Happy 2008

OK — world’s worst blogger, right here. For all you people who still check this thing even though you haven’t heard squat in months: an update.

I became a Sr. Copywriter with Wunderman in April, after contracting there since December. Great place to work — love the work and the people I’m working with — nice view of the space needle and Olympic mountains from my workstation. Happy, happy.

I moved into a sweet 2-bedroom at the top of Queen Anne hill in March. Still unpacking boxes, believe it or not, but it’s quite livable, and there’s plenty of room for guests. I’ve been busy — what can I say?

Doing what, you ask? Well, um — visitors: Lama Dudjom Dorjee from Texas, and then my parents, in April. Dad hung curtains all weekend, bless him. Then there was my Craigslist addiction — several weekends taken up with acquiring the furniture I needed to store all the stuff I had shipped up from Dallas. Which reminds me — many, many thanks to my Dallas Dharma brothers, several of whom helped me move not once, not twice, but THREE times in a year and a half. John Springer handled the Dallas end of things — packing the crates that were then trucked up here by ABF (great company). And thanks to the crew of Dharma movers here who unloaded those crates in about an hour. Whew! Buddhists are helpful folks, if nothing else.

OK. So then there was May, which was focused primarily on the first visit of His Holiness the 17th Karmapa to America. Last stop was Seattle, at the end of the month, and preparation was intense. So worth it, though. This is the guy we went to see in India last summer. 22 years old, 17th in a powerful line of reincarnate lamas that’s almost 1,000 years old. Yes, I believe that.

June was largely about another relationship — one I’m hesitant to discuss too publicly just yet. I found a guy who’s sexy, sweet, successful in his work, AND who took me to the symphony for our first date. Somebody pinch me!

And now it’s July, and the sun has finally come out “for real.” Or so they say. It’s in the 70s and 80s most of the time. We have a rooftop patio on our building at work, which is great for afternoon catnaps. Life is so good, it scares me.

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Poetry as practice.

For all my Buddhist and writer friends —

Acharya Sherab Gyaltsen, last night at Nalanda West, where I’m taking a class on the nature of mind through the Nitartha Institute. He’s visiting from Boulder, CO, where he teaches at Naropa Univerisity. My paraphrase/interpretation, of course:

Seeing a dancing Padmasambhava would be an illusory experience, much like seeing floating hairs that aren’t there when you have an eye affliction. All the cultural trimmings we’ve fallen in love with in Tibetan Buddhism — the iconography, the mantras, the visualizations, etc. — are distractions from the hard work of analyzing our minds, uncovering the veils of perception that obscure pure Buddha mind.

That in itself is revolutionary. For me, anyway. But the A-HA! moment I had when he said that took it a step further. And took me many, many steps backwards, to Redlands, my sophomore year of college. Ralph Angel — my brilliant, early poetry mentor — telling me to drop the veils obscuring what I should really be getting at in my work.

So there I am again. Or here I am again.

Bluey the Octopus

Wow — what a terrible blogger I am! A quick update —

I’m keeping busy with freelance work, although most of it is coming from Dallas. I’ve been writing about cell phones and telecom management, and I may be about to start a project to do with the “greening” of agriculture. I’ve taken over Donna’s office, which is a second-floor, sunlit room (we have actually had quite a lot of sun lately) surrounded by trees. It’s going to take a really amazing office job to tear me away from this, I have to say. Donna & Robert have been gone most of the month, so I’m house sitting and in no rush to find a place of my own.

Labor Day weekend was eventful. I met someone nice on the train, and we’ve been spending time together since. I spent the weekend with my brother Craig’s family south of Portland, and gave my nephew the octopus I’d finally finished knitting for him. We had fun — went to the coast and to the Oregon Gardens. Then on the way back to Seattle, I managed to bang myself in the eye with a suitcase. I’m okay now, but I wouldn’t recommend it, if you’re wondering. Here’s my handiwork (and Allen):

Bluey the Octopus

Three things I’ve learned in the past month:

  • The outlets on the train are great for old laptops with bad batteries, but if you really want to get writing done you better bring headphones. (If you want to meet cute guys, however, definitely leave the headphones at home.)
  • When traveling alone, don’t be afraid to ask for help in lifting your heavy suitcase up to the overhead bin.
  • There’s only one old toilet to see in the Seattle Underground tour, but the tour guides are funny and it’s great first date material.

Seattle likes me.

Just a quick note to say things are going well. Extremely busy, in fact. I have a full-time freelance gig with an agency here in Bellevue for the next few weeks. That could turn into a permanent thing. And I had an interview this afternoon for a great tech company in Seattle, which went pretty well, I think. And there’s also a possibility I could be telecommuting full-time for an agency in Dallas. That’s pretty much all I can say now, but stay tuned.

Living with Robert & Donna in Bellevue has been such a great thing. I’m so lucky! The only thing I’d ask of this city is — more sun, please! It’s still summer, I think — right, world?

OK, I know. I went into this eyes wide open. Sun was not part of the everyday package — more a nice-to-have-when-it-shows-up thing.

But . . . we are still in August, right?

Job Hunt Jive

Okay, it’s not true (as I may have said in an exasperated moment or two) that the Only job anyone has approached me about is with a certain cell phone company in Bellevue. But criminy — three messages today from three different staffing agencies about the same job. I started getting email about this particular position back in June. So I finally agreed to have one reputable agency I’d worked with before represent me in the matter. That was two weeks ago. Since then, five or six other agents have called or emailed me saying I’d be perfect for it, even offering more money.

Do I have an interview yet? I do not. What’s the smart thing to do in this situation, I’m asking myself.

12 days, 2300 miles and one drive axle later . . .

I made it! Got to Bellevue about 6 p.m. yesterday. The trip was great — I got to see the Great Stupa in Colorado, had lunch with my high school piano teacher in Salt Lake City (who I hadn’t seen in 20 years), and attended the Vale, Oregon Rodeo. My car repair came with plenty of warning, and I got to hang out with my nieces and nephews in eastern OR while it was being fixed. No complaints here.

On to the job hunt!

Road Trip!

I’m behind on my blogging, to say the least. There’s much more to say about India — many journal entries penned on bumpy bus rides, many more pictures to post. All in good time, I promise.

Tonight I’m in Fort Collins, Colorado at my Uncle Gary & Aunt Jenny’s — on my way to Seattle. We got back from India Monday morning, and I spent the week trying to get my windshield wipers fixed. Critical, since it was STILL raining in Dallas. That was interesting. Anyway, I finally succeeded, and said good bye to Dallas yesterday about 10:30 a.m.

The last two days have been breathtaking and peaceful. I spend last night in Dalhart, Texas (home town of my good friend, Tim V), at a great little Budget Inn — run by an Indian couple, oddly enough, who wanted to hear all about my trip there.

I love driving cross-country, and it couldn’t be more beautiful. Texas countryside that would normally be dry and brown this time of year was so lush and green, it was unreal. And it’s not just Texas. All the way up through NM and Colorado, everything is so incredibly alive and beautiful, it makes me cry.

OK — so all the flooding was a little disconcerting. Both sides of the freeway at one point in Wichita Falls were flanked with water. The Holiday Inn parking lot was a lake, and I saw a sign advertising “Riverfront Property for Sale,” that was submerged. For Sale — Cheap!

I’m so happy right now. Road trips are the best, and doing it alone is even better, I think. Hours and hours of time — just me, the road, whatever music I’m playing or song I might be singing to myself, and America the Beautiful. OK, the Himalyas were nice, but for a road trip I’d choose my native land any day.