Today at lunch I was walking in the rain downtown, earbuds in, umbrella up. A guy probably in his late 20’s, early 30’s was walking the opposite way…towards me, but not at me. He smiled, I smiled…then he said “you’re really beautiful” and continued walking. My response? I smiled wider and chuckled. He probably thought I didn’t hear him, ear buds in and all.

I immediately started trying to figure it out. Was he a kook! There are a lot of mentally off folks who wander downtown who say stuff like this
to anyone. But I not so sure. He walked and spoke normally enough. Clothes were clean. On his way to catch a bus, likely to work or something because he had a messenger bag (aka man purse).

So was he a hippy kid trying to “change the world” by telling people they were beautiful because everyone is beautiful? Doesn’t seem to fit that profile. Neither a hipster nor a hippy look. Black jeans, winter jacked zipped up, ball cap, the messenger bag was just black fabric…not antiqued leather or ironically made from recycled pop cans. Looked more like a techie guy. Also didn’t try to slow me down to engage me in conversation.

And for that reason I have to also say, not creepy perv guy.

I stopped dead as I entered a shopping center, nearly blocking people going to and from the escalators (sorry…). Why did I assume first that he was anything other than genuine? Am I not beautiful and deserving of a random compliment from a random stranger? Ick.

Not the comment, but the immediate ick feeling in my stomach as I entertained the idea that I’m so pretty that people are compelled to say something. Ick…I just felt it again.

Hot tears rolled down my cheek…quick wipe…keep walking…

But why can’t I take a compliment? Hell , I couldn’t even squeek out a “Thank You.” Just a chuckle…a chuckle to be polite to an obvious kook…a chuckle of disbelief. A chuckle that probably made me sound like a dismissive jerk.

And is it more unbelievable that I’m considered beautiful to a stranger, or that a perfectly healthy and balanced human would go and genuinely compliment a stranger on the street?

And when did I get so jaded? I think I should make an effort to feel beautiful tomorrow. Maybe everyone should.


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Lost in the confusion of loss

I have been consistent at least in my inability to keep a consistent direction with this blog. But frankly, it’s been a challenging year. I think it’s fair too that if something off topic comes up that rocks my world a bit that doesn’t fit in a tweet or Facebook status, it’s welcome in this space. So…

Found out earlier this week that a former co-worker of mine passed away. He was my age with a wife and 2 toddler girls. I will admit that this was one of those work friends where you don’t hang out outside of the office, but we had friendly hallway conversations, laughed a lot at co-worker style events, and I honestly really liked the guy a lot. I was in CLE about a week or so ago and ran into him. Had a fun & lively conversation about Seattle, his wife, his kids…I’ve had friends who have died. Young. Some closer than others. It is painful.

But this time…this time it was a suicide.

I can’t say I know him well enough to question it. To say “he had so much going for him! What the hell!?” because I was distant enough that I had no sense of what was going on beyond the veneer of casual friendly socializing. I have lost sleep over this and just can’t wrap my head around it. Sickened when I think of his wife (who I also worked with…with whom I also merely had a hallway-chat relationship with) and his little girls.

//huff & heavy sigh//

I have nothing profound to say…no philosophical insight gained, no lessons learned. I just had to say something “out loud”. Shouting into the void. Feeling a little helpless, angry, confused, concerned…

Feeling a lot sad.


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Adventures in Seattle

I am shifting gears with this blog. More specifically, I’m going to try to employ some focus, and hopefully some consistency. Welcome to Adventures in Seattle: My Discoveries as a Newbie.

As you may know, I moved to Seattle May 10, 2012. It was a jarring change. For 36 years I had lived within a 16 mile radius of where I was born. It genuinely took me a year to shake off the shell shock and really start exploring. I’m not able to claim any truly new finds yet, but they’re new to me, and hopefully I can make them intriguing to aspiring visitors, but also to “townies” who have grown too accustomed to their awesome surroundings. Hopefully as I am here longer, I will stumble upon things that are even new to them :)

Reporting to you contently from The Yard,


P.S. Come here after 10 p.m. for some incredibly good late night happy hour dishes! Some of the only high quality late night food on the strip. Greenwood Ave. near N. 83rd St.

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Written Off The Show

Today a report popped up in my news feed that actor Lee Thompson Young was found dead of an apparent suicide. He was on the cast of one of my new favorite shows Rizzoli & Isles…a police/crime dromedy. Really sad. But the thing that popped into my head, is how does the show deal with it?

The answer at the moment is that they attached an “In Memorium” message to the most recently aired episode which was already in the can and scheduled, and have suspended further filming until further notice. Sounds right.

But as the creators of the show, what next? You can’t just start filming and ignore his character was never there. You must explain why this character is absent, even though the creators, cast, crew and audience already know what happened to the actor. It feels like there is some sort of code involved. The person can’t rest until the “person” goes along with them? Will they figure out a way to secretly kill off the character? Sounds crass and cold. Send him off to an undercover mission? Reveal a secret bride & child that he has run off with? Um…a stretch.

And to even have this discussion. Can they even have it? How guilty and crummy must they feel discussing the importance of dealing with a character’s departure in the wake of losing a real, live, person. A friend. Is the art of their production so cruel that she insists the show must go on? Well, it’s people’s livelihood. That absolutely has to be taken into consideration. Anyway…I’ll keep watching. Really, really sad.


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Sorry for all of the downer posts, but I’m kind of at a crossroads and trying to figure out how to navigate.

Have you ever spent a good chunk of time thinking that you are good at something…awesome at something…only to find out that people were





This is something that keeps on happening to me in my life. I get all sorts of positive feedback to find that people were either trying to build my confidence and therefore my skill, OR they were trying to avoid the backlash that could result…the blubbering, aimless fury of a soul-broken ennie. Way unpleasant and non-constructive ennie.

