Monday, July 28, 2008

The Little Old Pear from Patagonia

I’m in love with my local co-op grocery. I portion out my income so that I can afford the above average costs that it takes to support my local business and my local farmer. I enjoy the experience so much that I don’t even try to cheat the scale in the bulk food section (I may or may not have “lost” my keys in bulk food bins while “sampling” at a larger grocery chain) I do it happily. (I love that small shop feel where they know what I buy each week and tell me what they are out of before I have even made it to the isle.) So, today when I stopped by the Co-Op on my way into work I was so disheartened to find my pears were from Patagonia. Do I want to travel to Patagonia? Yes. And when I am there I will pick pears right off the tree and eat them all juicy faced. But the pear without the passport stamp seems unnecessary.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Permanent Impermanence

I ran away from home when I was in second grade. It was a dramatic action (I’m a Leo) because I wasn’t allowed to watch TV since I wouldn’t pick up my room (shocker how some things don’t change). Therefore, I declared that I was actually an adopted child descending from the Royal family in England (obviously, my name IS Elizabeth) and owed no allegiance to this home (yes, I knew what allegiance meant we had to say the “pledge” to it everyday at school and I was somewhat of a precocious child)

When I returned two hours later from the half mile I made it away from the acres of land that housed me for 18 years, Maria made the following statement (finger wagging, for not the first or last time in my childhood) “As long as you live in my house you do what I say, and until you are 18 you have to live in my house-- because I’m your mother; I am the only one who can take you out of this world and I don’t feel like serving jail time, so you’re just going to have to deal with the fact that I love you and I make the rules.”

Needless to say, precocious children tend to challenge statements now and then; by the time I actually turned 18 Maria and I made a pact with each other (out of love). She promised I’d never have to live at “home” again; I promised to take my permanent address with me wherever I lived (to save her from junk mail and bills). This has kept most mother adult-daughter battles at bay (minus a two week stint where we drank some crazy juice and agreed that it might be “fun” for me to come home for a bit. Untrue). Also It has increased our appreciation for each other [I tend to call her when washing a floor on my hands and knees to “thank” her for instilling in me that nothing cleans quite like Clorox. She calls me when she is doing her only load of laundry for the week, since she no longer has a sweaty gym rat who needs three towels for showers she takes twice a day; or who ruins pans by burning eggs (dear God, it smells awful); who leaves her shoes smack-dab in front of the doorway; has a trail of clothes on the stairs up to her room; or mows down the side of the garage instead of the lawn] Even if, from time to time, My Momma drives the crazy train, I am pretty sure I played a big part in
handing her the wheel.

Regardless…point-o-my-story: Since that fateful summer 6 years ago I have moved permanently to everywhere except someplace permanent. It’s the eve before another move and I currently have a cell phone with a mailing address listed on an ocean Island in the Pacific; a license and voters registration where “bless her heart” is served with your sweet tea; and a car registered to the adress of my current office because the insurance woman said ‘pick the place the car will be the most’.

In case you are a member of the USPS, CIA, Credit Bureau or the Wall Street Journal Subscription I never actually paid for, and can’t seem to locate me here is a list of all my declared permanent addresses (thus far):

1) August 2002 – May 2003: Haven Hall, Syracuse University
2) May 2003 – August 2003: Waialae Ave Honolulu, HI
3) August 2003 – May 2004 : Day Hall, Syracuse University
4) May 2004 – August 2004: Sadler Hall, Syracuse University
5) August 2004 – May 2005: 715 Euclid Ave, Syracuse NY
6) May 2005 – September 2005: 1000 Mountain Rest Road, New Paltz, NY
7) September 2005 – May 2006: 530 Clarendon Ave, Syracuse, NY
8) May 2006 – July 2007: 517 West Academy St, Winston-Salem, NC
9) July 2007 – July 2008: 103 H king park Drive Liverpool, NY
10) July 2008--?.?.?: 1125 Westcott Street Syracuse NY 13090

Home is defined differently by many people; for me it’s more of a feeling you give to someone. No amount of brick and mortar and walls touching floor (or lack of, i.e. 715 Euclid) could replace the people that have been inside them. In fact, since moving out on my own I tend to find myself most “at home” (and fast asleep on couches) in the houses I am not paying any rent or allegiance to. The acres of land that I once ran away from still house all of my memories of tree climbing, apple pies, soccer cleats, ballet flats, mother-daughter battle/makeup’s and sibling cuddle sessions. It’s those experience that have made me the person who is okay with having nothing that’s her own, besides a couch that she is overly attached to. Point – open up your idea of home to include as many places and as many people as possible because each person brings with them their own piece of their “home” to share. Also, if you ever find me sleeping on your couch, a pile of my clothes on your floor; or dirty dishes in your sink from food you didn’t / wouldn’t eat it’s not just my permanent impermanence; it’s a little gesture to say “I love knowing you” - just keep me away from your lawn mower.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

5, 4, 3...

