about me

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i am a dreamer, an idealist, a creator, an introvert, a thinker, and an all-around neat person...if i do say so myself.

03 April 2010

on the road

Outside a storm was raging. Something frantic and wrathful, but profoundly unhappy, seemed to be flinging itself about the tavern with the ferocity of a wild beast and trying to break in. Banging at the doors, knocking at the windows and on the roof, scratching at the walls, it alternately threatened and besought, then subsided for a brief interval, and then with a gleeful, treacherous howl burst into the chimney, but the wood flared up, and the fire, like a chained dog, flew wrathfully to meet its foe, a battle began, and after it - sobs, shrieks, howls of wrath. In all of this there was the sound of angry misery and unsatisfied hate, and the mortified impatience of something accustomed to triumph.

Anton Chekhov

28 March 2010


i moved into my house almost 9 months ago.
slowly but surely i have been painting and cleaning and putting my unique style into every room.
but this weekend i planted an herb garden in the front yard.
this place is finally starting to feel like my home. i like that.

17 January 2010

a million miles

The most often repeated commandment in the Bible is "Do not fear." It's in there over two hundred times. That means a couple of things, if you think about it. It means we are going to be afraid, and it means we shouldn't let fear boss us around. Before I realized we were supposed to fight fear, I though of fear as a subtle suggestion in our subconscious designed to keep us safe, or more important, keep us from getting humiliated. And I guess it serves that purpose. But fear isn't only a guide to keep us safe; it's also a manipulative emotion that can trick us into living a boring life.

Donald Miller

24 December 2009

Currer Bell

It is in vain to say human beings ought to be satisfied with tranquility: they must have action; and they will make it if they cannot find it. Millions are condemned to a stiller doom than mine, and millions are in silent revolt against their lot. Nobody knows how many rebellions besides political rebellions ferment in the masses of life which people the earth. Women are supposed to be very calm generally: but women feel just as men feel; they need exercise for their faculties and a field for their efforts as much as their brothers do; they suffer from too rigid a restraint, too absolute a stagnation, precisely as men would suffer; and it is narrow-minded in their more privileged fellow-creatures to say that they ought to confine themselves to making puddings and knitting stockings, to playing on the piano and embroidering bags. It is thoughtless to condemn them, or laugh at them, if they seek to do more or learn more than custom has pronounced necessary for their sex.

Jane Eyre

30 June 2009

07 June 2009

six months

the past six months have been, well, stressful.

i've said that rule #1 is to never talk about work, but i will say this one thing. in january we got a new boss. she is great and i am learning a lot and i trust her decisions. but a lot of times when a new boss comes in who does things very differently from the last boss, the changeover process leaves a number of casualties in its wake. and there have been a number of casualties. which has made the work environment unpredictable and stressful.
enough about that.

last december i saw the way the housing market was going, and i saw what mortgage rates were, and i decided that it was now or never for me to buy my first house. i fell in love with a 100 year old adobe brick craftsman style house on the Wood streets in riverside. and it was in my price range! and that was the beginning of my six month housing saga in which i learned about the criteria for an FHA loan (the house can't be in need of any renovations or structural improvements, which left my dream house in my dreams) and that dealing with banks for a forclosed home is the biggest pain in the ass in the entire world. i made an offer on a 6 year old home in downtown riverside on january 19th of this year, and sparing all the boring details, i finally closed escrow almost six months later. as of this last friday, i am officially a homeowner! and since my 33rd birthday was this last thursday, i'm calling it my birthday present to me.

i would be more excited, except this all finished up 3 days before my departure for Ukraine. i won't be able to move until i get back. so it doesn't even feel like a reality yet.

so right now all the excitement is that after six months of training and waiting, my team is leaving for Ukraine tomorrow morning! we are all SO excited. we're spending the next three weeks at an orphanage, and we'll be spending that time playing games and singing songs and doing crafts and possibly doing skits. your basic summer camp stuff. but in Ukraine. all my bags are packed and sitting by the door, and i'm just waiting. waiting. waiting. i'm not the world's most patient person, so all this waiting is not easy. i'm ready to go NOW.

i'm not sure how much internet access i will get while we're there, but if there are any updates you can read them here.

see you all in july!

