Thursday, June 26, 2008

sticky notes - peek into my life

The list of "to-dos" (both personal and world related) that inevitably pile up on my clipboard notepad at work, in no particular order, but the ones from today happen to be particularly ridiculous in their obscurity.....

1. Do a criminal background check on YOURSELF, on the contract website

2. Bring an old bra to work

3. Scan, scan, scan

4. Breathe and sit up straight

5. Key Lady Project

6. Delete clients who have passed away

I apologize for that last one....but really, thats what I wrote down


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Power to the People

I just can't help but really EXCITED that this could possibly happen. How awesome would that be!?


How to appear put together when you're really not

So, I tend to be slightly disorganized yet keenly aware of whats going all times. It's my plight. My ever-lasting sitaution that I have learned to embrace. And over the past few weeks I have also been making a mental note on how to avoid actually looking that way. Cause in reality, even though it tends not to show, there is a lot going on up there! I swear! But sometimes it doesnt translate into finding my keys or remembering that one movie....and other socially 'important at the moment' type things. So, this list might only apply to me, but I find these tips helpful and have a sneaking suspicion that I am not the only one hiding their crazieness.

1. Make these, and throw a few on some ice-cream, if you have guests over and people will be talking about it for the rest of the night. And they keep! It's the small things folks, and Pioneer Woman knows how to rock them.

2. For girls: Make sure to have a 'carry all' type purse that looks good with a dress up outfit and a sweatshirt! Such as the target version of this.

3. At work: Always keep your thumb on the Alt button and your middle finger on the Tab button so that you can quickly switch back to your excell sheet or outlook inbox from whatever you're not supposed to be reading or doing online. And don't take this the gross way, I'm only suggesting that People or CNN or gasp PerezHilton not be up on your screen. But yeah, try it. Hold Alt, then click tab. It's magic.

4. If you're a 9-5er like me or even volunteering or whatever else that involves office type work, carry a nice olf fashioned wooden clip board around. They make you feel amazing, and they're only 97 cents. 97 cents people!

5. Mascara and lip gloss. Easy peasy.

6. Keep your public transit "tracker" phone number in your cell phone. Even if you don't take public transportation, it is a good resource for keeping up on construction going on in your city that could hinder your commute or attempt to get to happy hour, major delays, checking on intersection locations, one way streets, events going on in your city, how to find a bus you need if your car breaks down, or traffic. Tri-Met is one of my-favs on my cell, but I'm just a freak like that.

7. Take notes. Always. Meetings. Events. Interviews. Even if you're on the phone with your best friend and forgot to mention something to them or a reminder to look something up that we're trying to do in Vegas, write yourself a note, keep a sticky note pad on your nightstand, cause God knows you'll forget 23 and half minutes later. And by you, of course I mean me.

8. Wear sunglasses when it's sunny. Simply as that. Go by a 10 dollar target pair, a pair of 'bug eye' shades if you're feeling trendy, and not only will you deter the line forming between your eyebrows, but you won't look confused! Recently, if I forget my sunglasses or just forget for a few moments after leaving new seasons to get them off my head and put them on my face, have been wincing in pain and confusion as to why...a) i cant see anything and ....b)people are starting to stare at my surely unattractive scrunching of the face. And it also proves extremel effective when you're sitting at the bus stop on the way to work, getting in a little "i can't read on the bus cause i'll puke like im 7 years old and on a roadtrip" reading, that no one will notice you cry. Damn books. They get me every time. But my sunglasses keep others from knowing.


