Hi there,

I know it’s been awhile…a long while. But I’m excited to be back. Mostly. To be honest, I probably won’t ever blog like I did in 2014. Because well…other social sites have gotten a lot better at sharing stories quickly than this baby.

But it is my baby. And it’s in need of some cleaning and some upkeep. I’m not sure exactly yet what that will look like. Definitely a re-design is in order. (Maybe I’ll get to show off some HTML/CSS and JavaScript skills I’ve picked up in the intervening years.) And hopefully some semi-regular blog posts to keep my writing in practice. And of course, more photos and video to better show, not tell, stories.

Mostly though, I just want to say thank you. What a pleasant surprise to find I still have followers! You may have forgotten about me, but I’m still here.

I can’t wait to write for you!


P.S. Here are some recent outtakes to catch you up.

Health insurance and miracles

Today was one of those days when I realize that growing up poor also means growing up in a different world than the people I know now. Growing up poor means not knowing how insurance works. And today, I was shocked when a doctor’s visit and medicine were reasonably priced for no apparent reason other than a magical new card meaning something somewhere to someone.

Recently there’s been a barrage of bad days at work. So today, was naturally the day my body gave up. I woke up with inflamed gooey eyes and a sore throat. I’m falling apart. Period cramps, cuts on my feet, and a headache, it all piled on me this morning.

The sniffles with the stress and “boom,” go visit a doctor because that’s what you get to do when you have a job that allows for sick days and health insurance.

Actually, that’s nice. It’s a shiny bright spot in an otherwise gloomy day.

Then I think about it and I get pissed off. The conjunctivitis is a severe allergic reaction, but I never had health insurance growing up. One kid got sick and all the kids got the same prescription—there’s one doctor in three towns. And you hope to god he keeps up on medicine and takes care of his patients. Maybe he was a good doctor. I don’t know. I only remember going to the doctor once in my childhood, and then I didn’t make it to the doctor. The physician’s assistant saw me since the doctor was in a different town that day. (And yes, my brother who had the same cold took the same prescription as me.)

I feel lucky I have a stable job with a steady paycheck that allows me to pay my bills (the whole mountain of them) and health insurance, and sick days, because I haven’t had it. However a part of me resents it.

Why do I get that? Why doesn’t everyone? What have I done that makes me special enough to get help paying for medicine? Shouldn’t every job allow for paid sick days? Shouldn’t everyone be able to visit a doctor and afford the visit?

It’s such a relief to be in a position where I don’t have to worry about whether or not I can actually afford to go to the doctor when I need to go to the doctor. And yet that same privilege vexes me.

It’s exactly that actually—that American society thinks of health as a privilege, not a right.

Somehow I have to be “good” enough to have a good job that allows me time off to be sick. And, I’m left to wonder how I was lucky enough to land a job that will let me text in late to take a day off because I woke up feeling icky. I didn’t do anything special, and I wasn’t born as anyone special.

I realize the Affordable Healthcare Act is on it’s way to helping everyone get basic healthcare. But I’m starting to think that’s not enough. And we’re still debating this country’s deplorably low minimum wage. It’s not a debate. Minimum wage is far too low. No one who works a full-time job in this country should be living in poverty, yet millions are.

The realization that just one year ago a day like today would have derailed my budget, set me back a month, and most likely added to my debt, pisses me off. There has to be a better way. I don’t have to deal with that now because I’m one of the lucky ones with those “good jobs” that are in such short supply. So now I can think about how much the system punishes the poor for being poor while I drink coffee and shop for a house.

As an addendum, I have a great job–I love it. I’m usually pretty excited to see what new challenges await me at the office. Today was an illustration of problems within a larger system, not at work.

Second addendum, no photos today as conjunctivitis is disgusting and there’s not really anything else visual to go along with this rant. Sorry. Maybe you’ll get a coffee photo next time. 

Summer sunset over the Abajo Mountains

I’m coming home

It’s been a long time.

An embarrassingly long time. Too long to remember, not quite long enough to forget since I’ve been home. For me, it’s hard to go home. I’ll have anxiety all week–a little excitement, but mostly fear. Complicated emotions and memories I’d rather not remember. And other thoughts I’ll try desperately to hold on to for their joy and happiness in some sort of attempt to push out the sadness.

I miss it, too.

It’s a mystery to me that I can miss some place so much it hurts, and then dread seeing it in person.

