Monday, August 17, 2009

and we've got to get ourselves back to the garden

I'm sick of the concrete jungle this week, kids. It's so hot. And yes, I know it's hot everywhere . . . but there's something extra oppressive about summer in the city. Every surface seems to absorb as much heat as possible and then radiate it back like a giant convection oven.

I'm pretty sure I'm sizzlin' at medium-rare right now.

In my 'hood, people go to the dog-park for relief. It's the closest expanse of green space available -- and even that little mecca of grass looks out on the shopping plaza and a McDonalds.

As Kermit the Frog once said: "Green can be cool and friendly-like." Unfortunately, our green space is more: "humid and full of homeless drunk people."

I digress.

So tonite, whilst making sweet love to my air conditioner, I stumbled upon a documentary on the History Channel called Woodstock: Now & Then. Which reminded me . . . oh yeh, it's hippie month!

I've always had a thing for Woodstock. I went thru a hippie-lust phase in high school, around the time most of my friends were enjoying N'SYNC and shopping at Abercrombie. I kept my unruly curly hair long (mistake!) and wore a lot of baggy shirts. And I had a lot of crap from The Body Shop. Not much of a counter-culture statement.

I think what has always captivated me about true-blue flower children is their uninhibited approach to living. Hippies were free. On a lot of drugs, yes -- but free to do those drugs, make love and art, dance naked in the mud, start communes, start movements. They lived in the moment, and in that moment their lives had meaning. Just by simply existing, they were part of something much bigger than themselves.

Look at the music that came out of that era. People had shit to say -- they expressed themselves through art in hopes that they could change the effed up world around them.

We're living in effed-up times too, people. And so I sit and watch America's Best Dance Crew and Toddlers and Tiaras. I freak out about my weight and tell myself that once I lose 15 pounds -- then I can go take on the world.

God, I'm a terrible hippie.

But I'm trying. I'm recgonizing the things that keep me from being as free as I want to be.

This weekend I went to a Healthy Living Summit sponsored by some of the darlings of the food/healthy lifestyle blogging community. It was inspirational in a few different ways. I've started thinking a lot about what I want my ideal "lifestyle" to be . . . and I smell a new blogging project on the horizon. As if don't have enough blogs going at the moment -- but this is an exciting one, kids! I'll say no more now. Stay tuned.

So anyway, one of the speakers at the Summit was a woman who runs an organic dairy farm in Vermont. She gave a talk on organic farming and agriculture, and showed pictures of her farm -- green rolling pastures, happy cows heading out to graze, her super adorable family. They all work together on the the farm. They know each of their cows and their distinct personalities. They work super hard -- but their work is tangible, it has meaning.

I don't know if my work has ever had meaning.

But Tea -- surely you aren't suggesting you're going to go become an organic dairy farmer, are you? You can't even commit to taking care of an effing hamster!

That's a fair point, readers. And while the likelihood of me becoming a farmer of any sort in the forseeable future is slim to nil . . . my next career move needs to be a more meaningful one. I want my life to have some substance -- I want to get up in the morning and have a purpose, to do something I actually care about. The trick is figuring out what that is. And once I do that, maybe then I'll get a little taste of that hippie-freedom.

Or do I have it backwards? Do I need to just let go and be free in order to discover what it is that makes my heart happy? Isn't that what this month was supposed to be about?

Luckily, life is a journey, not a race. I've got more than the 31 days of August to set free my inner flower-child and head out on the road. This right here? This is me just trying to figure out which way I'm holding the map.

Friday, August 14, 2009


I won't lie, I've been feeling a little "Grey Gardens" the past few days. I'm choosing to believe it's the time of the month and not the beginnings of my slow descent into madness.

Flower powers, activate!

Today the sun is shining, the workmen outside my apartment are laughing and yelling in Portuguese, the nut factory's a-roastin' . . . it's gonna be a good day! I'm going to take a stroll through my fair city, run some errands and generally enjoy the outdoors. Just because the world out there is mostly concrete and exhaust fumes doesn't mean I can't appreciate the mood-boosting benefits of sunlight. And also -- the river. Have I mentioned there's a river near my house?

Gotta love bodies of water.

Anyway . . . yeh, this is basically a post about nothing. But with any luck, I will have much more exciting topics to tackle in the very near future.

Now . . . time to shake off the lethargy and go interact with the world. Peace out, Little Edie!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

peace, love & august

When I started this blog waaaay back in January, I wanted to change my attitude, try new things, and just generally expand my horizons.

Most of these monthly goals fizzled out pretty quickly. I blamed Corporate America. It was simply too hard to focus on becoming a more loving / badass / optimistic / funny person when I woke up every morning ready to stick my head in the oven.

Sad but true. I was on oven-watch there for awhile.

But last Friday morning, I woke up to sunshine and a light summer breeze blowing through my curtains. I'd just had some goofy-ass dream where Tina Fey had hired me to work for her, and Rachel Dratch was my new work BFF. I lay there for a few minutes, staring at the ceiling, letting my mind wander and wondering why I felt so weird. And then it hit me.

I was happy.

