Saturday, February 20, 2016

From a Plane, Next to Annoying Teenagers.

Lately, when I travel, I am struck by two things:

How lucky I am... and how much I hate flying.  The second is neither here nor there (But I do.  I really hate flying.  And, like the traveller version of Benjamin Button, I seem to be going in reverse: the more I fly, the more I hate it.  I have never grown into it and am still not yet growing to love it).

But I digress- yes I have flying.  But it is that flying, those flights, that serve as a very blunt reminder of my luck:

I get to fly.

I get to leave Stavanger, Norway on a random Friday morning and fly to Dublin, Ireland for a combination concert/girls' weekend.  (It might seem somewhat insignificant, but give it a minute to sink in.)

I get to hop around Europe and play.  And that for a lot of people- hell, for a lot of people I know- is not necessarily a normal thing.  It's a lucky thing.

And all of this luck is a circumstance of something else.  It's a rambling something else, but go with it, I promise not to ramble too long.

On my first trip to Norway, much to my chagrin, I met a man.

By the end of my second trip here (I say 'here' meaning Norway even though I'm sitting, as aforementioned on a plane, next to annoying teenagers), again to my chagrin, I realized that I was in love with said man.  And for whatever strange twist of fate and reason (he's a quiet, reasonable, calm engineer to my wild child, nonsensical, non-linear whatever-I-am) he fell for me, too.

So then fast forward a move overseas and up major latitudes; some adventuring; and a shotgun wedding... and here's why I can't help thinking about my luck, and why it matters so much when I fly:

I got to marry the man I love.  It's this man that anchors me, and has given me a home in Europe- a home abroad.  I'm lucky because I get to travel with my best friend; I get to travel without him; I get to come home to him when I'm not with him.  I get to move through this world knowing that I am satisfied, regardless...

Dublin, Stavanger, Amsterdam, Budapest, Peru; husband, solo, with girly best friend; I am satisfied.  Life is good.

So I fly and I hate it.  But I get it.  And I'm thankful for having these sorts of problems day to day- versus the sillier and the worse.

Monday, February 15, 2016

February Obsessions

Nothing forces you to sit down and consider writing like tripping over your dog, falling full-on down, and busting your knee.

And so I now have some enforced time to just be.

Which gives me just enough (enforced) time to confess my newest obsessions.

Let's begin with The Newsroom.  I know, I know, I'm late to it again.  Like, really late.  Late enough that I just found out that the series is no longer in production, DAMMIT!  I'm a pretty big fan of Aaron Sorkin as it is.  Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip is my favorite series of all time.  His writing is fast and smart and he takes glee in challenging his audience- a trait I find severely absent in most of pop culture.  The Newsroom, like Studio 60, like The West Wing before it, is witty and unforgiving- almost abusively entertaining.  Talk about binge watching.

Plus it's on HBO- so no commercials.  Boom.

Next on we have my obsessive compulsive travel disorder.  This month I'm to Dublin (to take in this concert!).  March I'm in Amsterdam for the Easter holiday.  And possibly the Hague.  (I know, so boring- so many places I've already chronicled on this site).  Not so sure about April but then in May we're off to Prague.

And then there's July.

Oh yes.... already we've reached July... and already I have a safari window open with four tabs detailing the time, dedication, and potential wallet suck it takes to get to Machu Picchu.  Oh yes yes!  Away we go to Machu Picchu- a destination that has been on my go-to list for (hang on, I'm doing the math of my age here) nearly two decades.  Not kidding, not even a little.  In July Steve and I are headed back to the State's for a jaunty little reception in New Orleans followed by a (and I'm literally humming with excitement about this already) week long stay in Peru.  Which, of course, means I've got this book on pre-order.  I really should just buy stock in Lonely Planet.


This tattoo idea- more refined and more Corvus Genus, but you get the idea.  I need to start working on my birds again. There is a distinct probability that by the end of this there will be a sleeve.

This cover.  Gotta love the jam.  Especially when a bunch of dudes do it.

Homemade Almond Milk Chai Teas.  Yes, it really is a mouthful.  (In more ways than one). When I lived in China, I used to make homemade chai tea all the time.  It's easier than Starbucks makes it out to be- you don't need a premade mix, you don't need fancy latte machines.  You need milk, black tea, and your particular palate of spice and sweetness.  The trick is to put the tea back in with the milk or water before you even begin to heat the liquid.  Then as the milk begins to heat, it simultaneously brews the tea which heightens the flavor in the most delicious way.  And almond milk is just plain yummy.

And with that, I leave you all to redress a bandage, take a painkiller, and download more episodes of *ahem... doesn't really matter.

Until next time, enjoy the show :).

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Not Enough.

I am a person who is frequently annoyed.  I am opinionated, brusque in those opinions, and thoughtful.  I may not be many other things- or I may be loads of other, less pleasant things- but I am certainly those.

Once, for example, when I was living in China, I nearly launched a computer out of the kitchen window.  This bout of potent potential violence came in the wake of an article I read about Congress removing Grey Wolves from the Endangered Species list largely because some wealthy elk farmer, somewhere in the Northern MidWest, had the ear (wallet) of a Senator and apparently did not like his herd becoming prey.

News Flash, Old MacDonald, wolves eat elk.  Normally for subsistence purposes.  So get over it.  The other 5,000 animals on your farm are fine and the four that are serving as lupine feasts, well, that's that.  There are 1500 Grey Wolves left in North America- at least there were when Congress gave them the axe from the list.  If there were 1500 people left in the wild, elk farmers notwithstanding, we'd probably eat and elk or two to survive.

Don't fret.  The computer survived.  The table it was sitting on did as well.  My throat, having yelled at said computer for a solid hour, was less lucky.  Amongst other thins.

Onward, now.  I am constantly learning, my awareness evolving as information is presented to me- as arguments are won and/or lost.  So my annoyance is a fluid thing, my opinions changeable within reason.

There is one thing, however, that never ceases to fry my brain... ever.  And that is inconsiderateness (that might not be a word, but I'm going for it because I can).  Inconsiderateness.  It's like the rich man's unsubtle-yet-can't-be-bothered version of cruelty.  And the thing is, I know I've been inconsiderate to people.  I know I've done it heaps of times to heaps of people.  I know I've been ungrateful and pissy and bitchy.  In fact... I, Kathrine Seyfried, confess right here, right now- I am not the nicest person on the face of the Earth.  Not even close.

And that's okay.

Because I'm not constantly inconsiderate.  I'm not consistently cruel.  I have, though, been on the back end of both of those things.  And whether I'm callous or adult enough to have reached the "I don't care phase," I really don't care.  I don't take it personally, I take it opinionatedly.  And it annoys the ever loving bejesus out of me.  Honestly, how much time does it take to stop and think "hey now, what if... hmmm?"

The answer is- not enough.  Not enough time to NOT stop and think about someone else's feelings- what they might think about that email or that text or that story told about them in their absence.  Again- I am NOT absolving myself of anything, I could take the exact same second to do the exact same thing.  And hopefully, having preached and ranted here for a little while, I will do it much more often in the future.