Monday, May 31, 2010

Catching up my 365


atching up some 365 photos.

It's frustrating - there's so many times I drive by something I really WANT to take a photo of, but I just can't always find the time. But here's the latest.

I also started a new 365 project. But you'll have to wait a year for me to unveil it. I started thinking about how it's such an era of people taking self-portraits. My daughter takes a lot of photos of herself and her friends on her phone. Kids upload photos of themselves all the time. It's become a somewhat narcissistic age/era in our culture. But how often do 40 something housewives do this? We don't. And we didn't do it when we were their age either. Because we didn't all carry portable cameras around with us and we had to actually pay to get film developed and there are all kind of reasons really too - like the film being notoriously unreliable (all my old Polaroids are fading fast) etc. So I was thinking it would be kind of ironic and tongue in cheek, but fun (in a sort of sick way) to take some sort of photo of myself every day for 365 and call it the narcissism project. But I thought it would be more fun to reveal that in a year when it's totally done. I'm actually kind of liking it. In a weird way it's making me think a lot about who I am and how we present ourselves to the world or what we look like on a daily basis and how sometimes, who we are, literally changes every day. sometime in May of 2011 you can look forward to that - but for now - the regular update.

Thursday, May 27, 2010



o every once in a while I mix it up on my blog with a post about religion or politics. Which usually gets me in trouble somehow! So here goes nothing. (though I can't see how this post is really controversial)

This month I picked the book club book for a club I've been going to and that is basically my friend Suzanne's book club. I hate the pressure of picking a book. I sort of wanted to pick something I had not read yet, but then how do you know if it's going to be good? I debated a lot before settling on one I had been wanting to read and just started called "Eat Pray Love" by Elizabeth Gilbert.

Here's the thing about this book. I find the character sometimes incredibly selfish and annoying and at other times I relate to some of what she says. I think she sometimes says things that are profound and other times, I would like to medicate her and tell her to calm her butt down. The jury is still out - I'm only 2/3 of the way finished.

BUT...yesterday I read this little section that I found deeply moving regarding faith:

"The search for God is a reversal of the normal, mundane worldly order. In the search for God, you revert from what attracts you and swim toward that which is difficult. You abandon your comforting and familiar habits with the hope (the mere hope!) that something greater will be offered to you in return for what you've given up. Every religion in the world operates on the same common understandings of what it means to be a good disciple - get up early, pray to your God, hone your virtues, be a good neighbor, respect yourself and others, master your cravings. WE all agree that it would be easier to sleep in, and many of us do, but for millennia there have been others who choose instead to get up before the sun and wash their faces and go to their prayers. And then fiercely try to hold on to their devotional convictions throughout the lunacy of another day.

The devout of this world perform their rituals without guarantee that anything good will ever come of it. Of course there are plenty of scriptures and plenty of priests who make plenty of promises as to what your good works will yield(or threats as to the punishments awaiting you if you lapse), but to even believe all this is an act of faith, because nobody amongst us is shown the endgame. Devotion is diligence without assurance. Faith is a way of saying "Yes, I re-accept the terms of the universe and I embrace in advance what I am presently incapable of understanding." There's a reason we refer to "leaps of faith" - because the decision to consent to any notion of divinity is a mighty jump from the rational over to the unknowable, and I don't care how diligently scholars of every religion will try to sit you down with their stacks of books and prove to you through scripture that their faith is in deed rational; it isn't. If faith were rational, it wouldn't be -- by definition -- faith. Faith is belief in what you cannot see or prove or touch. Faith is walking face-first and full0speed into the dark. If we truly knew all the answers in t advance as to the meaning of life and the nature of God and the destiny of our souls, our belief would not be a leap of faith and it would not be a courageous act of humanity; it would just be...a prudent insurance policy.

