Jumbalaya

Lets kick this pot of stew off with the big one for the week…

Reza started 2nd grade yesterday! Where does the time go, right? Josh and I had a little bit of an anxiety attack when a concerned friend called me, the evening before the first day of school no less, to ask why Reza wasn’t on the lists for 2nd grade. Insert panic, we call the school, “We made a clerical error and enrolled her into another school in the district”. Oh boy. Thankfully it was all straightened out before we got there and she got put in a 2nd/3rd combo class. Not sure how that is going to work out but I was told that her grades reflect that she can handle it.

Her first day was so much easier than last year. Such are the joys of breathing in the air of familiarity. No anxiety, peace out Mom & Dad! She loves school and was so happy to see her friends and happy to be in a class with kids she knows well. She is going to do so well and we couldn’t be more proud to see her take another step in her academic path. Here is her 2nd grade interview which surprisingly didn’t have too many changes from last year. Go forth and conquer my Nugget!

Did you know that you can change Siri on your iPhone to be a guy/lady with a British or Aussie accent? Oh yes you can. Want to know how? Go to Settings > General > Siri >  and then you choose the language and gender.

siri

I changed mine to a British guy and his English is so much nicer to hear. Now, if Apple could get on Siri’s voice being supplied by Tom Hiddleston. Wouldn’t that be magical? Now that I think about it maybe it isn’t a good idea. The other day I thanked Siri for some directions and it actually responded, “I LIVE TO SERVE”. If that sounded like Tom Hiddleston I would never leave the house.

Been venturing into sculpting for a project I am working on. It’s rough sauce but either way it has been fun to try new mediums even if the outcome is mediocre. Whee!
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It is still kitten season at the shelter and the other day there were 3 black kittens. I can barely handle the cute and lucky for Josh we have a lease agreement that doesn’t allow more than two cause I could easily become crazy cat lady. All the black cats to me. Case in point? This guy…

IMG_4701
Since I got back it has been a whole lot of getting things together. Writing an endless list of Thank You cards to all the right people back in SoCal, uniform acquisitions for the child who grew out of EVERYTHING she owned for school, some art stuff that isn’t completed just yet. To say I am all over the place is an understatement. Have some things to wrap up then it’s on to new ideas.

How do you know you live in the Bay Area? Well, other than the tapped out bank account, this is how you know you live in the Bay Area…

lolburners
But then again there is always this, which I will never tire of looking at or photographing. I need to walk and ride my bike across it soon. Definitely after Summer though, way too many tourists. Before you get all phone police, I was a passenger while taking this. You would be shocked at how many people I have seen trying to selfie and take photos of this bridge while driving across it. It’s hella scary.

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I recently surprised my friend and CupKozy diva Dinah with a paper cutting of her likeness as a belated birthday present. I was pretty happy with the outcome. It isn’t a continuous piece but I could not omit her perfectly shaped eyebrow. No way.

photo 3
I recently started a Facebook group called The Skeleton Crew (thanks for the name Michelley!) . It was originally intended to be a page just for me and my friends to gossip about all the up and coming Halloween loot/festivities but I kept getting requests to join so I made it public. Yes, I start looking for Halloween goodies in August and it is the only holiday I don’t mind seeing in stores this early on. So happy to see that so many share my Hallow-enthusiasm.

Also, for you caffeine enthusiasts, Josh discovered that the chicory coffee from Cafe Du Monde makes THE BEST iced coffee. I gave it a shot today and boy was he right! Woot! We get ours at World Market.

So on to the meat…

Now that Reza is back in school I can get myself on a more consistent routine. Case in point: the gym. Between kid and my myriad of injuries, I kept away for far more than I should have. I went yesterday for the first time in months and the ouch. It’s a good ouch mind you. Either way I hope to make a dent to some of The Summer Fluff paired with getting back on my anti-inflammatory regimen. I need me time, lots of it.

