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Archive for the ‘About Nothing’ Category

I finally got my own domain all set up, so please zip on over to jessicatravels.com and follow me there from now on.

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What Weekends Should Feel Like

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my alma mater colors outside the reunion

I’ve been flipping through my high school yearbooks lately.

I dug them off their shelf the day I got back from my 20-year reunion, and paging through the pictures and messages – for the first time in perhaps 15 years – is helping my brain put the faces I saw at the reunion together with the names I remember from graduation.

Why didn’t I do this – let’s call it research – before my reunion? Why only after? Probably for the same reason I wasn’t entirely certain going to the reunion was a good idea: I wasn’t eager to relive those years.

If you’d asked me any time in the past two decades what high school was like for me, I’d have had a pretty definitive answer for you. I’d have said I hated high school, that I had a very small circle of close friends, that I was a social misfit who didn’t really have a place in the school I attended. I wasn’t one of the popular crowd, I wasn’t top of the class, I wasn’t stand-out in anything enough to be memorable.

I skipped my 10-year reunion (even though I live a 1.5-hour drive away) using the logic I’ve heard countless people use before and since – I was in touch with everyone I wanted to be in touch with from high school already (a grand total of two people). I had similar qualms as I made the 1.5-hour drive to my 20th reunion. I had even convinced myself that most of my classmates wouldn’t even remember me.

What was I doing?, I kept thinking. Why, if I didn’t fit in back then, did I think I’d fit in now? Why, if I hated high school so much, would I want to revisit it?

I walked into the bar on the first night of the reunion, relieved to notice they had a registration table set up with nametags, and was immediately enveloped in a bear hug by a guy I hadn’t had time to even look at before he hugged me. “Jessica Spiegel, ladies and gentlemen,” I heard him say. When he pulled back, I saw that it was someone I’d known since third grade, when I first moved to Oregon. He had been a loveable punk kid, a trouble-maker with a sweet side, and someone I hadn’t been close to. In the bar at our 20th reunion, he not only recognized me, he was happy to see me. I was dumbfounded.

At that moment, I realized I’d been approaching the whole reunion thing all wrong. It wasn’t about reliving the past, it was about living in the present with people who shared history with you. And that was it.
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Rigatoni con Balsamico

The husband made this dish the other night in a fit of reminiscing, and when I mentioned on Twitter that it was the most addictive pasta dish ever I got no less than four requests for the recipe. So, I figured I should put it online.

I think it’s safe to say that this dish not only inspired the husband to love cooking, but also started the love affair I now have with Italian food. I am not a cook – I don’t like experimenting in the kitchen and I’m easily flustered by too many things on the stove at once – but this dish just looked so simple to make that we tried it the same day we saw it as part of a promotional show on our local PBS station. As I learned later, the simplicity of this recipe is completely indicative of how easy Italian cooking is. What’s more, we’ve made it even simpler than the original recipe, too, so there’s really no excuse to not make it at least once a week.

Which is why it’s insane that we always forget about it.
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Since I got the iPod Touch that I won through the 2009 edition of Passports With Purpose (seriously, the best raffle ever, as I’ve won something both years I’ve bought tickets), I’ve been trying to play with it a little bit every day. I don’t think I’ll ever be one of those “cult of Mac” people, but I also didn’t want to be one of those anti-Mac people who scoffs at Apple products without actually trying them out.

So far, I’m having a little fun with it, but I’m also glad I didn’t pay for it myself.

Having said that, part of the reason I’m still so-so on it is that I haven’t downloaded a zillion fun apps. I have a few that I love (mostly ones that the husband found for his iPhone and told me about), but I’m looking for more. Which is the purpose of this post. I’m hoping you’ll help me find the cool apps.
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Childless By Choice

You know how sometimes you make a decision and then later you question it – if not completely change your mind about it? It’s a feeling we’re all familiar with, whether we admit it to ourselves or not. But there’s one decision I made so long ago I can’t even remember it that I have never – not once – questioned. In fact, I don’t even think it was a decision in the first place.

I am childless by choice.
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I (heart) the internet.

For the last 3+ years, I’ve worked for a web-based company. I have a pretty active online life, between Twitter, Facebook, and the articles I write. Hardly a weekend day goes by that I’m not on the computer. I now write just about everything I publish in HTML. And, as I mentioned before, this blog isn’t the first I’ve started.

But with all of this, I still have never bought my own domain name.
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Let Me Clarify

Apparently when I make demands to the universe, I need to be more specific. The day after I wrote that I was tired of the whole being-on-the-verge-of-a-cold thing, I got the cold.

Of course.

I’m trying to stay positive, hoping I’ll be mostly recovered by the time I have to leave for Las Vegas a week from today, but it’s such a pain to feel winded after walking down the effing hall. Amazing how much of one’s energy it takes to fight a cold, and how little is left over for, well, everything else.
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Either Or

My body can’t seem to decide whether it’s getting sick or not. I’ve felt not great for days, but no better or worse with each passing day. I just want some movement in one direction or the other, so I can react accordingly. This middle ground is too confusing.

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Seasons Change

The official start of fall was a couple weeks ago, and although September in Portland is usually glorious in the very way that you imagine it would be when you hear the term “Indian summer,” the last week or ten days of September were often downright chilly around here. We’re lucky in that our house is well-insulated, relatively new construction, and (being a townhouse) doesn’t have many walls actually exposed to the outside air. So keeping the windows closed has been enough for us to keep the house warm without turning on the heat yet. But I’ve heard more than one Portlander grumble that there’s NO WAY they’re turning on the heat before October. I think they were probably happy to have the calendar change a few days ago.
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