Friday, July 30, 2010

The Life of a Medicated Child

Hello cute little medication holder thing.

I used to have a smaller one but it was, well, too small. I spent over 30 minutes, one day, trying to fit all my meds in there.

I'm lucky to have all sorts of pretty pills I get to pop in myself. Luckily, only one is prescription - the rest are just supplements that my psychiatrist says will help me with different things. I just got one to help with my trich! I don't see the psych-man for mental problems in a sense that we talk a lot. I just have to see him each time I need a refill for my ADHD-meds because of some law. I don't mind. He has a rad basket of treats.

I was talking to him and he said I'm doing really well, especially considering what I've got going on with my body. One thing he was "impressed" with was my awareness of self. I know the tendencies of my body with and without my medications. I know that when I take my meds I'm more reserved and without them, well, I just jump out there at the world and think everyone is my friend.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

One on One

I believe.
I think.

I believe that I am more of a one on one hang-out sort of person. Thinking back to my hang-out history, I'm just a wee bit more keen on hanging out with just one person. Or sticking with one person while going through different baskets of activities and venues of entertainment.

What is wonderfully rare and ideal are the friends I can hang out with for beyond a single day and we don't ever get tired of it. I crave the friendships where nothing is something. We can just chill in a park or even take a nap and not have to worry about if the other mate is bored.

Groups. Now not saying I don't enjoy hangin' out with groups of folks because I genuinely enjoy that. I like all the dynamics that each person brings. So many different personalities creates an unduplicateable patchwork of interactions.

Groups are ideal when music is being made.

Nothing beats a jam session, in my book.

But where groups lack is that they can be emotionally exhausting for me.

And then there is solitude.
I don't mind that either.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Joelle in Seattle

I got to see my best friend this weekend.
And the beginning of this week.
And before that, I hadn't seen her since November.

Meet Joelle!

How did I meet her? She found me on Flickr back in July 2009.
What did we have in common? I had already gone to Switzerland with Rotary Youth Exchange and she was about to go. She is from Olympia, WA and I am from Seattle, WA.

We set up a quick bike trip to Gas Works Park and back and I'd like to say that it was quite the instant connection. We've been close friends ever since.

The second time we hung out was in Switzerland. It's crazy to see people in America and Switzerland. We became yet even closer.

Now that she's back in America, I got to see her at the beginning of last week. I'll do a journal-style blog on Olympia soon complete with photos. This weekend I got to hang out with her during mornings and nights as she went to the Capitol Hill Block Party. I couldn't go because I already had tickets to see Jamie Cullum in Seattle and Portland.

Anyways, Joelle is swell.

We are going to shave our heads someday.
We like doing monkey stretches.
She lets me use her deoderant.
We enjoy fluffy water and filling up the water of others at the artesian well.
She makes me happy to the brim.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Radio Active

How could radio ever disappear? It's like your own personal DJ in a box.

Radio via waves/modulation/superpowers is so wonderful. I hate to think that it might fade out.

But something that is becoming ever more popular is internet radio.

Internet radio is kind of like bakeries - it's hit and miss. Sometimes the DJ just gets it and the music is what I need. Other times it's like when you get in a car with a person who... well, I can only put this into my own perspective. For me, it's like getting into a car with a person that just turns on the radio to the station that places the latest hits. I mean, I know they're great but sometimes I can't help but cringe. Wait, but I wasn't talking about radio experiences in cars. This is about internet radio.

Ok, today I'm going to highlight two different internet radios I've come to frequent. I am not going to include Pandora because, to me, it doesn't really count as a radio in the sense that it is lacking in a actual person picking out the music.

So the first one is Hollow Earth Radio.

Hollow Earth! Hollow Earth! Check it out!

They play the music no other radio (that I have yet to encounter) has the guts to play. It will blow your mind. Blow your ears!

They've been broadcasting out of a Seattle home for around three and a half years. Only now are they getting their own building thanks to Kickstarter.

Here's how they talk about themselves:
"Hollow Earth Radio is the Pacific Northwest's freeform online radio station that presents a forum for underrepresented music, sounds and perspectives. We support the local music community in Seattle, King County, Washington state, and the larger Pacific Northwest by focusing on found sound, field recordings, forgotten music, local musicians, bedroom recordings, low-fi demos, dreams, storytelling, and things that feel real. We expose works that have yet to be unearthed or have long been dormant. We acknowledge and celebrate raw talent and imperfections, and encourage bands who've never had their music air on a radio before to take a chance with us."

The other internet radio is one I was just exposed to you as of recently - Viva Radio. Thank you Ian.

As he put it. "[Viva is a] hit and miss... but makes you get your grove on!!"