I guess that is where I say I am happy that Reza is back in school. I love her and being around her, but I also know that without zero downtime, I get edgy really damn quick. I know other Moms judge people like me, for celebrating back to school with enthusiasm. Good on them if they want to be that kind of parent. I just know it isn’t for me. I suffocate if I am constantly running with no time to stop and breathe. I like who I am for the most part and feeling like a square of butter on a loaf isn’t part of my m.o. – if anything, it makes me a horrible, stressed person and in turn a bad wife and mother. Those are two paths I have zero desire to go down. So fuck yes to back to school. Amen.

Otherwise, things at Compound Carley are really good. We have lots more outings in the pipe, seeing friends, potential travel plans – like trying to go to Japan in the Summer, lots of balance. People have been asking me how he has been doing, how I am doing and I cannot be more appreciative of those who have. I figured I would put it out there, give you an update of sorts. Josh has been amazing in the past couple of months and really is working on himself. July was a tough month for us and I am sure it still has its challenges for him but he continues on a good path and I am on the sidelines, cheering him on. His having 2 weeks to himself really gave him the time to soul search and I came back to someone newer. I honestly feel relieved because I was so worried for him and us… but he is taking all of this with 95% seriousness and 5% humor, cause lets face it, it wouldn’t be Josh otherwise. I am hopeful and confident that things will continue to get better and that is really the best I can do other than lead by example. I am happy to see him writing in his blog with more frequency, making music, getting out, reading, being Josh again.

So there you have it.

jumbalaya

It’s time for another list… aka more jumbalaya stew.

The new M.I.A. is interesting. If you care to listen to it, it’s up on Spotify and streaming on NPR. One of the best lines… “YOLO? If you only live once then why do we keep doing the same shit?”. For real. Although I REALLY hate the term “YOLO”. I dig her style and hello? Gorgeous.

Dropped Josh off at his work at 6:30 a.m. for grand opening day. There were people parked in their cars on surrounding streets, lined up, waiting to get into the parking lot. Doors didn’t open till 9! People love their gambling, holy hell. But hey, the beast is unleashed. Maybe now the guy can get a fucking day off, some sleep, time to do the things that make him happy, you know, a social life? That’d be kinda cool. This dude? I miss him.

Want to know one of my weird habits? I have a horrible habit of leaving cabinet doors and drawers open. It drives Josh INSANE but he hides it well. Other than that time he walked into my underwear drawer in the middle of the night, cursing up a storm. I am not the kinda person to be with if you have OCD.

I am sad that October is over. It just went by too fast. But hey, November is here and my birthday is right around the corner. One more year in my 30’s. In any event, October had a lot of goodness. Here are some pix!

Speaking of October, Halloween… dude. So Reza decided to be Elphaba and insisted on being green. I agree with her there. The make-up ended up working out pretty well but it took a while to get there. I won’t lie, she looked bad ass and she knew it too. I had to curb her a little from showing off. I decided to be a last minute nun and it worked out. I think I started something at home though *snicker*

All the xmas goodies are starting to make their way into stores. Lord, please spare my waistline and give me the willpower to make it through the holidays. PLEASE.

Reza was sick and I called to try and get her in somewhere. I was met with some poorly veiled “you can’t afford it” attitude when I mentioned I was an out of pocket patient. It is pretty grotesque that your cash isn’t good enough, or it is implied you’re some dirty leper cause you don’t have insurance. They’re pissed they can’t bill someone $300 for a damn q-tip. Needless to say the mama rage was in full effect yesterday. But I got her seen, medicated and on the mend.

Lots of heavy whatnot going on around… pet loss grief, major health issues, life and death situations. It puts so much in perspective. I’m listening and taking notes. Last week I made a couple silhouettes for some departed critters.

I am currently in process of backing up all my data and will soon wipe my iMac which just has way too much business on it. It’s going to be a royal pain in my ass. Sometimes it’s just better to start with a clean slate.

I really need to work on some shop goodies, not to mention rebranding my blog and shop stuff. My “look” needs a face lift.

Speaking of new look, I think I am ready to get back into Yoga. It has been far too long.

Namaste, bitches.

Victorian Mourning & Petaluma

Petaluma: home to chickens, birthplace to Winona Ryder, scene of many movie locations and neighboring city to where we live. I had a day to kill and decided to gear up with my camera and head over to explore.

