kellianne: (2009)
I've just dropped Mr. Crane off for his second official day at preschool (the first was a week and a half ago, right before spring break happened). As I left, he was helping one of his teachers put caterpillars in new chrysalis into the butterfly station. He was so stoked!!! I am so relieved to have him there. Trips to Little Farm, the Children's Museum, the Farmers Market, and parks I do. Lots of bike trips I do. Planting stuff in the garden I do. Caterpillars? Turtles? Kids yoga? Music class? I don't do that! He is going to have so much fun!

And now I'm sitting here, sipping tea and gearing up for a few hours of work on 750words.com. I am so stoked to have time to work on the site without having it dig into my time with Buster in the evenings. We have been working too much on week nights and some weeks barely know each other, adult conversation wise. I need this preschool time for my day job.

I also need to:
Make this week's meal plan
Go grocery shopping
Supervise a furniture delivery and Craigslist pickup
Clean the kitchen
Make dinner (for the most part)
Do an hour of yoga (that can wait until nap time, which happens after I pick the guy up)

In the space of 4 hours. Which means that I shouldn't be tic tapping away personal matters, but my head feels a little cloudy. I feel as if I never get much of anything personal down.

So where to start? Work is going well. The site is having pretty good times, and I think it can continue to grow slowly and that I can keep up. Plus I've opened my kitchen salon, which is fun and awesome. People come over, I cut their hair and get adult time, and then I make money. Best job, ever! The house is really well situated for it - super big kitchen with a door, so Buster and Niko can be in the living room and no one feels intruded upon. Plus having people over all the time means that I make an extra effort to make everything clean and pleasant, which pays off well during family times.

I have lately been feeling a lot of feels for Seattle. Missing it pretty hardcore, even while still missing NYC and the east coast in general. I am stoked to be flying east for Alice and Harry's wedding in a few weeks! Seeing my family will be a wonderful thing, too.

But Seattle!! Can we talk about Seattle? I miss hipsters, you guys. I miss being surrounded by poorish, mostly white people who have ridiculous style, wear your granddad's clothes, and look incredible. They have style that always inspired me, professionally and otherwise. And the bay area has maybe 4 hipsters that actually look fantastic. Seriously. And don't tell me to go to the mission. I've been there. Those kids are... not very hip. I HAVE seen a few kids with incredible hair in Oakland at Art Murmer, all black kids who have more hip hop in their little finger than I have in my whole body. Love them. But where are the tattooed bartenders with the big glasses? Where are the girls who are rocking ridiculous vintage that is a way early prediction of what the biggest fashions will be, 2 years down the line?

At first I thought it was the money. The bay area is expensive, right? But NYC is hella expensive, too, and that place has ridiculous kids everywhere you turn. Then, I met a woman who works in the restaurant industry and hails from Portland and Seattle. She asked me how I was digging things as we sat in an idyllic park while our kiddos displayed perfect behavior and had a ball. I said, "Man, this weather is incredible. I don't think I'll ever be able to leave the birds, bikes and breeze. And everyone is so flipping nice!! BUT! My PNW sister!? WHERE ARE THE HIPSTERS?" She was cracking up, "I know, right?! I miss it! They don't work in kitchens here. It's all Mexicans who work work for less, or rich kids who will work for FREE for a year (!!!!) at places like Chez Panisse just to have alumni status on their resume." Then, Buster brought up that NYC has a pretty wide breadth of employment while the bay mostly attracts folks in tech, who are a completely different kid of hip. Anyhow, I find it very fun to think about how a work culture, money, and market creates or suppresses a sub-culture.

Now I'm thinking of slipping out to art murmer more, and maybe hitting a car show? Because I have seen a few Mexican kids around (dudes, mostly) who have KILLER barbered haircuts. And that might be where I will be needing to pull inspiration when I'm not traveling to visit NYC and Seattle. I need my inspiration!

I am feeling self conscious writing all of this down, I realize these are all disjointed thoughts and I have so many friends in social sciences who could talk about this with eloquence (please comment!) but it's my job to look at the kids and be inspired!! Love the kids. Forever and always. Especially Millennials, it seems. Though I'm sure that whatever generation is behind them will also be awesome because kids are always awesome.

That is all. I really need to get plugging!

Good Morning!
kellianne: (2009)
It's finally happening. I am surrounded by boxes and am strangely not stressed. At all.

I imagine this is because the stress will come later, as I try to cajole my way into a tight renters mareket in a city where I know next to no one. As I try to wrap my head around why I would ever want to leave the stability and sense of community that Seattle has provided for us. As I start over, again.

