Category Archives: adventures

better luck and stray observations

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it seems my streak of less-than-awesome luck may be tapering off a bit. of course, I am thrilled about this, as the many months of directionless struggle (and excessive whining about said struggle) post major transition have been difficult and troubling. but with the advent of a new season, I find myself with a fantastic new “real” job at a publishing house I adore (I’m still pinching myself daily, amazed at my ridiculous luck in this matter) and an upcoming move to a new home in a new (to me) city.
both exciting developments signal the start of a new chapter, a chapter about which I am very hopeful and thankful—what a fantastic change of feelings! my guardian angels have been working overtime recently, and I am constantly grateful. I still battle with weekly fits of the “I miss new orleans so much it is physically painful” sads… but for now, it appears I am where I am meant to be (I read you loud and clear, universe!) and I’ve been thinking a lot about the saying “bloom where you’re planted.”
and I could do much, much worse than here! I am very lucky, and I am trying to be gracious, to be conscientious, and to count my blessings.

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last week I harvested a single strawberry. pretty cute, and tasty, though very tiny. after two days of indian summer, a frost rolled in overnight (well maybe not a “frost” proper, but it got damn cold) and killed both my strawberry plants and this lil’ berry’s comrades. at least I got the one.

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morning fog.
while coastal life is beautiful (pros: stars, beautiful smells, fox and deer families, beach access; cons: frosty weather/wind/fog, geographic pesudo-isolation, tourists in rental cars terrorizing highway 1 at 5mph) needless to say, I am very, very excited to move to the sunny side of the bay.

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recently made a short trip to this wonderful place:

highlights included a boat ride where the 3-year-old captain fell asleep at the wheel (and chatting with his sweet mom), good company, oysters, sunshine, my sister (as always), and time with my lovely godparents. beautiful.

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I am a few weeks into a metalsmithing class, which has been lots of fun. metallurgy/jewelery-making is likely not my artistic forte (see: piece of brass for ring-setting, inadvertently melted with blowtorch) it’s been good to do something totally (for me) different and use my hands in a way I never have.
stray thought: screw grad school, man… at this point in my life, I’d rather invest small amounts money on myself for classes like this!
on my possible future to-learn list: SCUBA diving, wheel-thrown ceramics, letterpress, screen-printing, more advanced knitting/sewing, (re-learning) to ski… the list goes on!

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4th of july weekend

a few photos from this past long weekend:

toots & the maytals show

carnival + fireworks

carnival rides

ferris wheel

view from the top

dog-sitting

not pictured:

* awesome (and free!) Neko Case show at stern grove. LOVE her.

* watching the entire 1st season of “game of thrones” on-demand

* a view of the july 4th fireworks over tiburon and SF

* home-made mojitos

feet

while browsing my photo library the other day, I discovered a funny thing: I take lots of pictures of my feet. very silly, yes, but it’s interesting to see all the places I have my feet have taken me that I have photographed. I rounded all the “feet portraits” (that almost sounds obscene) into one folder—there are nearly 30 of them. when seen together they make a funny little collection of stories.

here are a few:

new orleans, LA: a day exploring, hence the need for sneakers in the summertime

fountainebleau state park, LA: toes to lake pontchartrain, a day of hiking and animal-sightings

destin, FL: vacation and new shoes

muir beach, ca: drinking coffee after a morning walk

chalmette battlefield/mississippi river, LA: getting too close to the river and sinking in the mud

prospect park, brooklyn, NY: walking on the icy patches and through knee-deep snow

muir beach, ca: tidepooling barefoot in december

14th street subway stop, NY, NY: waiting for the train home after class, favorite oxford shoes

2010 in review: the first half

I’m a week and a half late with a “reflections on 2010” post, but I decided to write one anyway. at the very least it’s good for my memory, and I never said I wasn’t sentimental.

it was a good and challenging year, full of big changes and even bigger surprises in terms of my feelings about those changes. it was a year with some heartbreaks and also some seriously good time.

to recap the first and (definitely much more fun) half…

january


saints football was good.
it was carnival again.
and I took a fun (but tiring, cold, and foot-hurting) business trip to the city I now live in that included a marathon music showcase, the improv everywhere pants-less subway ride and 16 hours in the same pair of boots.
I baked a failed king cake (still sore about that).
I had a party the night of krewe de vieux (my beloved and dearly departed teacup apartment was one block from the parade route… can you hear my wistful brokenhearted brooklyn sobs from where you are?!)

 

february

saints players in their victory parade

a truly fantastic and fun time.
THE NEW ORLEANS SAINTS WON THE SUPERBOWL!
then it was mardi gras! and a particularly good one at that, FULL of parades, biking, champagne, zulu coconuts and brilliant costumes.

 

march

cabbage

another good one. (spring of 2010 was pretty awesome.)
my beloved and adored sister came to visit me. we had a fantastic time! we biked to the st patty’s day parade, which was a blast (and we caught beaucoup cabbage), we played with kitties, we drank fancy cocktails and too much rosé, we went to the UCM museum with E.

fierce competition with the UCM’s vintage arcade games

also, E and I somehow ended up hitting the louisiana crawfish festival and it was so fun! we ate copious amounts of crawfish, rode carnival rides (which he is not really a fan of, incidentally), saw a (very old school carny) live collection two-headed reptiles, played carnival games and took photos.