This is the thing about where we live: There is a lot of quaint and it is really hard to pick a favorite area cause everything around here has its cool (and its bust). Downtown Petaluma? By far my favorite of that area. It also worked out that the Petaluma Historical Library and Museum is currently hosting an exhibit of Victorian Mourning Customs. Dude. So off I went, exploring new territory and taking in some creepy.

First off, you can see small traces of Fall making their way in all over the county. This is just one of MANY views you can take in, seas of vineyards changing colors with the season.

Vintage Bank Antiques is fantastic for one. It is inside an old bank building and it is jam packed with goodies, down to what used to be the vault. A tap on the overpriced side but still fun to walk around in. I see you Oddfellows. *wink*

There is small riverfront area that is surrounded by lots of cute shops and restaurants. Typical Sonoma county landscapes can be seen behind

One of the best coffee establishments I have found out this way is ACRE. Petaluma and Santa Rosa both have one. Hand made, they take their time, lots of tasty treats and they make a chai latte with fresh pressed ginger that wakes your mouth right up.

Properly refreshed with some mint tea, I made way over to the mourning exhibit which is hosted in what used to be the Public Library.

The exhibit itself is small but the pieces being exhibited were authentic, mostly consisting of garments worn and lots of information regarding mourning practices.

This gown was absolutely exquisite and clearly the gem of the entire collection.

Traditional jet mourning jewelry…. these, like other pieces, were a tap hard to take photos of cause they were in glass cases.

There was also a small section talking about post mortem photography but all of the photos shared were just print outs of photos found on the web. I would have liked to see a little more when it came to post mortem mementos, lockets, tear catchers and the art made with hair. These things are a lot harder to come by. There was only one of these items and it seriously did not disappoint: a wreath type arrangement that was made from the hair of three daughters from the same family that died of diphtheria.

And a detail, if you will. The craftsmanship of this was insane.

I did a drive by Cypress Hill Cemetery and honestly it was a huge let down. You can’t blame me though because I am absolutely ruined when it comes to cemeteries thanks to Laurel Hill. I doubt those shoes will be filled any time soon unless we go to New Orleans or Paris.

Short but oh so sweet. With Reza getting out of school in a couple of hours I decided to head back to our hood, this time taking back roads through the country side and wouldn’t you know, I had time to impulse stop in Sebastopol. Antique Society who not only was huge, but filled with tons of awesome goodies. I was more on a looking tip but I did manage to score Josh an original, vinyl pressing of The Cure’s “Japanese Whispers”. I love it when whims end up being fruitful.

Overall, a fantastic day… even if it was by myself.

I have a lot more photos of the exhibit and Petaluma so if you are inclined, you can see them over on flickr.

jumbalaya XV

It was an interesting weekend for sure….

On Friday Josh decided to stay and work from home. I love having him around so I wasn’t about to complain. His hesitating whether to go in was only validated later on that day when he came down with some gnarly 24 hr bug that led him on a one way road to Puke Town. If you have ever heard Josh blow chunks, it is violent and sounds like wild animals are being slaughtered in the bathroom. Poor dude. There wasn’t much I can do. We were both grateful Reza was gone when it happened though cause it would certainly have freaked her out. He’s better now and thankfully the girl and I escaped getting it.

This past week we got wind that Reza was chosen to participate in a student art show. The work was chosen by current art teachers who are in process of getting their masters at The University Of The Arts in Philadelphia. Anyway, each teacher chose a handful of the best pieces per class they teach and Reza was one of the 5 from hers. Of course I am beaming about it.

I had the opportunity to talk to her art teacher and she told me that Reza grasps the concepts in class with little to no explanation, miles ahead of the other kids (her words, not mine). I like the fact she is being noticed this early on and with little to no pushing from us. We just give her the tools and words of encouragement. Thing is she likes being artsy… there have been many occasions where we wake up on the weekend, her having been up earlier than us, only I find her on the floor with her sketchbook and watercolor palette.

Two weeks ago she set out to paint a couple thank you notes for some care packages she received. I am doing my best to ensure this child knows about the art of mail and gratitude. Needless to say I managed to capture yet another priceless moment of her and her sidekick Gomez, who seems to enjoy watching her paint.

