Thursday, July 29, 2010


I missed Pacey-con this year.  I gotta book my tickets early for next year.  True fact:  Joshua Jackson only does Fringe to support Pacey fan fic.

Not sh*tting you

Actual quote from the NYT guide to submitting a wedding announcement:
Couples posing for pictures should arrange themselves with their eyebrows on exactly the same level and with their heads fairly close together. 
Not that we are even considering this.  I just saw the quote joked about here on Broke-Ass Bride and had to see the crazy truth of it for myself.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Musings discovered in a journal

In my grandmother’s house there are many rooms.  If it were not so, I would have told you.

Can I find them again?  Those rooms, as they exist in my memory, full of the smells of childhood, full of running, full of hiding, full of pouting, full of screams and laughs.

A giant toad lived out in the garden, amongst the day lilies and nasturtiums that grew at the foot of the lemon tree.  A great grey and green thing, with shining eyes and a fat ruby buried deep in his head.  If I could only catch him, he would grant my wish by the power of that ruby.  Or he would give me the jewel, belching it up like the girl in the story whose every word showered flowers and precious gems on those around her.

At that house, my grandmother created life all around her; her garden overflowed with green and growing things, the flowers of my youth that I crave—roses, nasturtium, calendula, grape hyacinth, cosmos, calla and canna and easter and day lilies, dusty miller, hydrangea, pinks, fuschia, potato vine, camellias, gardenias, Shasta daisies, hens and chicks, impatiens.  The oleander I hated for some reason.  I thought it ugly and out of place.  It is only recently that I have been able to appreciate the beauty of an oleander bush in bloom, its lush and softly drooping swaths of blossoms.  When I was allowed to choose a flower from the nursery, I chose and planted cocks’ combs in vibrant jewel colors. 

And then there were her magnificent trees.  The birch in the front yard – that lovely, graceful lady surrounded by boxwood who oversaw our picnics on the front lawn.  The peeling paper I was sure would be useful if I could only determine how, the crumbly little seed men, the delicate quivering leaves.

The sweet gum that dominated the back yard was a marvelous spreading thing that held a swing and that created the most delicious sun-dappled shade over the back lawn on summer days.  Its branches were mingled with the branches of a plum tree from the neighbors’ yard.  It was tall enough that Gramma and Grampa had to pick the plums for us, which made them a special treat, just like the jam Grams made from the fruit.

On the other side of the back lawn was a giant avocado tree that, unfortunately, never really fruited.  Grams had planted it from a seed she had sprouted in her kitchen and by the time I can remember it had grown taller that the shed by which it stood.

The shed was scary and fascinating.  It smelled of old wood and fertilizer; it was dark; it had spiders, including black widows, which crawled out of Grampa’s wood pile behind the shed.  I stood in constant mortal fear of black widows and so stayed away.

The wood pile was enormous.  It covered more space that it rightly should have.  If you stood near the door to the shed and looked toward the pile, it stopped, properly, at the neighbor’s fence.  If you looked straight into it, though, from the side of the shed, under the plum and the sweet gum, you saw the true size of it.  The wood went back into infinity, deeper and darker every moment.  A portal to some other where.  Dark and disturbing.  The birthplace of black widows.

The second back lawn housed an apricot tree and an orange tree.  Small and neatly trimmed.
Apricot jam is shining golden ambrosia to be eaten reverently and by the spoonful.  On toast with butter it brings upon ecstasies.

The side yard, deep in the back, overgrown with large, tropical looking plants was another portal.  A liminal spot, fairies dwelt there, and if I could only pick the right time, I could pass through into the land where the stories were born, because they happened there and were real there.

Dusty miller is a kitten, and I loved to stroke it.  Soft like rabbit ears and a frosty silvery color.

Strawberries. Tender jewels hidden beneath the leaves.  You must approach quietly and reverently
You must clasp the berry tenderly in your fingers and twist.  Take a moment to gaze at it lovingly before passing it between your lips, like a kiss.

Lovely Little Bit

How lovely is this porcupine pin from miki and nora on etsy?  It reminds me of a sweetgum pod.  I just might NEED it.

