Thursday, December 17, 2009

some choice selections from my inbox today

First, two points:

a) I should have known that writing a story about guns & gun control would bring the crazies out of the woodwork.

b) My editor whacked my story after I left, and I blame him for all the negative comments. The story that came out today is unrecognizable as my own. My story was balanced. I hate editors.

Now, here's what I've been reading this morning:


"How much do you appreciate the freedom that you have as a journalist in this country – and do you know who paid the price so that you would have that freedom?"



You stated in your article: "Did the framers of our Constitution ever envision something like a semi-automatic weapon?"
Are you saying everything should be banned except muskets?

Please pull your head from your ass."


"If you had "dug deeper" you would have found reasonable arguments worth reporting. Regardless of your individual view, a good reporter would have gone the extra mile to show each side. Again, you must stay neutral, and in this case, you did not."


"You know that guns are not the problem. You also know or should know that a revolver shoots more accurately and faster than a semi-automatic weapon. Your real intent is obvious and blatant as displayed for all the world to see in the last sentences of the article. You trade your credibility away so easily you might as well sell it also. You should have more self respect and professionalism in your work. Reporting is about fact, not your personal opinion. Save your opinion for the editorial page. You will have to write in separately for that as you are unlikely to become the editor until you first become a successful reporter."


So I'm feeling really good about myself right now.

Really though - it's up to 700-something comments. That's pretty impressive, at least. The comments aren't directed at me at all; they're just discussing/arguing among themselves. And that's a lot of traffic that I'm bringing to the Web site.

With the e-mails...I toughened up by the end of the day. After all, as our cops reporter told me this morning, if I want people to blow sunshine up my ass, I'm in the wrong profession.

Love always,

Saturday, December 5, 2009


Remember how I'm opinionated and full of crap?

Okay. Good. Don't forget it.

Random things I hate strongly dislike:

--girls who have the same face in every one of their Facebook pictures.
--sorority girls who run around at night in miniskirts and tank tops in the middle of winter.
--sorority girls in general...sorry. (Individually, I have some great friends in the Greek system; on the whole...they're squealy, fake-tanned, giggly, and frighteningly identical.)
--girls who wear Ugg boots with sweatpants.
--people who talk/whisper loudly during class when the professor is talking.
--people who leave me hateful voicemails on my work phone. :(
--the amount of coverage the Tiger Woods affair story has gotten. I mean, really.
--the Italian justice system.
--the person in the newsroom who has my alarm clock tone set as their ringtone.
--the douchey bus driver who has somehow been my bus driver like 8 times this week.
--people who judge me for not going to football games. FOOTBALL IS STUPID. And it's cold out.

To counteract this,

Random things I love:

--people who call me "sweetie," "honey," "babe," or "Molls."
--my Spanish teacher.
--Chipotle (and the fact that they don't judge me for eating there oncetwicethreetimes a week.)
--speed scrabble.
--kitty videos on YouTube.
--the sunny, clear weather we've been having.
--getting to see the work of friends who are brilliantly artsy.
--jersey sheets.
--our funcional heater.
--copy+paste function on my phone.
--working at the Seattle Times.

Lists generally make me feel productive. That's why I chose to do this instead of start my homework. Good decision, I think.

Love always,

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

....and when I'm found in the desert place

First off: I refuse to cry at work.

But with a combination of exhaustion and stress and discouragement, it's a close call.

So I've been working on this story for the past month. Pretty investigative, at least compared to everything else I've done. And it was exciting for that reason - lots of information, lots of angles, lots of stress, but exciting.

Now, the story's written, with a conclusion and everything, but I need one more confirmation from an outside source that what the other source has told me is true.

That last source is in China.

I'm not.

Nor do I speak Chinese.

And when I presented this problem to my editor, he said, "I don't know what to tell you. You have to get through somehow, or we can't run it."

I've never felt so inadequate and hopeless and stupid in a newspaper setting before. I was doing so well - I was pwning! And now, I'm just...failing.

I don't like it.

Love always,

Saturday, November 21, 2009

when the sun's shining down on me

I've really got to say it. It sounds horribly egotistical and self-centered and obnoxious, but what the hell--

I'm totally pwning at life right now.

Seriously. I love my job. How many people can really say that? I was excited to go BACK to work today, after leaving for an hour in the afternoon. I want to go to work tomorrow, even though it's Saturday and I don't know what I would do with myself. I have this awesome editor who seems to have realized that I'm a fairly competent writer, so he keeps throwing stuff my way. [This is how it goes down: I'll be sitting at my desk, bored and waiting for China to e-mail me back, and Matt will lean back in his chair and POINT. "You. Wanna do this?" Yesterday it was "You wanna go downtown and try to find the guy who fell eight stories?" Um...YES. Thanks.]

But really - it's so exciting. And it's really encouraging to receive daily confirmation that this is the job I'm supposed to have. I am not destined for an Office Space existence.

Beyond that, classes are going great -- easy and pointless, but great -- and my design chief at the Daily trusts me and likes what I'm doing, and we're ramping up stuff for the DR trip this spring, and...I'm just happy.

Katie says it's like I'm making up for the crappy year I had last year. True dat, yo. And thank God.

Random side-note: Tonight, Roman and Katie were playing Scrabble. Roman was trying to get "slug" down. I'm so inundated with newspaper that when I hear "slug," I don't think of the slimy little creature; rather, I think of the one-word title you use to denote a story. Awesome.

