Schulz Museum

I never thought of myself to be a very nostalgic person. Sentimental? Absolutely. I clearly remember the times my sister and I would huddle around the tv on the holidays because The Peanuts holiday specials would come on. It was always one of the many things we would look forward to. Who didn’t grow up with Peanuts?!

Charles Schulz was a long time resident of Santa Rosa and lived here till his death. The city has shown him a great amount of homage by tons of Peanut statues all over town, an ice arena in his name and a museum dedicated to all things Schulz and Peanuts.

We had been wanting to go since we got here but timing ended up working out when we had Michelle came up from SF to spend the weekend with us. Turns out the museum was hosting an event and my sleuthing got us all in for free.

Of course I get there and realize my camera is dead. Bust. So once more I was relegated to the iPhone camera. These pix really don’t do this justice.

This was one of my favorites. They had a wall that he painted in the nursery for his daughter.

And that huge wall of Lucy and Charlie Brown? Made entirely out of comic strips.

If you are a fan, or only were as a child… you cannot help but be touched to see how much love and work he put into the Peanuts. They were simple, effortless and touched so many lives. I thought I wasn’t so nostalgic and I actually found myself borderline teary, especially when I saw the worn spot on his drafting table… the spot where all the magic came to life.

*****

More info on the museum can be seen here. Go look, you can see a lot of the collection online.

anticipation

I am usually the first person to talk a gang o’ shit about how retail America is quick to shove a holiday on you far before its time. Usually… well, except for when it comes to Halloween. Halloween is exempt of all and if it was up to me that business would be sold year round. I realize that makes me biased and a hypocrite. I totally admit it and accept it.

Slowly but surely I am seeing Fall colors trickle in everywhere, outside and in stores. Of course I like to hit it as early as possible before it gets really picked over and since I was alone I hit the stores that Josh hates the most and Reza gets all cuckoo in: THE CRAFT STORE.

Maybe it was scarring of relationship’s past but Josh REFUSES to set foot in craft stores. In fact, he hates them so much that one time he dropped me off and parked as far away as possible to park the car just so he wouldn’t be seen near it. He has said he would rather run his testicles on a cheese grater than set foot in Michaels ever again. I get it.

Anyway… Joanne’s and Michaels did not disappoint considering they are 95% stocked of orange, black and purple goodness.

Lots of cool loot except for the fact that the stores are getting that gross cinnamon broom stench in the air. That business makes me gag. I had to exercise some serious restraint and thankfully a lot of the cool stuff was in the $1 bins. But 99 cents for that little blank coffin? DUDE. Needless to say there will be a painting project later next month. The washi tape, coffin shaped note cards… yes.

Between this and the arrival of honey crisp apples, I can already feel the Fall joy creeping in. And yes, I am well aware that Halloween is more than two months away. I. Don’t. Care.

disorder

*click* (blank blog post window appears)

Starts typing out and not only does that opening sentence make no sense, it just sounds stupid.

highlight… delete.

This is how it usually starts and I find when I really want to say something that isn’t superficiality, you always have to find a decent point of entry.

*another sentence is typed, highlighted and deleted*

I feel like I am on the edge of something. You ever have that moment when you get what you want and then you think, “now what?”. That is where it is. For years it seemed that leaving NJ was the goal. So much so that everything fell to the side. And it happened…. and then you realize there were a lot of things that got neglected cause you were focused (read: stressed) to think about anything else.

I haven’t really been mentioning it much but the past few months I haven’t been well. The anxiety, stress and physical demand of the move really messed me up. Pair that with eating out far more than one should and things just happened. I am having issues with my joints, hands, arms.. they feel stiff and overall my system feels like a swollen, unhappy mess.

I was lucky enough to find out that the Tibetan medicine dr. I was seeing in San Diego a couple years back has a practice about an hour from where we are and he sees patients once a month. It’s a sign and just like that I jumped at the opportunity to go under his wing once more. I saw him yesterday and I am about to take on the undertaking of some lifestyle changes. I need to. I am seriously noticing some changes in my body and I know a lot of it is attributed to age. I will be 39 in November and while that is still a young age, I don’t feel that way and things need to change. Damn you nature and your whole process!

