July 2012 Archives

barcelona 2.2007.jpg

I'd really like to go back to Spain one of these days. 

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pelicans monterey 7.22.12
Sunday Scuba and I went to Monterey so he could dive.  It was overcast and cold(ish) so I mostly read in the car.  I did get out to stretch my legs and found all these pelicans hanging out with some smelly sea lions.  I was trying to keep the photo from the sun and really crinkled it up.  I've since figured out a better method.

blackberries, big sur river 7.22.12
After Monterey, we drove to Big Sur, trusting the forecast for sun despite the cold and grey we were driving through to get there.  Turns out it was perfect weather -- just some poofy white clouds and lots of sunshine.  We took a blanket down by the river.  Scuba napped, I read.  Down right at the water were lots of blackberries in the cool shade.

big sur river sky 7.22.12
This is the view looking up from our blanket.  

chairs, big sur river 7.22.12
And this was in front of us.  

Kinda makes it hard to come back home.
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Dad matches
This really should not be one of my favorite photos of my dad.  If he didn't smoke he might still be here, but strangely enough I have some good memories of him smoking.  I'll always love the smell of tobacco, of a newly opened pack of cigarettes.  When I think about him, think about talking to him, I think of him pausing to take a drag off his cigarette, thinking for a moment, exhaling and then continuing to talk.  Sometimes at night he'd write my brother's and my name in the air, going so fast that we could almost see all the letters at once.  We gave him fancy lighters for Father's Day, cracked up when he pulled the No Smoking sign off the dashboard of a car he'd rented and lit up a smoke while he was driving.  He had a trick where he'd hold a lit cigarette end to end between his thumb and first finger.  It was cool.    

It's weird to me that I can have any fondness for an addiction that led to my dad's early death, but there it is.  

I'd never seen this photo until earlier this week when a box from my stepmom arrived in the mail.  She found one last stash of my dad's old photos, nearly all of them from before 1978 or so, and sent them to me.  So many that I'd never seen before - the one above was taken in November of 1970 and was still in the envelope from the camera shop where it was developed.  I'm not sure why I love it so much.  Maybe just because it's him and it's a fantastic photo, the flame from his match lighting his face and jumping out of the shot.  
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finally cooling off at 9:30 pm

Even with open windows and doors and a nice breeze outside, it was 80 degrees in the house last night at 9:30 and it's supposed to be hotter today.  I don't mind the heat that much anymore (5+ years of hot yoga has broken me of my heatphobia), but I do mind that the kids get crabby and we have bugs coming in all the open windows and doors.  

Scuba called around 5:30 and asked if we wanted to go walk the creek trail after supper, so after we ate the girls and I (and Soph's friend who spent the night) grabbed helmets and scooters, a bike for Soph, and went to meet him.  It was a gorgeous evening.


Just after I took that photo, we headed back toward the car.  There's a really long and quite steep hill, and Willow decided to scooter down it before I could stop her.  She was going SO fast I started crying, watching her put the bottom of her little foot to the pavement to try and slow down.  She fell, hard, sliding on her chest to a stop.  Then, she popped up, yelled that she was fine and hopped back on the scooter for a little while.  After about five minutes she started feeling the pain and the scared and Scuba carried her scooter while she and I walked together, my arm around her.  

I hate it when my kids get hurt.  Especially the scary kind of hurt like that.

We got home and put her into a cool bath, washed her hair and cleaned up her skinned knee and inner elbow.  

muppet bandaids for my little radical scooter girl

As she was getting into bed in her stuffy room she said, Thank you for making me feel all better, mama.  And then my heart melted into a puddle.

I've got a lead on three more rentals, and am going to see the most expensive but largest one today.  I'm taking Willow with me to improve my odds of scoring.  I think I might actually be first in line for it, so if the people don't care about my sordid past like the woman who owned the other house seemed to have, *eyeroll* then maybe we'll get it.  It's three blocks from the high school in the neighborhood I want to be in (which, because I'm a pain in the ass, is made up of only six possible very short streets, but five really since I don't want to live on the 'busy' one of them).  If this one falls through, the one that's open on Saturday is cheaper and has a pool.  My dream of having a beer fridge in the garage is going to come true this summer, I can feel it!      
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Taken literally, this video is really depressing, so I like to use my English major mode and think of it as symbolic of rainbows and flowers and puppies.  I stop short of actually making the connection, but it saves me from having to add more sad to my mix.  I'm feeling full up on the sad, thanks.  

I fixed the broken iPod part of my new phone last night (updated iTunes, wiped the phone, restored the phone, reloaded the music), so this morning I made the boys listen to *my* music while I drove them to camp.  Camp is up at the top of a redwood-covered mountain that's a bit of a drive, but it's so pretty, especially early in the morning.  On the way home I listened to Sigur Ros, and this song was on as I drove back into town.  (I actually do live in a town.  It's in the middle of Silicon Valley, yes, but it's a town.)  With this music as the backdrop everything I saw was beautified.  A car hugging a curve; a little wobbly bespeckled boy on his bike with his backpack headed to summer school and the crossing guard who held her stop sign up toward me to let him pass safely; birds landing on phone lines; a woman walking her dog.  

