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 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

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

Conclusion of Week Three of Empty Nest Syndrome

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Cheers to you, little man. Miss you!

The end of our third week of Empty Nest happens to coincide with my birthday — so happy birthday to me?!

Seriously, I think I can talk about the situation now. It’s not as raw and I have some perspective. So here it is:

My kid is smart. Super whip smart. Certified smart in test after test. I mean, so smart it created problems from second grade through graduation because he didn’t fit in any school district box (and children shouldn’t have to! another post…).

He is also a serious dumbass. I think it’s safe to say he suffers from Teen-Lack-of-Frontal-Lobes Syndrome (if I suffer from a syndrome, so shall he). Continue reading

Life Adjustment #1: Grocery Shopping

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No more stocking the frig with this sugary stuff.

Without going into too much detail of the hows, whys, and whens of suddenly being empty nesters (saw it coming but not that fast), I am comfortable enough to share with all of you, Gentle Readers, that I went grocery shopping Sunday afternoon and had a pickle of a time. The last time I went to the grocery store to shop for just the two of us — no expectations of anyone else coming into the house to partake of any groceries or various sundries — we were 27 and 24. The Husband could eat wheat products (well, it turns out he really couldn’t… we just didn’t know for another 14 years). We ate grown-up food exactly as we liked. We bought household items appropriate for grown-ups. We bought beer. A lot of beer. Continue reading

In Memoriam in the age of Facebook

The infamous Spaghetti Factory birthday dinner.

The infamous Spaghetti Factory birthday dinner.

Today would have been my cousin Tami‘s 43rd birthday. I try not to dwell on the what-could-have-beens, or the sad realization that her longest-running and goofiest retort in any argument (“I’m two months older than you so there”) was no longer true as of my birthday last year. I have been thinking about her a LOT lately… but not reminiscing much with others. I was hoping to go to her favorite restaurant Spaghetti Factory to at least relive her through a plate of myzithra pasta, but the kid had a date tonight and the (gluten-intolerant) husband worked very late. Alas and alack. I only got to replay in my mind the last time she and I went there, for her 39th birthday, and she made the waitress cry by insisting she was going to be dead within a month and that was her very last birthday dinner. Oooh, thank you for the double spumoni ice cream! (For the record, Tami loved to tell people this to see their reactions, and she celebrated birthdays #40 and 41, too. Poor waitress. My kid just sat there rolling his eyes.) Continue reading