being a grown up

It isn’t all it’s cracked up to be yo! Sure, you get to do rad shit like stay up late, have pancakes for dinner and eat M&M’s for breakfast… and no one to tell you NO! Hell yeah. But with great privilege also comes dun dun dun! Responsibility.

The family and I have been patiently waiting for our medical insurance to kick in and it finally did! WOO! All three of us have been appointment scheduling and attending machines just to make sure that we are all in tip-top, aware and tending to things we need to tend to. It honestly has me a little preoccupied but I am glad it is getting out of the way.

In the past week it was blood draws, squeezes, pokes and the dreaded under the hood inspection. You can imagine the hilarity when I saw my new Gyno and he looked like a dude from Right Said Fred but with a South African accent. Nice guy! But I won’t lie, I was thinking “I’m a model, you know what I mean? On the catwalk, on the catwalk…”

Today I went to the optometrist to have my oversized peepers checked out. All of a sudden I am squinting far more than I should be. Not a good sign when I am playing with razor blades for my craft endeavors. Sure enough, I need frames. The prescription isn’t too bad but definitely will help me out. And of course, now Josh gets to fulfill his librarian fantasies.

I’m sweating balls cause Reza is having oral surgery next week to have a baby tooth removed. The thing has reached shark tooth, hillbilly status and it’s time. The poor girl is terrified of needles so we will see how it goes. Wish us luck!

So on top if all this medical malarkey, we have been dealing with the inevitability that it is time to let our car go. This is how it always is… the minute you pay it off, it starts heading down slowly to the ever so expensive car graveyard. We just cannot have that, especially when we only have one car. The last time we bought was when Reza was born and holy shit have car prices gone up! Not looking forward to having to deal with smarmy ass car salesmen. Vultures, the lot of them. What to get and that isn’t going to be an arm and a leg? We shall see where we end up.

I have been making it a point to volunteer more at Reza’s school, be it with class aid or helping do why they’re calling a “weekly scrub down”. After school the parents have been coming in to help wipe down the classroom and you would not believe the FILTH that was last week. Dust bunnies galore. School custodians/janitors do the minimum and based on what I saw/wiped down, they clearly don’t do any wiping down. Sounds awful but I don’t mind it. See it this way: you better believe I reached for the anti-bacterial spray and did some cootie annihilation. The less presents Reza brings home, the better.

Also, I hadn’t mentioned it but I reached out to a local feline rescue program and am going to be volunteering at the local animal shelter once a week to clean up, play with, socialize and photograph the kitties waiting to be adopted. I am really looking forward to it and hope that my services can be of good use. I know all it took was a photo to convince us to get 2 cats instead of 1…. and I am so glad it did cause Gomez was our dark horse. I start this week.

I have been taking care of all these odds and ends and some things have kind of fallen to the wayside… Like my sketchbook! Sad times but I have to focus on some real life shit. I do have some pieces that will be showing at the Bats Day: Haunted Mansion Icons event in May. I can’t share them but that is where my headspace has been. I can’t wait for you guys to see these pretties.

Being a grown up isn’t all that it’s cut out to be man. But hey, I take it as it comes even though I do get a little stressed out. Shit could always be worse! I could be in NJ, shoveling snow and suffering from another yearly session of S.A.D. – CA has been lovely to me like you have no idea. Or maybe you do.

Health shit really stresses me out which is totally counterproductive. Between my Dr and the Tibetan medicine guy, I got the “exercise more” talks. It is the root to a lot of my maladies…. It’s so hard you guys. I don’t talk about it much cause I don’t do the pity party thing but on the same token, it is nice to have some support. Hard to have that when none of your friends are within immediate proximity. Needless to say I am 9 months away from my 40th birthday and I really would like to be in a better place health wise, emotionally, even. I just don’t care to go down the “preachy as fuck” route that people have been getting on the minute they hit health kicks. It’s not me and truth be told, the only reason I am even putting it here is for a little bit of accountability. I have some work to do.

Oh yeah! And I signed up for a lino carving/printmaking class next month. Been wanting to take a class in like, FOREVER and it’s finally happening. I cannot wait to get some better techniques under my belt.

LOTS going on and excuse my e-abscence. It’s all for good reason though and as always, I am gathering things to share and say here.