I start over all the time, you guys. On a dime, usually. I mean, there might be a few days of waffling, but mostly I'm game for anything, all the time. My therapist recently told me that if something happens 3 times or more, the problem is me. We were, of course, talking about something entirely more personal, but I've been thinking a lot since about how life keeps leading me to live in all these different cities and about how that is obviously something I have obviously chosen to do, time and again. If I ever complain about how life has led me on a meandering path that has left me feeling uprooted, please refer me to myself as the 'problem'.

And the fact is that I get bored when things I expect to happen are happening. So here we Bensons go!

Niko is taking it all remarkably in stride. It's kind of amazing. Even Sopor is being a sport about residing in the basement bathroom of some kind neighbors until we take her on the road. Though I did just get a phone call about how her head got stuck between the wall and the washing machine. Poor Sopor. I hope they both continue to roll with it during the crazy drive down to San Francisco. Because that's how I roll into new cities. On wheels. We could have easily had the car shipped down there and followed in a plane... But I like to roll into a new city after being on the road in contemplation.

And, anyway, it's not like we will never be back in Seattle again. It's a pretty short plane ride and Niko needs to come back from time to time to hang out with his toddler friends. He has become so close with his little drooly pants crew. Lord knows how I'll be able to replicate the camaraderie that I have those families, but change always seems impossible when you're looking at it head on. When I was 20, I was absolutely determined that being a wife and a mother was slavery. And while that's not entirely untrue (!), it's also something I entirely welcomed 10 years later. When I was a new mom, I never thought I'd be comfortable hanging out on the playground and chatting up other moms and now I'm making playground friends all the time... Or, well, I would be if it weren't so damn cold and foggy right now. So point is that I'm having a hard time imagining how I will morph into a Bay Area Mom with Bay Area Mom Buds, but I know I will. Because I must, and because I am lucky in areas like this, anyhow.

We have had the most glorious week of goodbyes, you guys. I have felt so much love and support from our friends here. It has been overwhelming and beautiful. Our Bon Voyage party was the best party of 2013 thus far, I am sure. I almost made it through without crying but, of course, the Vain crew got me. Truly, I do not know how I will ever possibly replicate the awesomeness of the Vain crue and clients. And so I cried, which I don't do because heaven forbid anyone see me as less than powerful. But then I did. So the gig was up for 5 minutes until I ran to the bathroom to save my eye makeup.

I will close with a funny Niko moving story:

Two days ago, I went over my own personal moving schedule with Niko while he had dinner. I wanted him to understand what I was doing every day, and why he was in daycare all week. When I got to friday on the schedule, I said, "Friday, you are going to go to Jenny's and the people are going to come and pack up our Choo House (Niko's name for our place, of course). He screamed NO I DON'T WANT THEM TO PACK UP MY CHOO HOUSE. I explained that the house needed to be packed up so that our stuff could be shipped to San Francisco. So he says Oh in a totally nonchalant manner (related: the fact that toddlers can go from SCREAMING to nonchalant in a split second is ZOMG). Then he asks me to read the schedule again.

I read the schedule 4 more times. Every time I get to Friday, he screams NO I DON'T WANT THEM TO PACK UP MY CHOO HOUSE!! And I repeat my explanation. Then he asks me to read it again. Finally, the last time I read the schedule, I ask him - And what happens on Friday? - and he wails - THEY ARE TAKING AWAY MY TRAINS!!!!! I said, dude? is that what this is about? and he weeps into my shoulder - uh huh mama they are packing my trains. And so I say - hey how about I put your trains in the car with us? So they can be with us always? - and he lights up like a little firecracker and is all - oh! yes!

And now he checks the care all the time to make sure they are in there. In April it will be a full year of TRAINSTRAINSTRAINS and it shows no sign of stopping. I love it.
kellianne: (Default)
At first, to start my emotional preparation - I suppose, I was unfairly letting myself bitter towards this weird Seattle. I got busy remembering everything passive aggressively rude that ever happened (so many many many times). I was feeling a whole bunch fear about the winter that's to come. Thinking, "I never belonged here, anyway."

And while all of those things above are parts of my story, the bigger part of my story is about how this place has been very very good to me. I met my husband here. I have an terrific job here, with tons of wonderful clients, who help me to reflect on my own life with parts of the wisdom they share from their own. We have, hands down, the best fucking radio station I have ever had the honor of tuning in to. Seattle remains, in my mind, the most beautiful city in this country, BY FAR, and has clean, refreshing air. Perhaps more importantly than any of this, it is culturally a FANTASTIC place to raise my child. I share core values with this city's politics and feeling of compassion, and I appreciate that tremendously.

Thinking about all of that today overwhelmed me a little bit. I am really happy to be here for the next 5 months. I am looking forward to exploring a new, world class, city. And I am also looking forward to being here for a while longer. Let's hang out and do things all the time, ok?
kellianne: (Default)
Vacation went well! We hit something like 5 cities in 5 days, which felt rushed, but it was awesome to see everyone! I definitely didn't get enough face time with some key people, but at least I got SOME face time.

