Friday, June 13, 2014

Please step away from the Food Channel

Foodie Friday. True story. Get me some Teff ASAP or better yet, set it on fire!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Its All Good

I have discovered my purpose in life.

I'm going to open up a restaurant called "Its All Gluten" and it will have tables shaped like pieces of bread.

Don't know if you've ever waited on tables before but announcing you have a gluten allergy these days is equivalent to saying "Hi! I'm an asshole!"

I get it. Some people have sensitive systems and certain things can be tough on it. But you could say the same about your server and there's no reason to be tough on them or the restaurant because of it. If you have such a problem eating out, then maybe you shouldn't. Just sayin'.

Had the pleasure of the above described individual this week already. To top it off he had a black Amex that said 'See ID' on the back of it. 

When I asked to see ID he scoffed commenting that he thought he came in enough to be recognized. First off, I'm preventing identity theft at your request not recognizing you for who you think you are. Which is what I said in so many words accompanied by a smile while walking away.

Fun Fact: When waiting tables, anyone with a Black Amex is known for being notoriously cheap. Ever wonder why some rich people stay rich? I don't have to be an economist to know that trickle down economics doesn't work. Just wait on a few people with black Amexs and you'll understand first hand.

So yeah. Integration back has been interesting. In Bali, so many things spoke to me in a profound way that coming back to Key West has felt…well a bit gritty. Rough around the edges so to speak. 

Not really wanting to be back totally. 

This morning I saw it in my one yoga teacher who just arrived. That bewildered and frustrated look was all too familiar. Glad its not just me.

With a country that claims so much abundance, its a strange feeling to see so many people in the states unhappy. I suppose its our culture. You're taught to never be satisfied with what you've got. It actually feeds our economy to be unsatisfied.

I even think these crazy food allergies are just a giant cry for help. Yes, one percent of the population could die from eating something but 99% don't. 

Food allergens might be a way to make them feel special since they cannot seem to feel that way on their own. Guess I need to have a little more compassion for that.

Things in Bali just had so much feeling and life. Right down to the vegetables. Something I'm sorely missing now. Small and imperfect veggies had such punch. More than our perfect on the outside with nothing on the inside ones here. When things taste that flavorful, its easy to eat healthy.  

I always seem to collect stray dogs on travels overseas. A grumpy one ran up to me immediately growling at our second eco-lodge. 

He was a scruffy sort with hair missing, a beat up eye and skinny. He'd talk to me in barks and growls and I'd talk back. Soon enough I'd find him waiting for me when I'd be exiting cottages in the compound and he'd rub up against my leg. Jumping up and down.

I found out from the staff he was the first dog to show up when they started building the lodge.

A second grumpy dog I met after my roommate called out my name in fear. She was walking back from flying my kite in the fields and he wouldn't let her pass. So I stepped over, said hello and asked him what he was doing then he let her through.

He even followed me back to my lounge chair and hopped up on it while I painted smiling at my relieved roomie.

Guess I collect these peeps at home too. Especially waiting tables cause I get them A LOT. You know, the ones no one wants to go near and I do the same grumpy dog thing.

Pay them some attention and smooth down their edges till you can scratch their head right between the ears. Hopefully thinking, if I can give them something they need, they'll be nicer to the lot of us later on.

So that's the gist. Been trying out some new sketching with things I learned about fractals. A name for patterns in nature I see all the time and had no idea it had a name until a fellow nerdy friend clued me in.

Oh and finally found that solar mutual fund to invest in. How perfect is it that its stock symbol is TAN? 

Guggenheim Solar

Being a news junkie, I'm finding researching funds and trends to invest in is a lot of fun. Who knows? Etrade might become a cool hobby of sorts.

Had a couple of dreams lately which made me feel that another evolution is on the horizon. 

The first one was me starting work back at an old ad agency. Felt happy to be there with all the things I'd learned. That was a shocker I had to do a double take on. 

The other one I was doing my own poses and then it morphed into teaching a yoga class which felt really natural. Something I flashed back on this morning when the girl behind the counter at Old Town Bakery asked me if I taught yoga. 

Nope I just go to class a lot and crave baked goods and coffee immediately after.

And that's about it, Happy Hump Day Y'All! Woof.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Bali Bliss with a touch o Hong Kong

water temple day

room with a view

Hong Kong street art

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Geeking Out

rainforest texture

Found some amazing photo editing apps after thinking about breaking down and purchasing photoshop. The best thing about blogs is finding all kinds of info in just the click of a search. 

Found these two great ones called Tadaa and Snapseed. And the best part is they're free! If you are a photo nerd like me you'll love them.

This trip I decided to finally purchase a waterproof camera. Something I've been wanting for a while now but my growing camera collection kept me from actually doing it. 

Thought I'd be using it more in the ocean and streams but the best use I got was the day we visited the temples and it started to pour down rain. Everyone else had to shield their cameras but I got to keep snapping away without worry.

Broke away from my usual Cannon alliance in order to try something new. 

If you're a traveler, the Fuji Fine Pix waterproof series is a great option and really affordable. It even has a wireless transfer to any device - phone, tablet, computer which was the final selling point for me. 