Viva is based out of Brooklyn, New York. It's got a bit more structuring and organized depth, from what I've heard and learned through my research. While Hollow Earth will let next to anyone who has tastes that line up with their mission and groundings. Viva picks their DJs out a bit more selectively. But with music, taste really varies from person to person. I guess that didn't say much about Viva...

In short.
Or long.
Give both radio stations a listen. They will, beyond a doubt, expose you to a wider range of music than you have ever experienced. If you've found yourself in a music rut, Hollow Earth and Viva are the way to go - way to hear?

Photo by Joelle F. because those are my hands gesturing to the contentsof the lunch box and because she is just a swell girl.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

H to the O

Anyone know why this water is so wonderful?
I'll keep you posted in around 12 hours. Then you'll know the wonders.

Sunday, July 18, 2010


Is there any way to explain the bond between exchange students to someone who has never gone through the journey of being a high schooler and leaving your family, friends, language, food, and nation for an entire year to take on a new life?

Just like at the moment I can't understand what it is like to have your own child, cancer, or to have lost a parent, the rest of the world can't understand in full.

July is when the exchange students go home. This can be one of the most emotional, difficult moments in their lives. For some, the change doesn't come to hard, but for others it is an oppressive depressing switch from their new lives back to the old ones.

When I had first come back to America after living a year in Switzerland, I didn't want to eat and I started having panic attacks. A lot of panic attacks. It affected me all through my senior school year. I would have to go to the school nurse as they would last throughout the day. I skipped all assemblies because those are what got the biggest reaction out of me. My first instincts were to run when I saw my friends for the first time in a year, not hug them. My instincts were to hide and crawl into a box.

As you can tell, I've come a ways since July 2008.

But it is always hard to let exchange students go. I've gotten better at good byes, but it can be rough. Many of these good byes are forever. Not all, but many; perhaps most.

I can only imagine them feeling the way about Seattle as I did about Sachseln and Giswil.

Oh - to be an exchange student.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Anything So Impressive As the Caber Toss?

I genuinely think there is nothing more manly (in terms of display of physical strength) than the caber toss.


Football? Men wearing toooo much padding and tossing around a balloon made of some pig's skin.
Soccer? Have you seen how often they fall down and groan as if they're in pain? Tell me it's not an act. Yes, some injuries are legit, but others, well, I'm not buying it. Plus they can play for an hour and not even have an results.
Basketball? Well, it can be impressive when they jump but I don't see it as being manly.
Baseball? Little stick. Little ball. Run in circles.

Then there is the caber toss. Throwing a some-175 pound tree around. Up in the air, making it flip all the way over. It's crazy! Apparently it's typically around 19 feet and 6 inches - thank you Wikipedia.


These dudes are picking up trees and throwing them. If that doesn't say, "I am a manly man!" then what does?

And yes. I think kilts are perfectly acceptable attire for men.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Ceart Gu Leòr

That's a lot of bagpipers. A whole lot.
Couple hundred lot.

This Saturday I was honoured to participate in the 16th Annual Skagit Valley Highland Games.

Around 10,000 people came from around the area (Canada, Oregon, Washington, and beyond) to experience the culture of Scotland. Pipes, highland dancing, celtic music, the highland games (e.g. caber toss), sheep hearding, and the clans were enjoyed.

There will be a whole lot more on this day a bit later.

This shot (above) was from when the Mass Pipe Band played. All the bands that had competed played together. Here's a vid I got of them playing Amazing Grace:

Friday, July 9, 2010

Sustainable Gardening and Urban Horticulture

Wednesday nights are beautiful.
I get to spend them at my college.

I like gardening class. I like it! It is ever so amusing. Three hours if brilliantness and we get to play with dirt.

You won't believe it. This week, we got to test soil! Soil testing! How many people can say they spent their last Wednesday testing soil?

Meet Silas the owl.
He was purchased from an old lady in Seattle on some green grass. Now he lives in the garden.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Moon Tea

Nothing says summer like a jar of moon tea.

"You mean sun tea, Maggie?"

No sir! Sun tea has too many bacteria risks (apparently). So I like to make my tea by either brewing it over night (starting with boiling water - kills bad stuff) either out on the porch or in the refridgerator.

This is the perfect opportunity to experiment with tea bags. Lemon plus green? Hazlenut plus chai?

My favourite is two bags peppermit tea to one bag ginger, shown in the picture.

Definitly one of my favourite ways to start a summer day.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Sans Auto

Truth is this: I don't drive.

I am 19 years old.
I do not have a licence.

This seems to be a shock-factor when it comes to meeting folks these days. When I show up on a scooter and they try and figure out how I got there, it only takes those three words, "I don't drive," for a series of questions to bubble up.

There is the why and the how.

"Why don't you drive?"
Many reasons. Multiple reasons.

The origin is my trip to Switzerland. I didn't learn to drive when I was 15, my sophomore year, because my work load from school was brinking on more than I could handle. I was in full pre-IB classes and had no time to spare. The thought of taking on the task of learning to drive was overwhelming and not possible.