They have lots of other lovely organic-looking little bits, too.  Like this:

via my absolute favorite, the fascinating and beautiful a desert fete.

A prophet, a wise man, a king

"Everybody has a secret world inside of them. All of the people of the world, I mean everybody. No matter how dull and boring they are on the outside, inside them they've all got unimaginable, magnificent, wonderful, stupid, amazing worlds. Not just one world. Hundreds of them. Thousands maybe."
(Neil Gaiman, From A Game of You, Sandman No. 5)
Thank you, my darling, for alerting me to the quote.  Time to get back to Sandman, I think.

Hey Suburbia, Hey Suburbia, Hey Suburbia . . .

I'm in love with you.

Yesterday was a lovely day.  After getting all pumped and sweaty and, gah! pumped! woo! at the gym, I realized that my bathing suits are about eleventy-million years old and that I'm due at the beach in t minus three days.  (t for Tahoe.)  So I washed and dressed and primped and posed and betook myself and my beater car to Colma for some wandering 'round Target.  The sun was shining, the air was warm, my windows were down, and Thin Lizzy was blasting on The Band.  I drove too fast, reveled in the wind, and sang about the boys and their recent reappearance in town at the top of my voice.

Because someone is a GENIUS, my Target now has a Starbucks planted inside like a little fetus throbbing with caffeine.  You pat your belly and are filled with a sense of well-being, overwhelmed with an outpouring of love, and then you order a ventinormous cup of iced black tea.  God's in his heaven, all's right with the world.  I have a cold drink the size of a toddler, a sound and sturdy cart, and bright fluorescent lights to sail her by.

Because a mermaid winked at me and it was just that kind of day, I got to sail lazily past the cleaning supplies and hardware and multi-sized tubs for organizing one's home.  My gaze swept over the home decor, the camping supplies -- Bright splotches on the horizon all.  My destination lay farther on:  Cheap, brightly colored clothing.  Perfect for summertime.  I loaded my cart and headed with my treasures to a tiny mirrored room.  Clang.  Hammer.  Bang.  Crash.  Squeak.  Crank.  Pop.  Success!

No bathing suit, sadly, but a jumper with stars like a flag, a practical cardigan, and some too-big-super-comfy-perfect-for-the-beach navy shorts with a tie.  I later added a hairbrush with dual! bristles! and disgustingly-delicious lime-melon gum.

Next, I popped over to the mall at Stonestown, and a similar voyage into Forever 21 yielded some additional booty:  a geometric-patterned dress, a soft blue jersey dress, and a three-dolla bra tube thing.  Oh! and a pretty tee shirt with day lilies on it that has to be worn with an under-thing to avoid revealing side-boob through the big sleeves.  Praise the lord on high for bandeaus.

The fog rolled in soon after that, and I made my way back to the land of narrower, dirtier streets.  Home -- and happy -- but dreaming of bright, distant lands.

Friday, July 23, 2010


"It is all about moderation. Everything in moderation, including moderation itself. What logically follows is that you must, from time, have excess. This beer is for those times."

Damn good beer.  Damn high alcohol content.  I only sampled out of Phil's bottle, but yum yum yum - and I'm not even a huge stout fan.  It probably helped that they basically had a dissertation written on the side of the bottle.

I like that all this writing fits to the right of the picture of the bottle, which is from the Brew Dog website, which is a pretty damn fun website.  There are dead rodents on beer bottles on the front page of the blog.  You have to press play on that video.

On Reaching Out

This blog has opened up in steps, tiny itsy bitsy baby steps.  It was set to private for a long time and was just for me.  Somehow even that had something that a journal lacked.  My tone was different, less secretive.  It felt like something bigger than talking to myself.  Even though I really was just talking to myself.

Eventually, I created a password and gave it to Phil.  Some time later I got rid of the password and opened it up.  But no one knew about it, and I relied on the big, big internets to keep people out of my quiet little corner. 

It went on that way for a long time.  It felt good, like shouting from a deserted mountaintop.  And I was too skeered, too shy, too full of self-doubt to let anyone else in.

Then a friend (who now lives far, far away and recently came to visit) suggested I start a blog, and said that she would happily read it.  Her name is Julie. 