That golden age of childhood shines a little brighter without the real-life reminders of what it really was. It’s tough to show this part of my life to friends and family who never knew me then. It’s hard to admit to myself what my upbringing was like in some ways. And it’s not something I want to discuss, analyze or have much of a conversation about.

But home haunts me. The imagery of red rock, cowboys, and ranches constantly shows up in my conversation and my writings. It’s strongly present in my morals and ethics, even without the religion. I can’t escape the truth of where I come from, but I’m not entirely comfortable with it either.

And Zed has had a full week of seeing this insanity in action. The confusion over why we’re bringing gallons of water, a cooler full of food, and bags of clothes to see my parents. (Isn’t this supposed to go the other way around?) The almost crying and the voice cracking, I’m really fun to be with this time of the year.

But he’s still here. Maybe he’ll fall in love with the red dirt without the complications. Maybe he’ll see why it’s so important to me to have some things in my life and why I can live without the others. And maybe he’ll still want to be here after we wash off the dust of this road trip.

Welp. I’m coming home.


Black globe, neon nations

Broadway boheme

In February, Zed and I moved in together.

The worst part of moving was finding a place to live. We needed to be close to my work, his school, and in a place that would allow for a 60-pound beast who looks intimidating and has a ferocious bark. Plus, it needed to be cheap. We ended up in a tiny place in downtown, mostly because of the price point and loose pet policy.

The building proclaims itself to be built in 1911 in a faded painted sign that no one has removed from the rooftop since it was placed there. The tiled porch is chipped and the sandstone foundation crumbling as the gray paint peels off in strips, it says this building is called, “The Nelson.” No one has ever called it that. The crumbling, faded porch overlooks a busy street.

In this apartment, SLC feels distinctly urban. There are people everywhere, all the time.

Somewhere between churches, shops, bars, public institutions, and homes for the homeless, we can watch people of all types as they wander through the city. Many looking for friends or family, some for a few pennies to catch a bus, others looking for a good night out, and some just looking.

I’ve called the cops twice in six months. Both times because a man was passed out on my doorstep.

I’ve mastered the art of avoiding vagrants asking for change or hawking stolen wares.  I no longer take the dog on walks at night. (Mostly because the meandering bar crowd doesn’t remember to ask to pet a dog, and mine is not happy to meet strangers.)

They’re always on this street–the wandering people. Some need help, some ask for it, others don’t want it, and some are just that way.

Black globe, neon nations

I’ve met at least two who claimed to be dog trainers and proceeded to offer me advice about my dog. One an old cowboy, the other a young woman, both seemed desperately out of place, time, and money. I don’t do much to encourage these encounters, but as I’ve mentioned, something about Archer encourages conversation.

Our daily meanderings have us meeting strangers still, only now in this neighborhood, the strangers are strange, seemingly desperate, and often in need of help that I certainly can’t provide. I’m always ashamed to mention resources that I know of that are available. And I don’t know if I should. I’m never quite certain what to say except to talk about the dog in question. (It almost always starts with, “What kind of dog is it?” if they are too polite to bring up his bat ears.) As I try to continue our walk without making this person feel terrible for asking.

Maybe what they really need is to feel human by talking about a dog. Archer's bat ears

A million questions

Last night was almost perfect.

Those moments are like that. It’s just us–me and Zed, so often I sometime forget he wasn’t always there. (Don’t worry we always have our puppy in mind, Archer won’t let us forget he is the MOST IMPORTANT DOG IN THE WORLD.)

We needed a quiet night away. Not in, no hermit-ness, outside, around people, maybe see a movie. We don’t frequently agree about which movies are worth theatre price tags when compared to literally any other format. We loved “They Came Together” at home on Xbox for maybe $7.

So what warrants twice that for two plus popcorn and soda?


‘Cause we classy y’all.

No, not really. We both love sci-fi and fantasy, then you throw in some of my favorite Korean famous people and I can’t help myself. My butt is in the theatre almost through telekinesis.

And you know what? It paid off.

The movie was brilliant. Tightly woven, tightly acted, beautifully shot, and infused with the kind of energy films get when the entire creative team seems like they’ve been waiting their entire professional careers for something so wonderful to throw all their talents into. And then, it’s gorgeous.

