The unthinkable keeps happening, over and over…

The rampant, random, unexpected mass gun violence is happening with regularity now. I am like most everyone else with a heart and a head… I just don’t know what to say anymore, especially since they seem to be happening every few months (or weeks). It seems that each instance shocks us to our cores, but then we are emotionally rebounding more quickly each time. We are becoming jaded. We are becoming blase. I read a quote earlier today that said something along the lines of “the war on gun violence was lost when Americans decided the deaths of young children were bearable” (source unknown, but tell me if you have it). That’s bleak. That’s probably true. Continue reading

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Bringing Closure to Coffee Life, Part 3: Road Warrior Princess No More

I’m the person whose car broke down on the first day of the job.

road warrior 1Seriously. Broke down. Like broke down and never even made it to the office on my first official day.

Luckily, I had just met with my new boss for about 90 minutes at a cafe that is right between us (hello and much love to you, Cafe Aroma!), so he at least knew I was real and not faking the breakdown.

Continue reading

Bringing Closure to the Pro Coffee Life, Part 1: Making Iced Coffee the Hard Way

My replacement in training. I hope he can get good insurance coverage since he can't quite reach the pedals in the car.

My replacement in training. I hope he can get good insurance coverage since he can’t quite reach the pedals in the car.

Last week I closed my professional chapter in the specialty coffee industry and set my sails back to publishing/communications (focusing on Pacific NW sailing/maritime and with the NICEST TEAM! ~ more details to come). This is a change I needed to make, and moving into such a wonderful new situation helped make the transition easier; however, I feel like I need to take a moment to reflect and bring closure to what was a great two+ years. I didn’t have much of a chance to reflect with my colleagues since I was based over 60 miles south of the main office and roasting facilities, and the “going away party” I threw for myself (I brought pizzas into the office) was cut short by a last-minute meeting back in Seattle. To make up for that lost time with them, I thought I would share some of it here in installments. Feel free to chime in, coffee family! Continue reading

A special Seafair love letter to my Jordanian niece

My good friend Paulie and I made this video for my niece Laila who lives in Jordan and couldn’t be in Seattle for Seafair Torchlight this year. Last year (2014), she had the time of her life zipping around the parade staging area and Seattle Center on a golf carts with us, even hitting the McDonalds drive-thru for ice cream cones.

I have been a Seattle Seafair Commodore since 2007, but for some reason I am enjoying it more and more now. Usually people get burned out a bit on volunteer and civic organizations. Maybe once the kid left the house I finally felt free to have fun myself. Sustained fun, not one-date-night-every-few-weeks kind of fun.

Enjoy! Oh, and #seizesummer

Happy Torchlight Laila! from Jen Gonyer on Vimeo.

Created by Auntie Jen. Starring Uncle Paulie. Cameos by Gary, Carla, Neal, Charlene, two Joes, Lynn O, Art, Greg, and our other Seafair friends. #seizesummer

Lost Child Found… guess how this story ends

As soon as I put it out there to the world that my child was lost in the woods of South Dakota with no cell phone coverage, he emerged from the woods with a single text message:

A simple That single word — “hey” — lifted my spirits and fed my soul in ways that nothing else could on Monday. “Hey” he’s ok. “Hey” he made it safely into the woods and back out again. “Hey” he is reachable again. “Hey” he didn’t lose his phone. Continue reading

The Tale of the Lost Child: A Modern 21st Century Problem

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Have you seen this child? Hopefully you will not be seeing this picture in the dairy case at Safeway any time soon.

I lost my child somewhere in South Dakota.

OK, I didn’t really LOSE him, but no one in Seattle has heard from him in a week. He last posted to his Facebook page last Sunday at 4:30 am in Montana; my last text conversation with him was last Sunday around 9:00 am. Then silence — no “read receipts” on my text messages, no evidence he has been into his Facebook page.

Now this would normally send a parent to the brink of madness and to the doorway of state patrol to report a missing person faster than you can say “put him on a milk carton.” We’re trying to be cool, and here’s why:

He is spending the week camping with 2,500 of his closest friends on disputed land claimed by the Lakotas in South Dakota. Yes, he quit his job, sold his car, and took a bus to Hill City to attend the Rainbow Gathering. Continue reading

So let me explain days 1, 2, and 3 of the June Photo Challenge…

My participation in the June Photo Challenge started with a whimper due to falling ill. I don’t mean ill as in *sniff sniff.* I don’t mean ill as in “can someone bring me some soup and wipe my nose for me?” I mean ill as in someone came into the room where I was sleeping and punched me repeatedly in the chest, then rested a full keg of beer on my rib cage until I woke up from the pain ill.

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Seattle Seafair Commodores ready for the Portland Starlight Parade, 5/30/15.

It hit me suddenly and without warning: Saturday I was representing Seattle and Seafair with the Seafair Commodores in the Portland Starlight Parade (you can see us at 14:38 in this video; I’m on the other side of the boat, but look carefully and you can see my hand). I was on my feet for hours, had sushi for early dinner, had only one cocktail (in very pretty glassware), drank a lot of water because it was hot, danced briefly with some drunk people at the beginning of the parade route, high-fived hundreds of children, and walked-walked-walked. It was long and exhausting but I felt totally fine at the end, if not a little thirsty (again, it was hot). We were all staying at a huge farm 20 minutes north of downtown, and we sat around a campfire until about 2:00 am, chatting and laughing. Unfortunately, I was wide awake at 8:00 am because of the pain — my esophagus felt like it was on fire, but I thought getting up, drinking more water, popping some tums, and eating breakfast would fix it. Continue reading

June 2015 Photo Challenge ~

I used to participate in monthly photo challenges a while ago, which I loved as a way to create a tiny bit of space for creativity and reflection in my otherwise crazed work life. It started with just one other friend (Jessica) and we used Pinterest to post and share. Then other friends wanted to join and the endeavor moved to Facebook. More and more friends invited other friends for future challenges… and that’s where it started to breakdown, in my mind. Too large, too unmanageable, too many people taking photos off the internet or sharing photos that already existed (it’s a daily smartphone photo challenge, people!). Continue reading