for January, 2008

words unfolding

Traveling – Moscow to Miami

Travelling through airports is always a treat for me because I am an avid people watcher. I am currently on my way to Miami for a web conference and I’m on my third flight. My travel day actually started yesterday when I drove up to Spokane, Wa to spend the night. My flight was scheduled for 7:10am and we were expecting a storm overnight so I wanted to play it safe and drive up the night before and stay in a hotel.

I had been to the dentist that day and my mouth was hurting so I didn’t get much and when my cell alarm rang, my body cringed in protest. I was glad to have only a 10 minute drive when I had to wipe and scrape 3-4 inches of snow off my car that had fallen in 6 hours.

When I travel, they are usually long days because I usually end up heading to Florida. Practice has taught me to prepare myself for traveling with good music, snacks, books and magazines. But more importantly I prepare my state of mind for things to go not as planned. I find it easier to brush off aversion when I almost expect it to happen.

My first flight was a blessing in the fact that I was lucky to have all 3 seats to myself. I can’t always sleep on planes but after a rocky 5 hour sleep, I was looking forward to curling up fetal position on my trio bench. Moments before laying down, the woman in front of me asked if she could move to the window seat. My everyday normal reaction would have been sure, no problem. But today I found myself hesitating and stumbling as words were trying to come out of my mouth. I said “sure” with little confidence and followed up with an even weaker, “it’s just I was about to lie down and take a nap.” She didn’t look too happy and said, “oh ok, nevermind.” I felt the guilt creep up quickly, but told myself it was ok to want the seat, and that there were other available seats for her to take. I lay down and 2 hours later woke up feeling refreshed. I also noticed the woman was no longer sitting in front of me, she did in fact find another seat.

So my airport experiences have been different for me ever since I bought an iPod. I normally spend my time wandering around, browsing in stores, perhaps looking for a new book and even hitting up a restaurant if I have time. These behaviors haven’t changed but the experience has as my music fills my ears. As I walked the corridors of the Minneapolis and Atlanta airports, I was able to focus better on the people around me that were walking, waiting, and even running. With all the distractional noises of the airport gone I was struck by how clearly I could see people’s facial expressions and guess at what was going through their minds. This of course is one of the games we “people watchers” play, guessing and making up stories about the lives the people around us live.

The mood and expressions of my fellow travelers were not one of joy or even excitement. Their faces read of concern, frustration, panic, indifference, and occasionally sadness. I understand all of these emotions tied to an airport, but shouldn’t travel invoke some sense of excitement and uncertainty? Whether for pleasure or work, you’re removed for a time from your everyday world which is more than many people get to experience. Not knowing what the next adventure will bring, shouldn’t that give people some excitement?

So as you can imagine, I was walking through the airports today with a small slight smile on my face, hoping to make eye contact with someone to make that small connection of hey we’re travelling aren’t we lucky.

I arrived in Atlanta and after a small delay in MN, I was late for my flight. I ran down the corridor hopped the train, busted to my gate to find the door closed and the plane gone. After figuring out I was booked on the next flight out 4 hours later, I knew I had some more people watching to do J

I needed some dinner and I wanted to catch up on some work so I stopped in the Samual Adams restaurant. I was greeted with a warm friendly waitress named Dana and had a pretty good spinach salad and Sam Adams light beer. I had a few IM conversations, wrote some emails, and ate. It’s funny everyone I talked with on IM had sympathy for my long travel day and felt bad that I had a delay of 4 hours. I appreciated their empathy, but felt even more glad that I wasn’t bothered by the ordeal. Like I said at the beginning, preparation for travelling is key. It rarely goes as planned, whether you’re traveling to a destination or you’re at that destination travelling around. Prepare yourself for the unexpected or the worse. This allows you to actually take in your new experience with open eyes instead of spending it miserably. Trust me the world around you will appreciate you for it as well.

Well, my flight was nearing so I headed to the under tunnels of the Atlanta airport where they have trains to take you from one gate to the next. With my music on my “bopin” mix I decided to walk to my gate instead of taking the train. Not only did I get my blood flowing and a little exercise, but there was a treat between gate A & B that put a big smile on my face. I’m not sure what they’re called, but they’re the automatic walkways like escalators but they just run flat along the ground. From gate to gate they have these long walk belts that you can choose to use and aid your walking if you want. I was walking down the middle on the carpet, when I saw this guy walking the wrong way on the belt towards me. He was smiling walking along and so was I. When he was about to pass I asked him if he was getting a double dose of exercise and he said, “You know it, I need it, plus you have no idea how fun it is.” He was right, I didn’t know, and on my next airport adventure, I plan to find out.