I like having that perspective on the ordinary.  Or maybe nothing is even ordinary and we just realize that from time to time. At any rate, I'm keeping headphones on this morning while I listen and work.  You wouldn't even believe how much the music is improving this decaf coffee.

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Apple heart #lunch

A little love with my lunch.

I'm cleaning out my closet and doing a hail Mary restore on my phone before I end up back at the Apple store.  

I'm back in the rental market, with emails out to three different homeowners.  One of them I even like more (so far) than the one that got away, so it's a good reminder to just *be* during this time and see how it all sorts out.

If I pretend I have patience, maybe it will come to pass? 
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Easy macro lens #nofilter

We didn't get picked to rent that house, and I've decided to move on from sulking about it and make where we're at as better as I'm able to.  I'm going to start with trying to bring the front yard back to life and then just work my way toward the house and through it, like an army ant invasion of home improvement.  But on the cheap, cause I'm a renter.  A renter with chalkboard paint samples and a head full of home design blogs.       

Scuba and I have this weekend to ourselves.  We're going to start it off right by heading to the beach tonight to get in the water.  I was doing yoga at 6 a.m. and hope to be in the water by 7:30 p.m., so that's a good day right there.  I've found that if we go do something on a Friday night, even if I think I'm too tired to do it, it makes the weekend seem much longer.  I'll be thinking all day Saturday that it's Sunday, and then Sunday feels like a bonus.  And?  I need a long-seeming weekend this weekend.
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Ideal, baby

Yesterday Scuba put together the brand-spankin new smoker and I made these ribs.  They were really very, very good, and I'm generally one to downplay my kitchen (or backyard) skills, especially when it comes to cooking meat.  The sauce was excellent, too.  I think Scuba loves me more, now, is what I'm sayin.

I managed to get up out of bed at 5:20 this morning for yoga, and the teacher looked at us all there at 6 a.m. and said, Let's do a detox flow this morning.  I dunno about you, but I didn't stick to kombucha and tofu yesterday.

Amen.  Om.  Pass me the leftovers.  
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Orange  #easymacro

Little orange flower at the Japanese Tea Garden.  iPhone4 + Easy Macro Band

I'm going to New York four weeks from tomorrow, so I treated myself to some Impossible Project film.  Bakery windows, street art, brickwork, fire escapes, crowd shots, taxis, newsstands, sewer grates, steps, grillwork, old windows, mannequins, color.  I'm reading a bunch of tutorials between now and then, cleaning off the rollers, and hoping to capture a little bit of that unique energy that makes New York buzz so differently than other places I've been, and leaves me needing to nap a lot when I'm there.

And I cannot wait to get myself to this place.  
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Coins in the pond at the Japanese Tea Garden, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco

Back when my dad was sick but not sick enough to be in the hospital, back before he was diagnosed with kidney cancer, I went through a time where I kept seeing men in crowds who looked very much like him.  One sitting in the front row of the church where Scuba and I went to hear Handel's Messiah at Christmastime, and another sitting on the edge of a planter box in midtown Manhattan eating his lunch, were both so similar from a distance it was really hard not to walk up to them, just to check.  After he died, I was dreading seeing someone who looked like him again, but it stopped happening.  

Yesterday Scuba and I took the girls up to San Francisco to have brunch and just kick around.  On the way up we were in a little bit of traffic and there was some kind of 60s muscle car next to us, I don't remember which kind, and I said (for the millionth time) that my grandmother used to drive a Nova, and I thought there was another kind, too, maybe a Chevelle?  I said, I'll have to ask my Dad, not remembering until the words were out of my mouth that I can't ask him anything anymore.  I haven't forgotten like that before.  It was awful. 

It turned out to be such a good day, though.  We had brunch at Suppenkuche, and on the way back to the car passed by an open residential garage with a little vintage shop inside.  The woman behind the counter took an instant photo of us and I bought a little brown dress.

Had our photo taken in a garage shop in Hayes Valley #instant #sunday

Today was all about candy, brunch, the Japanese Tea Garden, and scoring this little vintage dress. Scuba thinks it maybe belonged to a Bob's Big Boy waitress. #sunday

We went to Daiso and got HiChew and Pocky.  We ended up at the Japanese Tea Garden, which I love. 

Japanese Tea Garden #nofilter

At home we made supper and then sat down and watched the newest Muppet Movie, which I hadn't seen yet.  The kids know my dad was a big Jim Henson / Kermit fan, so they kept watching to see if I was crying.  I was fine, till the ending song when I quietly lost my shit.  They didn't notice, though.  I've gotten so stealthy with the crying!

On Saturday Scuba and I went to check out the house for rent.  I am trying to not think about how very badly I want to move there, because there were a lot of people there and it's not like it's in the bag or anything.  Trying to keep busy till we find out near the end of the week.  Not like that's ever a challenge. 

It's my little brother's birthday today.  He is thirty-freaking-nine years old.  I don't get to see him often enough, and it's hard to find time to talk (his boys are only one and three), but he's helped me so much as we've loved and grieved for our dad together.  And I am reminded, with his birthday, how precious our time is and how quickly it goes.  I'm super lucky to have a family I adore, and also to have Scuba to get us up and out and doing fun things all the time.  I am pretty sure if it were up to me only, we'd rarely leave the house because of my overwhelmedness.  Thanks to him we're getting all these bright and sweet memories to store up for later.

photo (1)


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