Tuesday, August 26, 2008

She's only happy when it's raining

Apparently Faye has made her way to Birmingham. It's been raining for the better part of the night.

Lately I've become a bit of a night owl, I mean, I always have been. I prefer to sleep late and stay up late and although I know it's not really all that good for me, I don't really care. I like the night time. The only thing better than night time is night time with a good heavy rain beating down all around you.

As I sit here snuggled on the couch with my love, Elu, I have started to feel extremely nostalgic, if that's the emotion I'm looking for, maybe it's a little of hope mixed in with it. I know that rain can be a damper to several things, things I like to do, like be outside climbing and camping, etc. but much more than the fact that it can ruin certain human plans, it is a cycle of nature; one that we need. Rain is the beginning of new life, we need rain to give nutrients to the soil to help plants grow and plant life is just the beginning of the food chain, you know the rest: animals eat vegetation and so on and so forth, the cycle continues and life is sustained. Rain comes in more forms than just precipitation. Rain can come in your life too.

"Rain" can be a break-up, a change in job, anything where you feel like things are just crashing down around you... but if those things didn't crash down, like a giant tree in the rain forest, there would be no room for new growth in your life. Things have to come to an end in order for new things to start.

Like this move: There are people in my life, here in Birmingham that I am absolutely devastated to leave behind, but in order to fully grow and mature, I have to make room in my life. My life, metaphorically and literally is so very crowded with stuff. My house is crammed full of crap. Stuff that I don't need, stuff that I feel I need to hold onto forever, for no particular reason. Also my life is filled with emotional stuff. This town holds my entire life wrapped up in it's buildings, gutters, streets, residents, and even the smog. I have a memory of almost every major place in this town, everywhere I frequent holds my stories, both good and bad and most people I hang out with know the good bad and the ugly about me. For the most part it's very very comforting to be able to walk into a place that you know like the back of your hand and expect to see at least five people you know, and they know you. To be greeted by your first name when you walk in the door and asked about your day, as if people really care. In that respect, I'm terrified to leave this town. My mother is five blocks away if I ever need her, my best friends are 10 and 20 minutes from my house, and could be here at a moments notice if I needed them. When I move, I'll only know one person, and although she's a wonderful person, what if living out there she's the only person I'll ever make friends with?

Oh the what--ifs, I know I'll be fine, and if I'm not then I can come home, home's not going anywhere. But I know that I need to give myself some room to grow. It's time I venture out on my own, away from my comfort zone and let the proverbial (and hopefully some real) rain drops hit my face.

So I don't like to sing that old kids' song "rain rain go away." instead let's embrace the rain and see what new life pops up with the sun comes out.

Monday, August 25, 2008

today's project

the bathroom!

organizing and getting rid of make-up, old shampoo bottles, vitamins, meds etc.

WOW. who knew a bathroom could have so much stuff???

Saturday, August 23, 2008


I have this friend. He's not a best friend, he's not a person who knows every detail about my life, but he always gets me... He's my go-to when my best friends are unavailable, pissing me off, or just not able to give me the insight that I'm looking for at the time (I mean NO disrespect to my best friends when I say this). He's really good at bringing me back to Earth and reminding me that the world is not against me, it's not all my fault, and no, Tricia, you don't suck! I've had many conversations with him about "life", if that's what we're calling it these days... After a recent breakdown he emailed me this, and I must say, it helps to read it... so here you go internet world... here is the Desiderata.

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible, without surrender,
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even to the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
they are vexatious to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter,
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs,
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love,
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace in your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.


Friday, August 22, 2008

Update on me...

Sorry I haven't been updating the 'ole blog very much lately, I've been a mess.

I've been mainly trying to get all my crap together for this move, but in conjunction with that I've been blowing off a lot of much needed steam. Now, more than ever before I've been a regular at Baileys. I've been making new friends just to leave them in two weeks and I've been keeping my real friends at arms-length. I'm sure this has a lot to do with the fact that it's easier to leave the people I love if I go on and stop hanging out with them now, I know that's absurd, but must be what I'm feeling.

I woke up early today and Chris and I started cleaning the house and packing things in boxes and making a HUGE dent in the amount of things that has to be done at the house before I leave September 1. I've got four pile of stuff: one pile is the things that are going with me (a relatively small pile). Another pile of things that are going in storage for an undetermined amount of time, another pile that needs to be sub-piled into things that I will need to have shipped to me at different times, and the last pile is things to give away.

I've decided against the garage sale in its formal sense, but I am selling things to friends here and there, mainly big stuff, but also little nick knack kinds of things, so if any one's in the market for anything from a king-sized bed, bedroom suite down to coasters, let me know I've got them.