As usual, my trip back east made me face tough questions about futuretimes and where to live. I am still, after FOUR years, constantly weighing Seattle v/s anywhere on the East Coast. East Coast is all about the all important FAMILY, a few key BFFs, and (for the love of god) being thisclose to so many other cities. Seattle is all about food, fresh air, a few key BFFs, and absolutely gorgeous topography.

I feel like I'll never figure it out. The scales can gently tip either way, depending on how I feel. I definitely feel more completely at home on the East Coast, and think I always will. I still bristle at politics and culture in Seattle. I just don't understand why people use so many words to accomplish so little over here. And... yet... my quality of life over here is really great. We can afford the things I want to be able to afford. We can balance between my urban and country ideals.

And the food! Food is SUCH a huge issue for me anymore. It's just so much harder to eat well on the East Coast. I get looks when I specifically ask if there is any dairy or soy in anything. My own family can't get a handle on my dietary requirments. THUS, I just ran to the bathroom in an effort to clean more East Coast funk out of my intestines. I don't know why it's so hard for people to understand the concept of processed foods v/s real foods. How hard is it to understand that if it comes in a box, with a label, it is processed? Apparently too hard. My mother is aghast that something as simple as a saltine has soy in it. And probably hydrogenated oils. Not to mention the white flour. I LOVE how I can be in Seattle and everyone seems to just get it. The food in Seattle is REAL.

But, all that said, and I still love bringing my son to a party with 50 people visiting who are there because he is family. Without having ever met him, they love him unconditionally. There is no substitute for that. There is no substitute for the clamor of cousins and the cooing of great grandmothers. There is an urban family here in Seattle, and they are great, but they aren't the people who watched me grow, who named their boat after me, who gave me my set of morals.

The truth is that Seattle is a perfect city except for the fact that I have no roots here. It is the perfect city except for the fact that it is not on the East Coast, essentially. I don't know how to qualify all of that in my head. There is no city out there that is all-around perfect, without exception. New York is too expensive and filled with bedbugs. Philadelphia is not a tech center. Boston is, frankly, boring as all give out. Baltimore is too filled with crime. DC is not a tech center. Richmond is not a tech center. San Francisco is filled with crime and too expensive. There is no WIN ringing in my ears when I think of where to settle my family.

And, you know, I also feel as if this whole big decision is ON ME. Buster has been saying for years, "Just let me know when you make a definite decision and we'll move!" and that's very nice and all, but it would be nice if he had a strong opinion that would sway me.

His only strong opinion is that we could definitely go back to New York.... but in order for that to happen he would have to show me a whole lot of money that we don't have. New York is super fabulous to people who don't have the prospective of living outside of New York. I am just not masochistic enough to handle it without a great deal of money any more. Plus, I honestly don't think that my urban family roots are as strong in New York. I can't imagine any of my NYC friends taking a break from their ridiculous work schedules to help fill in child care. Seattle is just so much more family oriented than New York. In New York, you need an expensive nanny or you need family- and family will be 2 hours away.

Anyway. Whatever. Waffling and waffling and you've all heard this story before! And it's so natural for me to think about it all even more as I approach my 3 year anniversary in Seattle. Three years in a city is about how long it takes before I start to itch and wonder if I'm doing the right thing in the right place.
kellianne: (Default)
Last night was amazing. We met with Natasha, hit up Whole Foods, and headed over to Erin's house around 7. We grilled, drank, and then danced danced danced to the DJ's music by the pool. We got the DJ to play FREEDOM, which he didn't want to do, but you really can't argue with 2 redheads who want you to play FREEDOM on the 4th. The (self righteous) (jerk of a) DJ insulted George while I was requesting the song, but I let it go in the spirit of Independence Day. Eventually we felt pretty hot and definitely drunk. SO we stole all of Erin's bikinis and jumped into the pool, which was absolutely lovely and perfectly heated. The fireworks started while we were in the pool, and a douche bag started bothering us (he asked what we did for a living. we made him guess and he suggested that half of us must do clerical work, then someone yelled at him to get his glass out of the pool and he wouldn't, so we gave him the cold shoulder and he called us faggots under his breath. charming.). we ditched the pool and ran upstairs to watch the gorgeousness from Erin's balcony. Fireworks by the needle were cool, but Lake Union fireworks definitely won. There were cream puffs, squares, sparkly pants, pony tails, weeping willows, and smiley faces in the sky. Then I broke Erin's table, for which I am eternally sorry. Then we went to McLeod Residence and danced some more. They were having Halloween in July over there, which was pretty awesome. At some point, Buster hijacked a crazy horn hat and soon it was after last call so we ended up with all of these people on our roof for a bonfire. I can still smell campfire in the air. I don't know what time we went to bed and I don't know how I don't feel like absolute crap, but I don't. In fact, I'm pretty super happy sitting here and stealing glances at my adorable sleeping Buster, who rallied me out of bed and to the shower an hour ago and I guess forgot to rally himself.