06 May 2009

silence is...

i knew that i hadn't blogged in a while, but i was a little shocked to realize that it has been almost two months.

its not like there hasn't been anything happening.
actually, a LOT has been happening. but i either didn't feel like talking about it or i couldn't.

a lot has been happening at work. things have been busy and stressful. but rule #1 around my blog is never write about work. EVER. so moving on...
preparing for my upcoming trip to Ukraine has taken a great deal of my time and energy. but its not really anything to talk about here.
i moved a couple weeks ago. but its nothing i really want to talk about. i'm currently camping out in my parents' guest room with everything i own in a pile in their garage. the most descriptive word i can think of to use is demoralizing.
i haven't even been baking. i know, weird, right?

the only thing i even really wanted to talk about was something that i was keeping under my hat until i knew it was actually going to happen. i was beginning to think that this day would never come, but i bought a house. and if everything stays on schedule it should officially be mine in a little over a week. i am so excited. and completely terrified. its a lot of money. and i own zero furniture. no couch. no bed. no table and chairs. no fridge. no washer and dryer. i don't even own silverware or pots and pans. and that all takes money. i know it will all work out and i will thoroughly enjoy finally having my own place. but i'm feeling a little overwhelmed by it all.

well, i guess that's all for now.

12 March 2009


an excerpt from an article called America's Shame by Peter Singer in the March 13th issue of The Chronicle Review:

The World Bank defines extreme poverty as not having enough income to meet the most basic human needs for adequate food, water, shelter, clothing, sanitation, health care, or education. One widely quoted statistic is tht a billion people are living on less than one U.S. dollar per day. That was the World Bank's poverty line until 2008, when better data led to a new poverty line of $1.25 per day. As a result, the number of people whose income puts them under the new poverty line is 1.4 billion.
On hearing the "$1.25 a day" figure, the thought may cross your mind that in many developing countries it is possible to live much more cheaply than in industrialized nations. But the World Bank has already made that adjustment in purchasing power, so those it classifies as living in extreme poverty are existing on a daily total consumption of goods and services - whether earned or homegrown - comparable to the amount of goods and services that can be bought in the United States for $1.25.
The 1.4 billion people living in extreme poverty are likely to be hungry for at least a part of every year. Even if they can get enough food to fill their stomachs, they will probably be malnourished because their diet lacks essential nutrients. In children, malnutrition stunts growth and can cause permanent brain damage. The poor may not be able to afford to send their children to school. Even the most basic health-care services are usually beyond their means.
That kind of poverty kills. while life expectancy in rich nations averages 78 years, in the poorest nations - those classified by the United Nations as "least developed" - it is below 50. In rich countries, fewer than one child in 100 dies before the age of 5; in the poorest countries, one in five does. Unicef, the United Nations Children's Fund, estimates that nearly 10 million children under 5 die each year from causes related to poverty. That's 27,000 a day - a football stadium full of young children, dying every day (along with thousands of older children and adults who die from poverty every day as well). Some children die because they don't have enough to eat or clean water to drink. More die from measles, malaria, diarrhea, and pneumonia - diseases that don't exist in developed nations, or if they do, are easily cured and rarely fatal.
the article made many assertions about foreign aid and the obligation of those living in the U.S. to contribute to do something about extreme poverty.
i found it to be extremely convicting.
how can i justify spending over $3 on a cup of coffee when 1.4 billion people around the world don't have enough to eat? how can i say that i need to spend money on another new pair of shoes when 1.4 billion people can hardly clothe themselves?

$1.25 a day.

i think i will look at how i spend my money a little differently now.
i have a feeling it can be used more effectively.