Thanks for hanging in there with me and reading the massive post that has no pictures… everyone hates posts without photos so here! Have a pointless sunset that has nothing to do with this shit whatsoever.

In Wonderland…

curiocabineteader
I like to hang on to things that inspire me, I love to look at art, photos and surround myself with creative flow. It’s the artistic way! But to put it bluntly, I am a hoarder. But don’t get it twisted, it’s more like collecting than sitting around surrounded by piles of dolls and cats.

Over the years I come across all kinds of things worthy of sharing: art, music, talented people… and it is just not right to keep it all to myself. With that said I will be sharing these from time to time. So on that vein, I have created a new segment of my blog where I pull out the cards for you to see.

Today I am going to talk to you about my homie, Alice Carrier.

Backstory…

Alice and I “met” online about 7 years ago when we were both pregnant with our respective children of the corn. Our being new moms and having similar sense of humor had us chatting up a storm for a while. She also happened to be a talented artist and photographer. Amongst our chatting, she always mentioned wanting to get her licensing to be a tattoo artist.

Fast forward to now. After much blood, sweat, tears and awesome photos of food, she has a blown the eff up! If you are anywhere on Pinterest or Tumblr, I can guarantee you have seen her tattoo work. She certainly has her niche: flora in soft, muted palettes, with a vintage feel.

Not only is she a wonderful artist but she is super down to earth, funny and a total PDX babe. Hey man, it had to be said. We finally got to meet in person last year so I know.

If you are so inclined to feast your eyes on this slice of awesome pie, you can find Alice tattooing at her newest locale, Wonderland Tattoo in Portland, OR where she also works with yes, another Alice. Alices in Wonderland. From what I gather she can be busy, but totally worth the wait. Accept no cheap imitations!

You can also find Alice on the following: her website, tumblr, and Instagram.

*****
Photos, art and tattoos all by Alice Carrier. (I know, is there anything she doesn’t do?)

Sandy Eggo

After some deliberation, it was decided that I needed a weekend away to recharge my spirit a little. Josh was awesome enough to not only encourage it, but held down the fort so I could take off to San Diego for some much needed friend time and spoiling.

I didn’t say much about it because my time was really limited and I had a few key people I wanted to spend my time with. Last time I was there ended up being a family affair due to my brother’s passing and I didn’t get to see any friends. There’s only one of me and I didn’t want to spend my trip like a pinball bouncing off the walls, so I kept it relatively incognito other than the small handful who knew of my arrival.

This time I flew out of the Sonoma County airport. One direct flight, small plane, small airport, and although the ticket price was about $40-50 more than flying out of SFO, it was well worth it. Time, gas and Golden Gate tolls add up. A much smoother travel experience save for having to listen to Shosh and Marnie’s long lost twins for 90 min, yakking like crack heads, non stop about more than anyone on the plane ever needed to know.

I stayed with Jason and Eryc who are not only the best of hosts and friends, but also sent me home with a much needed color job, haircut and freshly shaved down side of my head. I dig it.

In three days I managed to squeeze in:
– A tasty breakfast outing with Paige & Michelle. Three words: cinnamon roll pancake. Much needed girl time reconnection. Holy shit do I miss my ladies.

– Hair appointments so awesome I might as well have been touched by the hands of Zeus himself.

– Seeing my sister Liz an dinner at a Battali’s Mozza. It was delicious!

– Coffee with the bff Spencer

– Finally getting to meet The Sheriff’s nugget, Alexander, who rolled over for the first time while I was there. It was great getting to see her… Been far too long.

– A trip into Tijuana, Mexico for another dinner with my sister and her main cheese. We went to a fantastic gourmet joint called MisiĆ³n 19. Don’t let the word “Tijuana” fool you… It was some grade “A” business, with a side of a grasshopper salt rimmed, mezcal martini. Umphhh.

– I came this close to a cameo appearance at Sabbat but chose sleep instead. I’m sure it would have been hilarious but when you have to return a rental car at 9 a.m.? Not so much.

– Speaking of rental cars, I was a tight ass and rented economy: Toyota Yaris. Holy crap that thing felt like driving a go cart on the freeway. I think the Autopia cars at Disneyland have more balls.

– Hillcrest Farmers Market for some blended chai and flowers for my boys. Still the best Farmers Market I’ve ever been to… and some “reading” at the Before I Die wall.