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

If you're armed, you can't hug

There is a huge "anti-China" sentiment in our country currently. Everyone is talking about how we're not keeping up with the Chinese, and how we're in debt to them, and how they make everything now, and blah blah blah. I have my own personal opinion about China, which I will refrain from explaining, but the whole thing really seems to me more of a ego issue for our government than anything else. Because, we're American, we can't possibly not be the most powerful country in the world, eek, help, not fair! Despite all the whining and the fear and the stupidity, on the part of the government, the general public, and media, our government has no problem being involved in arms dealership with them in the middle east. No problem at all. Cause apparently that whole 'foe' factor doesnt really come into play when we're dealing with money and guns and continued unrest in the middle east. No worries, we can overlook the fact that we trash talk them all the time and make sure we get our money and of course fulfill our "protection" responsibilites in the middle east. And they really just don't care that these kinds of things keep happening, which in the end only makes the US seem more sleezy. Even if these 'allegations' don't turn out to be true, or somehow the US officials involved somehow are safeguarded by the administration (oops I mean 'exonerated'), they have still managed to do just that, create more scum that is getting harder and harder for our country to wash off. Way to go Bush. When will they learn?


Monday, June 23, 2008

The Ghosts of Years Past - 11 through 17 years old

11 years old - My sister and I dug a hole in my backyard, underneath the swingset that my father built, to China. We were determined....for about three hours.

12 years old - I wore a striped blue shirt and new dark wash jeans to my first day of junior high. It was also Maria's first day of preschool. We practically matched and the smiles were never bigger as we posed for pictures on the front lawn. I had Ms. Green for homeroom and I got to sit near Katie and Maris. It rocked.

13 years old - I got called Ellen (ie lesbian) by my former Twin McHottie crush because I had a picture of Gwen Stefanie (and No Doubt) on my forest green binder. Also, Kathleen and I would go downtown every other week after mass to watch a matinee movie.

14 years old - In Mr. McKay's freshmen year homeroom Gabby and I made up a song/dance to "whip it" by Divo. There was also a senior in my health class who had nor-plant in her arm. She was nuts.

15 years old - Maria fell off the swings, because I didn't catch her in time, and broke her arm. She got a white cast and then decided to cut off her bangs. She looked homeless for awhile.

16 years old - I went on a trip to visit my dad on his "business trip". It turned out he was in rehab. That trip was a peek into the forthcoming familial chaos and also was the setting for my first kiss with a guy named Max. My sister and I swam every night in the hotel pool.

17 years old - I sweated through Ms. Shaddy's AP history and english clases and I almost fell down the stairs when she pulled me aside to compliment my Song of Solomon Final Essay. And lets not forget the time I held Maris' hair as she turned green and puked in the garbage can outside.


Friday, June 20, 2008

Why I love Maris Jean Jager

I just recieved the meanest email I have ever recieved from a family member. In response to me sharing my soon to be reality dream of going to Africa and volunteering, I was responded to with judgement and not one ounce of joy. High horse preaching followed, with a ever-present dash of 'youre not as enlightened as me cause I went to rehab and I'm going to share my recovery with you' bullshit. And the one person, who can probably most relate to this crap, Maris Jean Jager, is the reason for this self-centered woe is me yet 'dont i have the best friends ever' blog. She responded with just the right amount of anger, support, and a fabulous ending setence....

"and if he cant see that, then he should go bask in his privileged upbringing and self-centered existence a little more. He doesn't know anythin"

I am shocked. In a good way. Feeling out of breath by how amazing and quick to action she was, and all my friends are, in their efforts to back me up. To us. Clink. So hopefully that cross-america cheers will help me wake myself from the fog that this black cloud, which decended so rapidly and forcefully, has already placed over my day.


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Sometimes, all I want to do is be a Shrink

I am a huge neuroscience nerd, hard to the core. And since I am equally a fan of sarcasm and all other forms of wit, I found this article to be the highlight of my day. It's freaking sweet.


Monday, June 16, 2008

The Ghosts of Years Past 3 - 10

Last night at our 'nightcap' dessert celebration, Ali came up with a game to commemorate my birthday. For every year of my life, that I could remember, I was to share my favorite memory, or one that stood out in my mind. And since we both love talking about ourselves (we are damn good at it) I jumped on it, plus it was a great way to cap a not so great day. Some of these are the ones I shared with Ali last night, and others have popped into my head since that rummaging session last night.