08 March 2009


so remember how back in august i said that micah and i had taken a ton of video on our road trip to portland and that i would be shortly posting a final edit of that video?
well, the wait is over!
it only took six months for me to put it all together.
that was mostly because windows based editing programs leave me swearing like a sailor.
i want a mac...

my journey to goodbye from elizabeth herrity on Vimeo.

i hope you like it.
or at least think it doesn't suck.

01 March 2009


View Larger Map

i enjoyed our group camping trip last october so much that i decided to put together another trip for this year. the plan had been to reserve a spot at Carpinteria State Beach sometime in july. but this last week i learned that you can't just decide in february that you want to go camping someplace that cool as soon as july. yes, it is completely booked 5 months in adavance. but wait, it gets better.
apparently the california state park system releases months to be open for reservation seven months in advance, on the first of that month. so if i wanted to reserve a spot in july, i would have to be on the website at 8 am on january 1st. (well actually the 2nd. they don't make reservations on new year's day.)
so since the next month to be made available was september, i decided to make a reservation at carpinteria for labor day weekend. i was up at 7:45 this morning, on my computer, on the reserveamerica.com website, hoping that my web connection was fast enough to secure me a campsite. i opened up the page for the beach, chose my site and my dates, and hovered over "reserve now" until my clock ticked 8am.
and i was victorious.
i will be camping on labor day weekend.

oh, and every single site at the beach was completely booked for that weekend by 8:09am.

17 January 2009

calling any and all art nerds

what's better than spending a day off work at an art museum?
getting into said museum for free.

this monday LACMA is free for all. so of course i'm going.
even though i hate driving out to LA and finding parking. and the likelihood is quite high for the museum to be ridiculously busy on a free admission day.
i'm still going.
anyone who wants to go with, i'm leaving at 11am-ish.
i promise not to be too art nerdy for you.

14 January 2009

my team

tonight was my first training meeting with the students i'm taking to Ukraine this june.

this is going to be a very good six months.

09 January 2009


i am 32 years old.
i have never felt the need to be embarrassed about my age or refuse to tell someone my age.
i have never wished to be older or younger than i am.

i am what i am.

i love the fact that with age comes wisdom.
i make much better decisions now than i did when i was 22. and i will make even better decisions when i am 42.
but i don't look my age. most people guess 26.
now, most 32 year old women would LOVE to be mistaken for being 6 years younger than they are.

i HATE it.

i've recently been thinking a lot about why i hate it so much when people tell me i look so young or that i am so young.
i've come to the conclusion that it is because i have been through a lot in the past 32 years. and i mean a LOT. most people have no idea the amount of shit that i've been through. i have gathered much experience and wisdom and am proud of the person i have become. and i don't want to be mistaken for being some young, green girl who is still figuring out who they are.

i know who i am.

i am also coming to the conclusion that our society is structured in a way that women who are unmarried without children are subliminally seen as somehow inexperienced or incapable.

i am neither.
and there seems to be nothing i can do about that.

but i see things brewing on the horizon which will take my professional life to a place where people may finally take me seriously and respect me.
i'm looking forward to that.

07 January 2009

good advice

this skit is a few years old, but i saw it posted on another website a few days ago and it made me laugh out loud. so i thought i'd share.

02 January 2009

backyard beautification project, phase 2 - complete

well, it has taken me a while, but i finally completed phase 2 of the ongoing backyard project.
during phase one, i took a bunch of bricks out of the planter i used for my vegetables. so in phase two, i used those bricks to pave over a section of dirt next to the fence. and it sat that way for over a month. until yesterday. i finally bit the bullet and toted my cactus collection from my parents' house to mine and set them up in their new home. all 65 of them. whew.

and as you can tell in this picture, the vegetable garden is doing quite well. we've started eating the lettuce and spinach, and the peas are about to organize a coup and take over the entire backyard. things are coming along quite nicely, i must say.
but we'll see how long it takes for me to finish phase three...

