The Colorful Crooked House

adulthood, Community, culture, Home, photography

One of the not-so-joys of living in a neighborhood that was once quiet and up-and-coming, and is now a petri dish of dual-income millennial hipsters is the rage that comes with driving. In the past year speed plateaus and extra speed limit and stop signs have been installed around my apartment, which has thankfully slowed cars down, making it less a game of Frogger to get to and from my home by foot. But the biggest addition was designing this triangular shape in the middle of the road to basically make cars slow down, veer left, and stop at this new intersection. I find it entertaining. It’s like a driver’s education obstacle course. Others hate it with a passion. Bicyclists have a nice little cut out they can zoom through that can separate them from the impatient drivers. The middle of this little triangular jut-out (I don’t know what to call it) has been filled with planters, chalk drawings, a LA-Z-BOY rocking chair with a dummy sitting in it, and now this crooked little house.



Photo of the Moment – We Are

art, culture

Las Razas y La Cultura (1964) by Jorge Gonzalez Camarena

With little time left to hurry through the Museo Nacional de Antropología in Mexico City, I was struck by this beautiful work by Jorge Gonzalez Camarena. More from another blogger hereSadly, I didn’t stop to find the title and name of the artist who painted it. I did a search, but am coming up empty. If anyone knows what the title/artist is for this, please let me know!

Thanks to my sleuth of a husband, the artist has been found!

Lucia – A new kind of magazine

art, Community, creativity, culture, education, family, friends, giving, Health, history, Learning/Education, life, Love, mental health, photography

“We are inundated with so many false messages… and yet there is this spirit, this voice, that comes from somewhere quiet and deep, and it whispers truth. I wanted to create a magazine that gives voice to the heart.”

This is my friend Laura’s Kickstarter. Check it out:

I read an article on about how a 19 year old woman took her own life because she felt she wasn’t being the best. She hid her suffering from her loved ones despite appearing perfectly “normal” and happy if you followed her Instragram feed. The article is very well written and tells the story with kindness and sadness. It inspired me to share the article on my Facebook page, because I believe mental health is still seen as a stigma.

The article got me thinking about how we navigate through this ever-changing landscape of technology that drives how we interact as human beings. How do we stay connected for good reasons? How do we stay on top of what is important to us? How do we gently nudge aside the things that don’t serve us for the better? How do we keep from losing sight of what actually matters. Because let’s be honest, it’s easy to be envious of others. It’s easy to want to be like everyone else, and have what others have. We want to best someone at something. We do this while seeing a friend’s post about how they just bought their new house, have their first child, travel to far-off lands, and even get super buff. I mean, I think it’s okay to have ambition, work toward personal goals, and tough out a challenge. But I feel working towards other people’s goals, striving toward goals set by others, is not what is best for us.

More now than ever, I feel like we are engulfed in images and messages – pretty much instantaneously through the use of our cell phones and tablets – that tell us intentionally (or even unintentionally) that “You’re not doing it right if your life doesn’t look like this.” Through ads, social media feeds, it happens all day, every day. I’ve had my moments of looking through a old friend’s Facebook feed and thought “Man! how come my life can’t be like that!” and I had to stop and think “Wait a minute, that can’t be their whole story. It isn’t their whole story.”

This all brings me to why I’m sharing this Kickstarter with you. Because I think sharing our heart’s truest and boldest stories is important. And with all that, I think everyone should check out Lucia.

I met Laura in a photography class. She came across immediately as a friendly and whole hearted person (If you met her, you really do get a sense that she speaks from her heart). I’m excited for her taking this journey to share a part of herself, and to read about others with the courage and creativity to share the spirit and whispers that come from deep inside. I honestly don’t know about any of the stories that are in the magazine, but I have a feeling the pages will be a place where people come together to share beauty, sadness, loss, love, and joy in a way that strengthens human connection for the better.

Note: I want to be clear that I am not saying that the cause of someone’s sadness is because another person posted about a very cool life experience on Facebook! I love vacation photos, kid/baby/kitteh/puppy videos/photos, even how church made you happy. I think we all pretty much do. But let’s be kind to ourselves and focus on our own individual happiness. 

Murals at Wilson-Pacific by Andrew Morrison

art, Community, creativity, culture, education, history, Learning/Education, photography

Before I left the house, I reluctantly brought my camera with me. I’ve been struggling with my relationship with photography (again), and didn’t know what would come of driving to a doctor’s appointment. What would I possibly run into that was worth taking a photo of? I’ve been on more than a few outings lately, my camera in tow, and have not had the courage or inspiration to snap a single frame.

Driving back home from the appointment I ran into some traffic. With some quick thinking, I took a detour and jogged down some back roads to avoid sitting in a line of cars. And before I decided to continue on after a 4-way stop I saw the Andrew Morrison murals a of couple blocks ahead. I’d seen these murals in an article in the Seattle Times that involved them possibly being torn down as a part of a school re-design (an agreement was later made  will preserve them). Anyhow, with nowhere else to be and Sherman Alexie’s Blasphemy sitting on my passenger seat, I felt it was a sign that I make an effort, park the car and do a little photo shoot of these wonderful murals.

I had fun. I was pretty much alone, walking on the  asphalt, feeling the dry weeds beneath my shoes and the heat rising from the ground. Large works of art are always fun to look at. It’s the one time when feeling dwarfed doesn’t feel so bad. I think about how the work was created. You’d have to be able to be that close and still see the big picture, so to speak.  I picture drawing the outline and then running back a distance to see if the perspective was alright. Then going back and fixing anything. Then running back to check. Does that get tiring? But with a lot of good things comes hard work. And the finished product ends up being thoughtful and can speak to many.

