not all who wander are lost.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A Week of Goodbye's

Sniffle, sniffle...
I've had to say goodbye five times this week.


The first to go was Ozzie. He's now in Sydney, settling into his new adventure and getting ready for school.




The next to go was Adam.



After that I said goodbye to Casey & Sadie





The next to leave us was Pat. And this morning, Potato.


So now, here I am, in my quiet, empty, very disheveled apartment with some fabulous photos and wonderful memories. Slowly going to get back into my routine of yoga, healthy eating, infrequent drinking, SLEEP, and work work work.

Hasta Luego my friends. I'll be seeing you all soon {hopefully even you, Oz}!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Mani-Pedi? Huh?

Wow. What a girly day.


This morning Shawn came over and hung with Lara and I for a bit....then we headed to Mike's for lunch - because it's simply the best place in the world. Shawn had fried clam strips, Lara had a fresh tuna salad sandwich, and I had the lobster roll, which was EPIC. We all split some fried onion rings that were equally fantastic. Dr. Lara joked about the irony of her being a doctor and how badly she abuses her body, we laughed about some costa rica scenarios from the past, and laughed at Shawnie for being bald {well, HE was laughing at himself...wearing a shirt that said, bare butt rippin - long hair trippin}. You would have thought that we were all stoned, because we laughed for about 30 minutes straight, and I'm not exactly sure what exactly we were laughing about. Lara confessed her Diet Coke addiction {among other things...} and stated that she drank atleast 5 cans a day. After lunch we cruised over to my parents house to digest for a bit. We've been driving around Lara's fathers' Porsche 911 Carerra. Talk about fancy-shmancy. My car takes about 5 minutes to go from 0-60...Lara's doesn't even take 5 seconds. We drove with the top down to do some shopping and got some fabulous stuff. All the shopping wore us down, so we headed to Burger King for 2 large diet cokes. Ha. Afterwards we came back to Casey and Sadie's house for a swim in their bea.u.tiful pool, showered up and headed for MANICURES. Newsflash: I had a pedicure years and years and years ago in Beverly Hills at some rooty-tooty spa with my auntie D and my mom, but it was so long ago I can't even remember. Also, I've never had a manicure. It wasn't as god-awful as I always chalked it up to be...it was actually really relaxing. I think I might go back again sometime...have them paint my nails pink.

Now we are getting ready for dinner. Mom, Dad, Shawnie, Lara and I are heading to LUCKY BONES in Cape May for dinner! I am obviously going to order their mussels, with EXTRA of the homemade, fresh foccacia bread. MMMMmmMMMmmm. Been dreaming about it all day. Potato leaves in the morning, and I'll be sad to see her go -- but hopefully I will get my ass out to California to see her sometime soon. Maybe we'll get mani-pedi's when I'm there......

Struttin' our stuff in Dominical, CR

Pappas and I, sippin' some cafe con leche in costa rica.

Dr.Potato

I'm lying in bed right now with both dogs, Casey and Sadie, at my feet -- and Lara passed out next to me. She stumbled up around 8:30am from the downstairs bedroom, mumbled a few words, and is now dead to the world, full clothed, on top of the covers. I call her Dr. Potato because her name is Lara Pappas. We met in Costa Rica a few years back, and Pappas means "potato". Also, she's a doctor. Hence, Dr. Potato.

Today is my last day of dog-sitting for Sadie and Casey. They are so cute {once I'm finally in my apartment for more than 5 minutes I will post some photos} and easily pleased. I FINALLY have a day off -- which is so very necessary. Today I think I'll stay here at the dog's house, swim in their pool and kick it until we {shawn, lara, pablito, mom, dad and me} head to LUCKY BONES for dinner {my FAVORITE place to eat!}.

All fun things aside, I'm pretty bummed that miss Pat has left...leaving Shawn and I with an empty nest {well, a semi-empty nest, until lara leaves tomorrow and only lasting until thursday when his mother arrives, and friday when Cam from costa arrives}. I had such an amazing time when the Oeste Gringos were here. I was looking through the photos this morning and was left with a smile on my face. I love those guys....and I can't wait to get back and spend my winter with them all! I tried to bribe Pat into spending the summer here, renting out our little spare bedroom...but she was homesick for paradise. Oh well.

That's all for now. Going to take Casey on a long walk, make myself some coffee and enjoy my day off.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

clear coffee and fishin' frenzy

saturday, june 27th, 7:36am

i hate bad coffee. like, really hate it. it ruins my day. there are many aspects that can contribute to a bad cup of joe, including: the way it was brewed, too much coffee grounds, too little coffee grounds, the beans themselves, and the way that you choose to doctor it up. since i have been dogsitting in avalon - and the place that im staying at only has INSTANT coffee...bleh, i've been cruising down to the local watering hole for my caffeine fix - Avalon Coffee. Their beans are great. Truly delicious and roasted to perfection. The other day I had a hankering for some cafe over ice, so I strolled down and got two shots of espresso over ice...then added some milk myself. it hit the spot. this morning i arrived at 6:45, 15 minutes before they opened. i was outside, getting antsy as i waited for them to open. in my delirium i poured myself a cup of drip coffee...which i later noticed i could SEE through because the brew was so weak. i had brought casey, the younger of the two dogs im watching, along for the ride...and she looked at me with confused eyes as we cruised home. she couldn't understand the dialogoue i was having, out loud...with myself, about what a big f*ing mistake i made. how could i have gotten drip?? WHY didn't i order an americano? jesus cailin -- way to blow it. poor casey, she'll just never understand coffee.....

SO, coffee aside, ive been having some fun lately. oz left, we cried. adam left, we celebrated. ha. joke. totally kidding. its kinda sad not having him around...talking bout dirty legs and rippin' loud-wall-shaking farts. he has this charm and charisma that is surprsiing and endearing. anyways, we still have pat. wonderful, adventurous, happy pat. her and i are competeing in a flounder fishing tournament today, which i am VERY excited about! afterwards we'll come back to casey and sadies house, swim in the pool, play with the dogs, and then ill be heading to mildreds. lets hope tonight is better than last night...when i walked with 70 bucks.

damnit, i really wish i had a good cup of coffee right now.....


saturday, june 27th, 2:12pm


still a bit foggy from lack of coffee, i met mom, pat and jan at jans boat in strathmere. we piled on with our fishing gear, hoagies and beer. in the first drift pat, PAT who caught her first flounder only the day before, pulls up a huge 20 inch keeper flounder...one that will DEFINITELY win her a trophy in the contest that we are in {The Strathmere Fishing Club Flounder Tournament}. On Dad's boat, all fish go into a cooler. In Jan's boat, all fish go into a bug bag and are hung over the side of the boat. Well, long story short - the bug bag wasn't tied on that tight, and don't ya know it - we turn around and BOOM...the bag is gone. No fish. Poor Pat. We DID find a minnie bucket though, chuck full o'minnies - someone must have not tied it tight enough.... All in all, we didn't catch anymore keeper flounders, but we did have a hell of a time. Things really got fun once the first beer was cracked open.