27 December 2008


this afternoon micah and i spent some time just walking around riverside. first was fairmount park, which neither of us have ever really spent any time walking around in.

and then we ended up downtown. we ate some dinner and then when it got dark we discovered that we really needed jackets, so it was just a quick walk past the mission inn and a stop for some kettle corn. (the kettle corn guy was very chatty, by the way. we learned about the science of popcorn. he was awesome.)

and that is the end of my polaroid film. i have none left. and it is getting really expensive. we'll have to see about my future with polaroid.

24 December 2008

it isn't really christmas...

...until i've been reduced to a complete blubbering mess.


18 December 2008

the most wonderful time of the year

well its been about a month since i last blogged. or really did much of anything creative-like, for that matter.

i have an art piece that has been sitting in the garage for over a month in a half-done state.
i haven't really felt like knitting anything.
on my trip to victoria over thanksgiving, i came home with only two digital photos and half a roll of film photos from my AE-1. (those will probably get developed three months from now. just wait.)

i think i have what is commonly known as the wintertime blues. or i'm in a funk. take your pick.
i used to really like the holidays. christmas was my favorite time of year. and then over the past 5 years or so, things slowly changed. now i find the holidays to be completely depressing.
let's just say that christmastime is not really made for single folk. and at every turn it seems to be re-established that this is the time of year for loved ones and togetherness, while i once again have to slog through it all alone. completely alone. (not to diminish my parents and sister, but at 32 years old, the desire is for my own family.)
this is why i usually take road trips during the christmas season. maybe my reasoning is that if i leave my normal surroundings and visit with friends, i will be able to avoid the soul-crushing depression that normally descends along with the christmas tree and presents.
but this year i am staying home for christmas. i have looming in front of me two weeks of free time. i'm looking forward to the time off work, but am hoping that i come out the other end relatively emotionally unscathed. we'll see.

so i'll leave you with pretty much the only creative thing i've done in quite a while. here's a video i made at the beach in victoria. it was so peaceful and beautiful, and i loved the sound the waves made on the pebbles.

waves from elizabeth herrity on Vimeo.

23 November 2008

thanks, but no thanks betty crocker. i've got this one covered.

this morning i felt like making blueberry muffins.
and no offense to betty crocker, but i think that taking a few extra minutes to make them from scratch makes a HUGE difference.

first, i start with buttering and flouring the muffin pan. i think that this is well worth the extra effort, because it gives the bottoms of the muffins a finer texture than just using a spray does.

next i mix up the batter with some organic butter, organic sugar, organic eggs, and organic milk.

then fold in the organic wild blueberries from Trader Joe's. yup, these puppies are 100% organic! (ok, the flour isn't organic. so maybe 90%)

drop the batter into the pan and sprinkle a little sugar on top to make them a little sweet and crunchy.

then bake and let them cool in the pan like this.
as evan says, they taste like they were baked by Jesus.
yes. they are THAT good.

19 November 2008

anatomy of an apple pie

monday night i made pies. apple and pumpkin.
there really is nothing to a pumpkin pie. a can of this, a can of that, some sugar and spices, and voila! an orange snot-pie. (yes, i hate pumpkin pie.)
but there is something elegant and beautiful about an apple pie. it is a lot of work, but the result is totally worth it.

step one: peel and slice apples.

step two: sugar and spice.

step three: make the crust.

step four: put it all together with some butter on top.

step five: make it pretty.

step six: bake to perfection. then enjoy. vanilla ice cream is optional.

10 November 2008

persimmon cookies

the persimmon is an interesting fruit. if not familiar with it's qualities, it can be rather confusing. is it more like an apple, a tomato, an orange? what? do you eat it right off the tree or wait for it to soften? do you peel it? eat it whole? then when it is ripe, what the heck do i do with it? i think most people avoid the persimmon out of sheer confusion.
i had never really had any contact with this fruit until i was in college. i actually remember where i was at the time. i remember that alissa had arrived late to Dr. Baloian's 'Life and Teachings of Jesus' class, which was a HUGE no-no. the man usually locked the door at precisely 8am to keep out stragglers. but i guess this morning he made an exception, maybe because she was carrying a plate of persimmon cookies. the plate got passed around, and i remember thoroughly enjoying that strange little cookie.
a few weeks ago, alissa finally priveledged me to the recipe for those cookies. and then one of my bosses brought me a bag of persimmons from his tree. it was fate.
i had to wait a little while for them to ripen and soften, but yesterday i finally made my first batch of cookies.
they are SO good.
i have finally found respect for the persimmon.