So now I’m in the mode of trying to rise above or at least be equal to the others on the team.

Kind of makes me wish people would have been gently, tastefully, kindly honest with me along the road. Kind of makes me wish that when people WERE  gently, tastefully, kindly honest with me along the road in the past (and I know it has happened) that I responded in an open, positive way instead of being hurt and shutting down.

Because the more time passes, it doesn’t just hurt…I don’t have the words, really, to say how it feels. It feels like lies. Lies that I perpetuated by not being able to properly react, but lies people shouldn’t have ever told in the first place either. But can I blame them?

How am I reacting now? Well, trying not to cry. Trying not to shut down. Searching around to educate myself…are there classes? Searching for what steps I was taking that were wrong so I can correct them, and move onward and upward. But with that disapproval/rejection/disappointment having been revealed, how do I get back out on the field, with them there in the stands? Will they even let me go up to bat? How do I work myself up from the bottom of the lineup?

I think that the foundation of my skill HAS to be OK or else I wouldn’t have gotten positive feedback at all. Right?


What sucks is being the novice now, when previously I thought I was a black belt. I was lead to believe I was a black belt. And now I have to catch up and be competitive.

I have to check my ego at the door, and try to build self-confidence from there. How does one build self confidence without an ego? And how do I know if anything I’m doing is right with all these nice people around?

Too many questions, not enough answers. Ugh.


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Failure to Launch

Picture it. South Euclid, Ohio. 1989. I was invited to an 8th grade graduation party.




I was made fun of a lot. For 9 years. Some of it deserved. Some of it uncalled for. So to be invited to a party at the most popular, beautiful girl’s house for a shaving cream fight and party was unprecedented. 24 years ago, I realize it’s likely because her parents insisted she invite the whole class.

Later that night we’re all in the basement. Someone decides it’s time to play spin the bottle. Everyone sits in a big circle. I go to find a place and am told “Oh…so sorry…there are too many people. We have to have an even number. you’re going to have to sit out. So sorry! Maybe next time!”

I honestly can say I don’t remember if I was the only person told this. It’s possible that there were others, but my memory only surrounds me. Alone. “Happily” sitting aside. Cheering my “friends” on.

“Oh! Of course! Sure! I know the rules! I’ll just be over here.”

Yeah. For some reason tonight brought all those feeling flooding back. Don’t ask me to explain. Just had to put that out there.


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Works in Progress

I’m sitting in Hugo House in Capitol Hill, Seattle. Tonight is the bi-monthly “Works in Progress” night where a mike is opened for authors to read pieces they are working on. At 6:30 all are invited to put their names in a jar. At 7 they pull the first name. That person has 5 minutes to read, no more. Then they pull the next name, and so on till about 9p.m.

For regulars, the 5 minute limit can be interesting. Take for example the novelist who read a short story over a span of two months. I was there for the last installment. The collective gasp from the audience when he looked up and essentially said “that’s it” was, well, pretty durn amusing.

Then there is me. In the corner, making myself small, sometimes ending up at a shared table enjoying some light conversation, but not yet having read. Don’t really have anything to read. A lot of these folks are published writers. Others have stacks of well-worn journals, or blogs they update daily. I don’t think I measure up.

Maybe I’ll take some writing classes here so I can get a REAL indication of how good or bad my work is…and how to fix it. Maybe I can get to the point where I’ll have the cojones to do more than sip beer and get lost in their work. I’m working on it…I’m still a work in progress.



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Urban Craft Uprising? Sure!

I am sitting on the ground outside the Seattle Exhibition hall waiting for the annual Urban Craft Uprising show to begin. I’ve been here for an hour, and have 45 minutes to go before doors open. Why am I here so early? Ask the other 69 men and women who have been here hours longer. They reportedly give away a pretty sick swag bag to the first 100 people in line. So sick, in fact, that they actually have a notice on their web site suggesting 8 a.m. as a good time to arrive if you want to beat the rush. Doors open at 11.

I got here around 9:30 because I delayed my planned departure in anticipation of a breakfast invite that I decided would probably be too forced time wise, the bus came later than I had expected, and I took time to help a lost business traveller out of the maze of Seattle Center.

But here I am. Sitting on the concrete. Hungry, but caffeinated.






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Strange how I often lament of feeling or being alone, but when my heart is heavy, I seek solitude.


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Sharing is…caring?

I’m in the dreadfully uncomfortable position of fully understanding that there is one hell of a tricky fine line between over-sharing and under-sharing. In some of my one-on-one relationships, I have stumbled into over-sharing to the point of overburdening someone who should not be expected have the tools to process it all. On the other hand, I’ve let this poor blog collect dust…only posting in fits and starts, with a “draft” box filled with discarded, incomplete ideas.

I often get flooded with emotion that I’ve held back for too long. Then the river crests. The dam breaks, leveling everything, slamming debris along its path. And oh the mess afterward…no time taken for cleanup. Just a lot of self-blame and back pedaling. So the debris remains to make each flood to follow more damaging than the first.

So, where is the line? The damn thing is faint and it moves depending on circumstance, time of day, the weather, who else is around…I don’t know. I’ve considered sharing a little bit often, but I can only imagine that this could make me uncomfortable to be around.



The silence vs. flood scenario has created an atmosphere of complete unpredictability. “Should I say hello? Will this be a happy ennie conversation or a sad ennie conversation?”  What other choice is there but to maintain a safe distance. But distance reeks of distain and resentment, which leads to sad, and on into flooding.

The Middle Path.






With a pleading eye firmly directed towards growth, healing, and emotional intimacy that seems about a zillion miles away right now.



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