Monday, July 26, 2004

Lately I've found myself being introduced into the world of hemp. I say 'found myself' because I've done nothing not aid in this introduction at all. It's just happening. Until recently, hemp was a word I associated with 'earthy' people. You know, the people who wear the hemp bracelets and Birkenstocks and drink mate and eat organic vegetables and drive Volkswagens. The Back to the Basics people. I heard the word hemp and thought, "Hemp. That's nice, but really not me." For the past two weeks, however, I can't seem to get away from the stuff.

It started with a conversation at work with a co-worker. He began telling me about all the things hemp could be used for and how versatile it was. Hemp goes way beyond the little tan bracelets and chokers I see in Port Townsend. He told me that there is hemp paper, hemp clothing, hemp rope, hemp sandal's, hemp beverages, even hemp soap. Further more, he said there are national hemp associations, hemp festivals, and a national hemp day. Interesting, I thought.

A few days later, I went to the coffee shop to meet a friend. She had on a beautiful dusty rose tank top on, but the texture of the shirt was what intrigued me. It looked soft and tightly woven, but it had a slight sheen to it. Her answer when I asked what it was? Hemp.

A few days after that, I was in an art shop with my mother while she looked at some art pencils. I always gravitate towards the paper and textile aisles of art stores because I love the textures and colors (something about new paper just fascinates me). While I wandered through the paper section, I saw a shelf with the magic word. Hemp notebooks. And very cool ones at that.

I'm beginning to feel like hemp is stalking me. I was going through some old keepsakes and journals from years ago, when I found some stuff from a camp I helped direct years ago. One of my keepsakes was from one of the crafts I had done with my kids. It was a twisted hemp bracelet with blue and green beads.

I am currently wearing the bracelet on my wrist. There is a bar of hemp soap in my shower, a gift from the co-worker who began this whole thing. I'll probably find myself buying an article of hemp clothing in the near future. Why hemp? I have no idea. Some things just seem to happen. This time it was hemp.

Sunday, July 25, 2004

I've begun going through my things, preparing to leave for Lee U three weeks from today. My roommate has just been in Cleveland, and has secured a cozy little townhouse for us to call home for the next two semesters. By some stroke of luck or Providence, it actually has two bedrooms and a washer and dryer in it, not just the hook-ups thereof. Best of all, it's also that magical college word: affordable. We are extremely happy.

I'm now trying to figure out how one moves across the country to a house by plane. Moving to a dorm is one thing, but setting up a house is quite another. As before, all my worldly possessions must fit into two boxes on the plane. The rest must stay behind or be shipped. Suddenly I consider shipping things that I never thought of before. How much would it cost to ship a mattress and box spring? Is it cheaper than buying new ones? How would one ship a mattress anyway?  

Then I realized all the things we must buy in order to make our house livable. When you grow up in your parents house, there are multiple things that you take for granted as always being there. Like the broom or the toilet brush. Or Chlorox, dishtowels, or salt and pepper. I don't think I've ever seen my mother buy salt or pepper. I've re-filled the shakers, but I've never ran out of either. They are just there. I think they grow in the cupboard.

I'll have to buy a vegetable peeler and garbage bags and toilet tissue. And who can do without hot pads? I mean, I never think about hot pads, but you can't do without them. I find myself scoping out the things in our house wondering what things I could take with me that wouldn't be missed here. Maybe I could take my favorite kitchen knife and the popcorn pot. Come to think of it, the popcorn pot would definitely be a negative. It possesses relic-like qualities in this family. My popcorn just won't be the same.

Sometimes I realize how slow Sequim is compared to the outside world. I went to work the other day wearing mulitple necklaces, something that has been in fashion for a while. My co-worker commented, "Wow. You have four necklaces on. I've only ever seen that in magazines."

I wish I had the nine lives of a cat. Even two or three lives would be nice. Although I have decided on a career direction, I can't help but think of all the other fun things I could pursue. My sister and I were discussing this today, and decided that if one had two or three careers, one could do a different job every couple of days and never get bored. (This, of course, is coming from a person who is always in a fine balance of boredom and challenge). I could be a teacher Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and an interior designer Tuesday and Thursday. And then I could be a fashion consultant on the weekends (just because so many people need it!). It certainly is possible. And then I think, hmmm...that means doing school all over again for each one. Maybe not; eight years of school is enough for one lifetime. That's why I need two or three of them.

I hate having to laugh at stupid things out of politeness.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

I am now at the point of counting. I count total days, work days, days off, days until my concert, days until I'm at Lee, days until school starts. 25 days total, 18 work days, 27 days until the first day of school, and 23 days until my concert. Time seems to be creeping by like hour glass sand, and yet I wonder where in the world my summer went. And I still have so much left to do. Like climb a mountain, perform two concerts, have a birthday party, go to the opera, finish an 843 page book, go to my brother's wedding, and somewhere in it all pack.