08 November 2008


this time last year i wrote a post to tell you that i was going to lead a team of students on a trip to build houses in mexico over spring break.
i am excited to tell everyone that i have been chosen to lead a team again this year! only this year i will be gone for three weeks in june, and we will be spending our time at an orphanage.
and this time instead of just telling you where we are going, i'm leaving you to figure it out. below is pictured the country's coat of arms, and their currency is called the hryvnia. have fun!

04 November 2008

what's the difference?

i am one of the first people to admit that the english language is completely retarded. i feel great compassion for anybody who is trying to learn it.
but for those of us who grew up speaking this language, there is something that i feel the need to point out...

as stated above, the english language is often confusing and frustrating. take the homonym. when two words are spelled the exact same way, but pronounced differently and with different meanings. example: sewer. did you see a person who sews or the conduit for waste?
or the infamous homophone: there, their, they're. don't get me started on this one...
and then throw in all the words that we get from other languages, and it becomes a complete nightmare.

but the one that i've been hearing used incorrectly a lot recently is the difference between cache and cachet. that little 't' makes a big difference.

cache is pronounced kash, like money cash.

1.A hiding place used especially for storing provisions.
2.A place for concealment and safekeeping, as of valuables.
3.A store of goods or valuables concealed in a hiding place: maintained a cache of food in case of emergencies.

4.Computer Science A fast storage buffer in the central processing unit of a computer. Also called cache memory.

cachet is pronounced kashay, like sashay with a c.

1.an official seal, as on a letter or document.
2.a distinguishing mark or feature; stamp: Courtesy is the cachet of good breeding.
3.a sign or expression of approval, esp. from a person who has a great deal of prestige.
4.superior status; prestige: The job has a certain cachet.

ok, i just had to get that one out there.
i hope you all learned something.

02 November 2008

backyard beautification project, phase 1 - complete

it seems i haven't really done much blogging recently. i guess i haven't felt very 'bloggy'. it also doesn't help that i was sick all last week. bleh.

but i thought i would share one of the things i've been up to recently.
one of the many things i love to do is work out in the yard. i especially like to grow things i can eat. so since the roommates gave me free rein in the back yard, i decided to turn a weird little planter in the middle of the patio into a vegetable garden. i took out a bunch of annoying bricks, mixed in a bunch of amend (also known as manure, or cow poo, for the non-gardeners), and planted a bunch of winter vegetables. today i finished building a makeshift trellis for the peas and covering the bed in mulch.

i'm proud of my little garden, and can't wait until i can eat what grows.

26 October 2008

apple butter

this morning the roommates and i got up bright and early, piled in the car, and headed out to Oak Glen. it was a beautiful morning, and we had fun at parrish ranch and riley's farms, buying apples and cider and other various apple products. it was hard to get up early on a sunday, but when we got in the car to come home and it became unbelievably crowded, we were certain that early morning was definitely the way to go.

we got home around noon, and i set out to make a batch of apple butter. i figured it would be an easy task to head over to the grocery store and pick up a dozen canning jars and begin the job. apparently i was deluded into thinking it would be easy. canning jars are not that easy to find anymore. i went to the two closest grocery stores and target, and ended up having to drive out to WinCo to get them. once again, WinCo saved the day.

so i've spent the past four hours making eight half-pint jars of apple butter. it really isn't hard. just time consuming.

so who wants some?

23 October 2008


a large slice of hommemade soda bread, slathered in a dense layer of nutella may very well be the best afternoon snack ever.

and by that i mean EVER.