Okay, back to cleaning and packing and them making some dinner, I plan to reward my hard work with a tasty adult beverage at Bailey's later...

Monday, August 18, 2008

just a couple of pictures from Disney World

First upon arriving in Orlando, (after checking into our hotel) we went to the Animal Kingdom theme park. My mother and sister actually got on some roller coasters, which is hilarious, 'cause they are the total opposite of me when it comes to thrill seeking!

This is a picture of the Expedition Everest! It was amazing!
really cool fake tree... The next day consisted of Epcot and Magic Kingdom.

We started off at Epcot. We rode the Figment ride, which is my favorite since I was little, I got a figment toy and tee shirt!!
we got to ride in the front of the monorail between the parks. that may have been the coolest thing ever!
then we went to the Magic Kingdom and played until night time, saw the fireworks and went back to the hotel and crashed out.
The last day we spent the whole day at Hollywood Studios, we saw the coolest stunt show ever!

okay, there's the quick overview of Disney, you really just need to go and see it for yourself.


TWO WEEKS from Today and I am leaving town. I'm getting more and more terrified by the second, but that's also kinda exhilerating.

I know I owe you guys Disney Stories, and I need to let you guys know all about my trip to Chattanooga (which if I come back east will be my future home, that town ROCKS). But first I have to do things that I promised myself I would get done yesterday:
install roof rack on car
begin trunk organization
boxes/packing tape acquisition
return box fan to mother and retrieve keys.

So, I'm gonna go take care of those things and get back to you (with pictures) later tonight.

Friday, August 8, 2008

re-thinking the move...

First off, I'm still going!!!

BUT we've hit the first major hick-up- Granger, my travel companion/climbing partner is no longer going to be able to go with me.

Can we say solo road trip?

I'm taking donations of any and all books on tape, amazing road-trip music and/or cell phone minutes.

I think this may end up being really good for me-a solo soul searching drive.

HOWEVER, I will gladly accept anyone who wants to sit in the car for three days with me.
I've also decided to change the route now, as I will not be climbing in the New or Red River gorges, unless I find a climbing partner stat! Anyone out there taken this particular trip and have a favorite route in which I will NOT die of boredom through the mid-west?

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Girl Fight?

Have you ever just really wanted to kick someone's ass?

I mean, I'm a girl, (by no means a girly girl) but most defintitely a passive girl. I've spent countless nights out with my guy friends having to break up fights and stop them from punching someone who was not nice to me, and I just think fighting is really dumb and pointless.

However, lately I've been having really violent dreams, not like stabbing or really hurting someone, but I've had dreams about getting into a girl fight. I'm talking hair pulling, slapping, punching GIRL FIGHT. (stop it now boys; no shirts are ever ripped off)

I just don't get it, I've never so much as raised a hand at someone (maybe my sister a couple of times, but that's besides the point) I'm wondering if my passiveness has gotten the better of me and caused me to build all this anger inside me and my dreams are letting it out? Who knows. It's just stange.



Mom got a trip to Disney World in a silent auction or something back in April... SO Monday morning we're going to Disney!

Keep in mind the youngest person in our family is 19... so we're really reverting back to childhood here. But I'm pretty stoked about it! The last time I was in Orlando we went to Universal Studios and that was pretty wicked, more roller coaters and whatnot, but this time we're doing the actual Disney World parks. Three more days at my job and then we're off to Florida! I feel like I was just there... Oh, right I was!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

To be fair...

I realize my rant may have gotten away from me and I should probably clarify:

so... I made up the Taiwan thing, North Face is made partially at home, but a lot of it is outsourced to China (I think its China). but they did sell out to Vanity Fair in 2000, and the quality has gone down-hill since then. I have a jacket that I bought in 1995 and it's STILL in tact, but I see kids come in with jackets from last year that are falling apart. It's all about making you spend more money.

AND since I bashed one outdoor apparel company yesterday, I need to set the universe right by uplifting one of my favorites:


Patagonia was founded by a guy named Yvon Chouinard, circa 1950. He was nothing more than a bum climber, hoping trains to get to new climbing spots and overstaying the parks' two week limits. He and his band of brothers were known as the Valley Cong, hiding from rangers and selling pitons for $1.50 out of the back of their truck. They never looked at the new "business" as a way to get rich, they just wanted to climb and thought that everyone deserved to be able to do what they enjoy without breaking the bank. The first Chouinard catalog was published in 1972.

The clothing business came later than the piton business, but was simultaneous in nature. Back in the 60's men didn't have "outdoor fashion" there was no such thing. Chouinard wore rugby shirts to climb in, claiming that the collar kept the slings and gear from rubbing his neck, eventually the "fad" as it were caught on and they would order Umbro shirts from England and sell them as fast as they got to the states. So they started making clothing for the outdoor enthusiast. They decided to name the company after the region in Chile, because it brings to mind the fantasy of a far-off land full of romance and excitement....