Lara Pappas, whom I met while in Costa Rica 2 years ago - now lives in LA - is en route to my house now. actually, she'll be arriving within the hour. Yep, thats right. i got rid of two in exchange for a new one. now its just lara and pat! haha. i think we may go pick blueberries tomorrow before pat has to leave @ 1pm :( :(

thats all for now. heading to work at mildreds in 2 hours. wish me luck.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Show Day! Coffee Comedy!

To kick off the summer I'm having a show at Coffee Comedy TONIGHT...a ton of NEW originals {even one that was written THIS VERY MORNING}, older originals and a sprinkling of select cover songs. Sven Peltonen will be rocking the Djembe and Christian may be joining in about half way through the show. For those of you who HAVEN'T seen these great musicians perform, well - you've really been missing out. They are EPIC. This show is special for two reasons: the first being that we will have an OPENER and the second because I have some friends visiting who came all the way from Costa Rica! The opener is local musician Shelby Wednesday. She is a super cute singer-songwriter, and this will be one of her first performances in front of a live audience! She's played a few small gigs, but I assure you that she is great and you'll love her. Shelby goes on at 7pm. She'll play a few of her original songs before Sven and I 'take the stage' around 8pm. We will be playing 2 one hour sets. Coffee Comedy is located on JFK BLVD in Sea Isle City, next to YumYum Affair Ice Cream and Vince's...catty-corner to Braca's Cafe. The show will be $8 -- and it is BYOB! Hooray for that! I hope that everyone comes out to hear the new music and see Shelby -- and the saving has begun for my second record -- so coming out the show will be in direct support of that!

I hope that you all can make it!!


Cailin Callahan w/ Sven & Christian
{Opening Musician: Shelby Wednesday}
@ Coffee.Comedy
JFK Blvd, Sea Isle City
7pm
$8
BYOB
THURSDAY, JUNE 25th

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Update on the Updates



Sigh. Ahem, Sob. Ozzie has left.


DISCLAIMER: I'm writing this from Reds' floor, 11:45pm on Wednesday night with a SLIGHT buzz on...so forgive me.

PIG ROAST DINNER: That's a story all it's own. I will be bloggin bout that AFTER this one.

We have been having sooomee kinda fun. Yesterday morning we surfed some super-clean, super-fun waves with some super-wonderful people. Afterwards I made some green eggs, gourmet toasted toast, sliced tomatoes and fresh coffee. Also, Pat walked down to 14th and Bay to Mallon's and picked up some of Mallon's famous STICKY BUNS! We shot the shit, had a music day (major exchange of musica), Ozzie did the dishes, Adam talked about "dirty legs" and then I had to go into work early {ugh, unfortunately}. Made some moolah then met Reds, Adam, Pat and Shawnie @ Shennanigan's for Reggae Night {minus Oz who was at home in his "nerding station"...nerding it away}. We didn't last too long because Shawn and I are lame, and because all of Adam and Pat's crazy nights in NYC were catching up with them. We headed home, and slept in because there were no waves, no fishing - no nada planned for the next day.


Skip to this morning. I slept until 9 AM!!!!!!!! NINE AM. Super late for me. Woke up to a full living room...ozzie nerding, Adam still talking about dirty legs, and Pat trying to figure out her new external harddrive. I made french toast and scrambled eggs for breakfast...MmMmMm. We all knew that it was only a few hours before Ozzie left, so to make it less painful we had a quick goodbye (and quick photo sess...haha) and then Pat and I headed out for Cape May, Shawn and Adam headed for the mechanic -- to finally fix Shawnie's van. UGH. Pat and I had moist eyes all the way to Cape May, but we tried not to dwell on it -- because we both know that Oz will be in our lives for years to come....he'll just be very far away....

While in Cape May, Pat and I made the most of our "ladies day" and bopped and shopped. We picked up some cute nicknacks in town and enjoyed some fantastic coconut ice cream. After that we had lunch on the dock @ the Lobster House. We each had a cup of clam chowder, split a crab cake sandwich, and followed it up with a fantastic miniature key lime pie. I start house-sitting/dog-sitting in Avalon, so on our way home I stopped to pick up the keys, then rushed Pat back to the house in OC, threw on my uniform and jetted for work.

Work has been kinda off lately, partly because of the economy and definitely because of this DAMN rain, this damn-never-ending-always-grey-rain. It's keeping the shoobies away, which may be nice for my time at the beach, and driving around - but it's not good for my wallet. Luckily I've been squeeking by - really chatting it up with my tables and offering the best service possible. Some of the lucky customers to be blessed with my perfect service {ha} were Reds, Shawn, Mom & Dad, Pat and Adam. They had a 7:30 reservation tonight, and they ordered the works.

Now, we are sitting at Reds' house...him and I jamming on guitar, Shawn snoring on the couch next to me, Pat mesmerized by the music and Adam...just being Adam. Gotta get home soon though and rest up for a big day tomorrow: it's SHOW DAY! Can't wait. Pura Vida.


Monday, June 22, 2009

My Dad



Yesterday was Father's Day...and I gotta say that I have a pretty phenomenal Dad. A person of epic proportions. He knows more about everything than anyone I know. He's absolutely insane, intensely obsessive, completely hysterical, skilled beyond belief, enthusiastic to boot, and the loudest person that I know. He was born into an Irish Catholic family...7 sisters and 2 brothers. This probably explains why he guards his plate at dinner, speaks LOUD and FAST, and knows how to survive in the wild {my Nan would lock all 10 outside for the day so she could get some peace and quiet...}. His mantra is "Kill 'Em and Eat 'Em"...and that he does. I grew up thinking that meat wasn't purchased at the store...funny, I know, but true. I thought that lobsters came in huge bags, deer hung in the garage walk-in box, and that everyone had pigs in their backyards...fattening em up for slaughter. My Dad was a "green" farmer before being organic was the cool thing to do. We had a half acre of fruits, veggies, berries and herbs. My mom said that my Dad would have all of the bugs he'd find in the garden under jars on the kitchen table. He'd study them until he found out what they were, whether they were good or bad, and how to get rid of them {without harmful pesticides}. I still remember my little fisher-price wheelbarrow. I wanted to help my Dad so I would take my wheelbarrow (with a built in water-holder w/ hose) into the garden and water the plants. I would pull the hose out of the wheelbarrow, water the plant, put the hose back into the wheelbarrow, wheel forward about 4 inches, put the wheelbarrow back down and repeat. Ha. It was rather counterproductive though, because once I was finished I would waddle down the strawberry patch and stuff my face with every red, ripe strawberry there was. I don't think that my parents ate one of those strawberry's the whole time that the patch existed.... Yep, even back then I loved food. When I was a kid my Dad was a fisherman and my mother was a waitress. When Mom would work at the restaurant my Dad would watch me. Most of the home-video we have from my childhood were from the days and nights my Dad watched me...and 90% of that is film of me eating, and my Dad laughing in the background. "Chubby child, stuffing food into face as quickly as possible"...then he'd zoom into the floor, where everything that had missed my mouth had fallen.



