, I swear. I try really hard to be a nice person because I seem to have no control of what comes flying out of my mouth.

15. I just learned that Mr. Rogers once went to a swimming pool in a speedo. I find this disturbing. However, I loved that show and my favorite one was when he went to the crayon factory.

14. I’m studying for the GRE. I have test anxiety. I have put off registering for the exam because this will kick up my anxiety into full gear and practically make me unbearable to be around, and will prevent me from sleeping. I *know* that I can always retake the exam if I don’t do as well as I would like to, but I have a tendency to expect perfection from myself. And when I don’t attain that perfection, I have a hard time forgiving myself. So, I’d rather just do really well the first time around.

13. I don’t like beer. It makes me gag. And the smell reminds me of urine. So I don’t drink it.

12. I go through phases with food and drink where all I want to eat or drink are certain things. This is most evident in my coffee tastes. Sometimes all I want is straight up drip coffee, sometimes I crave the hazelnut lattes, other times mochas and yet others pumpkin spice lattes. I’m in a drip coffee phase now.

11. I recently dyed my hair. It’s super dark, almost black, and I feel the color suits me better than my natural color.

10. I can’t decide if I think that men and women can be just friends. I have friends that are men, however of these we’ve either had some sort of “tanglement” in the past or they’ve been attached to someone else throughout the duration of our friendship. But I don’t know.

9. Speaking of male-female friendships, I have a tendency to fall for guys who start out as my friend. Call it the Monica-Chandler phenomena or my natural tendency to be guarded until I actually trust someone, but out of the relationships I’ve ever been in only one started out as a “love interest.” And I cut that cord after 6 weeks, so there you go.

8. I want to get a dog. Two dogs actually. I’d name them Clarence and Bernard.

7. I live with two girls I went to high school with. One was one of my best friends during high school, but we weren’t super close during college. The other went to nursing school with me. We have fun.

6. I used to swim for at least 2 hours a day. I haven’t been swimming in six months. I miss it, but hate how awful my body feels when I swim now.

5. I want to be on Cash Cab. I’ve contemplated going to NYC just to accomplish this goal.

4. Reading is my escape. I often have to force myself to be social when I’d rather sit at home and read. If I didn’t, I’d likely be a hermit.

3. I have 26 first cousins. On both sides of the family I am the second oldest grandchild and oldest granddaughter. Both of my parents are the third child in their (large) families and the first of their sex. Both of their birthdays are on the 8th. I enjoy this and like to think it makes my parents “soul-mates”.

2. Despite my loud talk about never having children, the idea isn’t as repulsive to me as it was in the past. I think I’d like to have kids at some point in the future. I even have names that I like. Atticus and Grace.

1. It took me a long time to think of 25 facts to share with the Interweb.


uno mundo

There are times, like this exact moment, when I miss Moscow so much I can taste it. You see I am sitting in a coffee shop, World Cup Coffee & Tea, studying for the GRE and all I can think about is how much I miss One World Café.

During last year and a half of nursing school, when going to library made me realize just how young college freshmen are, I studied exclusively at One World. I was there so often the baristas knew my order and often had it waiting for me, in fact, I ran into on the baristas here in Portland the other day and she referred to me as “hey! Hazelnut latte!” (Oh man do I miss those hazelnut lattes.) I was one the regulars. All the faces were familiar, and I had nicknames for all the other regulars. I shudder to think what their nicknames for me were.

Such is not the case with World Cup Coffee & Tea. For one, it’s not even in Portland, but Beaverton, so I’m stuck people watching in the suburbs. (It is, however, attached to a Powell’s location, thus the basis of its appeal.) There aren’t any Hot Construction Workers, or weird haired people, just old women, businessmen and mommies and their children. Note to self: don’t move to the suburbs at this point in my life. I miss the Moscow-People. I miss the essence of One World. I miss sitting at the table with the secret drawer.

I’m sitting in a coffee shop, listening to Ben Folds, and missing Moscow.

Do you know what the weird thing about it is? I have a longing for Moscow, but not necessarily for home. Moscow and home are not synonymous anymore. Well, Moscow will always be home in the sense that it’s where I’m from, where my parents are and it will always be a place of comfort. But my heart isn’t there, and I don’t belong in Moscow anymore.
I’m very much in love with Portland, and am quite happy here. I don’t know how long this will last or how long I’ll be here. But for now, Portland is home.


tea wisdom

Some advice from my chai tea:

The irony of commitment is that it's deeply liberating - in work, in play, in love. The act frees you from the tyranny of your internal critic, from the fear that likes to dress itself up and parade around as rational hesitation. To commit is to remove your head as the barrier to your life.


smiling's my favorite!

