31 March 2008

Must See Movie

I said I would do a Book of the Moment. This could technically
fall under this category, because it was a book before it was a movie.

This weekend I netflixed Atonement. I'm real glad I did. This is one
of the better movies I've seen in a LONG time. It was very different
from most movies--the story is told in a very unconventional way. The
story unfolds in a series of flashbacks, flash forwards and coulda,
shoulda, woulda's. Keira Knightley is fantastic in this movie, as is
the man that plays opposite her, James McAvoy.

The plot is simple: it's about a lie told by a 13 year old and how that lie changes the lives of her sister, a boy named Robbie and consequently, hers as well.

It's turns out to be a heartbreaking story, and it is beautifully told
and superbly acted.

I am not one to quickly label a movie as a favorite, but this sits
up there with The Shashank Redemption as one of my favorite movies.

25 March 2008

Going Through the Motions

I've found the past two weeks to be excruciating! It's been increasingly difficult to get out of bed in the morning and go to a job that I no longer enjoy, knowing that my heart and my future are somewhere else. I'm stuck in this 'hurry and wait' stage and it's killing me! Sometimes, I think I'm like Veruca Salt from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: 'Daddy I want a golden goose and I want it NOW!' I must remind myself that patience is a virtue. It's also bitter, but its fruit sweet.

I found a good quote in my book this weekend and it is now plastered around to remind myself:

Never think that God's delays are God's denials.
Hold on;
Hold fast;
Hold out.
Patience is genius.

And next Tuesday could very well be one of the greatest moments of my career and possibly my life.

18 March 2008

Cafe for this Americano

Last night as I stood at the end of the counter, I took a minute to pause and look out at the lobby of Starbucks Store 3402. It was 8:45 pm and our lobby was packed. At one table I saw 3 college students with their papers sprawled out, flashcards dispersed, books open and highlighters in full gear as they frantically tried to prepare for their impending final. Sitting near the window were 2 older gentleman, who were engaged in a conversation while they both were looking at newspapers. A larger group had pushed together 3 tables to form a circle. Each person sitting in the circle was holding a book and listening attentively to the person speaking. I noticed another table that had 3 girls laughing and giggling while looking at some pictures they had just printed.

As I stood there, soaking in all the different scenarios that were being played out in my store, I couldn't help but smile. Each of these people in the lobby were there for a purpose--to study, to catch up with an old friend, to discuss politics, or to hold a book club. All very different people. All very different reasons. The only common denominator in this entire scene was coffee.

I love coffee for what it extracts from a person. In the students' case, the tall mocha extracts concentration and hard work. For the 2 gentlemen discussing the paper, coffee extracts debate, challenged points of view and a feeling of vulnerability when talking about what you believe in. The book club that gathers over coffee to discuss character flaws and plot twists extracts from one another a sense of belonging, a thirst for knowledge and the contentment of finishing a novel. And the girls looking over their pictures, coffee is there to accompany them down memory lane and to strengthen their bond of friendship.

As I see so many people of all different places and stations in life come through the doors of my store, I can't help but wonder if coffee is the one thing that truly ties us all together.

You may think I am crazy for putting so much thought into a simple coffee bean, but sometimes the simplest things can define the most complicated things of all.

11 March 2008

I Heart Amy Poehler!

Please check out this SNL skit, poking fun at Project Runway. I absolutely love Amy Poehler and this furthers proves her comedic genius. Enjoy!

09 March 2008

A Decision Has Been Made

I believe strongly in 'Cost-Benefit Analysis'. I've decided many things using this technique.
When Jen is faced with a tough decision she gets out a pad of paper, 3 sharpened pencils and lets the process begin. And then I let it simmer for a couple of days--adding and subtracting things from the list as they come. For me, it's more realistic when I have it on paper, in black and white, right in front of me.

Anyway, for the past couple of months I've really been struggling with what I'm supposed to be doing with my life. I've wrestled with so many ideas and dabbled in a few others. There have definitely been some moments when I feel as though, for the first time in my life, I have nothing to pour my hear into. In high school, it was sports and school. In college, it was school and the clubs I was in. Now, it's....it's....it's....NOTHING. I feel like a robot. I feel like a girl on auto pilot. I have coasted through this year, spending so much time doing nothing.

Until now.

