Thursday, May 29, 2008

beautiful birthday girl

tomorrow, my sweet girl turns 23. this is mia at her first birthday party. the idea that she has graced my life for over two decades leaves me in awe. it all goes so fast. gone are the days when she was so delighted with a simple toy. her life is now complex and full; she is fearless and quirky and fragile all at the same time. so real is the memory of wrapping my arms around her and her little body automatically melding into mine. I love watching her evolve.

I'm off on a roadtrip to philadelphia for a long weekend with krista. see you on monday.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

luca, the magnificent flying dog

this probably falls under the category of "things only I think are funny".

I heart mark

The good news, the bad news
Gas is $4 a gallon, but bike sales are up. Gay marriage is here, but so is the apocalypse. It's your choice!
By Mark Morford, SF Gate Columnist
Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The good news: Gas is racing merrily past four bucks a gallon and oil is skipping over a previously unheard-of $130 a barrel and Big Oil execs are snorting like pigs in diamond-crusted mud, and hence people are quickly rethinking their transportive ways, driving less and dumping the land yacht in favor of more Priuses and Mini Coopers and Smart cars, as ultra-efficient auto technology suddenly becomes very attractive indeed.

Positive side effects: Bike sales are way up, as are roller skates and electric skateboards and walking shoes and SPF face lotion and hats and sidewalks and strolling amiably through the neighborhood instead of driving, waving casually to the neighbors and saying hi and suddenly noticing all manner of amazing detail, all the flower beds and stoops and architectural curiosities of the city you never really noticed before because you were too busy racing the stop light to get to IKEA. Just imagine all the happy socioeconomic shifting when gas hits six, seven, eight bucks a gallon. Mmm, uncomfortable market-forced behavioral adjustments. It's the American way.

The bad news: Market-forced behavioral adjustments are a bitch. Driving less, walking more, caring about small cars? It's almost unnatural. What's more, it's a shift brought not by any deep concern for the environment, but by the fact that it costs $125 to fill the damn Explorer and suddenly you're asking, wait a second: Tank of gas or new couch? Tank of gas or case of wine and the mortgage payment? Dammit, we're Americans. We hate thoughtful restraint.

The good news: Gay marriage is now legal in California by astonishing (Republican) State Supreme Court decree, thus confounding and infuriating and yet secretly titillating the religious right and sending shock waves through the culture, as notions of love and marriage get slapped and pinched and urged to finally move a few steps forward because, well, it's about damn time. Bonus: economy smiles, wedding and divorce industries cheer, lots of delightful social awkwardness as everyone tries to figure out who's the husband and who's the wife.

The bad news: Locusts, plague, apocalypse, people suddenly demanding they be allowed to marry their dog, a lamp, a large wheel of Muenster cheese. After all, isn't that the way it always goes? Unlock a door to one basic human dignity and suddenly it's a mad rush toward all manner of debauchery and depravity, as little girls suddenly shave their heads and turn Wiccan and little boys suddenly start asking if it's OK to wear Betsey Johnson to school? This is exactly like what happened when we gave those damnable women and blacks the right to vote. Total anarchy! God's wrath! What's next, a black president? Oh wait.

The good news: Everyone seems to be catching on: Bottled water is a giant, insidious scam. It's mostly refiltered tap, not to mention how importing water in plastic bottles from Fiji and France and the Coca-Cola Corp. is the environmental/ethical equivalent of driving your Hummer over a field of baby squirrels, giddily. Buy yourself a cool Sigg bottle and filter your own tap and knock it off with the sippy cup-sized bottles of Aquafina, OK?

The bad news: There are drugs in the tap water. California is on the verge of major drought. Some estimates say 36 U.S. states are predicted to have water shortages within the next 10 years. Clean drinking water is the new oil, gold and cocaine combined. Seattle and Portland are quietly preparing for a land rush, as millions of Americans begin to panic and start to relocate to where it rains all the time and there seems to be plenty of water and everyone's suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder from all the relentless drizzly grayness in a place where hideous green fleece jackets from REI are considered acceptable public attire. But at least we won't be thirsty.

The good news: absinthe.

The bad news: strawberry tequila creme liquor.

The good news: Dwell magazine, iPhones,, the 2009 Audi A1, Suzuki Crosscage hydrogen fuel-cell motorcycle.

The bad news: Southern Beauty magazine, Windows Vista, decorating with books, 18 babies from a single, sadly abused uterus in Arkansas.