I should be studying for the GRE. And I'm doing my very best, I really am.  However, the sun has once again chosen to shine over Portland, and it's doing its very best to distract me.  And so is my iPod, it keeps choosing to play songs that make me stare at the window for long periods of time, smiling over nothing in particular instead of memorizing word groups.  Silly inanimate objects. 

I'm in a good mood today.

What is making me smile?

This song always makes me smile. Always. I love the upbeat tempo. I love that it makes me think of Ann and Erik dancing at their wedding, I love that it makes me think of driving around Portland on a sunny afternoon, and I love that it makes me think of Laurelhurst Park.

Laurelhurst Park makes me smile.

The view from my work makes me smile.

Life makes me smile today.


I spent the day at the beach! Yay! It was sunny, it was warm, and it was perfect. Take that rainy Portland January.

I love living in Portland, I really do.  The city is beautiful, friendly and super accessible. I love the neighborhoods. I love Portland.  However, the weather gets to me sometimes. Bleah. The rain. Gah. Rain. So depressing. 

The upside of all the rain is an appreciation of the sun, I guess. (I'm attempting stop being so negative all of the time.) It's true, I do appreciate the sun more than I did before living here.  Every day that sun shines here it totally makes my day.

Today, however, was amazing. It was a sunny sunny day, there were no clouds in the sky and the ocean was so gorgeous. We went to Manzanita, which is my favorite little town on the coast, and had a lovely day there.  My desire for a puppy has increased tenfold, though. It seemed like everyone on the beach had one.  


I go to Powell's often.   I love the store. I do most of my gift shopping there. Books are a loving gift.  

I bought four books yesterday, and I will share with you the first sentence of each.

  1. "Dad always said a person must have a magnificent reason for writing out his or her Life Story and expecting anyone to read it." Special Topics in Calamity Physics Marisha Pessl
  2. "The ghosts of the three children set up residence in the kataa next to the fishing rods and burlap sacks of potatoes, behind the shovels and rakes." People I Wanted to Be Gina Ochsner
  3. "Midway along the journey of our life/ I woke to find myself in a dark wood,/ for I had wandered off from the straight path." The Divine Comedy Volume I: Inferno Dante
  4. "Whan that Aprill with his shoures soote/ The droghte of March hath perced to the roote,/ And bathed every veyne in swich licour/ Of which vertu engendred is the flour;/ Whan Zephirus eek with his sweete breeth/ Inspired hath in every holt and heeth/ The tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne/ Hath in the Rame his half cours yronne." The Canterbury Tales Geoffery Chaucer
Powell's Books might be the reason I moved to Portland. 


by John L. Stanizzi

for Carol

I had seen them in the tree,
and heard they mate for life,
so I hung a bird feeder
and waited.
By the third day,
sparrows and purple finches
hovered and jockeyed
like a swarm of bees
fighting over one flower.
So I hung another feeder,
but the squabbling continued
and the seed spilled
like a shower
of tiny meteors
onto the ground
where starlings
had congregated,
and blue jays,
annoyed at the world,
disrupted everyone
except the mourning doves,
who ambled around
like plump old women
poking for the firmest
head of lettuce.

Then early one evening
they came,
the only ones--
she stood
on the periphery
of the small galaxy of seed;
he hopped
among the nuggets,
calmly chose
one seed at a time,
carried it to her,
placed it in her beak;
she, head tilted,
accepted it.
Then they fluffed,
hopped together,
did it all over again.

And filled with love,
I phoned to tell you,
over and over,
about each time
he celebrated
being there,
all alone,
with her.


My father's diary

How excited am I that the holiday season is finally over? Quite. 

It's not that I'm a scrooge, a grinch or a hater of the holidays in general. The relief simply stems from the fact that nothing is quite as depressing as spending the holidays alone. And so I did.  Crying alone underneath the Christmas tree after working all day just doesn't say Merry Christmas to me.

I'm not attempting to garner sympathy, just sharing the facts. I'm relieved the holidays are over, and I'm looking forward to whatever 2009 throws at me. I feel like it is going to be a fantastic year.

by Sharon Olds

When I sit on the bed, and spring the brass
scarab legs of its locks, inside
is the stacked, shy wealth of his print.
He could not write in script, so the pages
are sturdy with the beamwork of printedness,
TRIED OUT SOME RACQUETS--a life of ease,
except when he spun his father's DeSoto on the 
ice, and a young tree whirled up
to the hood, throwing up her arms--until
TO DESERVE SUCH A GIRL? Between the tines
of his W's, and liquid on the serifs, moonlight,
the self of the grown boy pouring
out, kneeling in pine-needle weave,
worshiping her. It was my father
good, it was my father grateful,
it was my father dead, who had left me
these small structures of his young brain--
he wanted me to know him, he wanted
someone to know him.


For last year's words belong to last year's language and next year's words await another voice.  And to make an end is to make a beginning.
T.S. Eliot