Thursday, June 27, 2013


If I was queen this would magically turn into a white cupcake with pink icing for all the world to devour. Okay, maybe not the whole world, but you get my drift.  #aaseenonmywalk


It is 525 am here and after a rabble rousing night here, I slept fitfully. That one iced tea at 7 pm killed me.  Sad isn't it?

Looking back at my to do list, I realize I have not accomplished much, but I am trying.

8. Revisit the Spiral Jetty.

That and starting on my iTunes library (#10)  is all I have done.  The weather is prone to be vile next week (upper 80s) so that should be reason enough to learn how to grill (#3 and #4).  The idea of turning on the oven has no appeal.

In other good news, I shall dip my toes in the lake after work. Yup, work.

That alone, is good news.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

To do


 Post no thrills, taken in Mid-Mahattan, February 25, 2012

Instead of focusing on what I am trying to not do this year, here is a list of things that I would love to do/try/learn this year.

1. Learn how to properly snorkel.  I spend enough time in the warm waters of Hawaii, you would think that I enjoy floating with my face in the water and a tube shoved into my maw to get oxygen to my lungs.  I really don't. I need to chill and learn that you can see a lot in 6' of water and that maybe fish can be cute and entertaining if you relax and learn to breathe.

2.  Learn how to sea kayak.  Insert cold  water, San Juan Islands, eskimo roll and terrible currents into the previous thing to learn to do and realize that North Pacific fish are not entertaining enough to pay much attention to them unless they become dinner.

3. Learn how to light a barbeque and learn how to grill. 

4. After I master that, move on to indirect heat grilling.

5.  Pressure can tuna.

6.  Run faster, longer and without stopping. 

7. Finally go to Marfa, TX and see all that great art work.

8. Revisit the Spiral Jetty.

9.  Go to Argentina in our fall when the weather is more to my liking.

10.  Listen to all the music I have in my iTunes library, make a few play lists and start culling things I do not care for any more.

I think that is a pretty good start, don't you.

What do you want to do this year, or next year or ever?

Friday, February 22, 2013

No pants allowed

Bread. Alone. #tothenorth
Welcome to the Boulangerie at Casa Beagle.  Dogs welcome.

Let me set something straight, I love pants. I love skorts even more, but that is fodder for a series of fashion related posts. This post isn't really about clothing, but about creating a weekend that is filled with nothing more than being yourself.  It is about giving yourself permission to let the week slip away behind you.  No errands, no dinner commitments, no plans are made on these weekends.  I look forward to my no-pant weekend (yoga pant weekend just doesn't sound that exciting, nor drives blog traffic) which usually starts with the mad drive to the ferry and taking the happy dogs for a walk on the beach before the boat ride up to Orcas. 

The weekend stretches ahead with all sorts of possibilities  - long dog walks, trying new recipes, beating back the garden, long conversations after dinner, napping with assorted hounds in sunbeams and catching up on reading. There is no need to impress anyone, here we are all ourselves.  A nice dinner in town can even be pulled off if your yoga pants are clean and neat (note to self: buy smart yoga pants).  No one really cares what you look like and sometimes this is the best part. Reality bites soon enough as you merge into the line of traffic heading towards the freeway.  You'll soon put your big girl pants again to face real life at home with a head full of memories, a few tired dogs and new hope to help you make it through the week ahead.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Happy New Year

2013. Sunrise. Ferry to Anacortes and Lopez's beauty at the beginning of the new year. #365.01 #2013.01 #01.01.2013 #tothenorth #towardslopez @wsdot

Taken early morning on January 1, 2013 from Orcas, looking towards Lopez. 

The first year and month of 2013 is over. There is no need to resolve anything in 2013 if you are still on the fence.  I have decided it is easier to plow on and do the right thing, especially if you have no real vices to resolve ending.  It is just better this way.

All I want is for 2013 is that it be better than the last.  I want my parents remain healthy and independent; Ernest's visits to the vet be be few and far between; and my new niece or nephew be born healthy. My wish is that TH keeps on striving ahead and thinking of ways to move science information into the new territory and build new collaborations. I want the federal government stay solvent and keep on functioning. I demand that my friends stay insured and employed, and that I find a great job as well.

Yup. I am still looking.

I am trying to challenge myself to write more. I spend a long time thinking as I walk the dog about things that I would like to write about, but am afraid to bore you and maybe me to death.  I have great respect for those who can write and most likely carve out time every day to write. 

You go girls.

Given how things could be, I am doing just dandy and for this I am grateful.

Happy 2013.

Saturday, November 03, 2012

3 November 2012

Today I am grateful for my wings, rain hat and favorite traveling partner.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

from whence we came

Parentals  telling their courtship story 48 years later to a captive audience. It always amazes me how it all came together... #tothemysteriouseast #familytime #loveiranianstyle

I am starting to collect family stories in a more orderly and formal fashion.  I have heard many of them before. As a child, they both fascinated and bored me to tears when all I wanted to do was go play outside or hang out with my friends.

