Random bit of writing I just found…

In an old 3″x5″ notepad I found something I wrote years ago. I don’t know why. Neither do I really know why I’m posting it now. Enjoy 🙂

Despite the fact Ali was an overweight midget, he never had a problem finding a lady friend. Perhaps it was his utmost loyalty, for he believed life’s worth lied in serving others. Maybe it was the tender care he gave his widowed mother and two younger sisters.

Most likely it was the fact he arguably was the most romantic midget to walk the face of the earth. But with his penchant for passion came a crux, while he considered himself to be a serial monogamist, none of his romantic relationships exceeded two years.

Maybe his love was too great, he had to share it. Maybe he idealized his lady loves too much in the beginning. Either way, he set off one morning from his home along the Niger River to find a love that would last.


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Icing on the chocolate cake shot

By Emily Palm

This installment of Poignantly Pathetic Moments comes courtesy of my friend whom shall remain unnamed. I must preface it with the fact that she is one of the, strike that, the most beautiful, eloquent, humble and intelligent people I know (let alone fortunate enough to share a number of adventures with).

If someone asks her where she went to school, she’ll say, “The Eastcoast.” The inquirer must pry to discover she graduated from an Ivy League undergrad to then attend one of the USA’s oldest medical schools (with an MBA thrown in there to assist in saving the world).

Ask her what she did in South Africa for a year and she’ll say “Research.” A few more questions in and, what’s that? She’s a Fulbright Scholar. Then to ice the cake, she is drop-dead, stunningly, strikingly gorgeous.

Why the unnecessarily long intro? Because if my brilliant bosom buddy can have a poignantly pathetic moment, isn’t that a bit of redemption?

The story begins.

After an epically awful winter break during her junior year of undergrad, followed by a cross-country travel day bursting with late flights, missed connections and an obscenely early start, she finally arrives back at school. Completely exhausted and emotionally frazzled, she accepts an invitation to go out that evening with some ladies in her class.

Being a laid-back, albeit high achieving, Westcoaster—possibly the only Oregonian amongst this group of demandingly competitive young women—she effortfully puts herself out there.

After sharing her story, the newish group of gals suggests they all do a shot. You know, one of those, “I’m Carrie you can be Samantha moments.” The selection? Chocolate Cake.

So my weary friend takes the shot and it promptly comes out her nose. Her “friends” proceed to look the other way, faces flashing “eww.”

In addition to the fact that it was of course a creamy shot (that happening with just a straight shot of gin would be too painless), is the humor I find in these girls’ lack of humor, classic examples of those who take themselves far too seriously.

On the one hand I feel sad that there was no one to burst out laughing with my compassionate friend at that miserable moment, but on the other, it’s such a poignant scene. The only consolation is the laughter among friends after the fact at the preposterousness of people and that sometimes in life we will be surrounded by pretentious jerks.

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This is gonna’ sound rather selfish, but thank god my husband wasn’t feeling well yesterday because I needed a day off. Affectionately known as the Energizer Bunny among my extended family, when we’re in the middle of disc golfing or hiking, my guy is talking about what we should do after that.

Go-go-go is my general modus operandi also (when I took Matt home to meet my parents, my mom said, “She finally found someone who can keep up.”); but it turns out I need some time to read the New Yorkers and Christian Science Monitors that pile up and the latest O Magazine (you heard me, O, I effin’ love my monthly issue, what of it?).

Here’s where you roll your eyes and tell me I sound like a spoiled little mountain girl. I was just exhAUSTED from going straight from a backpacking trip to unpack and repack for a few days in Vail, and then running home to throw other clothes in for a road trip with my best girlfriend to California, flying back late at night and leaving the following early afternoon for a weekend in Aspen. I needed me some down time.

Now after some well-needed rest and catching up on some reading, let’s bring on the week.

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This past year we’ve gotten into rafting like never before. Sure, in the past I’d go with friends that had a boat, and I used to teach canoe lessons, but now we actually have a raft and the gear to be the ones inviting others.

Naturally then, my writing has tagged along, and I find myself writing more boating articles. Whether it’s a profile piece on a badass couple that makes dories and guides in the Grand, or a short 300-word blurb on a New Urban community developed by pro-kayakers, it looks like my repertoire has expanded.