After my Sophomore year I would have learned but instead I had this choice:
Drive or go to Switzerland.

Switzerland won. Naturlich!

While abroad in Switzerland I learned to get around by velo/bike, foot, train, bus, and boat. Any destination in the country was within a few hours reach for me and I loved it. That tiny country held a multitude of possibilities of adventures for me and none required an automobile.

When I got back to America, I was so content with my no-driving habit that I failed to learn to drive. It was my senior year of high school and I simply did not hold the interest to learn.

I learned to drive on a road trip with my friend Alex on a manual. I liked it. Didn't drive much after.

Eventually I did get my permit to learn because the family I was going to au pair for in Switzerland wanted me to drive. I did not succeed in time but it worked out.

Now I'm back in America and still don't have a licence nor a need for one.

I don't exactly desire to have one. Driving is so expensive! Think of all the costs. Car payments. Gas. Insurance. Tickets. Parking. It's outrageous!

Regardless of what I choose, it's better for the environment and better for me. I don't need to join a fitness club when my lifestyle forces me to walk at least 3 miles a day.

I also love the opportunities that walking gives me. I get to meet people. Smile at other pedestrians. And I'm more likely to see a friend drive and vice versa. That's fun. It may take me a bit longer but I enjoy getting outside and breathing in the Seattle air.

How do you get around?
With ease.

I get around by scooter (Razor), foot, bike, bus, and carpool. Can't think of any other way...

Yes, it may take me three times longer to get there, but sometimes, it's the journey that counts more than the destination.

I will not deny that driving would make life easier at times, but I can't complain. This is a choice I've made for now and it keeps me content. When was the last time you rode it a scooter? When you get on one, you can't help but smile. So much fun! More fun than a car could give me at 5:30 in the morning.

So I'll continue to live sans auto for now.

What's Been Cooking In the Past Week


I would highly recommend the Grilled Vegetable Wrap recipe over at Vegetarian Times.

It was easily wrapped for later consumption - always a bonus in my book for days when we all are up for eating at different times. Dad had a recording studio and my stomach was ready for food two hours before his.

The wrap is refreshing and packed with all sorts of fresh-veggies. I made extra bean-paste for dipping pitas in later or quesadillas.

I'd also recommend the "Sinfully Delightful Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes." Made them yesterday. Mmmmmmm. The addition of avocados was ingenius and appreciated.

Also made some whole wheat bread, whole wheat applesauce muffins, arugula salad, and a broccoli seaseme oil something-or-other. All tasted delicious.

Tarnished Silver

Polishing silver. That's what I did today.

There's something therapeutic and rewarding about rubbing blue goo on metal and making it turn shiny.

I collect spoons so while my mom polished silver for an upcoming gift, I found the tarnished spoons in my collection.

Shown are two spoons of the same type - my American presidents spoons.

So they looked the same before.
What a difference a little work can create.

Sunday, July 4, 2010


Yesterday we broke the Guiness World Record for the most zombies in one place.

We speaks collectively for Seattle.

We had the record last July -- then England stole it from us. We got it back.

Goodness, I love Seattle.


Eurotour 2008

It's hard to imagine that it's been two full years since Eurotour.

Me and 60 other exchange students toured around Europe as a finale to our year living abroad in Switzerland. I'm try and conjure up some stories worth retelling, although second-hand-stories that are two years stale aren't always meant to be respoken.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Garage Sailing

I'm sailing away, set an open course for the virgin sea
'Cause I've got to be free, free to face the life that's ahead of me.

Sailing? Garage sale-ing.
Today took me a a few mates to Queen Ann, Fremont, and Ballard.

Saturdays mean garage sails and garage sails are the best deals you can get.

I'd say we hit up six of them?

Here are a few highlights.

Magical Giraffe Picture with Frame- $1
(bonus - it had pictures behind the picture)
Gold Owl - $1
Tennis Ball - $0.25
Helly Hansen Jacket - $5
(originally $200)
Brown Box Purse + Camera Accessories - $5
Bruce Lee Poster - $3
Glass Steins - $0.50 each
Pillows - $1
Sleeping Beauty VHS - $1-3
Construction Helmets - Free
Fondue Set - $5

Refreshing morning. Nutrition was homemade bread + butter, banana, cherries, peach, pico de gallo, cheerios, and Greek yoghurt.

It was amusing to squeeze five people plus their findings into a small automobile.

After sailing, we went to Michael's home. From Michael's home to Casey's. Then I walked to SPU to catch the 13 to Union & 3rd and then tranfered to the 522 which took me all the way home home home.

This evening, I've got the Zombie Walk. Seattle's trying to break the world record. I wouldn't be surprised if we did.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

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