Reza going to school full time has been key here. I have more free time and all of a sudden the gates are open for me to do more with myself and for myself. I went from 2.5 free hours a day (peanuts) to full time. I could hear Kool & The Gangs’s “celebration” in my head as we walked back to the car after dropping her off. It sounds selfish as fuck and in the parenting world you’re very much viewed as such cause you want “me” time.

The other day I shared a photo that was going around of a mother jumping for joy cause her kids were going back to school. It was passed around all over Facebook… yes, you know where this is going. Of course I fell trap to reading the comments section, aka where the cesspool of humanity goes to unload on one another. What was supposed to be a joke turned into a parental bashing session and many of the comments summed up: that somehow you aren’t a good parent for celebrating your moment to breathe. You should want to be with your precious nugget 24/7! That is what you signed up for! You like that? Some parents live for this shit, being the taxi driver, lunch packer, nose wiper… good for you if you do. I enjoy it but it isn’t everything I am. I guess this is where I differentiate myself. Before I am a mother, I am a woman, person, wife. If I don’t honor the other roles in my life how am I supposed to be good at the one I am “supposed” to enjoy the most? Balance. Too much focus on one and another will suffer. I don’t suck myself into the role of motherhood the way a lot of other people do and I just can’t allow myself to being condemned for doing/acting in a manner that feels right for me. Newsflash people: There is no model for the RIGHT way. If you think there is, well I don’t know what to tell you.

So the next couple of weeks are going to be interesting. I have a lot of time and I plan on putting it to better use. Getting back on an exercise routine, eating better, getting back into the art, making our space feel more like home. Speaking of space…

We knew that coming to NorCal was going to be an adjustment. The cost of living here is a lot higher and we downscaled in order to make it happen. Apartment living has been interesting, especially when you haven’t done it since 2005. You learn a lot about people when you have to share space, walls and amenities with them. I could do without the smoker under us who really doesn’t give a F her cancer cloud comes into our apartment for one. People can be so gross. You know what else is sad? People who don’t know the difference between trash and recycling. Edumacate yourselves fools! Electric stoves and mini blinds blow. Ha! I get the electric stove part though, the last thing you need is your apartment getting blown up cause the moron next door doesn’t know how to use a stove properly. I do miss cooking over a fire…. electric stoves take away the primal joy of cooking.

I will say one thing, the people here are a lot nicer. Damn. You know how nice it was to take Reza to school and no one looked at us like we got off a fucking space ship? Awesome. It just makes me have a better disposition. Maybe it’s because I appreciate my surroundings that much more, because I know what it likes to feel displaced and incomplete. It is sad that sometimes you need to lose the things you love in order for you to really appreciate them. You feel me? Trust me, I felt and heard it loud and fucking clear. Just trust me on this one.

First Grade

So today was the day and just like that we have a first grader on our hands. We were fortunate enough to score her a spot in a French immersion school, despite the frustrating hunt that was late enrollment.

This was the best I could do photo wise cause she was so damn excited to get there and lately she has been in a “I don’t want to take any pictures MOM” mode. Ah yes, 6 going on 16.

Josh and I escorted her to her class this morning. She jumped right into socializing and we cannot be more excited to see how she does.

When I picked her up earlier today I asked her how her day went…

“I didn’t like it very much, my teacher doesn’t even speak English!”. Oh boy are we in for a treat.

*****
larger version can be viewed here

Sonoma County Fair

Unpacking. Ugh… everyone says it is the fun part. It is, for a day and then you eventually get tired of the paper, tape and shit everywhere. I am not gonna front. You eventually get to the point where you have to forego the boxes and get out.

Since we arrived back in CA we have been incessantly badgered by an overexcited 6 year old, imploring about wanting to go horse riding. Girl was literally driving us nuts with the pony talk and since the fair was going on, we decided to venture out and get this child on the damn pony before we lost it. Hahaha.

The Sonoma County Fair is held at the Santa Rosa fairgrounds and not too far from where we live. It’s typical fair whatnot, greasy food you still are tempted to buy, overpriced rides, tricksy carnies, animal poop and getting caught gawking (and laughing) at the cow taking a massive dump as you walk by. You look too, admit it. This fair was on a lot smaller scale than the one in San Diego which was nice not having to deal with the traffic, parking madness or intolerable heat.