You don’t expect to need people.

It just happens.

And you only begin to need someone when you have no reason to, other than the pleasure of their company.

Sometimes I think I have all the great people I could ever want for and right about then someone works there way into my life and they become irreplaceably “needed”.

January brought about five new irreplaceable all at once. Starting with the break of 2008, if I was not running around with the The Fab Five (Petey, Carl, Binh-Man, Eliot and Myself) then I was (literally) running with my hetero-girlfriend, Jilly. Winter in ‘Cuse seemed a bit brighter, warmer and shorter than I ever have remembered.

July is plucking them away one by one.

This week we had our goodbyes with Petey, our lanky Italian designer who can turn plastic cups into light fixtures; fills our bellies with home brews and our smiles with laughter as he awkwardly catches me off guard with some absurd sexual comment.

On top of it all, Petey is the coolest guy I know because his girlfriend, Raiken, is a smoking hot, for-real, legit firefighter-- suspenders and all.

When your GF is that awesome you try to be with her no matter where she is, and therefore Petey has left his life-sucking job as a design guy for Chase Design (and inspired us all to not be scared to do the same). He put everything he owns into a U-haul; minus his plants and a his art work, that is currently on display at the musem of my bedroom as an attempt to make me keep my room less messy so I can enjoy fine art.

A few months ago we went out for Petey’s birthday; The Fab Five drank a few brews at Empire as we shared our entrees (because Carl would have helped himself either way) and then relaxed with scotch and cigars. This week was Binh-Man’s birthday and the usual dinner crew of five was down to three, (Carl moved a few weeks back and is currently having too much fun talking firefighter dork-talk with Raiken.) While we each gorged ourselves happily on clams and salt potatoes, the table seemed smaller with out those two.

If I was Tu-Pac’s kind of girl I would have poured out some crystal on the sidewalk, but I think pouring some of Petey’s homebrew on the patio of The Clam Bar could have the same effect.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

About Me:

I have some life goals.

One of them is to actually appreciate this body-o-mine that I run into the ground. I wonder if the makers of Mad Men knew they would get a loyal fan when this quote last season gave me a reason to love the be-hind behind me.

"She's a real lobster, all the meats in her tail."

Other life goals include: to adventure my "tail" around in northern California; eventually become a bangin' cougar; and always rock the Knickerbocker name. I'm a big believer in "signs" so when I stumbled across the flickr picture with this title Cougars and Knickerbockers , I felt very confident about the possible reality of all of my forecasted accomplishments

Monday, July 14, 2008

Happy New Year*

Some girlfriends celebrate birthdays with mani-pedis at the local “nature spa.” Joanna and I celebrated hers by comparing black and blue toe-nails and bunion scars after two days of running the local single-track trails in the nature of NC.

Of the few, (but fabulous) girlfriends that I have, most are all miles away from me, but I have a tie with each that distance can not separate; because each friendship was forged over running some distance of miles together. Joanna is the friend that helped me realize that I physically could run a marathon. (She and I met at a James Bond party when we were introduced to each other as “the other runner girl”) JoJo turned, a smoking-hott, 28 years on Thursday.

With two whole actual vacation days to my name I could think of no better way to spend them than heading to Winston-Salem, NC, to help her bring in her new year.

For the first time since moving back to Syracuse, I had four days with no email to check, no stress to be had and absolutely no agenda, except for the following:

1) Trail Running
2) Watching the Tour de France (to feed our other sick passion of biking)
3) Eating my favorite southern delicacies (anything that comes out of Martha’s kitchen and / or off of John’s grill; hummus from Mellow Mushroom; and breakfast at Mary’s of Course)
4) Substituting our 8 daily glasses of water with coffee, wine, beer and margaritas.
5) Napping

(Hey, listen, while it might look suspiciously like a “task-list”; for a current work-a-holic, I promise you “naps” hasn’t been on any list of mine since Kindergarten…this is progress)

But let the record stand - I am out of shape. Bla Bla Bla I run all the time, and who cares that I have done two marathons this year…it mattered not to my stomach as Joanna and her friend Cullen gazelled through the trails of Greensboro while I gasped for air and everything holy.

As Joanna and I pounded out the miles and then recovered by laying around her house we also took chatty attempts to solve the questions of our current lives (I say attempt because it important to note that during this run I was so delusional I barley remember peeing on the side of the road) So, maybe no questions were answered except, “nothing” is great motivation. Having “nothing” to worry about, “nothing” to do and “nothing” but the company of great friends motivated both of us to start the New Year off right – with a smile -- (and sunglasses that were only fashionable during the years we were born)

*Birthday’s are the start of actual New Years, I was a mere zygote January 1st 24 years ago therefore I introduce “Pantless Rule #1 and #2
1. Birthday Month = The start of an actual new year
2. Birthday = independent national holiday, find your self a great sale, take the day off and probably drink or eat something you wouldn’t normally ever consume