13 October 2008


i have recently had a longing to go camping.
my parents started taking us camping when i was only a year or two old, and we went pretty much every summer of my childhood. even from trips as an adult, i have very fond memories of camping.
it dawned on me this summer that i have not been in a tent out in nature for almost six years. so i decided to do something about it.
i reserved a site at silverwood lake for the weekend, and seven of my people friends and three canine friends joined me.
it was cold and sometimes windy, and we didn't really do much, but i had a great time.

today i started thinking about where we should go camping next summer.

08 October 2008

serenity now!

i now know what it feels like to be caught up in this...

i am exhausted.

04 October 2008


i have traveled to places where on the plane ride home i was already planning my next trip. like ireland. but with ireland its more like trying to figure out how to move there.
when coming come from paris, the feeling was more like 'i enjoyed myself but i don't ever really have to go back'.
that has changed in the last five months.
i just can't stop thinking about paris. its one of those places that just gets under your skin.
i can't even really put my finger on why, but i just really want to go there again.
it won't be for a while, because there are other places i need to go first, but paris is now back on my list of places to go.

my friend carmen took these photos and gave them to me all taped together. its hanging on my wall. but today i started messing around with free photo stitching software. (since i have a really old version of photoshop that doesn't have that ability.) not the greatest result, but its still pretty neat.

30 September 2008


so it looks like our economy is teetering on the edge of the crapper. but if we've learned much of anything at all from history, we should know by now that there are things that we can do now to prevent a recurrence of the great depression.
it may not be a popular thing to say, but i support this $700 billion bailout-thingy that they're kicking around in washington. not as a 'here's a crapload of money, just let us know how you use it' blank check, but definitely with regulations and oversight and an attempt to fix the systems that got us into this mess.
and even though he can say some pretty kooky things sometimes, i believe that moby's rant on this subject pretty much sums up what i've been thinking.

ok, financial markets and bailout.
this might not make me very popular, but although i don't like it, i support the $700,000,000,000.00 bailout.
because it will prop up our banks and investment houses long enough for real reform to implemented and it will keep the u.s and global economy from sliding into depression.
if more banks and investment houses fail you'll see a severe recession and possibly a depression.
and this effects everyone.
the reason that people start businesses and create jobs is because they have access to capital.
the reason that people buy houses or renovate houses is because they have access to capital.
if people close businesses or stop buying or renovating houses they will stop creating jobs.
people will be fired.
unemployment will skyrocket.
retirement accounts will dry up.
more mortgages will be foreclosed on.
and the world will head towards severe recession or depression.
this bailout isn't bailing out fat-cats on wall street, it's protecting local businesses in iowa and kansas and sacramento.
it's protecting shakey mortgages in idaho and florida.
it's protecting retirement accounts in alaska and maine.
it's protecting your job.
it's protecting your neighbors job.
wall st screwed up. seriously. the collusion between the different financial service providers has been disgraceful and dangerous.
and securitizing high-risk mortgages was, in hindsight, a disastrous idea.
wall street screwed up.
but to let the banks and investment houses fail and to let the dow and the nasdaq (and the ftseand the dax and nikkei, etc) plummet is to create a crisis that will effect every person onthe planet (the global depression of the 20's and 30's, resulting from protectionist trade practices, caused world war 2, for example).
the republicans (and some democrats) in the house of representatives (most of whom know nothing about global markets and finances) have made a huge mistake in not supporting the bailout.
to be clear, no one likes the bailout, and no one is happy at the thought of having to use taxpayers money to buy up crummy securities.
but it's a necessary evil, and to let the banks and investment houses continue to fail would have deleterious consequences that people can't even begin to imagine.
again, not just for bankers and brokers, but for you and your friends and your grandparents and your children.
the markets do not exist in a bubble, and to pretend that they do is to exhibit a dangerous lack of understanding of how the global economy actually works.
if the gop in the house don't pass the bailout they won't be punishing wall street, they'll be punishing you and your friends and your family.