My Dad may be crazy, but he does live by a set of morals, or codes. He knows a good person when he meets them, he is generous with his time, knowledge and goods -- he is always, always learning something new, and he loves my mom as much now as he did back in the day. It always seems like jokes and laughter with my Dad, but the few times I've been in a bit of a hard place, he always knows exactly what to say. His wisdom has gotten me through several trying times, but one of my favorites was this.... he said "Cailin, life is like a river. It's going to bend right, then left, and it's going to rage with water and sometimes run dry. You can't control any of it, all you can control is how you react to situations and how you handle yourself. And that's all that matters."

Paul Callahan is a nose-walking, trash-talking, loud-mouth, know-it-all sonofabitch, and he's my Dad. Happy Father's Day Dad!

Fathers Day Gift:
Kill Em and Eat Em
handcarved plaque from Dominical, Costa Rica

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Peanut Butter Lovesicle

photo Corinne Rapone

Peanut Butter Lovesicle
aka
PBL

Peanut Butter Lovesicle is a rock and roll band that was formed in the coldest of ice boxes in Ocean City, NJ via summer '07. The band is bound by blood fusion and consists of brothers' Mike D'Arc (Bass Guitar, Harmonica, Lead Vox) and Jake D'Arc (Guitars, Backing Vox), along with cousin Timmy Miller (Per concussion). The band of united souls came together as a focal point to dodge "real world employment" (par for the course) and to shed light upon mistreatment of the blue-collar workers of America and the Native Americans that harvested the land years before them.

The music itself is a well-culminated effort of distinguished musical tastes. It provides an emotional, Americana, down home feel and produces the high-octane energy of true rock encouragement by head thrusting rituals and the occasional locker room joke that puts the usual listeners at the edge of their seats. PBL will take no prisoner of genre including pop, variety rock, funk, blues, groove, folk, experimental, or Latina grooves.

The PBL express has recently embarked on a studio demo recording experience in August '08 and are expecting to capture the heart and soul of several units of fans. Prepare yourself for the battle of a live performance, much like that of a civil war reenactment where you will find a wide array of buffs, the occasional tourist, and the straggling nomads looking for inspiration to rejuvenate their broken lives.


photo Sharon Stabley

Last night I had a pretty stressful evening at work. While I was on my way out I received a text from my friend JamieD saying that her brothers were playing at Yesterdays. I decided that I needed a drink {or two} and some rocking Peanut Butter Lovesicle. I rounded up Shawn and Ozzie and off we went. PBL has never let me down, and last night they rocked away all of my work-sorrow and put a big smile on my face {or was that the Jack & Ginger?} I was really in the mood to let loose and dance my ass off, but no one else was dancing - and I wasn't in my usual dance-based-trailblazing- "I don't care if no one else is dancing" kinda mood. Very rare for me...but my legs were aching from waitressing all night. So I posted up, inches from the stage, and got my drink on. They played some of my favorite tunes {hooray,black keys and PBL ORIGINALS}, and busted some badass moves. Sigh. They are fan.tas.tic.

It's so rare to find a great band that has great LIVE shows...especially in South Jersey. So I just wanted to say that I am THANKFUL for Peanut Butter Lovesicle and all the sweet goodness that they have to offer. Rock on.

This is truly a band that is not to be missed, so check em out. Their originals will knock your socks off.

www.pblovesicle.com
www.myspace.com/pblovesicle

photo Corinne Rapone

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Costa Crew Comes to Town

The Costa Rica Crew has come to town!

Adam and Pat were due to arrive in Philly at 3:30pm. To our surprise, walking down the street from the bus station is not just Adam and Pat, but also OZZIE! Woohoo...he decided to arrive a few days early and go with us to the Jimmy Buffet concert. Yes, did I mention that we were all going to Jimmy Buffet? Buffet's not so much my thing, nor is it Shawn's and certainly not Ozzies', but we all decided to go non-the-less...for the experience, and to hang with Adam and Pat -- who had enough "buffet" spirit for all of us. Also in tow was Red's (of Rojo's in OC NJ)...we were all in my 5 seater ford fuckus. Yep, 6 adults (3 of them who are supersized) in my 5 seater mobile.

Adam was hungry, of course...so we quickly headed to the Vietnam Restaurant for some good grub. Ozzie ate something hot, and was sweating throughout the meal...and Adam told some funny asian jokes.
Oz, Sweatin' it out...all in the name of Vietnamese food.

We literally piled into the car and then set out for our Jimmy Buffet adventure in Camden. It took us a few turns and a bit of confusion to finally find a liqour store in Camden, but it made for some funny stories....someone asking Adam if he had 24 cents, a girl bumming a beer seconds after purchase...and some crazy lady with the longest thumbs that anyone had EVER seen - wearing a dust mask and chatting the boys up for a while {in hopes of getting a free beer}. I felt like I was back in Costa Rica! After that small adventure we finally made it to the Buffet Parking lot for some rainy 'tailgating' in my ford fuckus. Before we left for the show, my Dad insisted that we take some of his foul-weather commercial fishing gear...because it was necessary and much appreciated! The rain came and went, and luckily held off during the Buffet performance. There were some songs that I sang along to -- songs that my mom used to sing to me when I was a kid from his early records. The new stuff wasn't my cup of tea, but I danced around and fed off of Adam and Pat's serious Buffet enthusiasm. After the show we decided it was a good idea to go eat cheesesteaks at Pat's in Philly. This turned out to be a very bad idea, as we all had serious belly aches and poocano's the next morning. Anyways, Pat and Adam had NEVER had a cheesesteak -- NEVER, in their WHOLE lives. Completely shocking, but I'm glad that the greasy goodness was something that we could share with them. After Pat's, I hopped in the driver seat, ozzie crammed up front in the passenger seat with the empty cooler, and Pat, Adam, Shawn and Red's in my back seat....

Adam, Braving the rain as we all take shelter in the car.

Woohooo Jimmy Buffet!!

The next morning {Friday} we woke up at 6am, exhausted and {some} hungover...powered through it, had some coffee and headed for an early morning surf. Well lucky us, the Costa Rican's brought us waves AND warm weather. We surfed the fantastic waves for a while, had some laughs and Adam "almost" got barreled...then we packed up and headed home for some breakfast. Good toast and green eggs, more coffee and banana leches. The small refuel left us with a smidge of energy, enough to head out on the boat with Dad to go clamming. Ozzie opted to stay ashore and make some phone calls to his beautiful lady, Pepper, back in Costa. I barely talked Adam into going, seeing as he drank a zillion beers the night before, but I promised him that it would be easy and relaxing, just digging your toes in the mud....

Adam ... crossing his fingers, hoping he doesn't get sea sick.

Pat and Me...heading out to the secret spot!!

WELL, turns out we {ahem, Adam and Shawn} had to push the boat a ways through the mud in order to get to the top secret clamming spot. Adam was cursing me the whole way. Ha. Once we got there though, it proved to be fruitful -- we got a full bushel and a half of clams...enough for a decent clam feast later that evening. Pat proved to be a natural at clamming, pulling up a few at a time...and Adam proved that he can hang with the best of us and talk some serious trash...

The boys...pushing us to the secret spot.



Our Catch!!!

We got back to the dock, wiped out and ready for a nap, but instead went to the check the waves -- and it was PHENOMENAL. We surfed perfect waves for another 2 hours. I was so exhausted that I could barely carry my board back to the car. We loaded all the boards on top of the fuckus, loaded all of us inside...and then set out for the relaxing, booze-filled and always food-stocked house of my parents.