– A visit to the new, painfully breathtaking, San Diego Public Library. Truly a magnificent piece of architecture and the resources! Good god, I envy you people. I highly regretted not bringing my DSLR that day. 9 floors of educational enlightenment. A true thing of ephemeral and architectural beauty.

– A quick jaunt to the SD Zoo where I witnessed a grasshopper orgy of epic proportions.

– Dinner with Jason and Eryc, lots of fantastic conversation over a beautiful focaccia with melted soft cheeses and honeycomb. INMYMOUFF.

Yesterday I found myself on the plane, lamenting my culinary choices… Yeah. No. I really don’t regret being BAD… you have to be bad sometimes. I caught myself getting teary to be honest. Despite the fact I want to go home to my beloved people and cats, it is bittersweet because I hate leaving San Diego and the wonderful people I know in it.

It’s a trip how much it changes every time I go back. Same hands with a different manicure… Some of it magnificent, some leaving a lot to be desired but despite the visible facade of a city getting bigger than its britches, the growing pains of overpopulation didn’t phase me because breathing in her air and seeing her beauty, felt like bathing in the waters of Lake Minnetonka. A fresh bath of life and perspective and then I’m back on Prince’s purple steed, my hair flying behind me like Apollonia herself.

Being there once more really cements just how much I wouldn’t mind going back to it and planting the roots for good. I truly do feel that in my heart of hearts, the day will come where that dream becomes a reality. I know I am not alone in this feeling.

To everyone who shared this time/trip with me: thank you for your time, accommodation, hospitality and love. You are all wonderful.

And then I got home to some very happy people and kitties… shit, even our car was so happy to see me that it pissed out all the radiator fluid in the Barnes & Noble parking lot. GOOD TIMES. Can I tell you how much I hate cars and auto repairs? Shit… that’s a whole other post.

*****
Never enough photos… but the few I took can be found here

SF in Photos

Lucky is the day where I have a lot of time to myself to wander around San Francisco, with camera in tow and with gorgeous weather? HORRIBLE.

The easiest way for us to get in to the city, is driving across the Golden Gate bridge. It’s a $6 toll mind you but well worth it. On the way in there are a few places where you can park and overlook the bay. It is usually packed with cars and tourists but on a Friday morning, it was solemn, flat and gorgeous.

I was kind of in a shitty mood when I got there but every time I see this bridge, it reminds me that we are back in CA and just how grateful I am to no longer be on the East Coast. My bad mood was instantly lifted.

After hopping in the car I just took turns without plans, ending up at Baker Beach. I collected a couple of nuggets for my letterpress drawer including this chunk of seaweed that ended up drying out really cool.

Having grown up in Southern CA and Mexico, I have always had proximity and a connection to the Pacific. I don’t know what it is but being near a body of water has always been important to me. The Atlantic never filled that hole. It always felt grey and angry. Surprisingly enough, we had not been to the beach since we moved back to CA in July and this was the first time I got to set foot on her shores again. It was very quiet and there were very little people there. I thought about putting music on my headphones but then I stopped myself cause the sound of the ocean was all I needed. I was standing there, not paying attention and in an odd timing, she came up and kissed my toes… like a long time friend, reacquainting herself.

After finding a few shards of sea glass and some dead lady bugs, I hopped back in the car and headed to The Mission district. The cherry blossoms seem to be a little confused by the weather cause they are already starting to show their colors all over the city. Sure, it’s January but I can’t say no to the sakura, they’re my favorite.

I stopped in a couple really cute stationery stores and an art gallery where I got some new names of artists to look up. While wandering around I managed to stumble onto Paxton Gate by complete accident. I have visited the Portland store and both are nothing but short of amazing. Lots of beautiful oddities, bones, bugs, books… but definitely not the kind of place to go when you are on a strict budget. BOO!

While there I came across the most incredible artist named Lisa Wood, who makes these amazing, miniature dioramas with real insects. Absolutely fantastic. Next time I am in the city I want to check out her studio/shop The Woods. Give the links a look, all of her artsy endeavors are pretty cool.

(photo by Lisa Wood Curiosities)

A couple more photos from The Mission…

Yesterday we came back in to show our friend Mike around… like a trip to Twin Peaks and Japantown for a nice bowl of necessary ramen. Holy hell I love this city.

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The rest of my photos can be viewed here