Now those stories enthrall me and make me realize how much about my parents I don't know or didn't consider was important.   I am honestly in awe of half of what they have done.  This past week I had the incredible pleasure of sitting down with them and hearing the stories, spending time with them and my  mom's extended family.

I am so blessed.

Friday, September 14, 2012

I have no words

Sometimes I am so disgusted by what has happened to Iran as I knew it growing up and from family stories.  I am usually on the other side of the argument, trying to explain and maybe rationalize behaviors of a culture which I am fiercely proud of being associated with and a country that is now so insular that many cannot remember life before the Revolution.

I must have been living under a rock when this was first announced. 

Please donate what you can to help feed and house these dogs until their are rehomed. I was also flabbergasted to hear that the current Western embargo against Iran bans the import of flea and tick medication for these dogs.  My mother worked tirelessly to bring humanitarian goods into Iran after earthquakes and helped raise funds to shelter and home street children in Tehran. She retired from these efforts when she returned from San Diego, but when she hears about this, I'm sure she will with these efforts. While she can't walk and play with these dogs, she can work to educate Iranians around Seattle and try  get some of these dogs settled, transported and help write letters to get medications to these dogs.  I will be at her side helping and learning from her, she is the master of persuasion.

I recognize there are a million things going wrong in the world and we can't fix everything, but if every person did one thing to help another person, creek, playground, ocean, forest or garden, the world would be a better place because of it.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

My secret, not so secret life

Seat 5K, my first time in new first on @britshairways #wanderlust for @bonnevivante

Many of you know of my not so secret obsession with frequent travel and my vast, yet esoteric knowledge of some frequent flyer programs.  I was recently featured by the Frugal Travel Guy on his blog.  FlyerTalk is where I found a group of like minded folks who flew both for work and leisure and enjoyed talking about all things points and miles. I have made some great friends and connections through FlyerTalk.  My dearest @joanek is one of them, without her in my life I would never have eaten a sweetbread, cared about helper monkeys, enjoyed Kamakura and hanging out in Paris going from market to market.  Ditto for @missydarlin who has roped me into many a race starting in 2007. She met her soon to be husband on FlyerTalk as did a few other of my friends.

The FlyerTalk community started out as small group of passionate flyers who were looking for like minded individuals.  The forums looks very much the same as when I first found it in 2000.  Some of the same people still post, some of them I count as my friends.  I still go to the forums for  travel advice. I go because many FlyerTalkers have the same travel habits that I possess,and partially because I know much of the advice is tried and true.  Like other brands FlyerTalk has joined the rest of the social web. While I follow their twitter stream, post pictures to the Flickr group and like them on Facebook,  I find most of the advice and knowledge is still active and alive on the forums.

Thanks to the folks who keep FlyerTalk well moderated, active, and fun place for me after all these years.

Saturday, September 01, 2012


The ninth month commences with greetings from my favorite petty and pretty tyrant.

Bring it on.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Things about job hunting I learned from my dog Part 2

This is one in a series of blog posts I have been cogitating upon about job hunting... Please read 
the first post here

En attendant #tme

4. Get dressed every morning

We undress E every night before he goes to bed.  His harness and collar are taken off to air his belly  and reduce amount of noise when he shakes or scratches during the night. Every morning we put his collar and harness back on and get ready for his day. He loves his routine and very rarely strays from it - breakfast, walk, nap, walk, nap, run around, walk, dinner, walk, and bed.

After walking E and going to the gym in the morning,  I shower and get dressed in casual, but work appropriate clothing including shoes just as if I was going to my office, but with shorter and more pleasant commute.  I try to keep the same rituals as before, except for going out for coffee or listening to the radio while driving. It is easy to let these habits slide as you move away from the structure of a typical office environment.  I try to get all my job hunting, scholarly research and data analysis, and meeting coordination tasks done during a typical work day time frame. That way, I retain my work/life balance when TH gets home.

Have someone check your work

5. Have someone check your work

E's best friend Charlie often will pick up E's chew toys after E is done and chew on them a little more and vice versa. They optimize the chewing texture and consistency of each other's bones to bring out the best flavor. It is all in a days work for the hounds.

Find someone you trust to give you constructive feedback on your job application material. Even better would be someone who to carefully proofread for overlooked typos or grammatical mistakes or number transposition in your contact information.  After staring at your own writing  for three hours or three days, you start to miss the little things that a recruiter or hiring manager might pick up on the first glance. Another set of eyes can be a tremendous help. 

6. Stand apart from the pack

E has unusual markings for a basset hound.  Even better is that he will perform an impressive commando crawl around other humans when things don't go exactly his way. He will do this when have to move on from a riveting conversation, an adoration session or we're not taking the routing he desires on his walk.  It is nothing obnoxious or dangerous, in fact it is quite enchanting and charming. However, as the person who replaces his harness every few months, I am not as amused. It does make him memorable. 

I am not suggesting that you should start crawling on your belly or break into song at a networking event or job interview. However, you increase your chance of being remembered by presenting yourself in the best light. Be conversant in the topics of the day and listen to what others are saying, carry great looking business cards with your current contact information and remember to use them and be genuine. If you promise to follow up with someone, please do so. It will show that you have follow through and many will remember that.