As soon as we got there I jumped into the hot tub. 104 degrees to loosen up my muscles! My mom poured me a glass of champagne and I was instantly drunk: the combination of bubbles, lack of sleep, complete exhaustion of my whole body, too much sun and no food. We all hung and chatted and then started in some steamed clams. Again, these were the first for Pat. After we went through a few dozen clams and a few sticks of melted butter we had clams on the half shell {raw}...and I think that Ozzie thought he died and went to heaven. Along with some of my homemade cocktail sauce and some OTC's, the half shells were the cats pajamas for sure!

Jump forward a few more beers and a ton of clams, and we worked our way into the dining room for some serious eating. Trays of clams casino, fresh jersey tomatoes, grilled corn, delicious salad, cucumber salad, tuna mousse, and pig pate graced the table, and our bellies! We ate until we couldn't eat anymore...took a brief siesta for digestion, and then dug into my HOMEMADE fresh berry pie with vanilla ice cream, and mom's homemade coconut bars with hot fudge.

Food coma.

Saturday Morning: Pat decides to sleep in...it is ABSOLUTELY necessary. I was tettering on the edge, and last minute decided to go fishing with the boys. Oz, Shawn, Adam, Dad and I all on the Native Guide, out to slay the flounders. Ozzie had never been fishing, in his life. Adam had gone maybe once or twice. Holy shit, we had amaeturs. I taught Oz a few tricks of the trade, and within seconds of our FIRST drift, within seconds of Oz dropping his line -- he pulled in a 22 inch flounder. To see him jig a rod and reel in a fish is hysterical. Truly grab-your-ribs-and-gasp-for-air hysterical. BUT, he caught a monster...the first and the biggest. Dad caught a keeper not too soon after, and then in one of the last drifts I pulled in my keeper. Shawn and Adam got skunked in the keeper department, but we all caught a ton of throw backs. Off in the distance we could hear some thunder and see the darkness creeping in...so we pulled our lines, gathered up our minnies and ran back to the dock. We pulled in just as it started to pour. Dad fileted the fish and we headed back to the house with our catch.

Back at the house I began to make some salsa and prep the fish for some fabulouso fish tacos. We snacked on some cheese from DiBruno's while we were waiting and reminisced about Ozzie's serious fishing style. Ha.

Pat and Adam got ready for Jimmy Buffet {YES, they are going AGAIN}, Ozzie played DJ and spun us some wonderful tunes, and I took a nap. I'm heading to work now while Ozzie catches some Zzz's and Shawnie catchs up on facebook.

What a great few days. And there's only more madness to come....
Shawn was the first to bite the dust. Then Ozzie. Then Adam. Then Pat. I loaded up my crew that had too much fun, too much food, and too much to drink and we came back to my house to rest up and get ready for a day of fishing.

Check out ALL the photos here:
http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=269600&id=653500240&l=0d5244b0ae

Thursday, June 18, 2009

FEAST.



FEAST.
With my family, there is no such thing as "eating light".



As some of you may know, three of my great friends from Costa Rica are visiting. They have been in NYC for the past few days, and today Shawn and I will be picking them up at the bus station in Philly before heading to {a VERY rainy} Buffet Show. Of course, the main concern amongst my family and I is "WHAT will we be FEEDING our fabulous friends"?? I received an email at 8am this morning from my mom -- a 'guideline' of what's to eat during their time here. Ha - and don't you know it, I have an outline that I wrote out taped to my fridge as well! I'm going to take them to Mallone's one morning for their famous sticky buns, make them my delicious 'green scramble', fresh bagels from Avalon Coffee, and I'm going to percolate their coffee to perfection! Some of the things that my mom has on the menu are: clams casinos, salad, jersey corn and tomatoes {they are like nothing you've had anywhere else}, deer burgers, a huge pot of chili, deer meat and homemade french fries one night - fresh fish another, a night out to visit me at Mildreds...and of course, the sacrificial pig!! AND TURTLE! Ha. My dad is going to be killing another one of the pigs {he killed the first one, Sean, about 2 weeks ago} and have a big roast! Here are some photos from the last pig dinner:


the chef and i.

Dr. Mary Schmeltzer eyeing up the next piece of pork she's going to snatch up...

Dad's new pig roaster...you put the hot coals on TOP.


MmMMMmmmMMmM...PORK!

This is the turtle that is going to make us a delicious batch of Snapper Soup!



Did I mention that Mom and Dad went to Joe Canal's and bought $600 worth of booze?? So even if it DOES rain every single day they are here, like the forecasts are calling for, we will be fat and happy...and drunk.

PURA VIDA.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Cheese, Please.


MmMm...DiBruno's!!!!

I decided that this year I am going to try to stay away from the beach. STAY AWAY FROM THE BEACH??? Yep. Stay away. I figure that with all of the sun that I am forced to get in Costa Rica by being in the water, that it would be so horrible for my health to just SIT on the beach in Jersey. Therefore, this summer I am trying to limit my sun intake and keep the beach bronzing to a minimum. With this said, Shawn and I decided to head to Philly for the day as opposed to a day plopped in a beach chair at the {not so sunny anyways} Sumner Ave. We obviously had Vietnamese for lunch. We skipped the Vietnam Restaurant, and the Vietnam Palace for the place on 11th street that I really love. Shawnie wasn't feeling the Green Papaya Salad yesterday, and I was torn between Vermecilli Bun {because I love the spring roll topping) and Pho - so our order was a bit of a deviation from the usual. I had a spring roll appetizer {so delicious} followed by Pho, which Shawn and I both had. We decided that the overcast day, and my vicious head cold, called for some spicy soup. For those of you that aren't familir with "PHO", it is Vietnam's national soup.



Phở is served in a bowl with white rice noodles in clear beef broth, with thin cuts of beef (steak, fatty flank, lean flank, brisket). The broth is generally made by simmering beef (and sometimes chicken) bones, oxtails, flank steak, charred onion, and spices, taking several hours to prepare. Seasonings include Saigon cinnamon, star anise, charred ginger, and cloves. The dish is garnished with ingredients such as green onions, white onions, coriander leaves (cilantro), ngò gaiThai basil, fresh Thai chili peppers, lemon or lime wedges, and bean sprouts. Phở can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner. The noodles are usually picked up with chopsticks and placed onto a soup spoon. The spoon is then dunked into the broth and topped with meat/condiments and eaten. Vietnamese phở restaurants usually retain the cultural practice of not delivering the bill to a customer's table, since it is considered rude—in the Vietnamese culture, it is seen as a way of trying to rush the customer out the door.