What else is good...I'm going home next week! Mmmm turkey. And mashed potatoes and Disney movies with KaraLynn. And a haircut. And a queen-size bed. And no rain. NO RAIN. I'm so excited.

This is rambly. But that's okay; it's like 3 in the morning.

I texted my mom today (she knows how to text now, but still signs every message "Mom." Sigh.), telling her "BUY A PAPER!" She responded, "I bought 5!!! Mom."

Oh yeah - she bought 5 because my name was on the front page. Above the fold. PWNING.

It's a good feeling.

Love always,

Thursday, November 5, 2009


"Thinking can hurt your chances, and I intend to last." - The Handmaid's Tale.



Paint me in white
white like the snow
pure, they say
of course

and I’ll paint me in red, red ribbons
like nail polish
Snow White’s lips
there’s that white again
white like innocence
like youth
a clean sheet of paper
white like flower petals
strewn on the floor

but the thing about white is
it doesn’t stay pure
I trampled the petals
I scribbled on the page
across Snow White’s lovely face, I
the red from my drying fingertips

red like war paint
like lust
like anger and shame and desire
heating my face
marking me
I can’t hide now

I paint me in red
as camouflage
as a signal flare


I'm scratching the skin off my arm.

Love always,

Sunday, November 1, 2009

and it's only a matter of whom, and it's only a matter of when

Quite an up-and-down weekend.

I went to Port Townsend for Halloween, reasoning that a scavenger hunt on little girl bikes would be more my style than a sweaty dance party in someone's basement. Rounding the bend on the bus where I could first see the paper mill spouting pollution into the air, I breathed a sigh of relief. (I then hesitated to inhale again, as the people I was sandwiched between on the bus both reeked of cigarette smoke.) But it was like seeing the first landmark of town, and it felt like coming home.

How did that happen? I lived in PT for two months this summer, and it feels more like home to me than Seattle does, even though I've lived here for more than two years now. But really - it was wonderful. I've been feeling particularly homesick these past couple weeks (mostly due to the flu; I always miss my mom when I'm sick), and I needed home. PT came to the rescue. I felt so welcomed, so missed...I'd only told one person that I was coming, so I got to surprise everyone else, and they were all happy to see me. What a beautiful feeling.

But then I had to leave again. I don't like leaving! I think I belong there. Even though I get completely fed up with their hippie crap, I love the openness, the generosity, the sincerity of the sentiment of "the more, the merrier." I need the small town. I need friendly.

Then there's the distress (or a new word I came up with today: distraughtion. Use it. It's gonna be a thing.) of being stupid and knowing it and feeling inevitable. I hate it when I don't want something to happen and then it does. How's that for a mood reversal?

Mostly, I'm tired of discovering things about myself that I don't need to know. I never used to think of myself as someone with low self-esteem, but it keeps slapping me in the face. So much of what I do is driven by my need for approval, for positive affirmation. When did that happen? And when do I grow out of it?

Let's get back on the positive. Things I love about PT:
--people playing random background music all the time
--the way the rain sounds during the night
--the sound of the church bells
--friends who are so excited to see me that they pick me up when they hug me
--absurdly frank conversations
--streets named after presidents and trees
--Water Front Pizza.

Still in a funk. What am I waiting for?

Love always,

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

settin' up shop on B-front

I'm in the paper again!

I wonder if I'll ever get over seeing "Molly R------, Seattle Times staff reporter" in print.

Probably not.

PS, the people commenting on this one are even bigger douches than the people who commented on my last story. What IS it with them?! Do they just sit around waiting for a chance to be argumentative and hateful? Ugh.

Love always,

Saturday, October 17, 2009


So it's already my Facebook status, but in case you didn't hear...


B-front. Below the fold, but still. B FRONT. That's a front! People see that! And it's already stirring up some lively comments - 40, last I checked - online. Most of them are stupid people ragging on Huskies (?!?) but still. THEY'RE READING IT.
It's about these 10 guys who decided to beat the Guinness World Record for most bars visited in 24 hours. They hit 101 in 15 hours. Don't worry; they didn't get shitfaced. Not til the end, at least. Just 1 member of the team had to consume a drink at each establishment, so it was about 10 drinks per person over 15 hours. Not too bad.

Guys, this has been my year. Port Townsend, Seattle Times, and now I've got this guardian-type professor who's on the lookout for good opportunities for me, which is awesome. My next goal? A Reuters internship, somewhere in Latin America next summer. Deadline for application is Dec. 1, so hopefully I'll get some good clips before then. But think - if I get that, I mean...that's what I want to DO with my life! If I get that, I could be hired on as an actual employee afterward - I would have a job! I'd be SET!

My future may be falling into place. I'm good at this, goshdarnit. And I'm so freaking excited about it - I apologize for my overexuberant bragging. I've gone a little over the top; I mean, when I bought my paper in Starbucks today, I opened it up and told the barista that it was my story. (He was psyched for me.) But it might continue for a few days; I have another story coming out on Monday, and another on Tuesday.

Watch out, world!

Love always,

Saturday, October 10, 2009



honestly. what's so fun about it that EVERYONE in the entire WORLD is at the game right now?

homework on a Saturday night? Yes, I am that pathetic. Awesome.

Love always,

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

yeah, uh-huh

First off, the sermon last night was about God's promise to Abraham and Sarah, and all I could think of was "Yes, Sarah, you did laugh." SARAH PARSONS I MISS YOU.

Second, I decided this morning that there is no reason to feel guilty for not having anything to do at work because - get this - they're not paying me. Hunh. Interesting. Yeah. Really, they're just missing out on slave labor by not assigning me enough to do.