The good news: Phoenix spacecraft lands perfectly on Mars, begins sending back astounding photos, gas analysis data, mapping coordinates for Burning Man 2028. Will aim to prove existence of water in form of either vapor or ice, which could prove once and for all that life existed, or could exist again, on the red planet, right along with potential for making beautifully exotic shaken martinis.

The bad news: Initial photos reveal inhospitable terrain, brutal climate, along with a small, ominous-looking shadow on horizon, an image reported to feel "vaguely evil" to scientists. Months of careful analysis using most advanced photo enhancement technologies available finally reveals dark shadow to be a new Applebee's.

The good news: More studies prove that regular, mindful meditation, the intentional calming of the mind via stillness and breath work and not thinking at all about gay marriage or strawberry tequila creme or what happens when we run out of water, can actually rewire your brain to be more compassionate, kinder, healthier, lighter, funnier, with better hair and more frequent oral sex and less desire for a hideous green fleece jacket from REI.

The bad news: A national policy of warmongering, torture, fear, homophobia, surveillance and aggression for much of this decade means you will probably need to meditate for roughly 127 years straight to offset the damage and the scarring and the repetitive clenching deep in your gut that tells you something is very, very wrong indeed. Then you remember the thing about the absinthe and the walking and the first black president, and you feel better. A little.

The good news: The pendulum is swinging. Can you feel it? From toxic war-happy neocon evangelical groupthink, back toward something resembling progress, and intelligence, and thoughtfulness, spiritual openness, a renewed respect for science and the environment and ethical foreign policy right along with a renewed desire for a president who doesn't embarrass us on the international stage every single day?

The bad news: It's a pendulum, not a stone. It swings one way, it's bound to eventually swing back again. Or is it? Is it possible that, as George Packer convincingly postulates in the New Yorker, that conservatism is over? Has the age of rigid, oppressive, insular right-wing ideology run its course? Is McCain the last gasp of a stale and outmoded worldview, a leathery hunk of a crusted-over party that's run out of ideas? Can we raise a martini at Burning Man on Mars, and hope?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


we spent a lovely sunny day taking a drive to nearby roanoke. the vintage downtown was all decorated for memorial day and it made me think, "this is America."

we stopped by the festival in the park. the vendors were mostly selling country crafts, which is not my style, but we enjoyed the children's art area:

I loved these russian nesting dolls:

on the drive back, we took a detour and had ice cream at this classic dairy queen (apparently the 2nd oldest in the U.S.):

ice cream with the man I love under a rainbow umbrella is the best way to celebrate the start of summer.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

truly honor their service

embrace peace.
(see photo credits here)

Saturday, May 24, 2008

better now

so I spent a gorgeous afternoon driving about (squandering away my $50 in gas) and taking photos around town.

this made me smile:

and then I saw these bright young things:

then I came home and played with luca and the bubble gun:

then I read a good book out in the sunshine and fell asleep to the sound of trickling water, birdsong and the drone of a distant lawnmower.

wtf weekend (insert your choice of expletive)

my first ____ $50 tank of gas.

g-dub: your ____ stimulus check does nothing to offset the ____ ridiculousness of the ____ economic crisis you have left us in. I really resent having to work hard all ____ week to pay for your ____ personal wars and other ____ pet projects. this is insult to injury. having to pretend you didn't exist (see me with fingers in ears singing "god bless america" at the top of my lungs, closing my eyes and thinking, "this is not happening, this is not happening") for eight ____ years and now this! how many days are left of your ____ regime?

apathy, be gone! I'm in for the change! (and a little embarrassed that it took something cutting into my shopping budget to become politically engaged again.)

clearly, there was some anger behind all that denial.

Friday, May 23, 2008

favorite place

starlight cafe opened up a few years ago in lynchburg's struggling downtown. it brought such a fresh spirit to this old city. I am so grateful that it's thriving and attracting neighbors just as unique. it's a welcoming hangout for the flocks of young artists, musicians and entrepreneurs moving in who seem to have some sort of master plan to rejuvenate this beautiful part of town (I'm in full support!).

the colors are so amazing at the starlight. the food is great, especially the burrito and huevos rancheros. it's full of friendly faces, laughter, books, games, great music and the smell of wonderful coffee brewing.
the patio is sunny and filled to the brim with an amazing garden. I am grateful for such a place.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


so the mister is in nyc at a theatre workshop for the week. I couldn't tag along because of work. when I compare the places he gets to go for his job with the places I get to go for my job, it really makes me reconsider my career choice.