In the 1990's the company began to grow faster than they could handle, so they had to borrow some money, in order to pay off their debts they had to lay off 20% of their work force. This devastated those working for Patagonia and they vowed to never let it happen again, they have kept growth to a moderate level ever since.

Now, Patagonia is one of the best companies to work for:

Since 1984 we have had no private offices, an architectural arrangement
that sometimes creates distractions but also helps keep communication open. That
year we opened a cafeteria where employees can gather throughout the day that to
this day serves healthy, mostly vegetarian food. And we also opened, at Malinda
Chouinard's insistence, an on-site child care center, at the time one of only
150 in the country (today there are more than 3,000). The presence of children
playing in the yard, or having lunch with their parents in the cafeteria helps
keep the company atmosphere more familial than corporate. We also continue to
offer – mostly for the benefit of working parents but also for others – flexible
working hours and job sharing.

Patagonia also sponsors company ski and climbing trips, and continues to make the environment fun and healthy to work in.

In addition to all these things, the most important to you as a consumer is Patagonia's effort to be eco-friendly. Since 1970 Patagonia as a company has been working with grass roots efforts to protect the environment, in 1986 they began donating 10% of profits every year to help grass roots groups. Later, they amended that by offering 1% sales or 10% profit, which ever was GREATER...

They are constantly searching for more environmentally friendly fabrics, manufacturing processes and packaging. You can recycle your old Capilene (thermal underwear) at any Patagonia retailer and they will be broken down, re-spun and made into new fabrics...

SO when you buy Patagonia, you can feel good about yourself, knowing that you are supporting a company who is supporting YOU, by taking care of the Earth.

You can read about all of Patagonia's history here.

And you can read all about Patagonia's environmental efforts here.

ALSO, you can subscribe to Patagonia's blog: The Cleanest Line and keep up with their continual efforts yourself.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The North Face has outdone themselves this year...

Yesterday when I got to work the truck was there...

AWESOME! That means our fall shipment is here and people can stop asking me "when are you going to get this and that" However, for the last week I'm at work, I have about 300 boxes to go through and organize...

they spilled over into the hallway

and the women's bathroom...
And as I'm going through boxes... I get to the inevitable North Face Denali.
Now if you live in Birmingham (or really anywhere in the south) you've seen kids wearing these jackets, you may even have one yourself, if you do- I'm not hating on you... well, maybe a little.

Okay, so seriously, the North Face Denali jacket is my nemeses. It's trendy to wear a 300 weight fleece jacket in 60 degree weather here. Really? 60 degree weather, you're totally okay wearing a long sleeved tee shirt and sandals. but whatever. SO this year, they have upped the ante (so that kids "have to have" the newest most fashionable one) and now they have a camouflage one.


YES! lets make sure our kids are the trendiest rednecks around. OMG can you kill me now?!?!?

and let's not talk about the fact that North Face sold out to Vanity Fair and now all their jackets are made by kids in Taiwan with bleeding fingers making pennies a day so that your kid can look cool in elementary school in a $100 jacket that they are going to outgrow in a year... INSANITY!!!

I'm a big fan of technical clothing, it can serve a purpose to keep you warm, dry and comfortable while surviving the elements, but when an outdoor company sells out to make crap for kids I get a little irritated . Especially when I have to look at 75 Pink and Camo fleece jackets and have ignorant people come in looking for the "face jackets" or whatever version of butchered dumb ass redneck English they choose to speak.

when I say rednecks, I guess here I'm talking the Jed Clampitts of Alabama, the ones who made a fortune building houses when the market was sky high and everyone wanted brand-new houses. the blue collar millionaires with the mini DVD players for each of their 7 kids and the mini 4-wheelers. The kind of people who dress to the nines but still can't speak English correctly. The kind that still think "the south will rise again" while wearing Ralf Lauren Polos. Alabama suburbanites are really a rare breed.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Ready for a re-cap from the cruise?

OK, here goes: (If you'd like to follow along with the "virtual tour" you may do so here.)

It was amazing!! Dad and Cheri got married at 1 o'clock or something like that in the Viking Lounge, we took some amazing pictures as a new family, I'll have to get them from Dad before I can share them with you.Immediately after the wedding, Brian and I booked it to the pool where we drank beers and tanned. The pool is SALT WATER, how cool is that? Then we changed for the safety drill, it's pretty much torture: 100 degree stagnant weather listening to them explain how to... hell I can't remember what they were saying it was so damn hot!!