On Saturday I sat down with my Store Manager and had an open and honest conversation about my future, my goals and what I want to be doing in the next 5 years. I've decided that I am currently on a path that may lead me where I want to go. But then again, it may not. So, in order to get on the path that will help get to my desired destination, I'm changing courses. I don't know when it's all going to go down, but the ball has begun to roll.

A strong 'benefit' in my Cost/Benefit Analysis is something my store manager once said to me:

I'm absolutely in love with what I do for a living.

I want to feel that way. And right now, I'm just living to work. My supposed 'work-life balance' is a figment of my imagination and most days, I have to drag myself out of bed. I'm done with that. I'm ready to move on.

Sometimes you just gotta leap and the net will appear. I'm ready to leap.

06 March 2008


Sometimes I just feel torn. Torn between the two separate worlds that I currently inhabit. The toughest part is I feel that I selfishly cast myself into these two separate, distinct worlds.

On one hand, I have my life out here in Seattle. Something that I've honestly thought about and worked towards since I first visited this city when I was a fifth grader. It's so great to be able to live in a place that continues to impress it's beauty upon you on a daily basis. I'm discovering new places, new hobbies, new ways to throw paint on my canvas of life. And unfortunately, I don't think that I'd be able to do this back home in Montana. So I feel that by choosing to live in Seattle and not Billings, I'm essentially choosing myself over my family.

On the other hand, I could very well be living back in Billings. I would be close to my entire family, specifically my parents. One of the greatest difficulties of living so far from home is being apart from them. But by choosing to be close to them, I forfeit my ability to be in a place that I love, working with a company that I respect and admire and generally enjoying the cultural things that come along with living in metropolitan area. But overall, not being 100% happy living in that place. I couldn't wait to graduate and get out of there, so I can't imagine what it would be like to go back now.

It's a lose/lose situation and I'm constantly torn about it. Who am I to venture to a city where I know very few people, to try and turn my given 'country mouse' upbringing into a 'city mouse' life?

But then again, who am I not to?

It's a vicious cycle!

03 March 2008

Book of the Moment

For anyone the knows me, they know that I've never been on the cutting edge of fashion. I'm far from fashion forward and my sense of style is pretty bad. I don't know what's in this season or what is out from last season.

So, in an effort to overcompensate for my inability to know the fashion of the moment, I will blog about 'my book of the moment'. It will simply be the book that I either currently devouring or one that I recently read.

The first official 'Book of the Moment' will be:

Anna Quindlen's One True Thing

I would first like to point out how much I love Anna Quindlen. She is the author of one of my favorite books, Rise and Shine. She is such an insightful writer, she makes the reader really connect with the characters in her novels.

That being said, One True Thing is about a girl my age who had recently graduated from Harvard and had just moved to New York City with nothing but the sky as her limit. Until her mother is diagnosed with cancer and has to quit her job, break up with her boyfriend and move back to the little town she grew up in. In the course of caring for her mother, Ellen learns so much about the mother she once took for granted and the father who she used to worship.

It's a book that really focuses on the special relationship that girls have with their mothers and how important our mothers are to our everyday life. It's a real quick read and thoroughly enjoyed it. I recommend it to anyone that has ever had a mother. :)

02 March 2008

Saturdays Are Lovely!

I actually had a day off today. And while, clearly, this is a great thing, it’s also a horrible thing! I could definitely get used to not having to work on Saturdays!

This magicial non-working Saturday began with one of my absolute favorite Seattle activites—Green Lake. I picked up Jodie around mid-morning and we met Emily at the ‘rental shack’. From there it was giggles and good times as we walked the path around the lake. It was on the cooler side, but comfortable. We admired dogs and cute boys, talked about our weeks, our worries and our friends. All in the span of 2.78 miles. I could definitely get used to that!

From there, I didn’t have any plans. No place to be. No schedule to keep.

Jodie invited me out to her classroom and I happily obliged. I have only been out to her classroom once and it was real brief. So I packed up my computer, a good book and some magazines and headed to the East Side with my favorite first grade teacher. She worked on her report cards and I happily balanced my checkbook, put together some mixes on my Itunes, worked on my training plan for the triathalon I’m training for and read for a bit.

Such a change of pace for me—to spend a leisurely Saturday with some great company. Not having to worry about alarm clocks, deployment positions or lunch breaks. I’m afraid I might be able to get used to this!

But don’t fret, I’ll be back to the grind tomorrow—5:15am I’ll be in my green apron making lattes.