[fi-loo-muh-nist] noun a collector of matchbooks and matchboxes. Wow. Orcas Island. I had about a 45 minute drive from the ferry to the retreat center on the other side of the island. With each turn, I gasped. At one point, I cried a little bit. The trees are magnificent. There’s water everywhere. The mountains surround me on all sides. TheContinue reading “phillumenist.”

clothing optional.

I am glad I’ve had some uncomfortable experiences around people who are quite opposite from me, in thoughts, looks, language, and beliefs. I don’t always feel grateful for the discomfort in these situations, but when I look back on the last few years of my life, I think they’ve been crucial in helping me become moreContinue reading “clothing optional.”

ad hockery.

[ad hok–uh-ree]  noun reliance on temporary solutions rather than on consistent, long-term plans. Every few weeks while traveling, I start to panic about money. While planning a trip, I think a certain amount will be sufficient, but I’m usually quite wrong. I think my delusionality is good in this respect or I’d never leave home. Today I realized I am completely out of bobbyContinue reading “ad hockery.”


\ AW-ger \  , verb;  1.  to conjecture from signs or omens; predict.  noun: 1. one of a group of ancient Roman officials charged with observing and interpreting omens for guidance in public affairs. 2. soothsayer; prophet. I have a few signs from the help exchange website that help me to augur that I will enjoy my next job. Here they are: Dwayne flies back to NC on Wednesday and I’ll go north to this retreat center onContinue reading “augur.”


\ NUHN-suhch \  , noun;  a person or thing without equal; paragon. Some people make time at the Laundromat enjoyable. I feel like that’s when you know you’ve got a nonesuch on your hands and you must do all you can to keep them around. Dwayne and I really hadn’t spoken or spent time together since 2005 in college. Then maybe six months ago, he sent meContinue reading “nonesuch.”


Brobdingnagian \ brob-ding-NAG-ee-uhn \  , adjective;  of huge size; gigantic. noun: an inhabitant of Brobdingnag. a being of tremendous size; giant. While hiking in Yosemite, Caroline asked me, “What has been your favorite part so far? The trees, the waterfalls, or the mountains?” Questions like this are why I like Caroline. But this was hard to answer! I sighed and considered saying something other than trees, butContinue reading “Brobdingnagian.”


\ SKOO-kuhm \  , adjective;  1. Northwest U.S., Canada . excellent; first-rate. 2. Northwest U.S., Canada . large; powerful; impressive. The four hour trip from Napa to Yosemite was already worth it when we got to Highway 4. The drive was much like driving through Scotland, Caroline claimed. Rolling hills for days, cows that looked happy, and blue skies all the way to Yosemite. I still do not have the proper wordsContinue reading “skookum.”