Monday, April 20, 2009

Sandal Season!

Last week I got my first pedicure in ages and just in time -- it's sandal season! Well, almost. Just because we are having a few sunny days here in Seattle doesn't mean that it's not going back to rainy cold nastiness. It undoubtedly will.

But I did actually take my sandals out of "winter storage" for the first time to show off my sparkly pink toes to the world. They were previously hideous due to a variety of deformities and broken toenails caused by ski boots and God knows what else. I could never quite achieve Inner Peace in Yoga class because I was always looking enviously at everyone else's toenails, hoping they weren't looking at mine.

In other news, I am sort-of-frantically preparing for my upcoming trip to Finland. I now have total of three couches to sleep, on due to my active membership in the generous Hilkka, Caizu, and Thomas. Why I've gotten so into it that Dave and I are even offering ourselves up as hosts now! (As long as our guests don't mind a lot of dog hair and few screaming fights with household cleaning products flying through the air.* )

And back to sandals...I have not yet decided whether to bring a pair to Finland with me, where the weather is promising to be 50 degrees and sort-of-actually-sunny. If I do, should I bring my "dressy" sandals so as to show off aforementioned sparkly pink toes, or my "sport" sandals to bring with my on my mini bike tour through the Aland Islands?

It will be one of those tough, last-minute calls. I am especially fond of the new Tevas I bought last year, the Karnali Wraptors (which they claim shows off your pedicure but most decidedly do not!) As usual I bought quickly with no previous research, for my trip to Alaska.

Had I actually been researching, I might have watched this video about Keen sandals from my pal Webtogs, who have a series of helpful videos about outdoor gear on YouTube. Since I will shortly be in the market for new hiking boots, I'm hoping they'll have a video about that soon. I imagine they will since they offer a lot of walking boots on their site.

So, back to vacation. If I don't chat with you again before my departure on April 24, perhaps we will speak again from the frozen north (even more frozen than Seattle).

[*OK, household products only flew through the air once, when we were in the midst of moving, when one can totally justify having a mini-nervous breakdown.]

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Hail hail the IRS!

At least I am making an honest living these days. Except I am not actually making a living but never mind that for now.

This week I am working my a*s off (writing, teaching) and earning every one of the few pennies that I make. Whereas whenever I go to work for - well, you know who, I have so many names for the giant, bloated behmoth to the east - I am rolling in dough while hardly having to lift a finger.

I can't decide which I like better. Or worse. Or whatever. I do know I'm grateful to have work - any work! - and I like feeling honest rather than like some corporate slug.

Yet, would it not be for ye olde IRS refunding me a bunch of moola this month (Thank God for deductions! That kayak - yeah, a business expense! Trip to Alaska - deduct) I would not have enough to pay my bills in April nor for my upcoming trip to *Finland* where I will be crashing on the couches of friendly Finlandians via the rather impressive site

Anyway, I really don't have time to talk to you right now so goodbye.

Rebecca (currently clad in dog-haired covered fleece, a stocking cap, and Tevas, thoroughly grateful that the paparazzi is not stalking her anymore because God, she looks awful)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


This weekend I was not exactly at my sparkling best. For one, I was *supposed* to go backcountry skiing on Saturday. Then I bailed because of "winter storm warnings," etc. And because when I woke up in the middle of the night, rain was falling in Biblical proportions.

These are perfectly good excuses not to go outdoors. But I know myself better than that. I know that if I do not get out in the mountains at least once a week that my outlook on life gets extremely grim.

I secretly hoped everyone else would cancel. That weather would turn them around. That they would arrive at their destination and be so miserable that they gave up in despair.

But this was not the case. They all had fun! While I, on the other hand, stayed home and got increasingly agitated, getting everyone else (dog, boyfriend) increasingly agitated along with me so that a massive fight broke out by 8 p.m.

So I made a choice. The next day I blew off all other responsibilities and went skiing. The weather wasn’t much better. It was snowing the whole time. All the slopes were a big slab waiting to avalanche so we just skied along a road. But, Glory Halleleleujah, I got my exercise and my dose of UV rays and a few mountain views and I was golden.

I stayed toasty dry in my jaunty blue Marmot Oracle jacket (pictured above). I am one of the least gear-savvy outdoor freaks around but I do know this: if your jacket doesn't keep you dry, you're doomed.

This video from British company Webtogs actually taught me a lot about rain shells that I didn't know -- for example, that all these years I've been buying "membrane" jackets as opposed to "coated" jackets - and that Gore-tex is a type of membrane. The cute outdoorsy British dude mentions Berghaus jackets (a Euro brand) as an example of a good membrane jacket but I'll stick with my Marmot, thanks very much!

And I’ll be sure to get out it in next weekend, or else.