Ages 3 - 10

3 years old - one of my first memories of all time. We learned french in preschool, in the basement of st joe's gradeschool. You know when you close your eyes and the outline and 'negative' of what you were just looking at is 'visible' on the inside of your eyelid for a few seconds, well I remember closing my eyes as he spoke french to us, and having the outline of his head appear in orange, red, black, blue etc. I was fascinated. And I even remember the desk I was sitting at, in front of him to my right, a primary color 'little person' desk.

4 years old - We got our cat, from the drummer of my dad's first band. We named her muffin. She was a long haired calico.

5 years old - I was in Ms. DeForest's class, a friend of my parents from college who was dating another one of their SU friends, and I really really needed to know when they were getting married. So I asked, during story time. Even at a young age, I was a huge flaming gossip.

6 years old - I couldn't find underwear, so I wore swimsuit bottoms to school. That was also the year that I figured out what a crush was, and had one on the same guy till I was 12. Yeah.

7 years old - We had a summer school in our tree fort in our back yard. Caitlin, being the oldest, was of course the teacher, and Alex, Rosemary, James, and I were the students. We even had homework and little tiny desks. It was awesome.

8 years old - Our parents pulled over to a rest stop on the way to visit my great grandmother and the family farm in Oregon, they told us we were soon going to have an addition to our family. Caitlin immediately thought we were getting a horse. My mother, in her grey tshirt dress, told us she was pregnant and that we would have a little sibbling! Caitlin and I then spent the next 9 months thinking of baby names and pulling them out of hats in our shared bedroom every night before going to sleep.

9 years old - Maria was born. I used to go into her room and pick her up while she was sleeping. One time she woke up and screemed. Mostly she didn't.

10 years old - my neighborhood girlfriends and I had sleepovers as often as possible. We grew tired of our the anxiety of asking our parents for permission, and their sometimes "nos" so we made up a "may we please have a sleepover" song. We even had harmony, we were so freaking awesome, and they could barely ever say no.


Friday, June 13, 2008

PS: Um yeah,

The most frequent hit I get on my blog, accounting for 90 percent of the hits (other than the general blog hits) is my blog titled "Hey, where are the enema kits I ordered?". Ummmm yeah, I didn't realize enemas were that sought after :)


Birthday Weekend Pre-Jitter

Phew. I have finally gotten most of my "check this out energy" onto this blog. Sorry you had to endure all the music vomit lately, but I am back, live and in person! So the weekend is filled with some pretty fun activities (thanks Ali!), some much needed pampering at a salon, and seattle visitors! I'm a little worried about the hair appointment though, which I was excited about I could pee my pants, but its now becoming less appealing because a thorough review of the comments on citysearch find it to be not so great. And its not just a sprinkling of bad reviews, it's MOSTLY bad reviews, so please cross your fingers :) But regardless of the fact that I could be wearing hats for about two months following saturday, I am so incredibly happy to be going into this weekend of fun. I do wish I could have certain people in town to celebrate with me, but a dessert and drinks outing on saturday, a hike, brunch with family, and hopefully much more laughter and picture taking :) will fill my time and I will post all the crazy good times at some point next week :)

While you're waiting for my updates, patiently yet eagerly I'm sure - please check out Lauren and Ali's blogs. Lauren is documenting her solo trip through Paris and Ali has just finished her first year of subbing and has some gems of wisdom from that experience. I know, I have amazing friends and sometimes I wonder why they put up with me!?


Monday, June 9, 2008

These. Kids. ROCK.

this deserved its own post. It's amazing. And i'm well aware that I use that word alot, but I really really mean it this time.......Recently I have rediscovered some of those beautiful female singers of the nineties, think Alanis, Shawn Colvin, Paula Cole, Tracy Chapman, and came across this cover of a Tori Amos song "Flying Dutchman" by a youth choir in new york city. This one is for my "mr holland opus" loving teacher of a roomate. :) these kids sing like nothing else. It's shockingly beautiful. Hahaha and check out the girl in tye-dye, a born performer :)


You heard it here first, Edition 4, Volume II

And it continues...le sigh....