him: nyc, portland, london, edinburgh, barcelona, florence.

me: crack houses and double-wides just south of nowhere, surrounded by barbed wire with a rebel flag every 10 feet or so and guarded by malnourished (and therefore hungry and angry) pit bulls.

well, I actually get to go to some nice homes too, but I'm trying to make a point.

anyway, as much as I love being with him, I really like alone time too.

here are some things I'm enjoying that I wouldn't normally do:

  1. dinner monday night: popcorn
  2. dinner tuesday night: pancakes
  3. dinner tonight? hmm...popcorn or pancakes?
  4. gossip girl
  5. armloads of honeysuckle from the yard in vases throughout the house
  6. drinking the entire pot of coffee (which leads to #7)
  7. dancing in the living room with wild abandon and no apprehension about mortification should someone come home early and catch me mid-groove.
here's my current dwm mix

  • in between days, the cure
  • under the milky way, the church
  • blister in the sun, violent femmes
  • come dancing, the kinks
  • blue monday, new order
  • give it away, red hot chili peppers
  • strange love, depeche mode
  • discotheque, u2
  • never say never, romeo void
  • lips like sugar, echo & the bunnymen

yes, ten songs is all I can manage. so not nineteen anymore.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

fresh ground

fresh ground, free trade, organic coffee enjoyed sunday morning at starlight cafe (plus fresh-out-of-bed conky hair!). see more freshness in may's self portrait challenge.

Monday, May 19, 2008


spring in virginia takes my breath away. vivid blue skies. lush, abundant green. color bursting out all around. I am grateful.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

bake town

today's forecast for my hometown is 104 degrees. yes, today is may 17th. now, you bakersfield natives are pretty heat-hardy folk as the temp consistently tops 100 every day in the summer. but this is crazy and I don't envy you (and I won't make it worse by posting that I'm enjoying a perfect spring day of 75 and sunny...oh, I just did). anyway, in an effort to make you feel better, here are some things you have to enjoy today that are truly missed by this homesick ex-pat. don't take them for granted:
  1. smiley-face cookies from smiths bakery
  2. black & white at the original dewar's
  3. biscuits & gravy at zingos (I sense a food theme here)
  4. guthrie's alley cat (there, have some cocktails)
  5. mexican food (any will do, trust me, you have no idea what bad mexican food is until you move away from california; um, food again)
  6. shopping for vintage clothes downtown
  7. everyone has a pool! well, everyone knows someone who has a pool.
  8. the set-up at woolgrowers (I dream about pyrenees bread dipped in that soup!)
  9. night swimming
  10. is wildflower time over? if not, take a drive up the canyon
  11. watermelon la rosa bars
  12. walking down oleander on the uneven sidewalks

hopefully by monday the temps will be normal and you can hit the bike trail to work off all that fabulous food.

Friday, May 16, 2008

green+things I like about my job #5

lunch with sally every day this week on the patio at machu picchu (yes, we're obsessed). the seafood salad is amazing. it's topped with shrimp, avocado, onions, cucumber, feta and splashed with olive oil and lime. and did I mention the price? $6.

green with envy

places I want to work (click for flickr credits)

some days I long to work in a beautiful environment where people are happy to be and I don't have to make decisions about their lives. three of my dream jobs: casbah cafe in silver lake, city lights book store in san francisco and a flower store, preferably in london.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

green summer

new grass accoutrement in fresh summer green:
  1. chesapeake bar, pottery barn
  2. enameled tray, crate & barrel
  3. holy guacamole
  4. smokey joe, crate & barrel
  5. baja barware, pottery barn
  6. bbq tools, crate & barrel
  7. bali double chaise, pottery barn (this year, it's mine!)
  8. mucho dos equis
  9. chiana fountain, ballard designs

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

green wednesday

it's been a day.

a little photoshop on a photo I shot yesterday was all I could muster. more green tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

green tuesday

so it's pretty much green week. we have grass!

spoiled girl

AND counting crows/maroon 5 on july 29.

I am indeed a spoiled girl. he just gets me.

Monday, May 12, 2008

green day

so I'm having color week withdrawals and because I missed the first day two weeks ago, I'm officially declaring this green monday.

you've got to love a city with neon green fire hydrants.

a childhood favorite I still read.

green rainbow.

I think this can be categorized as "only in the south."

green breakfast (courtesy of my bako homeys).

