Photo by Chester Higgins Jr. for The New York Times.

Gary Shtyngart – photo by Chester Higgins Jr. for The New York Times.

If you’re in the mood for something easy and funny, pick Little Failure up sometime.


1. On publication:

“The early joys of my impending publication, and then the joys of actual publication, are without equal in my life. There’s something outrageously simple about extending yourself toward a goal the way a plant seeks the sun’s rays or a gopher the crunch of easy soil beneath his paws, and then getting exactly what you want, sunshine or some prized tuber.” (p. 317)


2. On psychoanalysis:

“It gets easier.

It gets easier faster.

It is fashionable now to discredit psychoanalysis. The couch. The four or five days a week of narcissistic brooding. The reaching over to pluck Kleenex from the quilted tissue box beneath the African pietà thing. The penis-y Freudianism underlying it all. I have made fun of it myself in a novel called Absurdistan, my hero, the overweight and self-indulgent Misha Vainber, son of Russian oligarch, constantly calling his Park Avenue shrink while the real post-Soviet world disintegrates around him and people die.

The truth of it is that it is not for everyone. It is not for most people. It is difficult, painful, and tedious work. It feels, at first, like a diminution of power rendered upon a person who already feels powerless. It is a drain on the bank account and it takes away at least four hours a week that could be profitably spent looking oneself up on the World Wide Web. And, quite often, there is seeming pointlessness to individual sessions that makes my days studying Talmud or Hebrew school brim with relative insight. But.

It saves my life. What more can I add to that?” (p. 311)


Good Stuff – March

Hohensalzburg Castle, Austrai

I’ve be heading to Salzburg, Austria, in just a few weeks. So, I’ve been up to my ears in guide books, luggage shopping, and German websites that I can’t technically read.


1. Becoming a Seattleite has above all else taught me how to gawk at real estate. (See picture above.) This best-of slideshow on HGTV FrontDoor’s site is the perfect place to go for real-estate bingeing.


2. I’ve lived in Lower Queen Anne for almost 5 years now, but only just learned (thanks to friends Engel and Iliana) that Blue Water Taco Grill is not only adequate, but amazing. I’ve been getting the grilled tilapia burrito bowl. YUM.


3. It isn’t much of a secret that I’m not big into makeup–that stuff gets expensive! That said, the stylish, airy website Into the Gloss has been a huge help these last few months for all things beauty, many things wellness, and the occasional thing makeup.


4. I had never cooked with a plantain ever until reading about their benefits on Purely Twins. So glad I did! Plantains have become a staple in my kitchen these last couple weeks and their versatility comes in especially handy when you’re searching for meal inspiration. I’ve been reading this blog for a couple years now, and am always impressed by their posts’ upbeat tone and usefulness.

Loved it

Sonia Sotomayor autograph

My Beloved World
by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor

A couple weeks ago, my friend Katie and I went to Town Hall and saw Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor talk about her memoir, My Beloved World, with Eric Liu. I only knew the basics before going, but it turns out she is indeed remarkable. (So remarkable, this lawyer-dense audience hung on her every word.) Reading her book afterward–every  audience member was given a free, autographed copy–only reinforced those good vibes and feelings of respect.

What impressed me the most as I learned about Sotomayor’s life was both her humility and passion for learning. No airs, no entitlement–just unrelenting hard work, kindness, and a deep commitment to fairness. Let’s hope she writes another soon, with compelling book tour to go with. : )

Whenever I listen to Howard Stern I’m happily surprised by what you learn–this segment is one of my favorites. Don’t you love how imitating Neil Young during a sound check can turn into a hit song?

What will our children do in the morning if they do not see us fly? -Rumi

I recently bought this at the Seattle Public Library’s “Friendshop” and especially enjoy it when waking up. See more Rumi-quoting illustrations over here at Sacred Bee.

Mt. Rainier

Mt. Rainier, as taken from Longmire historic district.

Mt. Rainier on an October day.

A couple weeks ago I had a fun time hosting my dad, who was visiting from out of town. Seattle–fully meeting expectations–maintained a heavy, all-encompassing gray for much of the weekend.

Luckily, we were rewarded with sunlight and clear skies when we hit Mt. Rainier, which had just re-opened after the government shutdown. The route from Seattle wasn’t the easiest to navigate, but worth it as soon as the clouds lifted and we spotted the volcano. I definitely look forward to going back again soon. :)

Clouds parting on WA Highway 7.

Clouds parting on WA Highway 7.

Alder Lake - on Hwy 7 near Mt. Rainier

Alder Lake – on Hwy 7 near Mt. Rainier.

Mt. Rainier - forest near Longmire historic district

Cliffs, forest, and sky near Mt. Rainier’s Longmire historic district.

Mt. Rainier forest, Trail of the Shadows

Forest along Mt. Rainier’s Trail of the Shadows.

Mt. Rainier mineral spring, Trail of the Shadows

Mt. Rainier’s Trail of the Shadows includes enchanting mineral springs!

Mt. Rainier's Trail of the Shadows

Trail of the Shadows, canopy and all.


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