Posted on January 30, 2008 by Keli · 0 comments Read More
words unfolding

What’s Your "Word"

So I’m re-reading Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert because I liked it so much the first time around. I’m not that best at giving reviews on things, but I suggest you take a look at the reviews posted about this book to see if it’s something you would want to read. I linked to Amazon since they have the most reviews.

So there are so many parts of the book that I think about and reflect on, but I keep coming back to this neat thing about people and places having “words.” When Elizabeth spends 4 months living in Italy, Rome to be exact, she meets a friend named Giulio.

At lunch one day Elizabeth is discussing how much she loves Rome but somehow knows it’s not her city, not where she’ll end up spending her life. Giulio says, “Maybe you and Rome just have different words.” She didn’t understand what he meant so he further explained. “Don’t you know that the secret to understanding a city and its people is to learn – what is the word of the street.” He basically explains that there is a driving thought that the majority of people living in the city have in common. Whatever the majority thought might be – that is the word of the city. He tells her that if her personal word does not match the word of the city, then you don’t really belong there.

So this is a bit drastic and in my opinion a very broad concept for everyone to match their cities word, not to mention your city only having one word. And if you don’t, then by golly, you better leave town. But it’s a really fun concept to think about and I have found myself relating to it.

Giulio says that Rome’s word is “sex” and Liz argues with him a bit but ends up stepping back and agreeing with him. She does say, “but what about the Vatican” and he says, that the Vatican is its own little world and not really a part of Rome. He said the Vatican’s word is “Power”, she says not “Faith” and he says no “Power.” I agree.

So I continue to think about the words of cities and towns which come from a collective thought of the people living there. It’s funny, as many of you know I love the town I live in. I think it’s a great open community that’s a safe, warm, welcoming place to be. However, often I feel like I’m on the outside looking in. This is whether I’m enjoying the farmer’s market on Saturday or a concert in the park. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy these things and many others but I never really feel like I’m a part of it. There’s almost a level of invisibility that I feel as people swirl around me doing their own thing.

So I was thinking about what Moscow’s word is and I’ve come up with “Family.” That word is so strong throughout this town as well as “community” but family is much more definitive. Since I don’t have family here and don’t have one of my own yet, I think this is why I don’t quite “fit” with Moscow entirely. Family is not my word.

The great part of this whole thing is that it’s kind of always bothered me to not understand why I feel like I’m always looking through a window. Whether or not this word thing holds any weight, it’s helped me understand my community and my identification with it.

So you might be wondering what my word is…. I don’t know yet, I’m still working on it. Oh, and people’s words can change over time. Your word today could be different than it was 5 years ago or 10 years down the road.

Here are some more words from the book:

NYC – Achieve
LA – Succeed
Stockholm, Sweden – Conform
Naples, Italy – Fight

When discussing this whole word concept with my friend Emily the other day, right after I said Moscow’s word is Family, she said, “I was just thinking that, really I was, seriously.” So Giulio might be on to something here :)

So what’s your word and that of your city/town? Post a comment and play along, come on, it’s fun!

Posted on January 23, 2008 by Keli · 3 comments Read More
words unfolding


This is for the true music lovers out there. I just saw the movie “once” and it was an wonderful story filled with the most beautiful music. The actor and actress in the film are actually the artists and the songs are theirs. They have an album out called The Swell Season and you should check it out. Its heartfelt and passionate so beware to those who aren’t ready to feel emotional.

I caught myself throughout the film with a slight smile on my face, and as I listen to the music right now, I’m still glowing. I love when music touches me so deeply, sometimes there’s nothing more beautiful. My heart feels full and I want to thank Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova for making this movie and turning me on to their music.

I apologize in advance for those who rent the movie and say, what was she thinking? For many of you this movie probably won’t give you the warm fuzzies it did for me, but for for many it will. Oh and perhaps I should mention that you should like acoustic guitar and piano.

Here they are playing Falling Slowly, enjoy!

Posted on January 18, 2008 by Keli · 1 comment Read More
words unfolding

More time in the Mountains

I’ve been sluggish in the evenings when I’ve been home and haven’t felt inspired to post. I’m feeling a bit tired tonight too, but I thought I would share some photos from this weekend. My friend Mauri came into town from Minnesota for the week for work and she wanted to go snowboarding. It didn’t take much convincing and a big group headed back down to the same house we rented over New Year’s. Brundage had gotten almost 4 feet of snow in just under two weeks, so we were all pretty excited.

Here’s Micah snowboarding in 13 degree weather in a sweatshirt. What is he thinking? Well Micah is from Wisconsin and he knows all about cold, but he doesn’t know about mountains with real “powder” snow. He’s a pretty good snowboarder and he said that Saturday was his best snowboarding day ever. Welcome to Idaho my friend!!