When they place my bucket sized bowl of Pho in front of me, I begin doctoring it up to my taste. First I rip up some thai basil into it, throw in a few slices of jalapeno, squeeze two big chunks of lime juice into the bowl, and throw in some bean sprouts for crunch. Then I add in a big of Sriracha hot chili sauce and some {plum} Hoisin Sauce. NGON! {this means "delicious" in Vietnamese}. Being the beverage queen that I am, I surrounded myself with a glass of water, a never ending cup of hot tea, and an ICED VIETNAMESE COFFEE! MmMmMm sweetened condensed milk and strong, fresh espresso over ice :)

Our Vietnamese indulgence was followed by a trip to the famous {ahem, expensive} DIRBUNO's. If I was to die tomorrow, I hope that heaven is DiBruno's. It has all of my favorite things: cheese, bread, olives, salami's, spreads, dips, crostini's and MORE! UGHHHH..love it. Love it. LOVE IT. If you don't live in the Tri-State area, and haven't had the glorious opportunity to step foot into this small, delicacy filled heaven then you can check out their website,

www.dibruno.com

Shawn says that I get all "cracked out" the second I step food into the shop, and you know what - I'll agree. So many smells and delectable aromas, I don't know where to start. Did I mention that this place is always jam packed too -- which stresses me out a bit, gets me excited and confuses me all the same. One day I want to go during the afternoon, on a weekday, and just sit in there and try every cheese (they are very nice about letting you sample). I spent $70 in a matter of minutes....that was MORE than I had in my %10 Play Money Envelope, damnit. I walked with a Vermont Brie, my tried and true fabulous brand of Parm Reg, some spicy Sopressta, and a pepper encrusted goat cheese. I ran next door to Claudio's (a similar store...less pompous, less expensive, but less glamorous, and purchased a bag of my favorite Rosemary crostini's! They are $2.50 cheaper here than DiBrunos...).

The rest of my day was spent with a huge smile on my face, and an empty wallet.

"A cheese may disappoint. It may be dull, it may be naive, it may be oversophisticated. Yet it remains, cheese, milk's leap toward immortality."
Clifton Fadiman

Saturday, June 13, 2009

How To Be A Good Person.

BAH.

Every day I try to the best of my abilities to be a good person. A genuinely good person. Sometimes I'm an asshole, and I recognize this -- and sometimes I'm crazy, or don't mind my morals...but in general, I am actively trying to be the best person I can be. I try to be the best daughter I can be, the best girlfriend, the best friend, the best coworker, and for ME - the best person that I can be. There's a quote somewhere that "only the shallow know themselves", and I will say that sometimes the opinion that people have about themselves is quite warped from the reality of it, which is why I decided to step back, do some research {because you know how much I love research} and figure out what society has to say about being a good person.

This is what wikiHow has to say:


How To Be
GOOD

Philosophers have been debating what is good and what is not for centuries. Many people find that it's more complicated than just being kind, and several complex religions have arisen with the attempt to understand the difference between good and evil. While every person's journey is different, being good has a lot to do with discovering yourself and your role in the world. Here's how to be a good person on your own terms.


Steps
  1. Be proactive. It's tempting to infer that as long as you avoid doing the things you know are bad (stealing, badmouthing, lying, etc.) then that means you're a good person, but there's more to it than that. By avoiding bad behavior, you've made a big step towards becoming a good person, but you've only just begun. In order to be good, you actually have to do good things rather than just avoid doing bad things.
  2. Consider the results. Have you ever heard the saying that "the road to hell is paved with good intentions"? It's not enough to want to do good, and to try to do good--you must also think about whether your actions actually had good results. Not every attempt to do good will end with good results, so when things don't work out, be willing to reconsider your actions and change them accordingly. Never let your sense of duty, loyalty, or obligation get in the way of doing what's right.[1] For example, many parents feel that it's always good to help their children in every way they can, but there are times when children need to learn lessons on their own and face challenges in order to achieve or to avoid mistakes in the future. A child who has been arrested on suspicion of drunk driving needs to bear the responsibility of his or her actions. If the parent bails the child out, then helps the child avoid consequences, s/he will only learn that the parent will be there to help even if s/he does wrong. The intention is good (wanting to help the child succeed) but the action might not be (removing all obstacles from their path).
  3. Consider the greater good. What might seem like a good decision in your situation might not have a very good impact on a broader scale (in the example above, the child doesn't have a DUI on his record, but is then free to go and violate the law again, this time possibly hurting or killing someone else). People often do right things for the wrong reasons, and wrong things for the right reasons. If you're playing a game with your team, for instance, it might seem good to try and score as many goals as you can to bring your team to victory. But look at the big picture. How will your teammates feel if you score all the points instead of helping set them up to score at times, never allowing them to get a shot in? How will that kind of victory affect the team spirit? Would you still feel good if your team won, but your teammates felt that it was an individual effort and they weren't involved?
  4. Define what "good" means to you. Ultimately, you have to decide on your own code of ethics, and what matters is that you follow through with what you believe makes you a good person. At times, this may conflict with what others believe is good, and they might even accuse you of being wrong or evil. Consider their views - either they know something you don't, in which case you may learn something from them and "update" your morality, or perhaps their experience is limited, meaning that you should take their views with a grain of salt.
  5. Be balanced. In the struggle to be good, it's easy to swing from one extreme to another. However, any form of extremism can lead to closed-mindedness, a quality that can be found behind what most people can agree are bad deeds. In Buddhism, there's a term for avoiding extremism: "the Middle Way". Whenever you find yourself leaning towards an extreme, try to find the Middle Way before you act. This isn't going to be easy, but if being good was easy, wouldn't every good-hearted person be good? Here are some dilemmas you may encounter:

    • It's good to be humble and kind, but is it not good to be so humble and kind that you let people walk all over you, to the extent that it damages your physical and emotional health, or lessens your ability to care for, spend time with, and provide for your family?
    • It's good to be responsible (pay your bills on time, plan for retirement, save up for your kids to go to college) but is it good to be this way to the point that you hoard away hundreds of thousands of dollars in assets and wealth for your own family's financial security without ever giving someone else (who isn't fortunate enough to be born into your family) a helping hand?
    • It's good to be positive, but is it good to be so positive that you ignore risks and brush mistakes under the rug, never learning from bad decisions because you're always "positive" that it'll work out the next time around?
    • It's good to be honest, but is it good to be so honest that you hurt people's feelings unnecessarily, violate someone's privacy or prevent someone from finding answers that they might need to find for themselves?
  6. Give people the benefit of the doubt. To the extent that it doesn't jeopardize your safety (like getting in the car with a group of people you just met), assume each person you meet is a good person, and act likewise. If you see someone do something that you consider to be bad, consider what they are dealing with in the context of their own life--don't jump to conclusions. Try to discover what motivated their bad act, and if appropriate, show them how it was hurtful by using nonviolent communication. Many times, helping someone else become a good person in a gentle, open-minded and unimposing way can help you learn and become a better person yourself.
  7. Be good for its own sake. Don't try to be a good person because your parents told you to, because you want recognition or respect, or for any kind of reward except your own satisfaction in doing what you believe is good. Never act superior to anyone else or brag about your "goodness" or "righteousness". Your dedication to a particular creed, ideology, or set of guidelines does not make you better than anyone else. Do what you believe makes you a good person on your own terms, and remember that it's an individual journey--everyone's path is unique. Do good by stealth, and blush to find it fame.[2]


Tips

  • Believe in the power of your actions to influence others. When other people see you doing good deeds, they will be reminded to take more positive action themselves.
  • Avoid lying whenever possible. With the exception of lies that protect others' feelings, telling the truth is always easier than lying. And forcing yourself to always tell the truth means that you'll be motivated to make better choices when confronted with dilemmas in life.
  • Keep in mind that for which you are grateful and do good on that basis. If you do good to get good, your expectations will eventually be unmet.