The symbolism, layers, meanings, and everything come together in a very French way. The style always maintains a certain Korean-ness in my opinion and the acting held together by Tilda Swinton’s brilliant weirdness is so America. The film felt international from the moment it began and in a dystopian world with few survivors and few languages, it was just what it needed to set the mood.

Oh, and the steam punk was a lovely touch.

So that’s us then. Me and Zed. Not nearly old enough to be regulars to Wednesday movies and members at the local independent theatre, but doing that because Wednesday nights fit our schedule for an “only us” date. And the membership is cheaper than paying all the time.

We’re old. Only we’re not.

Are we?

I did find a gray hair not too long ago.


After the movie, we walked out into the slowly darkening night. (Yes, we went to a movie that early in summer.) We talked about the merits of the film, and how together we’re like one hipster; separate we’re a crazy cat lady and an ogre. Then it was home. And time for another walk this one with a dog. We walked in a light desert rain. The kind of rain so soft and slow it feels more like the perfect breeze to a steamy day than a rain storm at all. The sky kept darkening as we wound our way around downtown.

Eventually, we made our way home. Just in time for the down pour to really begin. Archer hid under the bed at the first sign of thunder. Zed turned on a kung fu film. I snuggled up with the man than the dog before finally settling into an easy sleep.

Is it really that easy? Happiness is just another day with a little bit of work.

SLC Summer

A long hiatus and then this

At the end of June, something delightful happened.

I got a job! A grown-up, adult job with health insurance and regular pay. One of those kind of jobs. It’s been a nice change. An office outside of my house, talking to people, making new friends and learning new things.

Heck, I like it so much I’m surprised I didn’t break the news via FB earlier. But no, it’s special blog only type stuff like this that makes this place extra nice for the big news.

So the new job is at a local professional theatre. I work in development (raising money) and communication (selling tickets). It’s all kinds of fun reading plays, hanging out with actors and learning the world of non-profits. Every day is different. I work with a small team of wonderful people that make even the worst days in the office a ball.

I love my job.

And it’s so nice to love what I do that sometimes I forget to leave any free time for this blog and other hobbies I once had.

I haven’t read any books in too long; and I finally broke down and started baking at 6 a.m. just so I could make something new. Between the dog walks, the boyfriend and the job, there isn’t a lot of time for other stuff. Now that I’ve had a month to get into the groove a bit though,  I’m hopeful I’ll have a minute more of time for this online stuff. ‘Cause I lurves it and some of the coolest people I know are most accessible online. So I gots to stay.

P.S. This post should have originally published in August 2013. However due to “technical difficulties” (sometimes called laziness) it has not been published until now. 

To space camp and beyond

Me and team Atlantis in 1999. We were so cool. You have no idea.

Me and team Atlantis in 1999. We were so cool. You have no idea.

When I was in the fifth grade, I won a scholarship to attend a space camp in Ogden, Utah.

I was skinny, awkward and terrified of everything. It was the same year I started wearing glasses and getting boobies. It was terrifying. Personally I’ve always believed I was the epitome of awkward pre-teen in every single possible way. There just wasn’t much I liked about myself or the world around me.

Astro Camp changed that. A little bit. It was a week of hanging out with other kids who were equally intrigued by Newton’s Laws, engineering, space and the possibilities of the universe. I loved it.

I loved it so much I even managed to raise enough money to go again the following year.

It was the one week in 52 where I felt like me. I wasn’t ugly, friendless and strange at Astro Camp. I was smart, funny, pretty, likable and the best co-pilot on team. (No really, I actually won a blue ribbon for that one.) It was an intense week for a socially awkward loner of kid who was deeply homesick most of the time. I had to swim and even worse wear a swimming suit in front of boys. I had to wear my glasses all the time because there’s no landing a simulated spacecraft without sight. I had my first kiss. I cried a little for my family. But mostly I found my place, a tiny little corner of the universe where I could be excited about gravity and stars. A place where everyone was cool with me excitedly blurting out the story of Andromeda in a home-made planetarium.

It was awesome!

I miss the care free kind of way summer slips by in childhood, especially at space camp.

BTW as an adult, I love dropping the “space camp twice” bomb on anyone who thinks I’m not nerdy enough to love astronomy. Boom! Yeah, I know who Neil deGrasse Tyson is and I understand why we’re “all made of stardust.” I only wish I was as bad ass as Astronaut Abby.