Hilariously enough all my pony photos came out like crap. Reza insisted on going on this Haunted Mansion ride and since fair rides get expensive we opted out. We explained to her she was on her own and would probably get scared. She insisted that she could cut the mustard, so with fear that she would come out crying we put her on anyway. Parents of the year!

Then we were pleasantly surprised when she rolled out of the ride with a shit eating grin. Honestly, it was the highlight of our day.

And then there were jumpy things…

And this thing that you will never get me on but is hella fun to photograph…

I did get conned onto the ferris wheel despite my fear of carnie rides. Wish I had taken this with the good camera instead of the cell…

Here I am, giving Josh the Carley Triangle Bat Signal. He sat it out, there was no way I was getting him on that shit.

Wheeeeeeee!

I’m not dead

Well, we made it to CA! You can imagine the chaos and madness that has ensued since we first got this moving ball rolling back in June. Whoa. We just got our connection established so I can finally give a proper update.

I don’t even have it in me to get into details on how it all went down cause honestly, it’s a dead horse getting beat. The end in sight arrived and we are in familiar territory, seeing the sun set in the direction that feels normal, in the colors it’s supposed to be and all feels right in many ways.

For the most part the entire process has been going according to plan save for a few snafus like shitty packing by the movers, extended delivery times, punctured air mattresses and having to send Comcast to the hell from whence they came (worst cable provider ever, giving even Cox a run for their money).

Reza, the cats and I arrived first, on a gorgeous San Francisco day. I don’t even know how to explain it cause when something feels like it should be, it doesn’t even feel real. We drove across the Golden Gate bridge that day and it felt like Heaven itself opened up the gates for us. Reza, in her excitement, rolls down the window and exclaimed “I LOVE YOU SAN FRANCISCO!”.

We chose to live in Santa Rosa which is about 60-70 minutes north of the city. It becomes more sparse the more north you go, surrounded by hills, pine trees and rows of vineyards. We’re part of Sonoma county so you can imagine how wine-centric this place is. Shit, we are happy to see booze in liquor stores once more! Double shit? Whole Foods has a TAP ROOM in the store! You dudes can get loaded while your wife wastes time deciding what kind of kale she really needs. True story: We saw Tom Waits shopping there the first night we went… he likes mushrooms and cantaloupe.

Santa Rosa is the home of Charles Schulz so a lot of places are Peanuts themed and every day you find a new statue hidden in the malls, stores, banks, etc. We hope to make it to museum soon.

Because our moving time constraint was so small, we literally had no time to scout for a house or place to live. We knew that moving to the Bay Area would mean downscaling significantly due to the cost of living. We presently find ourselves in a typical CA apartment complex. It’s no NJ house which honestly, I do miss. It felt more us but the location? Meh. So we make due in our little complex for the duration of our 7 month lease while we decided where we really want to live.

We’ve already made a trip to SF, walked around Golden Gate Park, had some ramen, discovered several sushi joints, got our fill of Mexican food – taco shop can be seen from our front door, found an amazing homemade ice cream joint, found multiple Mexi-marts (amen!), hit the Sonoma County Fair and lots of plans in the works with visitors and visiting. Thankfully there is a lot of awesomeness within reasonable proximity and little by little we are finding our groove. Looking forward to getting out on my bike! Nor-Cal is bike crazy and friendly, not as much as places like Portland but it’s very present culture to have along with the love of food and drink.

We also got our licenses STAT and are in process of evicting the Jersey plates off the car. Already I have been asked if I was a “jersey girl” and it felt like a kick in the cack.

When I first arrived to NJ, I kid you not, I cried every day. That hasn’t been the case here in the least. My sense of direction feels natural and already I am whizzing to places without the need of GPS. I won’t lie, I am a little stressed from all the moving clutter and a month and change of eating out has me feeling all out of whack… yes, there is such thing as too much eating out. All due in time, first order of business is make this little place feel ours. Then time to get my *house* in order. It needs to happen.

I apologize for the lack of photos. My camera literally just arrived a week ago and I haven’t got around to taking it out for proper documentation. Also, if I have been absent, flaky or coming off as self absorbed… well, a move will do to that you, especially one like the one we just did. I won’t apologize for that part.

So yes, we are home and alive. Thanks for sticking around!

Oh and one more thing, remind me never to move cross country again.