Not that I have like, nothing to do. I wrote a story last week - a damn good story, if you ask me, only now I don't know if it's going to run. It was possibly going to run today, my editor said; right now, I'm assuming he didn't have a chance to edit it last night, so maybe it'll make it in for tomorrow. Kind of disappointing.

And now I'm working on another one, but stupid people are not calling me back. Honestly, that probably makes up the majority of my time as a reporter - waiting around for busy sources to decide they ought to get back to me. Lame.

Still, it gives me a chance to stay up-to-date on fun Web sites like and, the latter being very fun for its familiarity. So that's good, I guess.

Good news: The news researcher who sits next to me is hooked on Glee (as everyone should be). So she's cool.

More good news: As crazy as my schedule is, I think I'm managing. I've gotten at least 6 hours of sleep every night, and I'm caught up on schoolwork. Also, my work at the Times counts for my NewsLab class, which is awesome. Internship = homework. So that simplifies things.

Random update: My back hurts really bad. All the time. Too much stress. I'm going to start a "get Molly a professional massage" fund. Donate now! Or...give me a backrub. That would work.

Um...I'm still doing nothing. And I hate pestering my editor, because I feel like if I do that too much, he's going to hate me, but I reallllly want to know if my story is going to run anytime soon.


Love always,

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

we got it good, whether you like this town or not

KL, this won't be 2000 words. This has to be brief, because I have to go to work soon. Bah. I don't like being a grown-up.

But I do like my work. Man, when am I going to figure out that nothing is as bad as I expect it to be? Let's examine the past year, shall we?
Molly goes to Spain: "Wahhh I'm not going to have any friends!" Spain was amazing.
Molly comes home: "Wahhh I don't want to leave!" Reunited with everyone & lived with Katie. Amazing.
Molly goes home for the summer: "Wahhhh Sears!" ...okay, that one was pretty bad.
Molly goes to Port Townsend: "Wahhhh extrovert living on my own..." Made lots of amazing friends.
Molly works at Seattle Times: "Wahhh it won't be as cool as Port Townsend."
And now...?

Well, I have to say that it's not as fun as Port Townsend. Nothing could be, really. There's no hippies and no Water Front Pizza. But I like it. It's not scary and corporate, the people are fun, and - BEST OF ALL - I don't have to get anyone coffee. Chya. Turns out, "Cafe" is what their Intranet is called. Who knew.

And now I'm actually writing a story. !! For the SEATTLE TIMES. Jeez I can't get over that. It's about this local outreach group that's going to Peru this winter to build a community center. Guess who I'm interviewing in about an hour? The woman in Peru who planted the idea.


Oh yes. I told Roman last night, and he said, Aww, look how useful you are! psh. Your face, Roman. Because really, I'm so excited to get to interview someone in Spanish. Plus, I just had my Spanish class, so I'm thinking in that language now. Perfecto.

In other news....I'm still chewing ice. All of ze time.
Also, I need to learn to meditate, because I'm stressing myself out so much over random things that I can't sleep.
Also, today was one of those beautiful crisp fall days that make me want to buy school supplies and drink hot cider. Breathe deep, Seattle.

All right, me voy a trabajar.

Love always,

Friday, September 18, 2009

and so it goes.

I have a new goal in life:

In other news, today is my last day in Port Townsend. My dad's picking me up tomorrow morning. And I'm going to cry. I'm sick of making friends and then leaving them. No more. I can't handle it. This is a shout-out to Elena, Anna, Chauncey, Sarah, Sam, Ellie, Ben, Joe, Melanie, Natasha, Allison, Sarah, Lynn, John, Patrick, Kathie, Malcolm, and everyone else who made this summer such an incredible experience.

I'll be back.

Love always,

Monday, September 14, 2009

I love it when

...I want something to happen, and then it does.

I also love Sufjan. Good guy.

That's all.

Love always,

Thursday, September 10, 2009

I am my mother's daughter

So how uptight am I?

I really don't think it's too much to ask that someone flush the toilet when they pee. Or that they keep their dirty socks off the pillows that I'll be sleeping on in a couple of hours. To me, that sounds like common courtesy.

But this is a recurring theme in my life - mostly with my guy friends, but increasingly more with girls, too - people telling me to just chill the hell out.

I think I've grown a lot in the past couple years. I think I'm much more at ease with myself and my surroundings than I ever used to be. But apparently, by my new friends' standards, I'm just an uptight bitch.

Really, though...If I'm not as relaxed as they are, is that a bad thing? The more they call me out on it, the more I have the urge to fight back, hold on to my standards, defend my rigidity. (Is that a word...?) One of my friends here told me, when I was darting around the apartment to make my bed, put dirty dishes in the sink, throw clothes in the dresser, that if I didn't fix it now, that behavior was going to become very "harsh" in me when I got older. Wtf is that? I think it's better than never learning good cleaning habits and being a slob for your entire life. And I'm not harsh about it - I'm not demanding that anyone use a coaster, or even that they wash their own dishes. I just like my space to be reasonably neat.

I mean, granted, I have rather absurd standards for sanitation, given who my mother is. (You all know Jackie.) But clean is not a bad thing!! Why don't people understand that?!

Mostly, I think, my problem is that it happens to be a very cute boy who's calling me out on all of this. He's decided to "push back," he said, by not flushing the toilet when he comes over.

Cute as he is, I may have to kill him.