Warnings

  • Don't push your assistance on people who don't want it. If someone is telling you they don't want your help, just apologize if you presumed, and bow out gracefully.
  • Don't be so nice and constantly helpful that people take advantage of you. Part of being a good person is helping others become better people. Doing everything for someone who is capable of taking care of him or herself is not helpful to either of you.
  • Be very careful what you say to people. It can be incredibly affecting to say something thoughtless off the top of your head. A rash judgment, a poorly observed conclusion can resonate forever in someone's life. This is particularly true for children and others with little or no defenses.
  • Being good doesn't mean you let people push you around. Being assertive and being mean are two different things - use your better judgment to tell the difference.
  • Don't trust the mind alone. Your ideas and preconceptions are often not enough to divine the good in a given situation. A person can "believe their own headlines" to the point of mania. Always remember that your humility is one of the most subtly persuasive powers at your disposal. Step back and figure out what your heart tells you. Try to see your beliefs or actions objectively.

  1. Step 1

    Honesty. Try to be honest always without hurting someone's feelings if possible.

  2. Step 2

    Cheating. Don't do it. Not on your spouse or your taxes.

  3. Step 3

    Charity. Try to do something charitable when you can. This could be driving an elderly neighbor to the supermarket, volunteering at a soup kitchen or just writing a check to your favorite charity.

  4. Step 4

    Drugs. Stay away from them. They are associated with bad behavior among many other things.

  5. Step 5

    Words. Chose your words carefully. If you have nothing nice to say, say nothing "politely".

  6. Step 6

    Helping Hands. This includes at home and at work. If you see someone who could use an extra hand, give it, even if you are tired and would rather just watch TV or take a nap.

  7. Step 7

    Birthdays & Holidays. Remember these events with cards and phone calls to loved ones.



SO...Let's get on with gettin good.


Friday, June 12, 2009

A little bit of Yen, and a little bit of Yang.

So I am officially a full blown Yoga instructor. Woohooo. Starting June 25th I am going to be giving yoga lessons almost every morning! If anyone is interested in joining in the classes in Ocean City at the Bourgeois's house then feel free! 3 days a week, $10 a person, and class starts at 7am (until 8am). Most of the sessions will be a Hatha Vinyasa Flow (YANG) Yoga. Though, at the request of Eileen Bourgeois, there will also be some Yin Yoga classes. I took a Yin class from the fabulous Laura Warf at the AFPA Fitness Conference, but that is really the only experience that I have with this style. So this morning I started my research, and I'm so excited about what I have been finding. To begin, Yin Yoga is "the balancing practice for your Yang style of yoga"...it is yoga for the JOINTS not the muscles. Regular yoga targets the Yang tissues {superficial, muscular}, while Yin yoga targets the connective tissues {ligaments, bones, joints}. Yang yoga emphasizes building internal heat, and the lengthening and contracting of our muscles, while Yin yoga focuses on the hips, pelvis and lower spine. In Yin yoga, poses are held for a duration of time - ranging from 1 minute to 20 minutes. The time that you hold these poses may feel like long at first, but as you relax into the poses and focus on your breathing, 10 minutes can feel like 1 minute.

Here is so information about Yin Yoga that I received from Laura Warf :

Yin Yoga

  • A slow, nurturing guided sequence with the intention of just "being"; find a balance from the performance of life and from living your to"do" list
  • Allow your breath and body to move you from pose to pose in a nurturing feel-good way
  • Find an appropriate edge; move slowly and gently; pause and wait for the body feedback before moving deeper into a posture
  • Hold each pose for several miuntues, invite space and breathe steadily
  • Be Still; conciously try to relax into a pose without fidgeting
  • Release out of each pose with care
  • Self exploration: Watch, Allow, Feel
  • Self discovery: Get to know your beautiful body. Connect with feelings of being ALIVE, inner stillness and a sense of lightness
  • Savasana: {corpse pose} Restoring your vital essence through deep relaxation. Accessing the inner knowing. Connecting with your truth. Balancing your being.
As I have been doing my research, I've learned so much about the origin of Yin and Yang, and how it applies to everyday life. Hatha Yoga translates to HA - SUN, and THA - Moon. It's name means a disciplined practice and is the yoga that brings union of the pair of opposites. Here is some information about Yin and Yang, the origin, how it applies to yoga, and the importance of keeping the balance {information from YinYoga.com}:

All patterns are formed by contrasts. The pattern on a chessboard is formed by the contrast of dark and light. The pattern of your life, when reflected upon, has displayed a contrast of good times and bad. For the Daoist, harmony and health are created when conditions arise where the contrasting aspects are in balance.

Yin & Yang
Balancing is not a static act. Imagine the typical depiction of weighing scales: two plates held by a common string suspended at a point halfway between them. When two equally weighted objects are placed upon the scales, there is a slight swaying motion, like a pendulum. If one side is too heavy, the scales tip and balance is lost. When both sides are equal, there is still a slight oscillation around the middle position. This rebalancing is the returning to wholeness and health.

The ancient Chinese called this middle point "the Dao."
The Dao is the tranquility found in the center of all events. The center is always there even if we are not always there to enjoy it. When we leave the center we take on aspects of yin or yang.

Yin and yang are relative terms: they describe the two facets of existence. Like two sides of one coin, yin cannot exist without yang; yang cannot exist without yin. They complement each other. Since existence is never static, what is yin and what is yang are always in flux, always changing.

The observation that everything has yin or yang attributes was made many thousands of years ago in ancient China. The terms existed in Confucianism and in the earliest Daoist writings. The character yin refers to the shady side of a hill or stream. Yang refers to the sunny side. Shade cannot exist without light: light can only be light when contrasted to darkness. And so we see how, even in the earliest uses of these terms, patterns are observed.


How Yin and Yang apply to Yoga:

Yang styles of yoga generally target the muscles and employ rhythmic, repetitive movements to stress the fibers of the muscles. Being elastic and moist, the muscles appreciate this form of exercise and respond well to it. Yin tissues, however, being dryer and much less elastic, could be damaged if they were stressed in this way. Instead, the more plastic tissues appreciate and require gentler pressures, applied for longer periods of time, in order to be stimulated to grow stronger.

Our joints can be seen simply as spaces between the bones where movement is possible. Stabilizing the joint are ligaments, muscles, and tendons, which bind the bones together. The tendons and muscles also provide a force to move the bones relative to each other. Generally one of the muscles' jobs is to protect the joint; if there is too much strain on the joint, the muscle will tear first, then the ligament, and then finally the joint itself may become damaged. In this regard, yang yoga is designed to not stress the joint. This is why there is so much care taken to align the body and engage the muscles correctly before coming into asanas in the yang practice. However, Yin Yoga is specifically designed to exercise the ligaments and to create space and strength in the joints.

No matter WHAT form of Yoga you practice, benefits can be found in virtually every aspect of human health: physically, emotionally, and mentally as well as, oftentimes under appreciated, spiritually.