1. Everyone remembers that lovely but overplayed "now I'll go to Bosstoooon" song from awhile back. It was fun, poppy, and that perfect balance of melancholy and beautiful. Well Augustana is back with another sweet song. Sweet and Low, to be exact. It's suprisingly better, similarly comforting in its 'manufactured sounding', but its awesome. So booyah. (Although my father would dissaprove, his recipe for a silly pop song is one that goes into its chorus within less than 30 seconds - and this one definitely falls into that category).

2.O.M.G. Cute boy slightly acoustic soul-pop. My weakness. My ultimate 'I will never grow out of this'. It's so clean and sincere and innocent. Well, Jason Mraz falls into this group and borders on vulgarity sometimes, but thats a story for another time. So, his name is Matt Duke. He's amazing. And cute. So there. Try "Sex and Reruns" and "I've got atrophy on the brain".

3. Sia is an artist that I found threw the weird self torture that persists when I can't rip myself away from A&E's documentary-esque show titled, and is pretty self explanatory as, Intervention. Her style is ecclectic, a little bit Annie Lennox, a little bit Jewel, and a little bit just plain awesome. The most chill, and haunting, of her songs is Breathe Me.

4. About a year ago now, I was rocking out to their alternative sound, but for some reason have not revisited them untill I was reminded of them by alternative portland radio. (Thank you KNRK for your ever revealing wisdom. I am dying a little bit inside each morning when I don't get to listen to Gustav and the Jon Stewart minutes. That was the only good thing about that house, the huge stereo that blared as a I got ready naked and alone). Ok, focus, the band. My Morning Jacket. One of my fav is Run Thru (a little bit trippy, not gonna lie), but others of late are "Touch me, I'm going to Scream" as currently being played on the best station in portland, right ali?

5. Some of my music is so far back in my emails, I don't even remember where I found it, those are kinda the most fun to research or share. This one is Esthero, apparently been around a long time, but her/their song "Never gonna let you go" makes me really really wish that 'my' ipod could have withstanded my several drops so I could still see the face and actually still put my music on it. And the more I listen to it, the more I just want to dance around for hours in my newly 'acquired' soft as hell holynames sweats. Holllah.

7. And a giant shoutout to the new music by Coldplay (what I wouldn't give to be able to write music like you can) and some of my "I haven't had the time that your greatness requires, to listen and appreciate" groups such as the new Radiohead, Weezer, Counting Crows, Jewel (doing that country soul thing she does so well) and the Kooks. They all have new or soon to be released stuff. I am ashamed. I'll leave it at that.


Sunday, June 8, 2008

You heard it here first, Edition 4, Volume 1

Wow. So I thought it hadn't been that long since I last posted one of these oh so important music review thingies that I work so hard on, but then I looked at the last one and it was over 2 months ago! Sheesh, not only have I been denying all of my lovely readers (I got a hit from Estonia and the US Virgin Islands in the past few days - how random) but I have also let my emails to myself, at work - that i then drag into my personal folder with all sorts of 'look into this' reminders whenever I think of someone or some song, get really really long. So I have decided to split my suggestions into three volumes. So here we go. I am bursting with excitement over several of these and feel that the collection as a whole is very diverse and summer-playlist ready. Enjoy.

1. Ok. First, is the new Janet Jackson. Called Feedback. Enough Said. I love it. It makes me want to run faster. Thank you Janet. And I wouldn't mind if she remixed it with Missy Elliot. I'm just sayin.

2. I have a small place in my heart for old rockers. Older guys who keep rocking, even though they have families and probably don't sell as many albums, and they just do it cause they love it, and they do it right. Busch frontman, hello Mr. Gavin Rossdale (aka mr gwen stefani), has a new album and he definitely holds his own. It's all about respecting your elders.