Love always,

Sunday, September 6, 2009

to the mostest

I'm imposing a no-dirty-socks-on-my-bed rule. This is ridiculous. Cute boys should bathe. So should their clothes. I don't understand the problem.

I've been having fun turning my apartment into movie central this week. I have friends! Good times. We watched Se7en on Wednesday, then Pete's Dragon last night (I'll be your candle on the waaa-ter! Oh man) and The Craft tonight. They were right; now I want to be a witch.

But srsly folks. TAKEASHOWER.

Also adding to the medley of odors - these friends are all over 21. So they bring alcohol. Hey, cool, no prob; I don't like beer or wine enough to drink it, but they can. But it SMELLS SO BAD. Why does anyone LIKE to drink it?! If you drink it, YOU smell bad! And now my kitchen smells bad. I also look like a total alki, because there are empty cans and bottles in my recycling and on my counter. It wasn't me, I swear!

Anyway. Advice to boys: You are SO MUCH CUTER if you smell good. Change your socks. Wear deodorant. Use good shampoo. It works wonders.

Peace out for now, peeps. I'm off to nightmares about snakes coming out of sink faucets. Thank you, Neve Campbell.

Love always,

Thursday, September 3, 2009

sing this lullaby to yourself

Good night last night.

Started with delicious locally-grown burgers, moved on to absurdly frank discussion about topics that make me feel awkward, to renting Se7en and holding hands during the scary parts, to falling asleep to the sound of rain on the roof. I've never enjoyed the sound of rain so much.

Then, of course, my computer decided to be a nutcase. A couple days ago, I'd started streaming Pan's Labyrinth online, and hadn't closed the window with it yet because I still want to watch it. Somehow, at about 3:40 in the morning, my closed laptop started playing the movie. I woke up to a deep voice saying, "Hace muchos, muchos anos, vivia una princesa que sonaba con el mundo de los humanos." I couldn't get it to stop! My screen was black - the computer should have been hibernating - but no! "Hace muchos, muchos anos..." Plus I was deliriously tired and half-waking from a murky sort of dream...anyway. Finally took the battery out because it wouldn't turn off from just holding the power button.

Man, that burger was good.

Also, I have 15 days left here. Not ready to leave. Especially not to go back to school. I've already asked if I can come back next summer. And I'm planning to visit. Seattle's not that far away. Tambien, hay un chico que me gustaria conocer mas....jejeje. El dejo su movil aqui anoche; que lastima que tendra que regresar para recogerlo. La vida es buena.

In other news, I've been spending so much time on when I'm bored that I kind of want to get high just so I'd have funny texts to send people. But not really. Don't worry, moms and dads. I'm not actually considering it.

Love always,

Thursday, August 27, 2009

hells to the yeah

4:43 this afternoon, I get a phone call on my cell.

"Hi, Molly, this is Mark Higgins from the Seattle Times."
"Oh! Hi! How are you?" Bolt from the newsroom to get perfect reception, crossing fingers.
"I'm doing well. I just wanted to talk about your schedule for when you're gonna be working with us."
"Wait, you mean I GOT IT?!" Almost fall off the landing into the parking lot below.
"Well, yeah, I have a note in front of me that says you got it - -"
"-- I'm glad to break the news..."


So yeah, I got the internship.

I mean, I GOT THE INTERNSHIP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Seattle Times, baby. I'm movin' on up.

Only sad thing is that I don't have anyone with whom to celebrate. I had a chocolate milkshake, but what I really want is a hug. And some joint jumping around. That'd do it.

Love always,

Sunday, August 23, 2009

PT for me

Remember Stars Hollow from Gilmore Girls?

Port Townsend's bigger than that, and there's no Taylor to ruin it, but it's got that same delightful small-town feel. The first week I was here, I put a bio of myself in the paper, and that evening when I walked in a coffee shop, the girls were like, "You're the new intern! Your picture was in the paper!" Yep, small.

I have been so blessed in my time here. Everyone I interview for a story is interesting, friendly, and welcoming, as are all the people in the shops. And they're willing to make connections for me.

Take this morning. I went horseback riding for almost 3 hours through the forest by Anderson Lake because the man I hiked with and interviewed last week about trail maintenance has friends in the Back Country Horsemen and gave me one of their numbers; when I called them up, they offered to take me as soon as our schedules allowed. And they're so cool! Conversation on the trail this morning was never dull or forced. And my horse was beautiful.

After that, I went on board the Lotus, a hundred-year-old yacht owned by a truly wonderful hippie lady here in town. 5 minutes after we met, she invited me to spend the night because she and the friends who were volunteering their time to restore the boat were having a girls' night, with good food and piña coladas provided. I couldn't do it tonight, but she's offered me an open invitation. Sleep in a bunk in one of the freshly-painted staterooms and wake up to reflected sunlight dancing on the ceiling.

How on earth did I end up here?

I may never leave.

Love always,

Monday, August 17, 2009

I could be like Degas

..if the next thing I shoot is ballet.

Love always,

Sunday, August 9, 2009

a full heart and heavy thoughts

This has been a hectic week.

Last Saturday, Michael (friend from church/Spain) came up to visit Port Townsend, which made for an awesome day. On Sunday, we woke up at 4:30 and caught a ferry in Kingston to make it to UPC by 8:30 for training for camp. Sunday afternoon was spent at Michael's house in Laurelhurst; from there, I went to roommate Katie's house in Bellevue for Sunday night and Monday, then off to Talia's in Shoreline for Monday night, then back to Michael's for Tuesday afternoon. All this chaos because Camp Arnold, where Camp Side by Side takes place, had an outbreak of norovirus the week before and had to shut down for 5 days, causing our camp to start on Tuesday evening instead of Sunday. Whew.