Dad and Cheri

Anyway, after that we ate dinner. I cannot even begin to explain the quality of food. There was something like 167 chefs on board the ship and they did and AMAZING job! I think I hate healthier on the ship than I do at home, I guess with the veggies and the proteins and all the yummy food prepared for me, it's hard not to. After dinner they have a "dessert" shot. A different one each night and they all came with souvenir shot glasses. We got into the habit of pouring them into our coffee, like good (fake) Irishmen/women.

After dinner there was lots of drinking, some karaoke and whatnot, I went to bed extremely early and it was nice.

Day two: at sea.
Worked out, Pilate's, climbed the rock wall, ate some food, took a nap (?) went to dinner, yummy after dinner shot, OH, it was formal night at dinner, and after dinner there was a captain's reception and we drank campaign. I was feeling classy, so I ordered a cosmopolitan. Kevin and I stayed in the lounge for a while and the rest of the folks went to the show. After Kevin ditched me, I decided to walk around for a little while. Spotted a rather large group of guys, figured I'd fit in just fine. aside: for those of you who don't know me, I'm not the type of person you would call "shy" So I saunter up to the group and start off with a smile and a "Hey boys, how ya'll doing." I'm never one to use ya'll too much, but it seems to get a positive response when I'm not in the south, and if I've had a cocktail or too it often slips out.
There were shots bought, drinks had, moved to the "club" dancing, maybe- in general awesome debauchery.... That's all you get =)

Day three:
Grand Caymans.

I guess here is a good time to actually "introduce" you to the family... sorry, I've just been gabbing on about then like you know them: L-R Mark (18), me, Dad, Kevin (16), Cheri, Brian (26) and Kelly (19).

The family went to swim with the sting rays. I know what you're thinking: Don't get stung in the heart... right?!? Well, I survived, even kissed one!
Then, we went snorkeling:
then we went to eat dinner at Margaritaville, along the way we passed this sign and felt the need to take a picture:

Back from Grand Cayman, same ole same ole, dinner, drinks...

Day Three: COZUMEL MEXICO!!!!!

Can't EVEN begin to tell you about the fun we had there!!!! So I'll just post the pictures:

From Carlos and Charlies:
I payed ten bucks for that...
Someone asked us if they could take a picture with all of us, because we were the most fun family they had ever seen.

Also, there's no pics of it, 'cause I was participating: there was a conga line, in which if you participated, you got 5+ free shots along the route... it was pretty amazing.

Brain and I got into the pool at a restaurant in port, and then proceeded to get back on the boat...
After we got back on board and ate dinner, Brian and I tried to stay up... but we eneded up sleeping (fully clothed in our shoes) until 1am, then we went out, pissed off that we had slept so long... but made the best of it and had fun anyway.

Day four: at sea.
By this point my body's starting to feel the effects of the mass amounts of alcohol I've had. I'm by no means a non-drinker, but even this was too much!!! So, how to deal with this? Sit in the pool, take a quick nap then climb in a speed climbing competition... I placed second, got a silver medal for it!Then the last night festivities began, it's like summer camp, you're so freaking tired, but you're afraid you will miss all the fun if you go to sleep, so you just stay up and fight through it... Which I did.

Stayed out too late, hung out with some awesome boys from Florida (same one's I so boldly invited myself to sit with) and enjoyed myself to the fullest.

Day 5:
time to go home. I have no words to tell you how gross I felt having to get up at 7:30 to fly home, only this picture can do the cruise justice:more pictures to come!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Something is Outta Whack in the Universe...

Is everyone doing okay?

I feel like there's been a lot of turmoil in a very short amount of time. It may have something to do with the Solar Eclipse yesterday. While surfing around the net just now, for links to include in this post, I found some more information on this here.

now I just have to get my chart and figure out what this all means! =)

by the way this is my horoscope for the month *from the same site above*:

Pisces—Its you against the world, dear Pisces, as you sing “I’ve Got To Be Me” and everyone else disagrees. Bosses, spouses, children, friends and lovers all want something different from you than what you want to give. Whether you stand firm (unlikely) or put on your chameleon colors to blend into the background, you are likely to feel stressed at this turn of events. Meditate, do yoga, take deep cleansing breaths. This too shall pass.

WOW! kinda scary how my entire month-long horoscope pretty much was my feelings yesterday. SO maybe I'll be good for the rest of the month?

How did everyone else emotionally do with the eclipse?

I'll let you know what becomes of my chart!

PS_ whether or not you believe in this is totally up to you, and I know that there's a lot quack-like things about this pseudoscience, BUT it's interesting and fun to me to play around with and I think that the way the planets line up and pull and the magnetic energy that comes from that could quite possibly have an affect on people. I'm much more prone to believe the research on bio-rhythms. but i understand if you think I'm nuts.