Now, over the past year or so I've been trying to open up more, to be less afraid of being honest about myself, the things I think, the things I like.  So, nodding and hmm-ing and letting it pass didn't seem like the right thing to do.  I screwed up my courage and my face and sheepishly admitted my dirty little secret.  I had a blog, I hadn't told anyone but Phil, but maybe if I got real brave I'd send her the link.  She was, as always, tremendously supportive.

A couple of days later, my heart dropped into the nether regions of my stomach when I opened an email alerting me to the fact that I had a comment.  I looked around and crouched lower in my seat; I got quiet and alert.  Someone had found me out.  I checked the comment, checked the profile.  This was not someone I knew.  The internets were shrinking! 

Somehow, though... I didn't throw up.  I didn't feel terrified.  In fact, it felt kinda thrilling.  Someone else was on my deserted mountain and wanted to yodel along!  Hell yeah!  Littleoldladywhooooo!  So, Julie got the link.

A couple of days ago, an APW reader posted this comment with some quotes on fear, and I got to thinking.  “Many of our fears are tissue paper thin and a single courageous step would carry us clear through them.” (Brendan Francis)  Maybe this was just the push I needed.  In other aspects of my life I have begun to “accept[] fear as part of life– specifically the fear of change… I have gone ahead despite the pounding in my heart that says: turn back.”  (Erica Jong)  Yeah.  That's right!  I HAVE been doing that.  Why not do it betterfasterharder?

The next day, high on my plan to engage with the world, I stopped at an accident scene and gave out my name and email and phone number.  I know this might sound like a small thing, but I gave out information about myself.  To strangers.  Of my own accord.  And it didn't feel weird or scary at all.  Dude.

“There are very few monsters that warrant the fear we have of them.” (Andre Gide)  True dat.

I don't want fear to rule my life.  I want to be brave, decisive, spontaneous.  I want to live fully and to engage with life and with all the people in it!  I want to take one step forward, eyes closed, faith engaged, like Indiana Jones on the invisible bridge.  I'm gonna trust the path will appear.  I'm gonna keep moving.  And, just maybe, I'm gonna tell some folks about this site.

from, yes, cheezburger

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Mt. Diablo Ranch

We have chosen a venue and are in the process of booking it.  As Martha Stewart likes to remind me, we have 304 days to go.  The photo above is a view of the lawn behind the bunkhouse on which the reception will be held.  Over the back of the house is Mt. Diablo.  I have high hopes for a fabulous sunset.  The bit in the foreground is the pool, which I hope to float sh*t in.

Here is the tree.  My walnut tree, under which I hope Phil and I will be married.

A close up of the underside of the tree.  Some twig clearing may be in order.

The path to the ceremony area, just past that olive tree on the right is the entrance to the paddock.

According to random sources on the internets, which I've now lost, Walnuts are associated with fertility and smooth transitions; ancient Roman bridegrooms threw them to guests to bring good health and to indicate their passage into manhood.  It is said that the gods feasted on walnuts, while mere mortals ate acorns.

Fecundity and feasting, good health, smooth transitions.  Happy days!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Smokey, iced lapsang souchong tea with lime and an oregano blossom * garlands of paper butterflies * working on the patio under the shade of the umbrella * anticipating the arrival of an out-of-town friend

Friday, July 2, 2010

Dearest Dairy

Brown Family Dairy from UM Media Documentary Projects on Vimeo.

Billy Ray is effing rad!  My dream is to move to the country, to have some cows and chickens, maybe ducks, kitties galore, horses to ride, a giant garden, and fruit trees everywhere.  And, of COURSE, giant oaks.

Things I love from this video:

Billy Ray talks not being officially "organic."  People are always asking about this, he says, but he really just wants them to come to the farm and see for themselves how their milk is produced.  I know that's just not doable for everyone, but how awesome is that?  I want to make that happen.  I want to know the people who make my food... and the animals.

The girls: "I like the milk!"  "I love [helping to bottle the milk]! That's even better!"

The one dude talking about "the lack of antibiotics goosed up in those cows"!  Goosed up!

I'm definitely going to have to read the book.