Sunday, May 11, 2008

some thoughts on love

best line in a love song:
"when I see you, a blanket of stars covers me in my bed."
from counting crows/mrs. potter's lullaby. it made it's way round the ipod shuffle this morning during my run.

lucky to love:
mia. thanks for choosing me out of all moms to be your mom. it has been and always will be a pleasure. you are the best teacher. the sound of your laugh makes me high and grounded at the same time.

mother's day love:
tickets to the june r.e.m. show in raleigh (!) and lunch at my favorite peruvian cafe. I had the causa de pollo and chicha morada and we shared some plantains.

lunch love

need more love? visit this blog and watch luke & alisha's slideshow (just scroll straight down to the slideshow and play). I don't know luke & alisha, but they sure do look happy.

how did you experience love today?

thanks mom*

for doing such great things as indulging my weird need to always have my ponytail on the side, even though you knew I looked like a total goober. you allowed me to be different, and I cherish this always.

happy mother's day to all!

(hey look, sam is posing like a perfect gentleman and not showing us all his business!)

Saturday, May 10, 2008

fresh ideas

may's self portrait challenge is fresh.

for me, the word fresh immediately conjures up the magical cerebral process of generating new ideas. my creative process consists of a trillion sparkling colorful new thoughts that flutter about my world like a swarm of butterflies. I am truly lucky when I can capture one piece of flighty brilliance, hold it in my hand, gaze upon it and wonder what this crisp new freshness can become.

Friday, May 9, 2008

lotus love

so happy to show us
I ate the lotus

  1. lotus print,
  2. lotus in bloom ring, sundance
  3. lotus card, etsy
  4. lotus blossom eau de parfum, luckyscent
  5. lotus votive holder, um...I forgot where I found this
  6. lotus tea (great tin), pearl river
  7. glass lotus ceiling light, shades of light
  8. bronze lotus, um...forgot again (eating too many lotus, lotuses?, loti?)
  9. lotus rug, flutter

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

things I like about my job #4

our parking garage is being renovated and we've been assigned temporary parking spots several blocks from the building. there have been many complaints from staff, but I actually enjoy the 10 minute walk to and from the office. what I love most of all is the rainbow van that I discovered parked on the street. he greets me every morning as I walk the deserted downtown sidewalk (I get to work at 7ish). he's so happy and colorful and very comfortable with his age. he makes me smile every day. I want to meet his driver. I wish I was so bold to drive a rainbow van and tell the world I am not afraid of happiness.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

where's the sod?

simon and luca are wondering where the new sod is for the backyard. they are really, really tired of being filthy dirty dogs all the time and tracking red mud into mom's house.
maybe this weekend...

the problem with fruition


all good things. so why is it that the completion of a project is so bittersweet for me? I love the energy of ideas, possibilities, the assignment, the planning, the process. I have no problem excelling in these areas. why is it that I can't bask in the success of a job well done? my mind immediately hungers for the next idea to nurture, shelter, grow and bring to fruition.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

sunday with ken (for krista)

I spent an ordinary sunday with ken:
  1. we knew better than to go to target on sunday. the traffic!
  2. yum...indian food.
  3. we went to the pet store to look at the puppies.
  4. we had to drop by the nursery for more flowers.
  5. some nice man took our picture together (I really need to lay off the indian...I look GIGANTIC!)
  6. had to go to the supermarket,
  7. and fill up the tank,
  8. %@#&!!!
  9. an ice cream cone made it all better.

function over beauty

my two new companions are not especially pretty or colorful, but am I head over heels in love with both of them. I tend to resist technological devises. they all seem so contrived and plastic and masculine. but I find these two indispensable. the garmin nuvi 750 gently guides me to travel and shopping destinations alike (although she tends to sound a tad indignant when she has to "recalculate"). and I just can't say enough about the i-robot vacuum. it was a concession to ken, who wanted a "real" robot from hammacher schlemmer. he (the i-robot, not ken) is set loose in the house while I'm getting ready in the morning. he happily sweeps up dust and debris, thereby freeing me from daily sweeping.

Friday, May 2, 2008

blue friday

I don't know if friday can ever really be truly blue. because it's friday.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

pardon moi

we interrupt color week to bring you this announcement: flutter is now online!

for so very long, I've lived vicariously through hulaseventy's writing about this fantastical, otherworldly store in portland. while I'm sure the cyber experience is not quite as sensual as actually being there, I can't wait to pick up a few little trinkets. like this stunning french metal wreath.

very well red

every thursday should be red thursday. no pink today...I'm pinked out from a few weeks ago.

see more color week fanatics here.