Got to camp, got settled in, played an incredibly complicated series of water games with the volunteers when it was way too cold to be in a swimsuit. Got to bed, could barely sleep all night, then up at 7:15 to have chapel and breakfast before the campers arrived.

Okay. Camp Side by Side is put on by UPC for kids with cancer and their families. Each kid has a buddy - one of us volunteers. For the entire week (3 days this year), you are given over in service to your buddy. You do whatever he or she wants. You're their best friend.

My buddy was a super-high energy 6-year-old blonde boy named Connor*. Within 10 minutes of arriving, he was climbing up the ropes that held the sign-in tent to the ground. A half hour after that, we were down at the fishing [tank], where we caught - no joke - 13 rainbow trout in the space of 2 hours. I'd never fished before. I think I'm good for a while now - fish are slimy and disgusting, especially when you have to hold them as someone else tries to get the hook out of their insides.

So that kicked off our three days together. Connor is go-go-go. And that's what I wanted; when I applied to work as a buddy, I said I wanted a bouncing-off-the-walls little boy. No girls; I'm not down with playing house and dolly and all that pretend-we're-princesses crap. But knowing that I was getting a little boy, I should've thought more about exercise. I ran the entire 3 days. Ran, and fell on the ground when he killed me with his sword (thank you, medieval theme), and held him up as he went through the monkey bars, and carried him when he didn't want to do anything.

It was exhausting, but there was something in that exhaustion...pride? At doing everything and not holding back? Maybe. Freedom, too; I could be as wild and ridiculous as I wanted, with no fear of judgment, because hey - the 6-year-old told me to. I complained and laughed simultaneously, therefore, when Connor's dad put him up to putting me in the dunk tank on Thursday morning. All for the kids, right? I changed into a swimsuit and took a (brief) hot shower afterwards, after giving Connor and all the other conspirators cold, wet hugs.

The exhaustion was emotional, too. Connor's a moody kid. Middle child, his younger sister has cancer, and camp is not a good setting for kids who're easily over-stimulated. He'd be the sweetest, happiest kid one moment, and then he would lose at carpet ball (BEST GAME EVER) and take off running for the other end of camp, pouting as hard as he could. It took its toll on me, but I got my frustrated cry out on Thursday evening and was okay the rest of the time. We slew the dragon on Friday afternoon and played harder than ever during freetime. One last program, one last dinner, and the families were off.

It was a strange feeling. I'd expected to feel relieved - finally, no more running and consoling and being constantly excited. But I was sad to see them go. And sad that camp was over, that we'd been gypped out of 2 days with our kids, and that I was going back to Port Townsend, far away from the other buddies that had gotten to be such good friends so quickly.

And now...I'm in this funk. I want to debrief, like when you finish a mission trip. I want to talk about why camp meant so much to me, what it did to me to see these families struggling with kids who are so young and are inexplicably stricken with this horrible disease...but no one knows what I'm talking about. There's too much to tell. I can't put it into words. I remember this feeling from the height of my Ghormley days - there's just no place like camp, and no friends like the friends who share that experience with you. Mountaintop experience, I guess. Back down in the valley, I have no idea how to put what I learned into practice.

I want to go back, that much I know. I want to "stop the world" for those families, as one mom memorably put it. But it seems like so little, in the face of what they're up against. How does playing dragon with one little boy for 3 days help his family cope with their 4-year-old daughter's bout with cancer? How does it change anything?

What's that line from Narnia again? "No one is ever told any story but their own." Guess it's God's business to worry about the future. There's comfort in that, somewhat.

Love always,

*not really.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

it hits

It's raining and I'm lonely.

And so it goes.

Love always,

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

branching out

After work today, I rode my bike all the way to Fort Worden and back (it's where they shot some of An Officer and a Gentleman). I don't think it's actually very far, but it was quite an accomplishment for me. Lots of hills. I'm feeling good; sore, but victorious in spirit.

Came back, locked up the ol' Schwinn, and walked down the street to The Boiler Room, a coffee shop/youth hangout. Before my bike ride, they'd given me a cup of ice, taking a quarter out of the tip jar to pay for it; when I came in the second time, I brought back the owed coin. And then started talking to them. One of the women is the daughter of the former city editor of the Chicago Sun-Times, back before it was tabloid-y. He had her buy 4 newspapers every day so he could keep up with his local competition.

The other girl in there happened to be the volunteer coordinator. The place is mostly run by volunteers, passionate about serving out its mission to provide a positive location for the youth of the community.

So I talked to her. Filled out the hot-pink volunteer application that asked me, along with basic contact and experience information, what my issues are in the world. "Wassup with me," as it was phrased.

I have my first training shift on Saturday. Free barista experience, and new friends.

I'm stoked.

Love always,

p.s. On the bike ride home, my exhaustion was lifted for a moment when I saw these two heading home for the night:

I love it here.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

roughin' it

Today my editor sent me out to explore the town and familiarize myself with a camera.

Boy, what a drag.

Love always,

Monday, July 20, 2009

for molly: with love and squalor*

It's a long drive to Port Townsend.

It only gets longer when it takes an hour to travel the last mile to the ferries in Seattle because a soccer game just let out and all the crazy Sounders fans are clogging up the road. And when you stop for 45 minutes just before the bridge to Port Townsend for no apparent reason. And when you went to bed at 3:45 after packing up your life and were woken up by your loving mother at 6:40, only to have her conk out in Yakima and force you to drive all the way to Bellevue. Thanks, Mom. Someday I'll get you back.