I'd forgotten what it felt like to wake up in the morning without a feeling of dread. Recovery from my Corporate Nightmare didn't happen overnight. It took three weeks for my stomach to unclench and my disordered stress-eating to subside . . . but it looks like I'm finally gettin' there.

These days, I wake up every morning with a feel of excitement and anticipation. Anything is possible. My life is my own now, and I can make of it what I will.

I almost wish I could go back and redo all my monthly themes now with this new "can do!" attitude. So, in keeping with the feeling of new cosmic energy and love of livin', I'm gonna totally ride the karma wave and make this a month all about making peace and lovin' myself & my life.

Welcome to hippie month, people!

As usual, I'm using the term "hippie" loosely here. This is basically all about cultivating these happy thoughts and gettin' back in touch with my "inner Tea" . . . the one who felt so trapped for so long. Time to unleash her back into society and see what happens!

In keeping with hippie month, I have consulted the stars to find out what I should expect in the month ahead. My August horoscope reads:

This is your big month! The full moon lunar eclipse in Aquarius at 14 degrees will arrive on August 5. This looks to be a red-letter day for you. Because it is in your sign, it will affect you with double strength, and will have the power to change the way you see yourself and present yourself to others.

You have been so busy growing, maturing, and evolving that you may have been hanging on to an outdated self-image and not giving yourself enough credit. If so, this eclipse will allow you to revise how you see yourself and also make at least one important announcement. Your lifestyle may change, or you may meet someone who will become very important to you. Eclipses also bring endings, so you may see a woman say goodbye too, and in that departure, you may feel the passage of time.

Years that hold an eclipse in our sign often are highly eventful, memorable years. You have been seeing eclipses in Aquarius and Leo since February 2008, arriving in pairs every six months. This month's eclipse is the last, and after this you can rest. Admittedly, eclipses in one's own sign can demand quite a bit of adjustment to a whole new reality.

Not all eclipses deliver their news immediately, although many do. If you don't notice anything changing, don't assume you won't hear something later. You might because eclipses have an area of influence for up to a year. If you don't seen any shifts and especially if you were born near February 3, then you may one month to the day later, so note September 5, plus or minus five days - you may hear something then in regard to a very personal matter. Also, when Mars opposes the degrees of the eclipse, you may have news about a partner. That will happen three times, on November 18, 2009, and on January 18 and May 4, 2010.

Your ruler, Uranus, is still retrograde, and so is Jupiter in Aquarius, and when these two big planets will go forward, you'll notice that good things are suddenly happening near October 13 when Jupiter starts working harder for you, and again later, on and near December 1, when Uranus turns on the juice. As you see, you are moving into a very important and very upbeat phase.

For now, events from the outside will begin to come in and change your world in ways you could not have anticipated. That's what eclipses do, and that's why their news always seems so random and sudden. You are fortunate in that this eclipse is very friendly, especially to Mars, which is now circulating in your house of true love. Mars will be working hard to boost your social life, and if you're single, you're in luck, for this eclipse could bring an introduction. Because this is a full moon, you will be noticed and in the spotlight, so this could be a tender and quite exciting time for your love life.

Your creativity will be very high at the time of this lunar eclipse, August 5, and you may get a freelance job that will use your talents well. You may be ready to show your work to the world at this eclipse, and if so, you certainly will be seen and buzzed about, and others will likely be lauding your work. If you are self-employed, you may now pick up an important new client or be told you have the support of someone highly influential. Whether you work for yourself or others, you may get some very important publicity - the kind you can't quite believe is happening!

One of your very best days will be August 12 and 13, when love and happiness will be yours. These days are yours to indulge yourself in any way you please.

On August 17, you'll have a way to show off your creativity in a big way - don't miss that opportunity!

Two difficult days are due after that, August 18 and 21, when first Mars will challenge your ruler, Uranus, and then Mercury will do the same to Uranus on Friday. These are due to be nerve-wracking days, when financial worries could interfere with your concentration on anything else in your life. Be prepared.

If single, keep your eye on August 22, a day when Venus will be beautifully oriented toward your ruler, Uranus. This day will brim with surprises, and with the moon in sublimely compatible Libra, you should find this weekend one of your best of the month.

Um, yeh. This Astrology site is pretty effing rad . . . I literally squeaked with freaked-out surprise at how spookily this applies to my current life / attitude.

The planets are aligned, man!!! Uranus and Mercury and . . . total eclipses of the heart, or whatever . . . but yeh -- this is my moment in time and space. I've always believed everything happens for a reason, and there is a reason that I am here in this place at this moment.

I'm ready, world! Bring it on!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

one final freebie

Nothin' says summertime like listening to kickass music outdoors. For free.

Miz A and I hit up the FNX Best Music Poll free concert in City Hall Plaza. We got to check out Passion Pit and Metric, live and in person. It was awesome. Also awesome? The fact that is was seasonably warm and unseasonably not-muggy today.

Oh yeh -- and it was FREE.

So I think this has been my most successful month to date, in terms of adhering to the "blog theme". I have discovered that there are plenty of wacky, wonderful things to see / do / experience that don't involve $$ at all.

This is a vital lesson, as the first unemployment check has still not arrived.

And now -- on to August! Let's see if I can continue riding this wave of success.

Stay tuned.