Take time out, to tune in to your own inner world.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Cailin's Home Catering

Start out small.

That's what I'm doing.

Check out my new business venture:

www.cailinshomecatering.webs.com




¡Vamos a Ecuador!






Pat bought our tickets yesterday....we're going to ECUADOR!!! I'll be arriving in San Jose (CR) on October 30th in the afternoon, unpacking my things, and then on November 1st we leave for 3 weeks of fabulous fun in Ecuador! I'm so excited, and there is no one I'd rather be traveling through Ecuador with than the always adventurous PAT. I'm looking forward to the Amazon, the Andes, the Orient, the beach and the GALAPAGOS {all in this small small country...the 2nd smallest in the whole world!}. Here's a brief of Ecuador:


Population
13,032,000
Capital
Quito; 1,451,000
Area
283,560 square kilometers
(109,483 square miles)
Language
Spanish, Quechua
Religion
Roman Catholic
Currency
U.S. dollar
Life Expectancy
71
GDP per Capita
U.S. $3,200
Literacy Percent
93

Ecuador's name comes from the Equator, which divides it unequally, putting most of the country in the Southern Hemisphere. It may be the smallest Andean country, but it has four distinct and contrasting regions. The Costa, or coastal plain, grows enough bananas to make the country the world's largest exporter of the fruit. The Sierra, or Andean uplands, offers productive farmland. Oil from the Oriente, jungles east of the Andes, enriches the economy. The Galápagos Islands, volcanic islands 960 kilometers west of Ecuador, bring tourism revenue with its unique reptiles, birds, and plants.

The country is divided ethnically as well as regionally. About 10 percent of the population is of European descent, about a quarter belong to indigenous cultures, and the rest are of mostly mixed ethnicity. Those of Spanish descent often are engaged in administration and land ownership in Quito and the surrounding Andean uplands; this is also where most of the indigenous people live—many are subsistence farmers. As a result, land-tenure reform is an explosive issue. The city of Guayaquil dominates the coastal plain, largely populated by mestizos. Guayaquil—the country's largest city, major port, and leading commercial center—is a rival to Quito. This is the wealthiest part of Ecuador, and complaints that tax revenues are squandered in the capital are common.





Tuesday, June 9, 2009

perculatin' my way to perfection.

HOORAY, my NEW Pyrex Percolator!!


SUCCESS!

My New Percolator was a GREAT Success!

This morning I rose from bed like a child on Christmas morning. I ran out to the kitchen, filled my percolator with the called for amount of water/ground coffee. Woohooo, what a sight. I did some research last night, and everyone has a different opinion on how long to let it percolate, how high of a heat, etc. etc., which only makes sense because most people have an individual preference as to how they take their coffee. I opted for starting with a medium heat. As soon as it started to percolate (which by the way is the coolest thing I've witnessed in some time...) I turned the heat down to low, and let it sit and work it's magic for around about 5 minutes - until the coffee was the color and smell that I know and love best. I haven't had a cup of joe this delicious since I was out in Seattle at Julisa & Gordon's house. SO, next time that you are at a yard sale and you see a percolator...pick it up, you won't be disappointed!

Mind you, I had just woken up - 7am. I hadn't even brushed my teeth yet.....


Always looking for a new way to enjoy my favorite beverage, I found this online this morning. This is going to be my next venture.... the Bialetti Mukka Express!


Monday, June 8, 2009

Perculatin' !



Today I was browsing through the new Thrift Store in Somers Point and I came across a glass Pyrex Percolator from many moons ago. It was in tip-top shape and I decided that it had to come home with me. I know, I know. We have a drip, the Bialetti and now TWO french presses {one small glass, and one large stainless steel}...but I've never had percolated coffee. In the shop it was listed for $6.50, but lucky me it was %50 off housewares today...a steal at only $3.25!! Just a side note: there are ELECTRIC and STOVETOP percolator's...I purchased a stovetop. When I arrived home I searched online for some information about my new coffee maker. Turns out they run for $50 or more!! That's quite a savings of 46 bucks and 75 cents!! Anyways, this is some quality information that I found out about Percolator's, and I thought that I would spread the wealth with you, my fellow coffee-fiend's!


~Parts of a Percolator ~

A coffee percolator consists of five parts. There is the percolator coffee pot, into which you put your coffee. There is the stem, a hollow metal tube that fits into the bottom of the pot. In non-electric percolators, it has a flat, round bottom. There is the filter basket, which slides onto the tube and holds the ground coffee. There is the filter basket cover, a round perforated lid that fits on top of the filter basket and makes sure that the water showers the entire basket of coffee evenly. Finally, there is the coffee pot lid, which often has a glass bubble in it.

~ How a Percolator Works ~

The basic principle relies on air bubbles that form in boiling water at the bottom of the pot and their natural rising action. The base of the Pump Stem tube is designed to concentrate this flow of bubbles toward the tube opening. The tube is smaller in diameter than bubbles, so that each snugly-fitting bubble that passes through the tube will carry a bit of water above it along its upward journey.

As these continuous jets of water reach the top of the Pump Stem, they discharge onto the Spreader Cover, which helps disperse the water over the grounds underneath in a more uniform manner, and also keeps grounds from splashing up.

Repeatedly, the infusion will boil upwards and filter through the grounds back down into the pot. Each time the water filters through the grounds, it moves more of the oils into the infusion, making it stronger. Too much time on the stove can make a pot of coffee bitter, and too little time can make it weak.

sell sell sell.

I decided that it was time to purge myself of most of my things and try to approach ozzie's "4 bags" way of life. I don't think that I will ever be so extreme as to live my whole life out of only four bags, but I'm certainly trying to widdle it down. So, I decided it was time to have a big Yard Sale!! Of course, once the living room was filled with all of the things that my parents and I were getting rid of, the weather man called for a weekend of rain! We couldn't hang signs on Friday because it was a constant downpour -- monsoon rains!! Mom and I woke at 6am on Saturday morning to a light mist and some clouds, but crossed our fingers - hoping for the best, and hung the signs. In the end it turned out to be a nice day. I haggled and hussled the customers with mom for a few hours, then jetted out for a bit to surf. The waves were about waist to chest and super fun. It was such a pleasure to be in the water with NO BOOTIES! Bah! Summer is almost here, maybe by JULY I'll be able to surf in my farmer john..... Anyways, Jeff Pace was out {surprise surprise} and I told him that if he came back to the house and helped Dad chop and stack wood, that there was a Fried Clam Feast in it for him!! Having had many meals at the Callahan's, he took his next wave in a headed back to the house with me. When I got back Susan and Mom were already a glass of champagne deep {I'm not talking champagne flutes, I'm talking big, deep wine glasses} and Dad, Shawn and Paulie had already made a nice size dent in the mountain of fire wood. I headed straight to the kitchen and started to make all of the hungry workers a fine feast. Started out with some BANANA LECHES for the boys to rehydrate and get some potassium {I made mine with 5 bananas, 2 big scoops of plain yogurt, a splash of vanilla extract, a few ice cubes, some ground flaxseed and some milk in a blender}. I baked some sliced beets and yams that were tossed in olive oil, thyme and sea salt. I sauteed asapargus, made a huge garden salad and whipped up some honey-mustard sauce for the smoked drum fish. MmMmMm. I breaded the clams that the boys caught the other day and made some of my famous, spicy cocktail sauce and some tartar sauce as well. Everyone came in exhausted: from selling and from splitting. We all ate til we could eat no more...and by that time I had to head to work at Mildred's.

