September 2010 Archives

Hawaii in Photos, Part 1

The un-terrible view from our hotel room
The view from our hotel room.


Fuzzy and Erica
Our first day at the beach! Sunday, Sept 12th


Palm Trees
So pretty

Erica and a fruity drink at Atlantis
My first fruity cocktail of the trip.

Fuzzy at Atlantis
What a nice ad! (That beer was $10. We didn't know that til the bill came.)

Conch shell player
This guy came out every night at sunset and blew in the shell while another guy lit the torches.

Sunset, Torches
The aforementioned torches.

Hula Ladies
We saw a hula show that night on a little stage on Waikiki beach. This woman was my favorite. She was so filled with joy that you couldn't help but smile. They also had teenagers who danced (male and female) and then little kids 4-7 years old. One song the little ones danced to was about getting married and wearing high heels and a "pedicoat that is short short short." Umm....not only was it weird that they were so tiny, but there was also a boy in the group.

Duke Kahanamoku
Duke Kahanamoku, The king of modern surfing.

Beach, North Shore Oahu, Hawaii
Beach on the North Shore of Oahu

Beach, North Shore Oahu, Hawaii
This is one of my new fave pictures ever.

Beach, North Shore Oahu, Hawaii
This is how Hawaii made me feel. I kept saying "today is my favorite day" each day we were there.

Beach, North Shore Oahu, Hawaii
Come on.

Aloha birdy!


I have a lot to say about our trip to Hawaii, but have been completely worn out this week and haven't had much energy. But I have to start somewhere, right?

Hawaii is as gorgeous as you think it might be. I don't think my eyes and my brain were ready for it. I was constantly saying "It really looks like this!" and "How is this for real?" Mountains, ocean, canyons, really is paradise.

Fuzzy and I instantly felt at home there and a strong connection to the land. We loved it. I love the culture, the food, the beauty, everything.

We also fell in love with snorkeling. We loved it and snorkeled a lot. It felt like swimming in the tropical aquarium I have always wanted. The first time we went, Fuzzy put his mask on first, stuck his head in and popped back up right away. "It is incredible. I've already seen fish," was what he said. Amazing.

We saw a bunch of sea turtles. Some basking on the beach, some we swam with while snorkeling.

We surfed! Fuzzy was a natural. Our instructor asked me if he had surfed before because he was so good. Sadly this was the ONE TIME we didn't have a camera with us, so we have no photos. Let me tell you, though--surfing Fuzzy is ADORABLE. I liked it, too. It doesn't feel at all what you think it might feel like. You just feel like you are gliding in slow motion.

We saw a Hawaiian Monk Seal. We had seen all these signs about not disturbing but didn't actually see one until right at the end of our trip. We were at a beach and went to the car to get our gear. When we came back, there was a roped off blob on the beach (when endangered guys come to shore, they are roped off so idiots don't mess with them.) He or she was so precious!

I took a hula class! I fell in love with the artform--it seemed like a dance version of tai chi--very relaxing and zen. I took a free class, and it was hilarious and really fun. Stay tuned, there is video.

We went to the Hawaii 5-0 premiere in Waikiki on the beach! All the stars were there as well as producers, politicians, cast members from the original series, etc. The show is pretty good, too!

Ok, that is my real quick round up. As we put pics online I will post some here with commentary and more stories. Ultimately, we had a blast and I cannot wait to go back!

Vote Naked Illinois



A few weeks ago, my awesome friend Philip and I filmed a promo video for the new Illinois voting campaign, Vote Naked. We had a total blast and I love the video. Here it is! (it is safe for work)

We've been featured now all over the news and the web, including the Huffington Post, CBS Chicago and Time Out Chicago. Both Time Out and the Facebook page have some really awesome photos.

YouTube Page

Directed by Ky Dickens
Yellow Wing Productions
Edited by CJ Arellano
Camera Operator: Amanda Clifford
Sound by Ryan Logan
Produced by Ky Dickens
Sponsored by Equality Illinois, The Chicago Reader, Rock the Vote & Roosevelt University


I am back! I am tired and swamped. Will blog later. Hawaii was gorgeous and incredible. Can't wait to go back.

And we're off!


We leave tomorrow! Talk to you in 2 weeks!


Not Here...Not There Either


Fuzzy and I take off on our vacation on Saturday, and we are going old school. We are leaving the computers at home, and I am leaving my phone at home, too. What?! No phone, texts, emails, or games. We will be off the radar. A few folks have the info as to where we are staying, for emergency use only. Gosh, I can't wait! How liberating! While I am the first to complain about smart phones and how they take away human interaction now that everyone would rather be communicating electronically with others instead of talking to the people they are around, I will also be the first to admit to being completely dependent and addicted to mine. So I am ready to free myself of that shackle and enjoy my surroundings in paradise with my sweet husband.


I am looking forward to this trip for myriad reasons. It is my celebration of life, knowing that it is fleeting and that I might not be able to take a trip like this in the future. I am living in the moment, and we are going for it while we can.

It is my celebration for living through the hell that has been our last few years.

It is an escape from the "real" world--from work, stress, chores, grind. I want to rest, swim, play, have fun and relax!

It is a chance to see the more of the world--I've only lived in Mississippi and Illinois, and while I've traveled some, I've barely scratched the surface. I've daydreamed about vacationing on an island my whole life, and now it is coming true.

It is a chance to enjoy my husband's company and thank him for helping me get through everything. He's my best friend, greatest love, and partner in adventure. We're going to explore together!

This summer has been like one big vacation. We've been going out, seeing friends, enjoying food and drink, going to concerts, all while still staying grounded and real. We've learned a lot over the years and we've gotten better at finding the balance between stress and relaxation. It feels great.

When we return from our trip, the daily grind will seep back in, and we will get sucked into regular routines. But I am also striving for owning less, needing less, consuming less, working out more, dancing more, running and biking more, writing that screenplay that's in my head and generally finding who I am right now. I don't know who I am right now or what I am doing, but I am excited to find out.

Until then...Aloha!

Kicking Cancer in the Boob

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On Sunday, October 17th, I will be walking alongside my friend Crescent in the American Cancer Society's Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk. Crescent has been fighting the beast this year, and just recently her mom was diagnosed as well. So we've formed a team and are going to show cancer who's in charge. If you would like to make a donation, please do so on Crescent's page here. Here is my page--it is mostly fun because I cursed on it and it says not to post objectionable content. TAKE THAT!

Eff cancer!

...and James Eckhouse

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Today is 9/02/10!

Let's all go to the Peach Pit!