Lately I don't even know what I'm thinking. My thoughts ramble on as this post does. Too many thoughts, too many unknowns, too much tiredness (and I know, it's not a real word, but it's how I feel), and not enough vacation. One of my older adult friends told me the other day "Yep, and the older you get the smaller your summer gets. Pretty soon all you have is two weeks."

Lovely thought.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Sisters Laugh

We laughed together happily as only sisters can. Our co-worker walked by, guessing what we were laughing about. A customer? No. The chef? No. Himself? No.

What then?

Ourselves. We are continually amused at ourselves. Half the time we wonder why. If we explained what was so amusing, it wouldn't be funny anymore. But we laugh just the same. Happily.
"I'd like some more ice in my water."
"A side of mayonnaise please."
"May I have a to-go box?"
"We'd like separate checks."
"Can you split that for us?"
"You're sure we'll get separate checks?"
"I'm sorry...It's just taking too long."
"When was this building built?"
"I'd like some more onions."

After two hours of requests like the above today, one customer stopped me and said,

"You're doing a good job. Thank-you."

I thought she was the most beautiful person in the world.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

My parents have flown to the San Juan Islands for their 25th wedding anniversary (can you imagine being married for 25 years?). The rest of us are here at home wondering what in the world you give to parents for their 25th anniversary. Dinner seems too trite. An engraved something seems to impersonal. Doing nothing is unacceptable. Any ideas?

Saturday, July 03, 2004

In love

I am falling in love with my own name. I have no idea why or wherefore, but after twenty-one years my name has suddenly become more fascinating to me.

'Odessa' has Greek origin, stemming from the word 'odyssey', which literally means a long, unplanned journey. Quite a fitting meaning considering that is what my entire life has been. Maybe not the 'long' part yet, but definitely the unplanned part. 'Odessa' also has the strange fortune of being the name of a myriad of cities around the world: Odessa WA, Odessa TX, Odessa Ukraine, and a couple others I can't remember. My name is also popularly associated with 'The Odessa File', the film in which Jon Voight plays a German reporter searching for missing Nazi war criminals.

As I grew up, whenever I introduced myself, the usual reaction was one of three things:
"That's a very beautiful name."
"Oh, like Odessa (TX, Ukraine, WA, etc.)" This statement is usually followed by, "Were you named after one of those cities?" or,
"Oh, like the Odessa Files!"

Sometimes a person will even ask me if I know that there are cities with the same name or that there is a film. Though I don't want to sound rude or cynical, don't these people realize that after twenty-one years I have realized that there are cities and a film with my name? Do they really expect me to say "No, really? I never knew that!"

After hearing these same responses for the first ten years of my life, I became understandably tired of them. I mean, girls with the name Melissa or Elizabeth or Kelly never get those types of reactions. Over and over and over and over again. Even though I liked my name, I became annoyed with the same response I got every time I introduced myself. I had a fake gracious smile that I put on every time while I said for the ump-tenth time, "Thank-you, yes, I did." In a nutshell, my name was Odessa, it was unusual, started with an 'O' (how many girls names actually start in 'O'?), and it brought one of the same three responses from everyone. Not that I disliked my name, but it just created much repeatitive conversation.

After twenty-one years, I also still have yet to meet another Odessa. I have heard of other Odessas ("Oh, I have a great-aunt named Odessa", or "My niece's name is Odessa."), but I have never been able to call another person my own name. I often wondered, what would it be like to call someone Odessa? What would I think when I said it? What would another Odessa look like?

As I said previously, I am now falling in love with my own name. I came across it in a book I was reading the other day, in which the character went to 'Odessa'. I was unprepared to run across my name at that moment, and for a split second, I had a fabulous moment of objectivity concerning the look and sound of my name and how it looked on me. Odessa. It's actually a pretty cool name. I can't think of another name I would rather have. I mean, how many Odessas can there be in the world? I would much rather have a name that made people think rather than another Jane or Cathy that blips across their mind's screen automatically (my apologies to all Janes and Cathys who might read this. Your names are beautiful too, and I hope you are in love with them.)

My name is Odessa, thank-you, yes, I know about the film, and no, my parents didn't name me after a city.
What joy! I have found the comments option on my template. So comment away at will.
I glanced out my window as we drove by a fast food parking lot.
"All the boys are out in their trucks tonight", I said.
"Yeah, it's Friday night in Sequim", she replied.
"All they can find to do is sit in their trucks in a parking lot and drink soda from a to-go cup. How sad is that?"
"Though I guess we're not doing anything much better."
I laughed.
"But at least we're going to a real park...and we're eating bread and hummus instead of drinking soda from cardboard cups."
"Yeah, that's definitely more classy."

And we discover that the definition of 'class' can be entirely relative.

Thursday, July 01, 2004


The thought ran unexpectedly across my mind again. It had not visited me for a while, and I didn't realize how much I needed it. My world was now a more beautiful place. There was more air to breathe and more space to laugh. I lifted my face and smiled to the sky.