Thanks again to Erin! I hope we didn't leave too much of a mess. You know, aside from the table and all. (Yikes!)

...

Today I have to clean the whole house, do Clarita's hair, and work on this whole invitation business. Invitations will be in the mail by the end of the week. I find this awfully exciting, slightly terrifying, and totally awesome. Holy smokes, this wedding is happening! The invitations are hilarious and gorgeous. I'll show everyone what the talanted Sara and Thor designed for us once the mailers are out.
kellianne: (Default)
This week, many things in Seattle have come into focus.

I met with my future employer, manager, and friends at Karma for a job interview on Tuesday evening. They are opening a new salon here in Belltown on Second Avenue at an exact location I spotted last summer. I stood by those exact windows, staring at the vast open space inside, wishing that I had the money to open my own salon. When Tiffany and Sean Lowery- local hairstylists here- told me that a friend of theirs was opening a salon in that space, I got excited. Sean called one of the proprietors and suggested me for a chair at the salon. Ingo is also good friends with Robert, who currently works at Red. Robert's business partner is the gentleman behind the Noc Noc, a successful local club that verges on the goth side.

The 4,000 square foot space will be called Stylus, and is a concept salon and full spa with the feel of a club. There will be chandlers, lots of natural lighting, a dj booth, an art gallery, 10 stylist chairs, and a full-service spa downstairs. There will also be a full bar for those of you who desire cocktail comfort during your salon services! I am very very excited to work in this community with such amazing people. I had several job offers prior to this one, and they all felt like they'd be ok, but I didn't have a strong gut feeling about any of them. This time, my gut tells me that this is the right place and right time. I am so happy when I think of all the new things I'll be learning in a new environment. There is so much about my business that I still need to experience firsthand, and being a part of a team that is opening something completely new has not been a part of my hair vocabulary until this point.

Also, am doing a wedding at the Hilton this weekend. There will be 10 attendants (!!!), and I'm stoked to tell them all about the new salon.


I am having an amazing experience practicing at Samadhi Yoga Studio in Capital Hill. Their flow is deep and challenging. I'm getting stronger every day through their practice and now meeting people and seeing lots of friendly and familiar faces in the studio. The teacher I have been concentrating on practice with is Eriek, his adjustments and instructions are totally on point. I am deepening my practice here in ways I have strived towards for years, and can even visualize accomplishing the eventual jump-back hurdle that has prevented me so far from getting to any truly advanced level. My back is no longer giving me pain, and I feel that the instruction is giving me a much stronger sense of inner-peace that is so necessary during this transition.

I find absolute delight in shopping every day at the Pike Place Market. My vendors all know me quite well now, my skin is shining from so many fresh fruits, vegetables, and anti-oxident herbal teas. I've lost 9 pounds since arriving here 2 weeks ago. That's a little crazy and fast, but I haven't been drinking and think that much of it is water weight. I certainly am not starving myself, and am in fact obsessed today with satsuma and granola sweetened with dates.

Yesterday I went shopping at Nordstorms and Macys and noted that they carry a lot of awesome designers at the locations here. I was impressed, honestly. I didn't think that Seattle's store buyers had it in them. It was really nice to be in a large and well stocked department store without having to battle any of the 5th avenue or Soho crowds. I didn't buy anything, but am looking forward to working again so that I can afford to!

Last night we had a health month approved dinner at Andy and Ingo's, complete with sparkling apple and pomegranate cider in champagne glasses. Then, Ingo kicked all our collective asses in a Foodie game. Good times.

That's pretty much the gist of being here. I've had a few minor set-backs, and one rude little blow last night, but nothing that has ever made me regret moving for even a split second. In fact, every time Buster or I have a set-back, it seems ultimately an inspiration to continue through our bold transition, and even make it more bold. We are certainly stronger when we're together, and happier. Life is crazy beautiful and rewarding even when things get a little ugly. It's a good thing that I've resolved to stay gold.

Also, this will probably concern none of you, but I've decided to take the greater part of this journal public. I've kept it friends-only for years, but have shifted my tone a lot in the last several months and find that I don't necessarily write anything that the world can't know. I'm long over venting my life's little dramas on the internet, over having any secretive friends only or filtered tell-all drama in my life at all. I am who I am and I am who you see. Face value. That's that.

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kellianne

October 2015

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