3. This next one is pretty silly, but oh so hilarious and catchy - pure pop bliss. And I want her style. At least some of it.

dedicated to sarah davidson :)

4. Everything that comes out of rockafella records seems to be fabulous right now, think Jay-Z, Kanye, John Legend, so its no wonder that this Motown throwback girl is rockin it. It's a fun summer, catchy song that has me smiling about America. One of my rare patriotic moments.

American Boy - Estelle

5. Originally done by one of my favorite singer/songwriters - Joseph Arthur, this song called "In the Sun" has been covered by many people throughout the nineties and up untill today. This version has REM, Chris Martin, and was done for a benefit concert/album for Katrina. It reminds me of those people/bands combined, throw in a little U2, and a sprinkling of tear-jerking. The joseph arthur version is a little bit more haunting, but this one is excellent as well (plus I just love Michael Stipes voice).

6. Her album "under rug swept" is one of my favorite overall albusm of all time, so when I heard this song, I was completely brought back to my sophmore year of college, with my jacque, on the third floor of mehling, with that album always in our stereo. Literally. that album, one by gavin degraw, and one by OAR. that was a great year for music in our room. Her new one is called "Underneath". I never get tired of her brilliance. I don't want to overwhelm this blog with videos, so I will let all you go find this on youtube. The video is a little weird, but good-weird.

7. Thank you jesus for VH1, I found this gem of a song, with a suprisingly fun video, over break at my mothers house. Its called chasing pavements, by Adele. Part of the new british invasion into pop music. But she's my favorite so far. More authentic than the others I think. But thats jusy my humble opinion. Enjoy.

8. I tip my hat to Hanley, one of my like minded music friends, for reccomending this group in her "music edification" blog. Thank you Hanley Helen. The New Pornogrpahers. Wooot. Its called 'Sing my Spanish Techno'.

More (Vol 2) to come on my lunch break tomorrow. Off for my second run of the day, ten minute runs, mind you, but I'm getting back into it, slooowwly but surely, so I can do THIS in september with Curly. I can't wait for her to get back from her year in Germany!

ps: Guess what's in one week? :)


Friday, June 6, 2008

No one will ever date us if we keep ON like this....

And, we're BACK

Me: Well, he was kind of cute, adorable actually
Ali: yeah
Me: except he had a lisp
Ali: but thats not a big deal, you could just make out with him and fix that, strengthen his tongue and all
me: ummmmm
Ali: we can never go out together


Thursday, June 5, 2008

Other things I need to place somewhere

The tangible power of being extremely tall (excentuated by heels), mostly blonde and redheaded, and for the most part good looking - is beyond avoidable. The attention we get when we migrate in groups of such nature is extremely interesting to watch unfold. To see the thoughts splash across their faces as they notice what can't help but be noticed. They check for heels, they check for others, as if to see where these giants are coming from, its rather hilarious. But mainly its our ridiculousness, sometimes loud and abrasive and so very there, but also (hopefully?) endearing. It gets me every time.

Body language on the bus. I could watch people all. day. long.

How sad (in its rarity and ability to excite) yet nice it is to get a compliment from my grandmother. Even if it is about my complexion (ha, I know, righ?), when all I really want is for her to stop telling me I'm going to get Elephantitis in South Africa. Thank you grandpa for standing up for me (and for South Africa), even if your attempt at positive input was drowned out by the time it reached us in the backseat of your oldsmobile. Why must she be so difficult to plug into? And hey grandpa, where did your awesome pimped out truck go? Don't tell me you traded it back in for this old person car.

Sue Taylor has the ability to look at me and know exactly what I am thinking. To have her so 'in your face support' is breathtaking and confirms that what is going on up there is not totally crazy. She uses her pointer finger a grab of the forearm to tell you how much she adores you. I am lucky to get a much coveted reference letter. And when her baby boy is graduating from highschool, one who I witnessed as the most sensitive and intelligent boy throughout all of his years in 'my family' and his bumpy ride through the much too white seattle prep highschool, the only appropriate thing to do is stand up and scream for him. That's how we roll. Thank you to Benaroya Hall for your lovely acoustics, we couldn't have done it without you. Goodluck at Hampton Bennett!