Just another great day at the Shore, with my family and friends.

The Boys and their Woodpile.

Fried Clams for Everyone!!

Friday, June 5, 2009

...and I'm outta here.

Last night I had the most fantastic evening. I had a show at Coffee Comedy that was going to just be a solo acoustic evening. To my surprise and delight I got a call from Christian saying that he was available to play and would love to join me! Christian is phenomenal. He makes my songs what they are. When I write them they are lost and incomplete, and then Christian gives them an identity. I don't know how he does it, but he does. Last night I played a handful of new songs...new to me, and certainly new to Christian whom had never heard them before. A dontcha know it -- he played them with such beauty you would have thought that he's been playing them for years. There wasn't a huge turn out...only about 20, when before we were averaging over 50 people, but I chalk it up to the season just beginning. For those who missed out last night, be SURE to mark your calendars for our next show: THURSDAY, JUNE 25th. It's going to be at Coffee Comedy and we'll have the whole family on stage: Christian Mahr, Sven Peltonen and myself. The Costa Rica Crew will be in too...so the evening will be quite an event.


When I got home from the gig last night I booked my ticket that'll kick off my winter travels. I leave the U.S. on Friday, October 30th early in the A.M....arriving in San Jose, Costa Rica in the afternoon. I'll be in town only to leave 2 days later for Ecuador. The month of November will have me south america before heading back to Esterillos Oeste where I'll spend the rest of my winter. Wooohooo....bring on the summer, bring on the shoobies, bring on the mooolah!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

dreamy.

I'm feeling dreamy today. Maybe it's the overcast, mysterious weather. Who knows. I just woke up this morning feeling...dreamy. Dreamy and content and excited. This song embodies how I feel, and it's just so beautiful...I thought that I'd share it with you. Priscilla Ahn - "dream".



FYI : Christian and I will be playing this evening, Thursday June 4th, at Coffee.Comedy in Sea Isle City {JFK Blvd}. It's $5, doors open at 7:30pm and the show starts promptly at 8pm. Hope to see some of you there!

10 Percent : Patagonia Play Money

This ties into the past 2 blogs. I'm still staying true to my envelope system {though I'm wishing that I was making more money that was being divided up INTO the envelopes}. I've been savoring my 10% play money envelope, only spending sparingly. Well, after hours upon hours on the internet the other day, researching good gear for Ecuador, I obviously came upon Patagonia's site. Their stuff is ALL TIME...quality, integrity and just badass. It's a tad expensive, but you cannot beat the quality...this stuff will last you and years and years, as opposed to the Roxy gear you'll get -- lucky if that even lasts a season. I decided what I needed, headed to Supplies and I made two purchses {using my "play" money envelope} : The Morning Glory Dress and the Morning Glory Wrap Hoody. Lucky for me Surfer Supplies, the surf shop that I ride for, carries Patagonia, so I get a sweeeet discount.


Morning Glory Dress
retail $67, color: Afterglow

Morning Glory Wrap Hoody
retail $82, color: Earthenware

Both are made of stretchy, soft, synthetic jersey knit; wicks moisture and dries fast; brushed interior. 7-oz 86% nylon/14% spandex smooth-faced jersey knit with moisture-wicking performance.....perfect for Ecuador!! hahahahaha.

Our definition of quality includes a mandate for building products and working with processes that cause the least harm to the environment. We evaluate raw materials, invest in innovative technologies, rigorously police our waste and use a portion of our sales to support groups working to make a real difference. We acknowledge that the wild world we love best is disappearing. That is why those of us who work here share a strong commitment to protecting undomesticated lands and waters. We believe in using business to inspire solutions to the environmental crisis.

--Patagonia

Patagonia is quality all around. The product, the goal of the company, all the way down to their customer service! When I was on their site for over two hours the other day, checking out all the gear and reading reviews {EVERYONE writes their honest-to-goodness opinions} I was "live chat"ed by a Patagonia person. They said "hey, you've been on here for a while...do you need any help"? Ha. Well I ended up chatting with the rep for about an hour. We touched a bit on gear and goods, but mostly talked about traveling - the Jersey shore - Costa Rica and such. I told him that I was interested in perhaps getting a form of sponsorship from Patagonia, so he hooked me up with some emails and addresses. How cool is that??

Check em out.
This is the way that companies should be run.

www.patagonia.com


If you have the time, read this book about Patagonia's founder,
Yvon Chouinard

Amazon.com Review
Like the carefully engineered dies which created his company's first products--steel pitons and carabiners which climbing enthusiasts would recognize as primitive forerunners of today's sleeker gear--Yvon Chouinard is if nothing else an original. How many other shy French-Canadian boys become surf-and-climbing bums, then blacksmiths forging their own play tools, and eventually founders of world-renowned sports equipment and apparel companies like Patagonia? How many other heads of multi-million dollar enterprises open their memoirs by stating bluntly, "The Lee Iacoccas, Donald Trumps, and Jack Welches of the business world are heroes to no one except other businessmen with similar values. I wanted to be a fur trapper when I grew up." The proverbial mold from which Chouinard was cast got broken.

In Let My People Go Surfing: The Education of a Reluctant Businessman, readers get a fascinating look inside the history and philosophy of both Patagonia and its irascible, opinionated founder. From its beginning, the book shares a sense of Chouinard's strong-willed personality and his love of the outdoors. He recounts a mostly happy childhood spent in a still-unspoiled southern California, climbing, diving, fishing, and surfing. The narrative soon moves into Chouinard's early entrepreneurial efforts, which were less focused on market-share domination than on earning a basic living to finance his own sporting habits. As his company's first catalog noted, delivery could be slow in the summer months, when Chouinard typically left the "office"--a dilapidated shack converted into an ironworks--for climbing adventures across the American West.

Eventually, though, the story settles into a pattern familiar to business audiences: Patagonia grows rapidly, takes on more employees and product lines to sustain hungry demand from customers, but overreaches with over-ambitious expansion plans and suffers a hiccup in its adolescence. This make-or-break juncture of a business's development often contains the most interesting material, and here Chouinard and his beloved company are no exception. He describes a series of wrenching decisions through which he and Patagonia management team navigated in 1991, as sales growth stalled while capital and operational expenses sprinted ahead. From this crisis emerged Patagonia's first-ever layoffs, affecting a hefty 20% of the workforce, and a serious re-examination of the business's core principles and methods.

The historical part of Chouinard's book largely ends at this point, and gives way to an exposition of philosophies which emerged at Patagonia during its dark moments in the early 1990s. The rest of the book serves as a kind of primer to business, the Patagonia way: one chapter each on product design philosophy, production philosophy, distribution philosophy, image philosophy, financial philosophy, human resource philosophy, and so on. Fans of Patagonia can revel in the company's working details, as can those who support or want to build businesses with self-consciously cultivated soulfulness.