It has been a veritable rainbow of color around these parts. Spring sprung and I will be sad when the last petal falls from the sea of gorgeous, flowering trees.

The one thing I forgot about was the seasonal allergies that come with it though. The pollen count was SO HIGH this weekend, enough so that my face felt the way Renee Zellweger looks. See that photo in the middle? That yellow shit is pollen. I have never been happier to wake up to a rainy morning… wash that yellow BS away!

This month I wrote about 35 pieces of mail, give or take. That’s nuts. Will I see that many responses? Probably not but hey, you can’t say I am not reaching out and touching someone. In doing so I am kind of having a love affair with typography. I always have mind you, but lately it’s a honeymoon phase. A few people have asked me if I would be inclined to create my own fonts and the answer is yes. I just need to look into doing it right cause if I did it, I wouldn’t do it half assed. In any event here are a couple samples of stuff I have been doing. The last one is a sample of the way I have been addressing my snail mail, made up obviously cause if it was your address I would be getting a nastygram.

I also wrapped up one of branding images that I have on my plate right now, this one being for my friend Kelly. The first word is all hand rendered type, the other a typeface I found online. She was very happy with the results.

Speaking of typographic love affairs, I shot these in Philadelphia yesterday.

Good lord that one is a beauty. You can see a larger version of it here if you are so inclined.

The other day I was sharing with Josh about how on two separate occasions this weekend, I was addressed by older men with terms like “kid” and “baby”. Normally, I don’t like those kinds of terms coming from people who don’t know me but honestly there is something much more endearing when it comes from an older gent. It comes down to the fact that there are so many ways to convey a message, it can be the nicest of messages but if the delivery is wrong, well, your message is pointless. Besides, when you reach a certain point in your life, you realize you got nothing to lose but speak your mind as you see it. So you call me baby Mr. Dude in a wheelchair, playing the guitar on the street. You go.

Yesterday I managed to coerce Josh into watching “This Is 40” with me. We got some good laughs out of it, especially when homie farts in bed, cause you know, I know NOTHING about that. It was funny in spots but it left me with a couple of thoughts:

1) Are there really people out there in marriages that dysfunctional? Holy crap, glad I am not one of them.
2) I have my moments where the guilt lays in but overall I am glad I stopped at one kid.
3) I don’t care how long Josh and I have been together, there is no way in fricken HELL that I would ever engage in this “watching each other poop” shit. I am sorry. I am all for intimacy but I am more for that little sense of mystery. I don’t need that visual in my head if he wants me to view him in that *sexy time* kinda way if you catch my drift.

And you know what? It wouldn’t be a new season without me bitching about something. Want to know what it is? Geese. These evil Canada geese are breeding, the goslings are adorable but they also park on the trails I ride my bike on. You will not feel a greater anxiety attack until you see a flock of these assholes parked on your trail. Them bitches are MEAN!

I leave you with these parting thoughts.

This week you should….

Listen to a new song and enjoy it. May I suggest “sweater weather” by The Neighbourhood. No shirt, no blouse.

Revisit with someone you haven’t “had the time” to do so with. We all know “no time” is an excuse. I am not exempt here.

Pay a compliment to someone.

If you see a blatant example of idiocy running their mouths (i.e. on facebook), ignore it. You’ll feel better for it instead of poking the bear at the zoo. Arguing with the uneducated and unevolved is about as pointless as giving a fish a bicycle for Christmas.

Flirt with someone shamelessly. Yes, even you married people. It’s an art form.

Oh yeah, and if you are one of the many recipients of my snail mail: let me know it arrived? That’d be cool.

On that note I have an arsenal of laundry to take care of. You have no idea.

Have a great week!

nevermore

“Baby, this is the deal… you’re going to DC for the weekend. I already talked to Diana, the plans are made and you are going.”

“But…”

“No buts, you need some lady time away from it all. Go have fun. Done deal.”

Ok dude, if you say so. Twist my arm. Don’t get me wrong, I will always take up an opportunity to go galavanting all over the place but sometimes, as much as I like solo time, I like doing stuff with my family.