The so very bizarre-ness of my family's comfort with nakedness. Walking around the house in pajama bottoms and bras, or completely naked except for a clutched towel after showers, without a thought. Stripping down right there and then to try on an outfit and requesting a fasion consultation while being in the midst of a telephone call, just inches away from being in plain view of the kitchen windows of the family next door. We bare all, for better or for the worse. It gives me hope, to see that comfort, and good God does it make me laugh. If the neighbors only knew.

*That is all that needed to be spewed out. Many of them are unfinished thoughts and maybe not understandable to everyone, but all have been swimming around.

PS: A few days with cable and ready to use internet has fueled my list of "you must check these out" musicians and songs, so please ready yourself for another edition of my beloved (probably only to me) music blog. It is either going to be massive or split into many blogs. It will offset the dark and rather too personal blogs of late.



Going home to seattle, to see my family, has a way of completely ripping my heart out of my chest. Yet at the same time, it takes it and places it amongst the things I love and reflects back to me why I keep coming back. But regardless of the nostalgia and love, especially in connection to a celebration of one of the brightest of the Jesse folk, it is utterly draining to experience (even for only two full days) how immensely not ok my family is. The emotional chaos involved in being the most mature and patient person is only outdone by having to be the parent to my childlike mother. To see the ways in which she self medicates, self destructs, and lets the rage and self pity take over her psyche, all in blatant view of my baby sister, breaks my heart a thouseand times over. I really thought we had made more progress than this. I really thought that she was maybe turning the corner. But apparently I have been fooling myself. So much of it is not because of my father, and not because of the divorce, but because of her. And as she stomped into her room and slammed the door, acting younger than the child she was fighting with, I flashbacked to my highschool experience and was reminded of the reality that the worst is yet to come.

ps: sorry this is so dark, I guess I'm just keeping it real.


Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Maria, the last fourteen in pieces

My baby sister. 14 years old. Graduating from 8th grade. Moving on to Holynames. All very huge milestones in life, and especially in the Jesse Family. She's joining the ears pierced club, she's getting "grandma's bustline" that we are eternally grateful for, and she's becoming one of the Jesse Women. A great group, a tall group, and a proud clan. And as she is learning great things about life, I am continually learning new things about her. Because we don't live in the same house or even in the same city, it breaks my heart a little bit each day to know that I am not learning these things day by day, but having them all come to the surface on a weekend trip home is almost kind of better. All the more exciting and touching. One thing I've witnessed so far this weekend is that she is absolutely adored by so many people. Not that I ever doubted or not known that, but to see it come pouring out in letters and hugs and palanka's and requests to attend her graduation is pretty amazing. And if you even knew how slappable her little tushy was, you would adore her too. Also, she is a really good writer. And I mean really good writer. Full of (to me) 'cute by hindsight' teenage angst and childhood trauma, she's writes a little bit older than her years and I am very very proud of that.

Another aspect of our lives as sisters is how much of our existence is reflected by our relationship with the Taylor family. To be seen as daughters and sisters by them is so clear in Ed's sudden yet biting remarks that leave everyone with wide open grins and Sue's 'bordering on anger' eyes when she insists on our intelligence and beauty. And the lasting reminder of my sister, and my family, is the way in which Evan and Maria will never stop laughing. They laugh constantly, without provocation, and listening to themselves giggle apparently is the funniest part. In our eyes, they will never ever ever cease to be the giggling girls in the back of the car. Regardless of age or distance, the Jesse's and the Taylors will remain a constant reminder of my baby sister, of her laughter and her intelligence and of our bond.

"When I am with my girls, we laugh and laugh and laugh, like a long spaghetti noodle, floating down your throat, with what seems like no end"
-Maria Kathleen Jesse