Anytime I snapped some shots, I could easily sit down with a connection and just transfer them to my phone for instant editing. No needing to lug around a computer these days - just a phone and a camera :)

Didn't have these photo edit apps at the time and now I'm properly geeking out to them.

So fun!!!

Besides the amazing yoga retreat the one thing I didn't expect was the great daily art classes. Got some new inspiration from one of the best yoga teachers/artists in Key West. 

A lot of new pathways and ideas for my artwork. In particular a way to combine my photos and painting. Getting a lot out of that little yoga studio.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014


You ever go on a trip buy a bunch of stuff and then get home and think, "What the hell did I just buy??" Well, not on this one cause I absolutely love everything I bought in Bali.

Its a sleepy rainy day here in Key West and I have been distributing gifts. Sending things to friends and family. Dropping things off too.

The painting above is the first thing I bought in Bali. A monkey temple worker pulled me and a friend aside asking if we would like to buy some art. 

He walked us to an area just past a screaming blond girl who was getting ganged up on by a bunch of monkeys. 

We told him we'd take a look and suddenly he was grabbing his stash from behind a cremation temple. I was still a bit jet lagged and wasn't really ready to buy my first thing. But loved that the first person I was going to encounter selling me something was an artist. 

In Bali its considered very auspicious whom you make your first sale of the day to. Something you should bargain with apparently.

The elephant deity in the painting is Ganesha, remover of all obstacles. He told me to put it in a yellow frame for good luck. I've been obsessed with the color yellow lately and took that as a good sign.

Loving all the things I collected on this trip. Every single thing including this CD I bought from a musician who was staying at our first eco lodge.

I sat near him at the pool one day while he was playing a guitar. His travels are weaved into his music specifically sounds of things he comes across.

The yoga teachers invited him to play at our morning yoga session at the end. When he started to play during shavasana, I recognized this instrument immediately. 

A covered steel drum of sorts I've only heard once in Barcelona after a really great day. I loved it so much I bought a CD for my friend and forgot to make a copy of it for myself. The sound is how I feel when I travel. It just makes me smile and want to go journeying.

After our last yoga session with Javier, I went up to buy a CD and found out he was from a town near Pamplona in Spain. Not too too far from where my family lives on the north coast. 

When I mentioned where they were from, he looked shocked. He had dated a girl from Asturias for 6 years he told me. "Such strong willed and genuine people" he said. I flashed to Tio and just said "Yes" with a laugh.

Asked him a bit more about the instrument he was playing and was so grateful to hear again. Apparently it was made in Farmington, Missouri. Another place I was very familiar with. 

More family resided there. And a long time ago, my artist grandmother took me, my brother and sister to get sculpture busts made of our childhood heads at the time. A gift for mom which is probably the coolest thing you could do for a mom. Have your child frozen in time in clay.

Such a strange thing, so many connections. Was the beginning of an amazing journey in Bali. One that I am enjoying unraveling each day being back.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Bali - The heart of the world

So, where to start? My mind is still racing back and forth trying to explain what I did over there. What I feel now.

Not sure how to phrase what experiencing Bali was for me other than - Heart. 

There is so much heart in Bali from the temples, the plants, the water and most of all the people. 

A genuine happiness in everything that surrounds you. Its a blanket you immediately wrap yourself up in as soon as your feet hit the ground. 

I want to live in that place forever. Not so much physically but emotionally. Its what I've been looking for and am so glad I had a chance to see it and know that it exists somewhere in the world.

Birds were flying through the airport as we left and the parking garage was a cascade of plants and flowers. I was immediately at ease and lit up. 

The ride to the first place was an amazing array of temples, people whizzing by, smiles, colors, textures. It was hard to focus on one thing cause about one million other things were awaiting you with the next blink.

Still dealing with a little bit of jet lag but I was so energized when I came back to town. Slept like a rock and arose with the sun over there. I feel so calm and centered in a way similar to when I came back from Peru.

The biggest thing I've been thinking about is why are they so happy in Bali? Why are we not the same here? 

One conclusion is the connection to nature. There is a reverence for it. Everything they take from the land they put back in. They celebrate it and pray for it. 

There is a sincere belief in it and that gratitude is so genuine it glows. I got so used to seeing people smile upon greeting them it was a little jarring to not have it coming home. 

Key West is an escape for a lot of folks and they are not even happy in it. Something I got to experience my first night back at work when I had to tell a woman I couldn't serve her alcohol cause she was already too intoxicated. 

Anger arose and she stormed out. All night long people needed a lot and were unhappy no matter what you gave them. People are hungry but they have no idea for what. Maybe that's why.

Made me think of Bali and the few things they have and the happiness they all contain. Intention. Connection. Reverence.

Its so sad, cause we have so much here but we can't even feel it. There's too much in the way to allow us to sink into the happiness we all innately have. What I see back here is static and stuff getting in the way of people being able to plug in.

Happiness does exist. I feel it in my core - have been since I started regular yoga and this trip just deepened my connection to all things that help me reach that center. Art. Papaya tree swinging. Kite flying. Good food. Laughing. Nature walks. Smiles. Plants. A good cup of coffee.

Will post more later but as I start to ponder all things Bali this is what has been on my mind since I got back. 

Just was an incredible trip - The world is an amazing place.