I'm not interested in the insurance industry. I'm tired of being a skeptic, I'm irritated by spiritual prudence and I feel bored and parched by empirical debate. I don't want to hear it anymore. I couldn't care less about evidence and proof and assurances. I just want God. I want God inside me. I want God to play in my bloodstream the way sunlight amuses itself on water.

faith my not be the exact same as Elizabeth Gilbert's but I have to say I found this profound, and really lovely.

Some people say Faith is like a little seed...if planted it will grow. But sometimes, faith is a leap, literally and figuratively.


Sunday, May 23, 2010

Welcome to the Blog Cafe - Matt's Big Breakfast Today

So today we're going to take a little visit to a place called Matt's Big Breakfast. There are a few things that are really cool about Matt's - first, it's hard to get a table. They have you sign in on a little sheet of lined notebook paper they leave outside the door, and you put down how many in your party and they'll walk outside and let you know when they have room. In the meantime, they provide a little shade and some lovely orange flavored water to drink while you wait.

If you want to take a step across the street a block to the farmer's market, just write down beside your name "farmer's market" that way if they call your name and you aren't there, they'll wait and keep trying until you come back from your shopping spree.

Anybody remember the opening scene of the movie "Psycho" where they pan across the Phoenix skyline? This the the building you see in that scene, and also what you'll stare at across the way while you wait outside:

But when we finally get a seat it's soooo worth it. Because Matt's uses local produce only - and local farmer's who provide his bacon and eggs. It's super delicious. Like ridiculously delicious. And even if you aren't feeling like super heavy breakfast items, they have some other yummy yummy things, like a side of sourdough toast with homemade strawberry preserves, or fresh squeezed orange juice from local Phoenix oranges. You're going to love it. When it get's close to lunch time they also have things like grilled cheese, and egg salad. But mostly, it's a breakfast place and it's the best breakfast you'll ever have.Who still serves RC cola? Well, for some reason Matt does.

Oh yeah, and Food Network has featured this restaurant at least twice:

Okay so now that we're settled in at our window seat and feeling sorry for those people still waiting outside to get a table,

Let's open up our topic of discussion today. This week my parents were visiting from out of town. I grew up in a small town in Idaho and my parents still live there. There were great things about living there - like swimming in the ditch next to my house, roaming through the fields when I was bored and making huts out of grass and reeds, and generally feeling cozy (though all my fondest memories are of summer...not a big fan of the bitter cold winters...) But at any rate, I love living in Phoenix now and it's always interesting to me when my parents visit because I think they really like it too. But it's like they can't ever imagine themselves living here. And it's hard for them to accept that this is my home now, and I really imagine myself living here forever. There's a lot to love about this place, and frankly, if I'm being honest, I like it A LOT more than I liked living in rural Idaho. So one day I asked my mom - "Mom, if money were like no object at all - where else would you live besides where you do now? I mean, I know that you really like where you live (she's 69 and she's lived there her whole life) but where ELSE would you think about living or where do you think would be cool to live if you could just live anywhere you wanted BESIDES Idaho. And she really had to think about that. Like nothing just came to her mind immediately. And then I asked my dad and he sort of had the same response. And the most my mom could really come up with was that parts of Northern Idaho and Montana where they had recently been were "nice" and "I guess that might be okay". And I was like...well, sort of astounded. Because as much as I truly love where I live now - I have TONS of other places I would consider living if money were no object and there was no worry about income or jobs or kids or schools or whatever. And this is only a partial list, but I would seriously consider:

The greek islands

the coast of california, especially a house off a cliff around Big Sur:

The coast of Italy:

A Washington DC Brownstone near Dupont:

The Isle of Skye in Scotland:

San Francisco:


or a Malibu beachhouse:

so two questions fellow blog cafe goers:

1. Do you ever dream about or imagine living somewhere else even if you love where you live right now?


2. Where would you go?

(And if you've never visited to the blog cafe before be sure to check the link on the sidebar for the calendar to see where we're meeting each Monday, anyone can join in the conversation, and if you're interested in hosting just look at the link and request to host and they'll get in touch with you about a date)

I'm interested to hear what you have to say!


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