Here are a few snaps I gook. You can see more here.




Seattle Foundation’s Give BIG – May 6, 2014!

art, Community, creativity, culture, education, family, fundraising, giving, Health, homelessness, Learning/Education, life, Love, mental health, music, photography, Seattle, Seven Star



On May 6, 2014 Give BIG to a Seattle nonprofit organization that values what you value and believes in the causes you do. Help strengthen a community by considering a contribution to any of the hundreds of organizations listed on the Seattle Foundation website. All donations made through the Seattle Foundation will be partially matched. Stretch your donation dollars! This is a one day event you cannot miss.

Marivic’s Community Giving and Humanity Bettering Christmas List

Community, culture, family, friends, fundraising, giving, Health, Home, homelessness, life, Loss, Love, mental health, nature, photography, Seattle, work

sasquatch-n-meI was thinking about things I’d like for Christmas, even though I couldn’t possibly ask anyone to get me anything because I honestly don’t need anything that I don’t already have some version of.  But what I think might be more helpful is if we spend our money and time helping each other.

Below are places that could use your help.  The first thing listed being the most important.  Please keep in mind that this is my own personal list and it’s only a few of the MANY things I care about.  Other than the Philippine Red Cross, I have had direct involvement with the other organizations listed here and feel comfortable listing them.  I may add more as the days go by and I remember  things that aren’t coming to mind right now.

Philippine Red Cross
By now I hope you all know about Typhoon Haiyan and how it has devastated the Philippines.  Thousands upon thousands are without homes, food, medical attention.  People have lost not just possession, but loved ones.  It’s incredibly heartbreaking.  Please help or donate as much as you can.

Philippine Red Cross:

More information:

Photo Coverage:

Seattle Children’s Hospital
The staff at Seattle Children’s are incredibly hard-working people.  I know because I used to work there and many of them are some of my closest friends.  They are dedicated to the mission of providing uncompensated care to children who need special medical help.  Their research teams are doing their best to work toward eliminating pediatric illness.  They are a nonprofit hospital and rely on donations, grants, and government funds.  But we cannot underestimate individual giving.  Please consider doing that.

Ways to help:

Seven Star Women’s Kung Fu
I can’t tell you how much this place rocks!  I just finished my beginner’s cycle and am learning all kinds of awesome things.  But most importantly, it’s a wonderful community focused on women’s well-being by strengthening your sense of self through self dense and kajukenbo kung fu.  They run on the power of a steering committee and the volunteer time of their students.  But like all nonprofit organizations, they can always accept more to better the facility and provide equipment.  Please consider supporting a school that empowers women!

Your support goes to kick-ass women!

More about Seven Star:

White Center Food Bank
My friend manages the garden here.  It’s amazing.  I did not spend my childhood growing things or planting things on a regular basis.  I helped out for a couple of weeks here with the garden, doing some watering and harvesting some food.  The food I picked went directly onto a distribution table that qualifying families could then pick up and take home.  Seeing that was incredible.

They can always use help:

More about White Center Food Bank:

Power 2 Give Puget Sound
I’ll be damned if I live my life without art.  In whatever form it comes.  I want access to programs and the space to have art, appreciate it, and share it.  This site is specifically for organizations in the Puget Sound region.  See what projects need help.  As a bonus, corporate support is matching $1 for $1 !

Keep the arts alive:

More about ArtsFund, who is making this possible through Power 2 Give:

Other states with projects to sponsor through Power 2 Give (note, they may not have matching like some of the Puget Sound projects do):

Support the Samarya Center
Nonprofit 501 (c) 3 organization dedicated to the practice of yoga for well body, well mind.  I’ve taken classes here and every one of them was a refreshing experience and mind-calming experience.   It’s not just about bending your body.  It’s also about being mindful about your actions.

Help them re-locate and support their transformation:

Visit their website for more about what they do:

Fall Carnival Fundraiser for R-74 a success!

coffee, Community, creativity, culture, education, friends, fundraising, giving, Home, Learning/Education, life, Love, photography, work

The fundraiser for Washington United for Marriage was a success. For more information about this referendum, learn more at the site here. There was face painting, a coloring table, a bake sale that left us full of sugar, family and friends. The photo booth played a great stage for people to let loose and show their support for marriage equality. Some photos from the event below. For more photos, check out the album on the Facebook page!

Bake Sale goodness

I like to call this “FUEL Clan Gang”.

Face painting was a hit.

Reading and coloring table fun!

Animal masks!

“FUEL Clan Gang II”.

Helping other people

culture, education, fundraising, Health, Learning/Education, work

In 2004, a friend asked me to be a part of a fundraiser to help women with obstetric fistulas in Africa. Specifically, the Addis Ababa Fistula hospital in Ethiopia. We put on a gala event to talk about the cause and raise more money. Floods of people came and the highlight was speaking to the woman who ran the hospital who called from Africa to thank us for our help. It was awesome.

I played a small part in it all, and our entire group’s efforts raised over $10,000 to help the care women needed to live a healthy life.

I just stumbled upon and caught a bit of “A Beautiful Walk” on Nova about the hospital’s efforts, and the life changing care it provided to women who felt helpless because of their condition. Women who walked for miles to get care. Women escaping a bad life, or just wanting to better it somehow. It made me think about the work and attention we have his very hospital eight years ago and am happy to see it is still doing what they do and are add 5 additional clinics in other parts of the country which will be better for women who can’t get all the way to Addis.

I have to say, I feel really good about having been a part of that effort.