Diana and I have been talking about it for a while now cause I got wind there was a Ouija exhibit at The Museum Of Industry in Baltimore. It was on the verge of removal so the timing was perfect. Early Saturday morning I got my stuff together, hussied up and headed south.

This is the cool thing about the East Coast, everything is so damn close to one another. How close? I drove through 3 states in under an hour. New Jersey – Delaware – Maryland. And later on that day we were in DC, so in one day I saw 3 states and one district. And oh hey, Virginia is across that bridge over yonder. Trip out.

It took me about 1 hr and 50 to get to Baltimore. Diana arrived shortly after and in we went to look at vintage Ouija boards. \m/ What’s there to say? This was a whole lot of awesome, that’s what. I could have done without all the kids that were there for some science project competition and the glare from the lighting, but hey, they actually let us take photos which is nice. Sadly the enamel planchette souvenirs I saw online were sold out.

There really wasn’t much of interest to do in Baltimore… well other than… Diana, who is a HUGE Edgar Allan Poe nerd (- no, really, his face takes up one of her calves), informed me that his grave and home were not too far away so we piled up in her car and headed over to look. His grave is located in a small cemetery, adjacent to a church in the middle of downtown. Totally not the place I expected someone like him to rest. Only bummer is that the gates to the cemetery were locked. I get it, they don’t want half of gothic America sitting there cutting their wrists. No one wants to clean up blood and corpses of pasty fuckers. So we were relegated to seeing his grave from the sidewalk, but thankfully his was literally on the corner so we still got a pretty decent view and photos. The bronze portrait is pretty amazing.

Shortly after we drove off to see the Poe House. Apparently at one time it was open to the public but it was no longer. They even took away the stairs to the doorway. It was in a crappy neighborhood… kinda sad honestly. Across from it was a vacant lot and we found great humor in the fact there were huge crows in the trees.

There wasn’t much to see other than the outside, the windows were all shuttered and there were security cameras inside so any shenanigans were off. We got in our respective vehicles and headed toward DC. Upon arrival, Diana took me to this tasty Burmese restaurant. I had never had it before and her description of it being the love child of Thai and Indian food was spot on. We drove into DC that night for some shopping and oh yeah, she took me to see the infamous Exorcist staircase. No biggie (RIGHT?!)

Awesome day is awesome!

Ouija boards? Check! Edgar Allan Poe grave? Check! Edgar Allan Poe house? Check! Exorcist staircase? Check! Gothic achievement unlocked!

*****
the rest of the photos from the Ouija exhibit + Poe sites can be viewed over on flickr

I didn’t even have to use my AK

It’s one of those days that you can tell from the minute you woke up that it had potential written all over it. The weather took a turn to straight up Fall, we slept with every window open. No AC required here! Dare I say it was, cold? It was!

Josh took off to work and I got the girl ready for school. I packed my errand bag, bike gear and walked the girl to school. Shortly after our goodbyes I headed over to Haddonfield. It was in the low 60’s, a crispy, glorious Fall morning. This merits a trip for some PSL. Now, back in the day, PSL meant something else entirely but now it is the pumpkin spice latte. I hate giving money to “the man” but there are little to no independent coffee shops in our area and the 2 that exist are less than spectacular. So off to “the man” I went.

Coffee? Check.
Walk to return a movie at redbox? Check.
Trip to the post office to mail off massive stack of snail mail to unsuspecting friends? Check.

You with me? Yesh. 9:30 a.m. – it is already a good day.

So off I went to get my morning ride on. I tend to be pretty observant and I always manage to have my eyes everywhere. Maybe that explains why I have never been caught speeding. Heh. A couple of blocks away from Starbucks, I see what looks like a wallet in the gutter. I stopped and picked it up, duh. Enclosed were all the vehicle whatnot you keep in your glovebox: manuals, business cards, registration, proof of insurance, the whole shebang. I pulled up the address and it was relatively close by so I decided to ride over to the dudes house to drop it off. No one was home but I did leave it along with a note (see below).

