Monday, April 30, 2007

Disclaimers: Thank Yous've been patient and kind and I am going to stop neglecting you and using the whole jetlag excuse. But please do note that I am NEVER up at 5 am and so incoherent ramblings aside, I really mean it when I say read the disclaimer and thank you's first.

Disclaimer: I am but only one girl. Not really a world traveler, a bit too conspiracy theorist, a picture taker but not a photographer, a fighter, but not really an all out activist. I see things. You see things. Often times, we don't see the same things. I don't know all Americans nor did I get to meet all Chinese citizens or Tibetans or Nepalese or Indians on this trip. When I make a comment like "Fat lazy American" I of course refer only to myself. When I make a comment like "they are all so nice" I refer only to the 200 or so pilgrims trekking about me. When I say "the Chinese government disgusts me" I mean "the Chinese government disgusts me". But in context of course.

Everything I say here I take credit for. I of course reserve the right to debate the heck out of an issue here on my blog with those that leave comments and if you email me thinking you'll stay annon that way, think again. If you ask to not be identified, I won't post your email addy for people to spam you, but I reserve the right to talk about what you write to me because I am still very much processing this trip and I'll be darned if some good hindsight doesn't do me well in (gasp!!) changing my mind on some issues. Fair warning that you will never change my mind on the Chinese government. Okay, maybe you will. Doubtful, but there is hope yet.

I will try to not make this boring and long, but anyone who knows me at all knows I talk/type a lot. If you don't have the attentiton span for it, might I suggest my picture blog where you might even win a prize for leaving a comment? For those who want a more in-depth disucssion and overview of the trip, you're in the right spot.

If you leave a comment with contact information, I'll likely respond directly to you. If you leave no contact info, I'll respond in the comments of the thread. If I feel that it REALLY warrants it, I will edit a post and make it obvious (ie a different color), but generally speaking, if I do more than one post per day to this blog, generally the second post will be marked to note that it is a commentary piece on your comments. I know, I have grande visions of lots of folks making comments which will likely not happen, but I'm the kind of girl that likes to have lots of contingencies. Partial reason why I'm not a fan of the Chinese government. More on that to come.

That all said, some thank you notes are in order. In no particular order of course, I'm thankful to Seattle University--particularly the law school and the law school admission staff--an amazing group of women and students who worked their tails off so that I could even fathom taking a trip like this at a time like this. I'm also thankful to Mike O. and Vicky K. at the Olympian--Mike was patient enough with me on his Diversity Panel and really helped me to grow as a writer--please don't blame him for what transpires on this blog. But more importantly, Mike and Vicky, a year or so ago, were all ready to make me a bonafide correspondent when I was supposed to go on a Rotary Group Study Exchange to Africa. Because way back then they believed I could do that, I figured a journal and a camera would be good to pack for this trip. I thank them for opening my mind to the thought of sharing. And of course, thanks to the Rotary Olympia GSE folks. Last year, I almost went to South Africa. Best laid plans of course BUT, in preparing for that trip, my eyes were opened theoretically to what it meant to not be an American (mostly because in that training I found out that Jesus was born on the same day in Canada as he was in the U.S...) and to not be "lucky". I'd be remiss if I didn't also thank people like the amazing teachers/professors and instructors I have been blessed with throughout my life. From my first fave teacher Mr. Jim Oakes back at PHS to some of my current faves like J. Stringer at Seattle University, the common thread amongst them all is that they all realized that I was just a girl with a tad bit different perspective on things and they never stifled my need to ask "why". I thank the Freedom Writers who beyond keeping me entertained on a way too long flight to Beijing, also opened my eyes to living beyond the context and I also thank John Krakauer for being from Seattle and surviving the beast that is Everest. He kept me entertained for 48 hours of tedious train shuffling, but moreso, he made Everest real for me. I thank Kodak for making great picture print paper because without them, I wouldn't have had Crystal, Quantae, David, Tyshaun, Jarius, mom and granny with me on this trip. But most importantly of all, I thank that crazy, determined, amazing man that 20 someodd years ago first had the notion that while the summit might not be a good idea, Base Camp was really not that far flung. His patience, motivation, selfless nature and amazingly analytical mind knew with an uncanny certainty that if we flipped a coin, Everest would win out and if it didn't, he was more than prepared to make the case for why Everest, why now. I love risk takers and I love that this particular risk taker loves me back.

So there you have it. Please comment often and in detail about any crazy thing (or "no duh") thing that spews from my keyboard. I commit to trying to make this at least a daily entry, but you know me...if I can't say it all, I often wait until I can. That said, the easiest way to keep track of when I have something new to say is to sign up at It is free, it is easy, it will tell you in big bold letters when I have something new to say. Alternatively, if you say pretty please in your email, you can also shoot me a note and I'll put you on a VIP list of folks to get a weekly email from me with a bit of the condensed version of what went down for the week and I might even hyperlink some stuff for you. Wow! Special. That will be three emails tops (I don't anticipate these ramblings to take longer than three weeks) and then I'll likely forget your email address and never talk to you again until I have to email and tell you that it has been 4 years since we last spoke, but I'm ready to talk again. That's how I roll.

In the meantime, thanks for stopping by and be sure to send lots of others by to leave their two cents as well. Check out the blog for lots of pics and thanks for joining me as I relive this journey of a lifetime.