 

april

mardi gras indians at the first weekend of jazzfest

another good one.

I hosted a party and had fun at it. (may not sound like much but it was sort of a grownup and less-antisocial-and-introvertedthan-usual move for me). huzzah!

E and I took a wonderful vacation to florida. we ate, swam, relaxed, lit sparklers on the beach, saw dolphins from our balcony and had a great time. I read. he fished.

the gulf

sparklers

we also took a really great day trip to fontainebleau state park where we observed and photographed lots of plants and wildlife on a beautiful breezy day:

 

may

first and foremost, I had the pleasure of traveling to washington state (where I had never really been before, if you can believe it!) to cheer on my aforementioned fantastic and brilliant sister as she graduated from college! I got to see family, and do all kinds of fun graduation-y stuff with K. good times.
my nearest and dearest pal, F, moved away from NOLA… ouch! sob! major.bummer. but alleviated slightly by the knowledge that we’d reunite on the eastern seaboard.

oh, and Nemo caught, killed and presented me with his first mouse:


(not that it was nearly as notable or important as the aforementioned may highlights. and yes, I photographed it.)

 

june

was one month ’til moving day and was decidedly less “light” than previous months… it’s when things started to get real. but, I have an excellently honed procrastination meets denial meets indulgence complex, so I did still manage to have some fun.

the moon over lake pontchartrain

I tagged along on an impromptu night sailing trip on lake pontchartrain on the boat of a friend of a friend (I’m not picky when there’s sailboats involved), which was lovely despite some light rain.


E and I had the good fortune to venture to a lake house in Mississippi with my amazing pal S, her hubby, and our cute friend A. it was a wonderfully fun time and included lakeside rambling, canoeing, swimming, blueberry picking, a bunk bed, and an unfortunate incident involving E’s car, fried chicken and a swarm of ants (an incident he gentlemanly allowed me to sit out, despite it being my fault. what a guy!).

E and I also spent a night in a fancy suite at the uber fancy roosevelt hotel, which  was like a dream.
all in all, a pretty good month, despite the occasional crying jags, copious amount of packing tape, and bidding adieu to my wonderful writer’s group.

the sand, part two: critters

along the beach in baja, I saw many little animals (and the remains of some others).

there were a lot of sea urchins in the tide pools that were visible when the tide went out daily at around 4pm:

tidepooling is one of my very favorite things to do


tiny hermit crab


sponge

 

mudskipper, waiting for the tide to come back in

 

multi-armed starfish

 

there were flocks of the most wonderful pelicans

 

we saw many, many dead fish on the beach in various states of “undress.” I suspect many were caught by fisherman, filleted, and tossed overboard for the birds, who brought them to land. some looked as though they’d been cleaned by other fish and birds.

there were also many spiky pufferfish washed up on certain parts of the beach, though I unfortunately didn’t get any pictures. they were crazy looking! nothing seems to eat them (for obvious reasons) so their puffed, thorny bodies just sit in the sand and look all kinds of creepy.

 

this one looks like it should be in a cartoon.

 

perhaps a cousin of the above skeleton?

 

I like his fancy pectoral fin

 

the fish above was particularly odd looking, as its meat was all removed, skin still on. very buffalo bill. E tells me it is a type of sheephead. it had interesting pointy little teeth.

 

jawbone

yes, I might be a weird nature dweeb. this is one of my hobbies. there was talk of whale sharks, killer whales, manta rays and sea lions, but unfortunately they were not visible from the beach. and in a way, thank goodness… because if I saw a whale shark I think I would just about die on the spot (due to, you know, magic and wonder, not fear. they don’t even have teeth!)

the sand, part one

I had the good fortune to travel to a somewhat remote part of mexico over the christmas holiday. I had a lovely, restful time with M&J and the siblings: hammocks were swung in, margaritas were imbibed, magazines were read, kiteboarders were watched and occasionally given silly nicknames (such as princess peach and the green goblin), beaucoup shells/rocks/beach-glass were collected, sun was savored, horses were ridden, board games were played, swims were taken, salsa and hot sauce were eaten with absolutely everything.

on the second or third day there, I woke up early (oh how I love being on eastern or central time and traveling west!), put on my swimsuit and clothes, and went for a walk on the beach. the water was like glass before the wind kicked up for the day, the sun was high and warm.

 

 

I walked less than 1/4 mile before I just had to get into that water. I hadn’t planned on swimming, despite donning my suit, and hadn’t brought a towel or put on sunscreen (which I most always do). so I ditched my shorts, watch and the shells I’d collected on the beach and headed into the not-so-warm-but-oh-so-gorgeous water. it was “brisk” to say the least, so much so that I actually gasped when I dove under. but I am from northern california and will swim in pretty much anything (see: the san francisco bay, the pacific ocean, frigid marin country creeks, alaskan glacier run-0ff that was quite literally the coldest water I have ever felt in my life). for me, the joy of being in the water always outweighs the coldness of the water itself—I’ve just got to get in there! true, it may take be 10-15 minutes to slowly immerse myself to avoid total shock (I’m no glutton for punishment, after all), but I am going in!

 

it was, of course, totally fantastic. to be alone at 9am and neck-deep in the sea of cortez a few days before christmas… well, that’s somethin’.