it seldom works the way we think it
in fact, it never
― Charles Bukowski, Bone Palace Ballet
“Live, travel, adventure, bless, and don't be sorry.” ― Jack Kerouac
I’ve gotta move through the weeks without you here,
I get a shock, shock hurts to heal
- Emily Haines & The Soft Skeleton
Because secrets do not increase in value if kept in a gore-ian lockbox, because one’s past is either made useful or else mutates and becomes cancerous. We share things for the obvious reasons: it makes us feel un-alone, it spreads the weight over a larger area, it holds the possibility of making our share lighter. And it can work either way – not simply as a pain-relief device, but, in the case of not bad news but good, as a share-the-happy-things-I’ve-seen/lessons-I’ve-learned vehicle. Or as a tool for simple connectivity for its own sake, a testing of waters, a stab at engagement with a mass of strangers…
― Dave Eggers, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
As life goes, there are both ups and downs. I feel the need to highlight some things from 2013. It was a whirlwind of emotions and I haven’t felt settled in a while. I feel like I’m trying to fiercely carve out my identity in my mid 20s. So, here goes.
• I began to feel comfortable in my Creative Director role at work. I have the best co-workers and get to work on great design projects. I’ve learned a lot.
• I went to Chicago in March with AiLien & Andrew. We had amazing Italian food, watched the Blackhawks play from the hotel bar, met up with Kurt and saw Django Django.
• Protested legislature’s assault on women’s rights at the Capitol with AiLien, Andrew and Kim.
• Attended the Made by Few design conference.
• Designed invitations for and attended two weddings within two weeks.
• Broke up, got together, broke up.
• Went on a partly solo vacation to Utah and Colorado. Rock climbing, camping and exploring the west.
• Learned to bartend. It has always been a dream of mine. I’ve enjoyed reading about and making cocktails. You meet so many new and interesting people behind the bar.
• Adopted a kitty named Rosie.
• Went to Seattle with an old friend.
• Major hang time with those I hold near and dear.
2014 is starting off a bit weird. I can’t shake these winter blues, but I’m trying. I’m hoping that warmer weather will bring more optimism.
Before heading to Oklahoma for the holidays, I spent the night with my best buds in a HUGE lake house in Hot Springs. Although it was a brief visit, we laughed, ate and drank in the holidays. We woke up the next morning to the mist rising from the lake water. It was breathtaking. Nothing like having coffee with a view like that. Maybe someday…
I met my friend Matt in Seattle for an impromptu reunion. We have been friends for a very long time and both deserved a mini life vacation. He flew in from Houston and I flew in from Little Rock Friday afternoon. Our trip consisted of lots of booze and eats – a bittersweet (no pun) way to hang with a fellow foodie.
Although I almost missed my flight that morning, this view of Mt. Rainier made me realized how much I missed the PNW.
While waiting to meet up with Matty, I stopped in at the familiar Taylor Shellfish Farms joint and had some fresh oysters & wine. This place is (still) so incredible. Fresh seafood, quaint atmosphere, knowledgeable service.
By far the best B&B experience yet. Our host, Jacen, was AMAZING. He had this cute little Buddha greeting us. We were smack in the middle of Cap Hill, within walking distance of many destinations.
My little stoop smoking bud.
Canon Whiskey & Bitters Emporium was one of the highlights of the trip for me. There are some serious cocktail masters crafting some of the best drinks I’ve had. Definitely a bartender’s dream.
And another highlight was a new coffee shop. Analog was incredible. Such a delightful little place with newspapers hung across the wall and small seating overlooking Cap Hill. The baristas were sweet (and cute!) and very welcoming. This would be my spot if I lived in Seattle. Thanks for the tasty americano and fresh sugary doughnut.
French brunch at Cafe’ Presse. I’ve had mad cravings for the croque madame since first visiting Seattle.
Went to the Experience Music Project Museum to catch the Hendrix & Nirvana exhibitions. Pretty sure I shed a few tears. I grew up listening to Nirvana and have been a Kurt Kobain fan for a while. He was such a voice for people who felt like outcasts. Touching, really.
And finally, since I wasn’t kidding about eating and drinking our way through Seattle, here is the list.
Rye drinks & angostura-bourbon nuts at Canon
Sushi & a manhattan cocktail at Liberty Bar
Craft tap cocktails, steak tartare & roasted chicken at Smith
Rainier Pils, pickle backs and photobooths at Montana Bar
Beer flights at Reuben’s
Jerk tacos & daiquiris at Rhum Bar
Stouts at The Pine Box (a converted mortuary!)
Steak at Quinn’s
Friday night I went camping with Kelly and Karl. We packed up and headed to my favorite spot at Lake DeGray which is spot #17 in Iron Mountain campgrounds. It was a pretty quick trip but the weather was perfect and we were pretty much lone campers.
Saturday we all woke up early thanks to a screeching hawk. We started talking about our favorite spots in Arkansas and I brought up Charlotte’s in Keo. That prompted us to go ahead and pack up and head that way so we could make it for lunch. The lemon icebox pie was AMAZING, as always. Charlotte’s has some of the best desserts in Central Arkansas.
Fun trip with the bros. <3