Let me say something: Never trust apartment photos. My publisher/boss had me thinking that I was moving into the cutest, most spacious apartment in the world. I attribute this falsehood to absentmindedness rather than spite. The fact of the matter is, when we arrived here, we found that the charming little beaut hadn't been properly cleaned in - I'm not joking - 35 years.

Apparently the old owner of the paper had this random Chinese guy living up there for 35 years and never changed the rent, so when he finally kicked it in the past couple years, he was still only paying $25/month. Come on, now - if you don't have to spend money on rent, couldn't you have shelled out a few bucks for, I don't know, A MOP?!

Or a toilet brush. Eesh. My mom spent 3 hours cleaning the bathroom. She now has no fingerprints. Bleach goes quickly here.

Saturday night was hard. Never again will I take for granted my mom's OCD cleaning habits. I was afraid to touch anything. Couldn't put my bag on the floor - gag - couldn't set it on the kitchen table, or the counters, or the bed. What I thought was a pretty, old-fashioned carpet in the bedroom is actually a cleverly disguised slab of linoleum, patterned to look like carpet. Tricksters. The feeling of grit beneath my flip flops just about killed me.

So my wonderful mother called my editor/boss and ultimatum-ed the crap out of him. (Not really. Even confronted with 35 years of grime, my mom's still a sweetheart. I don't know how. Moms are magic.) She said that unless he got someone in here to help us clean, she couldn't leave me here. I love my mom.

We spent the night at my Aunt Jessie's house (which was spotless!!) and went to church in the morning. When we got back to the apartment, we found a blessing by the name of Allegra, busily scrubbing the kitchen cabinets. She's coming back tomorrow to scrub the floors. I love Allegra.

Last night I finally unpacked, after bleaching the dresser, the kitchen drawers & shelves, the closet, the desks...the everything. It's getting there. And it smells clean. Quite a feat, for the oldest 2-story stone building in the state. (Yeah. For reals. Who knew.)

What it all comes down to, really, is perspective. I could freak out and give up and go home, or I could get down and tackle it one square foot at a time and remember that it must have been clean once upon a time, and it can return to that state somehow.

And if I lose sight of that, I can always just walk down outside to the water. Again, I'm a block from the ocean.

God knows how to take care of me.

Love always,

*Anyone who knows my short-story reference gets a hug.

Friday, July 3, 2009

where do we go & how come it's so hard?

I got a job at Sears when I was home from school over Memorial Day weekend. I walked in, applied, got hired the same afternoon. Not exactly on my "most exciting moments of all time!" list.

I've worked there for about a week and a half now, and I almost hate it. The people are okay (even if they do say things like, "If it don't have a pink tag, it don't go there." DOESN'T, people, COME ON!) and I like my managers quite a bit, and I even got to practice Spanish with a customer once. But it's just...menial. I hope that's the right word; it's the one that keeps running through my head as I work there. All I do is rearrange clothes. I move clearance from one rack (sorry, "quad") to another, I put new merchandise out on the floor, I clear out the fitting rooms and spend hours wandering around, trying to find where the left-behinds are supposed to go.

I hurry through all these tasks because, subconsciously, I have something more important to do, but then I remember - there is nothing else to do. This is the only job. Nothing important awaits me. All I have to do is put away clothes.

And it kills my feet. So, yeah. No love lost between Sears and me. (Sears and I? Whatever.)

So then yesterday, I got an e-mail from the journalism advising office - they send them out to all majors every week - that announced an immediate opening for a news intern at the Port Townsend Leader. Apartment included, $500/month stipend. Sounds like a perfect opportunity - and the perfect escape from Sears.

I called the publisher, then sent him my clips and my letter of interest. I talked to him earlier today, gave him the name of a professor who could recommend me, then went out to lunch with my little brother. Just as we finished eating, I got a call - "Molly, Roger [the prof] thinks you're great. We'd like to offer this to you, if you're still interested."

At that moment, the thrilling possibility of leaving Sears behind me forever was such a beautiful thing that I pumped the air with me fist, right there in the restaurant. "YES! Yes, I'll take it!"

But almost as soon as I got off the phone with him, I started to feel....lost. Port Townsend is way over on the other side of the state - I don't know anyone there. I'd be living in an apartment by myself, working with people who are closer to my parents' age than to mine. It'd be great experience, no question, but....I'd miss out on everything here.

And okay, most people hate the Tri-Cities and would say there's nothing to miss. But I've been having a good time here - going to kickboxing and the Racquet Club with my little brother, hanging out with people from church, enjoying the sunshine, the home-cooking...I've never been away for a summer.

And this is different from taking off for Spain for a semester. I had a good group of friends going into that, and I was going to classes with people my age. It was a whole city of college students.

Port Townsend? What do I know about Port Townsend? I think it's more small-town than the TC.

I was excited about just hanging out with people this summer. I'm an E! How am I supposed to survive 2 1/2 months living by myself?

This happened in the space of 24 hours, from the first e-mail notification to the job offer. I didn't really consult God on any of it. How do I know if this is where I'm supposed to be?

Love always,

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


quiero ligar.

joder que gilipollas soy.

Amor para siempre,

Saturday, June 6, 2009

more family

So I talked to my birthmom on Wednesday for the first time.

She likes me.

I can't believe this is finally happening.