Sooo, I’m trying to figure out an interesting lede for my story and my thought drifts to, maybe I’ll use some vivid imagery of a kayaker playing in the whitewater park the development built. But wait, I don’t kayak. Naturally to pick up some linguistic beta I begin perusing Mountain Buzz.

But my husband comes home and wants to go disc golfing. Now. So he suggests that I just post a request for words. And, I did. Now all I have to do is sit back and watch the — Carnage of my pride —

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Because of kissing?

A couple years ago Matt and I were skiing with a co-worker of mine who lived in Vail, Colo. We met up with him and a group of his friends, a rather hip group of young upwardly mobile professionals.

It was a festive spring day, and while chatting atop a ridge the topic of Sriracha, the Asian red hot sauce with the green cap, came up. “My boyfriend won’t let me eat it,” one woman said. I didn’t quite get it, and in one very sincerely innocent, though flying straight to the mouth, moment, I ask, “Because of kissing?”

Maybe she heard me (which would make for a funnier story) maybe she didn’t, but she definitely just turned her head and skied away.

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The practice of yoga has proved rather torturous for me. Rather than feeling at-one and centered, all I can think is “Don’t fart, don’t fart, don’t fart.” In fact, it used to be part of my schtick, “The thing about yoga is it’s an exercise in trying not to pass gas.”

That is, until last week, when I gave it another chance.

I’ve offended people before with my rant, one woman in particular who had spent many years devoting her life to yoga. Naturally she wasn’t too fond of me reducing it to a fart joke. In part, though, I launched into my routine because of that.

The type of person in point:  My brother and I were at a café in Kathmandu last year and while walking out of the restroom I passed a woman who clearly looked Western, she could’ve passed for my cousin. “Hello,” I said, acknowledging her presence. Disdainful look on her face, she indignantly said, “Namaste!” The god in her definitely chastised the god in me. She would not have been amused by my yoga schpeal.

The thing is, I’m all about centered wellness and meditation. Last week a close friend asked if I wanted to join her in a free yoga class. Why not, it had been a few years since my last yoga endeavor. The entire experience was refreshing, energizing and all around wonderful.

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Home again

Twas a bittersweet weekend. Yes, I knew that Teton Valley, Idaho, resonated with me more than any other location has. From San Diego to Michigan, Alaska to Boston, leaving one place for the next simply indicated it was time for the next adventure, opportunity, or poor decision.

I didn’t realize how deeply that valley had seeped into my soul, at the risk of sounding cliché, and the melancholy of knowing that my husband can’t pursue his dreams as a water- and natural resources- conflict mediator there. I used to joke that if I wasn’t chained to that husband of mine … But then my sister and close friends told me it wasn’t funny.

How naïvely I left. Nothing connects you with a population more than working as a reporter for the local newspaper. And I’ve found no community more delightful and fulfilling to connect with. But I was 25. I didn’t realize that the media industry as I knew it would complete it’s topple, and I’d be left in the rubble questioning my purpose, role in community, and talent. I’m “going for it” during the rebuild phase. I didn’t realize I’d miss it as much as I do, and that it would become so unattainable later on.

It had been three years since I packed up my truck and headed Portland-ho with my boyfriend at the time (now husband). And I’ve tried to bloom in several other locales. Portland (big Franzia-filled flop of rejection from the jobs I even had “resigned” myself to apply for), Aspen (a riotously-fun and unsustainable time working for the Aspen Times), and then to Golden, Colo., where I lost my soul in the corporate world (Read, my Meat Marketing Dispatches) and am “fakin’ it ‘till I’m makin’ it” as a freelance writer/journalist.

Truth be told, I was a little scared to return. When a community becomes a magical gloried past, you have to expect to be disappointed on the first visit back. Thing was, I wasn’t. The sense of community, seeing people I hadn’t thought of in years but remembered their names and details about them, and likewise for me. Nowhere I’ve felt I belonged so. I know I’m still young, but what if I never find that sort of fulfilling sense of home and community? Is it simply because that was the only place I felt I actually belonged? Should I eliminate “simply” from my previous sentence?

Don’t get me wrong, I love my husband. He also is my sense of home and community. And the friends I’ve been fortunate to gain in this post-Teton life are wonderful.

But oh God I miss it.

Going back to the Tetons was a bittersweet reminder that it still feel like home.

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