Ashley, Em and I on the ski lift. We were stopped for about 7 minutes so we took the opportunity to snap a few photos. We also pondered at about 50 feet in the air, what we would do if the lift was broken and they told us that there was no help to come. Ashley said she would jump, I said I would stay put, cuz hey eventually someone is going to come around, but that was not part of the “what if” rules we had set, so I said I would jump too. Emily said she would try to take some part of her clothing off like her jacket or pants and straddle over the wire cable and try to shimmy down it for awhile until she was closer to the ground. I think I looked at her, like yah right. It was a fun “what if”.

Brundage Mtn. put in 2 new lifts this year and one is off the backside of the mountain which overlooks McCall and Payette lake. This is Mauri and I enjoying the view. Mauri got back into the swing of snowboarding after 1 run even though she hasn’t been in a few years.

This is Emily and I showing our expression of surprise which I think fits us well. We continue to marvel at how much we have in common and we seem to have a pretty good dang time hanging out. Before our last run of the day it was just the two of us and we decided last minute to get a drink in the Yurt on top of the mountain. We had Irish Hot Cocoa (cocoa, baileys, little crown). They were absolutely delicious and warmed me from the inside out. The lifts had stopped running and we took a cat track to the far side of he mountain and did our last run with only two of us on the hill. It was pretty cool.

Back at Pair-O-Dice after hot tub soaks, showers, and dinner. The relaxation was over and the second round of fun for the day was about to begin. Emily showed us a twist to the game of UNO which allows people to play out of turn, but you have to be quick, very quick. It was the most fun UNO ever! I also had an Irish coffee, which was my first caffeinated drink besides hot chocolate since July. Needless to say, I was having a good time. I rallied everyone to walk downtown and go out to the only bar in McCall. The group of 13 walked in the snow downtown not knowing what a good time we were all about to have.

We hung out, bopped and danced all night. It was really a lot of fun. We then walked back home late night and scattered about doing various things. Emily and I ate just about every snack on the counter, Micah went outside to lay in the snow and fell asleep for an hour (that’s scary), and Tino tried to be quiet to no avail, and some re-soaked in the hot tub. It was a perfect ending to a perfect day!

Sunday I was pretty out of it, so Emily drove Mauri and I back to Moscow, after a group of us ate a yummy breakfast in New Meadows. The rest of the crew headed back up the mountain. Another beautiful McCall weekend to put in the memory!

All I have to say is I’m so glad I bought my point-n-shoot camera this summer. I’ve been a camera snob for a long time and love to take really good shots with my SLR. But the reality is I can’t carry that thing everywhere and I really wanted to start capturing or documenting my everyday world through photographs. I love my little Canon Powershot SD8000 IS, it goes everywhere with me and I’m actually in my own photographs for the first time in a long time.

Posted on January 15, 2008 by Keli · 1 comment Read More
words unfolding

Zoe’s 8th Birthday

This image taken 1/3/08

Today is one of the love’s of my life’s birthday. Zoe turned 8 today and I just can’t believe its been that many years. I’m pretty sure all of you know my puppa Zoe, but for those of you that don’t I’ll tell you a little about her. I found her and her sister in a park in Gainesville, FL at an Ultimate frisbee tournament. I wasn’t looking for a dog, nor was I allowed to have one in the apartment I was living. However, this didn’t stop me from taking one look into her eyes and saying, this is my dog, I have to have this dog.

And so it would be, Zoe has been with me all these years and has been the one constant in my life. It’s amazing the love you find you can have for an animal. She’s a really great dog, that really enjoys playing with her toys, chasing squirrels, running in the park, taking hikes, and swimming.

She gets claustrophobic in the car and panics if the window isn’t down in the backseat. So yes, I ablidge even in 20 degree cold weather, where her brother Cole and I freeze. She’s getting a bit ornery in her old age and has decided it’s ok to get on the couch and my bed whenever she wants. She’s loves her brother Cole buddy and I’m sure she’s glad he joined our clan a few years ago.

I’ll close with a short poem I wrote for Zoe back in Feb of 2004.

Thank you for all your love
The one constant in these last many years
Thank you for the smiles you’ve inspired & the waters we’ve visited
I can’t imagine a hike without a check-in or a day there is no waggle
You’ve never ceased to amaze me in all your understanding of my strange tongue
Thank you for making my every day world more beautiful
I love you with all my heart!

Happy 8th Birthday Doodle and thank you for being you!

Posted on January 4, 2008 by Keli · 2 comments Read More
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