Love always,

P.S. I am NEVER having kids. You know why? Stephanie has twins. She has siblings who are twins. She has aunts who are twins. Ain't no way in hell I'ma have TWO babies pop outta me at once. Nuh-unh.

but wouldn't it be sweet if I had a twin?


Monday, May 25, 2009


I have been listless and vaguely frustrated for months. I'm not excited about anything. The last thing I can remember being truly madly excited about was Spain.

Why the hell did I even go? What good came out of that experience? I can speak Spanish now. That's it. Since then, I have been one giant ball of disappointment to myself. I don't do anything worthwhile. This is not a pity-party; just fact. I do nothing. I feel nothing. Just this heavy boredom, weighing down on me, stealing my motivation and my once-unstoppable drive for success.

School frustrates me - rather, my current approach to school frustrates me. I used to be so ambitious! I used to work so hard. I've got papers in 2 of my 3 classes that are already late; one of them, I don't think it'll actually matter, but the other one, I just...stopped working on the night before it was due. I'll be docked .5 of a grade point for that. And there's no reason for it - there's no reason I couldn't have gotten it done. I know this stuff. Heart of Darkness, imperialism - we covered this senior year. I actually read all the material this time. What is my problem??

Where is God in the midst of this? I feel like such a fraud. Same old problem. Interviewing for student leadership and Camp Side-by-Side in the past couple weeks, I straight-up lied about where I am with God right now. Where I am with God is nowhere. I talk to him when I want something. I don't feel him. I don't feel anything.

I want to wake up kicking and screaming.

Love always,

Friday, May 22, 2009

self-deprecation: because it goes well with my m&ms


I'm 20 years old.


I am undateable.


I need to stop dwelling on this.


Easier said than done.

Love always,

Saturday, May 16, 2009

the passive-agressive friend dump

A question for pondering:

Am I obligated to remain friends with people that I don't want to be friends with?

The flip side to this problem is that I know there are people who probably want to fall gracefully out of contact with me, and I keep texting or Facebooking them and trying to stay in touch, saying things like, "Hey, haven't talked to you in FOREVER, let's hang out!" In my mind (since I'm *awesome*) these comments seem perfectly harmless, not at all annoying, and really, people should respond to me.

But then....I hate Facebook. And email. Internet in general. Talking to my mom, I don't think she's still in touch with anyone from high school - not a single person. Sometimes that freaks me out; I don't ever want to lose touch with my best friends. But lately I envy her. Facebook has robbed me of this ability to gradually just lose contact with someone. I can't lose contact - I see right there on the news feed everything that is going on in your life, and you can very easily write to me and know that I'll get it, since clearly, I haven't changed my last name or forgotten to forward you my new address.

But seeeeriously. There needs to be a polite way to just...break off a friendship. Am I being really mean in this? I honestly don't know - am I required to stay friends with someone until I DIE, even if I get nothing positive out of the relationship? You would never say that about a dating relationship. Why are friendships allowed to go on and on, even when they're just dragging along painfully?

There needs to be a friend equivalent of the "He's Just Not That Into You" book. If I were the writer, here's what I'd say:

"Dear whoever,

In Facebook-stalking this seemingly inattentive friend of yours, have you seen any other recent activity? Yes? Oh, you mean, they've written to other people, added new photos, changed their "About Me," and gained 200 new friends, but haven't replied to your wall posts for a year?

Take a hint. They're not trying to be malicious, but the time has come for you to acknowledge that the flame of your friendship will never be rekindled. Move on and comment on someone else's status."

I'm so going to hell. Right by the unreachably high cupcake table.

Love always,

Monday, April 20, 2009

word count

My stories condense very well into 72 words, as it turns out. I like the limit. I love the site. I hope they really do make it into a book someday soon.

Number 134. Thank you, King Princess :)

Love always,

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

where I'm going

Description of good writers in my Creative Nonfiction book for my narrative journalism class:

"Such writers pay attention to what goes on around them and are curious about nearly everthing. They have read not just American history but also Russian history. They can find Trinidad-Tobago on a globe. They're intrigued by Caribbean weather, suburban traffic patterns, how farm machinery works...

They listen to how new lovers talk, watch how they move their hands during an argument across the room. They touch the coarse fabric of an old army uniform jacket - and the broken knees of an old friend who once played football. They roll down their windows and stop the car so they can smell the night breeze outside of Deming, New Mexico. And even at that moment, when they are completely captivated by the moment, they are also outside themselves, inventing the words they would use to describe the aroma of dust, hot asphalt and sage. They can't help it. They are in the habit of noticing things through words.

When they go on vacation, they go off the tour. It isn't that they are not astonished by cathedrals, but they are more fascinated by the old women in black shawls drinking aperitifs at the tobacco shop next door at nine o'clock in the morning - in the looming shadow of a sacred Gothic architecture of light...

They deliberately do things they've never done, go places they haven't been, even - especially - to places in their own backyards. They climb up into their neighbor's attic and watch their own house from a completely new perspective - briefly, irrationally thrilled, expecting some stranger to emerge from their own front door.

They make it a point to be where interesting things are liable to happen. And because they prowl the world with their eyes wide open and their ears pricked for sound, wherever they go, interesting things are liable to happen."

This is who I want to be. This is who I'm becoming already. And this is who I've always, always been.

Love always,

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

I've come home running

"If and when I can rid myself of this clouded mind, I'll watch myself settle down into a place where peace can search me out and find that I'm so ready to be found."