Sunday, April 29, 2007


I'm back. and I'll be darned if it doesn't feel like I should be sleeping right now. so I'm going to give in. Tonight, the disclaimer. Maybe even day 1. For the month of May I'll go day by day through the most amazing trip of a lifetime. on the shots fired blog, I'll load three pics per day and let ya'll choose which is your fave for each day. here I'll transcribe my journal (in italics) and then add some after the fact commentary--warning, the entries will be long and many times pictureless but will give you some of my thoughts on everything. My suggestion would be to check out shots fired for the pics and then here for the stories behind it all and then some. Print these entries off...maybe they'll make for good bathroom reading.

Gotta get a list together of folks I've been neglecting for a while so that I can tell them to come and check out why I've been a bad, bad, friend and then hopefully get the life back on track. Oh how I miss my cell phone...

before my head hits the keyboard...until later.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


going off the grid. It is 4:21 am my time. In about half an hour, we head off to the airport. Our plane leaves at 7:50. we are checked in, just have to check the tons of luggage we're toting along...much of it photography equipment.

I can't believe we're really doing this. Wow. I feel kind of at a loss for words. I wish I could take my mom and my sister and my brother and my nephew with me...let me grab some pics...done.

Just grabbed breakfast, cab will be here in 30 minutes. Maybe we will have sold the house when we get back--we had our first set of folks come through to look today. It went up with the MLS number yesterday.

I wish I would have put more thought into this trip. Thought of what to bring people instead of all the beautiful pictures I would take from them. I can't believe I'm going to Tibet. I can't believe I might be buying a house. I can't believe my mom might be moving to Seattle with my cutie nephew. Never mind that I'll have someone I can take lots of pictures of (smile). But for him and the upgrade in schools, I almost want to call her up and tell her come tomorrow. But those are thoughts for another time.

I almost didn't have socks for this trip. Wal Mart is evidently not open 24 hours here. Go figure. Three weeks. Here's hoping I can post at least once while on the road.

Till then...

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Hot. Mess.

Not the "hillarious" southern kinda mess. But the "girl, you got issues no matter what part the country you in" kinda mess.

It's official. Says me.

I've done some crazy stuff today. No...aside from spend 3.5 hours at a Florida rest stop (so safe...I mean they have armed gaurds because of those people down there that got shot at the rest stop...). Aside from completely rearrange all of my hoards of digi scrap stuff sot aht I could avoid actually scrapping anything because I'm scared to death I'll never measure up to my "Hall of Fame" status. Okay...aside from coming to work on a day when I (clearly) should have just stayed home.

I'm not beneath going the extra mile to get what I want. Especially if you lay it out there clear as day for me about what I'm supposed to do. I am a rule follower after all. Hello! So is it my fault that I read between the lines well? No. Is it my fault that I will "go there" just because I know no better? No. Is it my fault that I might get a ticket if I stay and type this any longer. Probably. So I'ma hop on off and just say that I am officially a hot. mess. I know it, you know it. We all know it. I'm a go home and do absolutely nothing but procrastinate on all the stuff I should be doing. And rub up on my bf. Maybe pluck his arm hairs out. He likes when I do that. Or just sit across from him and stare at him. Or I could be really cruel and make him pick out a picture of us for the CK folks that I have not already used on a layout (uhhhmmm...impossible) with the catch that if he picks three and they are no good, he has to sit for another one with me. That's cruel. And I love him so I won't do that. But I should go and pimp myself out for travel money. No not like THAT! Right...

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Uhhhg....Come up Already...'s 4 hours before I'll be on a plane. Things I kinda should do first:

Dry the clothes to take with me (done)
Pack the files I have to take with me (done...all 75 of them)
Put some songs on the iPod...or the other thingy. (yeah not so much...just took the laptop)
Figure out if I should pack the laptop charger or not (did, but for what I don't know)
Take a nap (it will be a long night) (was a long night, there was no nap)
Print off some more stuff (done)
Get another layout (or 4) done (well...sorta)
send about 10000000 emails (sent the three most important ones)
get offline (momentarily)
kiss Robert (oh yeah *smile*)
find the camera (where it is supposed to be of course)
take the camera ( some good Airport shots!)
update the to do list (I give up)
pack some toiletries...or maybe just some makeup (yeah...and forget the toothbrush...ick...7-11)
take a shower (more like boil myself in a tub of hot water)
eat something (Panda Express...yummy!)
organize something (uhhmmm...that's life...just never something important)
just do something (sigh...)

All that aside, we went out and looked at houses again before coming home to our perfectly lovely home and fixing it up for selling. Thing is...I like our place. And I like the million dollar places we keep looking at too. Problem is, we can't afford a million dollar home. So after we look at those amazing places with great views, great neighbors and great finishes and we walk over to the homes we CAN afford...well, nothing works. This is going to be a struggle. I know it. And then there's my analyst better half who is good about telling me why something will work but won't take a jump if his totally non-analytical (but slightly strategic...another post for another time) "gut-feeling" GF "feels" a house. I wasn't feeling any of them yesterday. Well...I felt the million dollar ones, but as I said, that ain't gonna happen. Sigh...where have I gone? A good ten years ago I would have never dreamed of owning my own perfectly acceptable places are not "good enough". I am definitely an American. Set for a rude wake up call in about a week and a couple of days. Did I mention I hate my typhoid oral? It makes me want to puke. I wish it would just come up already.