I'm not going to Spain. It took me a long, long time to get to this point, where I could finally step back and realize that I'm not the one who's losing something special. A long time. But I'm here now, and I feel better about this situation and life in general than I have since....I don't really know when. Probably since I was back in Spain. It's this feeling of being lighter, of being back on track; of finally having given in and returned to doing what God wants me to do. How could I forget how much better life is when I let him be in control? I should've remembered that he always, always keeps his promises.

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Matt. 11:28

And I'm loving that Relient K song right now:

"When I go down, I'll lift my eyes to you. I won't look very far, 'cause you'll be there with open arms to lift me up again."

Thank you so, so much to all those who stuck with me and prayed for me and kept speaking truth into my life. It means more to me than I could ever tell you in words.

I'll be in the Tri-Cities this next week. Come play!

Love always,

Sunday, March 8, 2009

I'll tell you flat-out

My paper's still not done. Yes, I've had all quarter to work on it; yes, my screwup is screwing up my group mates, but I cannot focus.

This is where I am right now: No one wants me to go, except my friend who's still over there and hasn't been around to see my breakdowns. No one - my parents are against it, so are the friends I cry to over and over again - they know me as well as I know myself, probably better, and they see that all I'm doing is hurting myself. I talk to them, and I talk to God, and I think, No, I can't go; I can't do that to myself; I need to just give it up, walk away, and trust that he will do something to make it better. The stronger decision would be to stay home, Michael said; how often do we really get the chance to walk by faith? To step out and say, Okay, God, I have no idea what I'm doing; I'm scared and hurt and vulnerable and broken, and I need you to step in and fill the empty places inside me.

But then something shifts in me, and I remember why I loved Cadiz so much; I remember how fun it was to live there, to go out at night and lay on the beach during the day and speak Spanish all the time and just run around feeling young in a good way. And I try to convince myself that I can go without seeing the Spaniard and still enjoy myself, just focus my trip on having fun with my friends and enjoying Spain. I mean, I liked it before I met him; can't I still like it now?

I'm honestly changing my mind every half hour at this point. I'm supposed to fly out next Monday. If I don't go, that means giving up the trip I've been looking forward to, obsessively, for two months. It means never getting the closure I want, the closure I need to move on from the whole stupid story. I can't not go, it seems; no matter how heartbreaking it will be to be there, it'll be worse to be home, knowing every minute exactly what I gave up.

I know what I should do, and I know almost for sure what I'm going to do, and neither one sounds at all pleasant.


Love always,

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

watching history repeat me

Maybe I don't have to go after all.

Thinking of alternative spring break plans means trusting that he won't let me fall flat on my I capable of letting go and walking away?

Vamos a ver.

Love always,

Sunday, March 1, 2009


joder...I hate sleeping. too many nights filled with bad dreams - dreams where I don't want to continue but can't bear not to know the end. I wake up from one only to dive back into another. I'm always running, trying to get somewhere safe; always with someone behind, algo espantoso justo al punto de alcanzarme. I wake up exhausted.

no one wants me to go. my dad thinks the costs will outweigh the benefits; he'd rather I cancel and stay home. michael says I'm setting myself up to get hurt; that this isn't what I want, that I have to trust that there will be someone better. mary says that there is nothing for me in this direction - nothing to run to. nowhere I want to go.

God doesn't want me to go. I get that, okay? I get it. Enough with the well-intentioned advice. Es facil para ti, michael; tu puedes decir que Seguro que hay mejor tipo para ti! Facil para ti, que nunca carecerás pareja, que siempre has tenido y siempre tendrás alguien que quiere estar contigo. No me ayudas....y no me ayudes más. Eso basta ya.

Yo sé que es una tontería. Yo sé. Llevo dos meses y medio pensando en la gran gilipollas que estoy haciendo. Pero a la vez llevo esos dos meses esperando el día en el que lo volveré a ver, finalmente, despues de tanto tiempo. No puedo cambiar de opinión; ya es demasiao tarde. No me lo puedo. Yo sé lo que hago: me va a decepcionar; me va a mentir; me va a destropear, pero....tengo que ir. Tengo que verlo. Tengo que terminarlo en persona para...para que? para dormir sin los monstruos en mi mente, supongo.

que todo fuera terminado ya...

Amor para siempre,

Sunday, February 8, 2009

oh, high school.

Just found the CD with Scotland photos on it, after 3 years of hiding in my bookcase. Memory lane, anyone?

As much as I'm glad to have these days behind me, I do miss drama sometimes. This makeup was a pain in the butt to do, but I loved it just the same. (Don't really miss the blue spandex unitards, though...)

P.S. If I look tired, it's because I had just danced for an hour and a half straight and then raced through set takedown in 15 minutes.

Love always,

Friday, February 6, 2009

cold hands

I need to learn to detach myself.

But how? I am not a detached person. I am not lukewarm about anything. I attach quickly and easily; I care hard; I love fiercely and stupidly. I don't wear my heart on my sleeve; I hold it out to you, palms up, the ultimate surrender, too trusting for my own good, or anyone else's. I've been this way my whole life. How do I change now?

And why should I have to?

A $681 non-refundable plane ticket to Spain for spring break, that's why.

Lying in this bed of mine...

Love always,

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

it's not like I'm a stranger to lonely moments

Still naive. Still impatient. Still way too prone to overanalyzing. Still far too self-aware.

Trying to ignore God and my better judgment is hard. He's persistent, did you know that? Freakin won't leave me alone. Pisses me off. And breaks me down.

Love always,