I could have done without the old lady who thought I was snooping or something… she walked over and asked me what I was doing. I explained to her I was just returning something I had found in the gutter that belonged to whoever lived in that house. I hope her nosy ass felt a little stupid. It’s honestly sad that even when you are doing something good, there is always some jaded asshole to question it.

I kind of lost my time to ride more over that whole thing so I made my way home. Hey, I still got 6 miles out of the deal, something is better than nothing.

You with me? Yesh. 11:00 a.m.

I picked up the girl and decided a Philly outing for some walking and awesome weather absorption was in order. I wasn’t going to let anything piss on my mood.

And then it just one thing after another….

Had lunch with the girl.

Shortly after we were walking up Walnut Street. I see a girl with her crutches leaned up against her car. She is wearing an ankle boot and is obviously struggling to get into her car. She drops her wallet and keys in the gutter and she looks like she wants to just burst into tears. I watched this happen and promptly swooped up around her, told her I would get them and picked up her stuff for her. She was so thankful and I just told her I have been there, I *know*. What gets me is there were people who saw it happen and did nothing. I just can’t be that kind of person. Two good deeds in one day. Yes.

You with me? Yesh. 2:00 p.m.

Treated me and the girl to some gelato. I got half bourbon butterscotch, the other half was salt flavor. It was delicious but I only ate half, the serving was too much and I am trying to be better.

the colorful bikes that were perfectly parked next to each other. It’s like they were begging to be photographed.

The old man in the pimp suit and wing tipped shoes.
The old lady proudly wearing her Obama 2012 button and not giving a F.
The guy in his 20’s playing chess with the old man in Rittenhouse Square.

This girl, gloriously immersing herself into her journal on a perfect day…

Reading books to Reza at Barnes & Noble and getting warm fuzzies from this page of Vampirina Ballerina

This set up in the middle of the city, not sure why it is there and I don’t care, it’s rad.

Reza enjoying the underground air vents and the architecture in this building that makes your eyes go crooked, yet you can’t stop looking

The ride home on the train

Coming home with awesome loot: letterpress bat notecards from Papersource, Saveur: Mexico issue and a book Josh wanted.

Then my sheriff called me. <3 You with me? It's 7:10 p.m.. EST. Josh will be home in minutes, I am going to hug up on him and we're gonna go grab a bite up the street. The point is that I could have focused on the bad stuff... the fact that Nena peed in the house yet again, that Gap discontinued my favorite pants, Reza hasn't been as nice as she should be, the fact no one calls me.. I could focus on all of that but it took being blindsided by a great day, a day that came when I really needed it. Everyone bitches about Monday. Today I had a great Monday. This is the thing, you could be a good person, with so much good going on around you but if all you do is piss vinegar, well, there is no tasting the sugar. I don't want to be one of those people and sweet is better than salty.

jumbalaya

Here we go, another batch of random thoughts, photos and musings that don’t merit a whole post of their own. Ready? Let’s do this.

Reza is being walked to school considering we live about 3 blocks away. I was dropping her off this morning and she is already doing this whole “runs off with the other kids and ignores her mommy” bit. Look, she’s excited and I got to let her do her thing. The bell rang and they were being funneled into the building, Reza calls for me, I gaze over and she blew me a kiss. I know the days of being hugged and kissed in front of the school are well on their way to dwindling and you know what? I will take all that I can get.

Speaking of the nugget, I was watching her interact with the other girls and it hit me. I’ve come to the conclusion that Reza is going to go through that awkward toothless phase and when that time comes she’s going to look just like Peppermint Patty. Right on Chuck.

I am trying to make a more conscientious effort of getting exercise and getting out on the bike. Time proves difficult when you have one car and a kid that goes to school only 2.5 hours a day. This morning I dropped her off and took off for a very relaxing bike ride all over Haddonfield. I am glad I went when I did cause it got hotter by the minute and by the time I arrived home I was a lobster red, drippy mess.

I have such a love/hate affair with this place. On one hand I can’t wait for the day we get out of here, then I have days like today where I know there are things I will miss. The Fall kicking in, the sounds of the cicadas over my headphones, the old world architecture and dude, a riding along dragonflies racing me through a cemetery. There’s something inherently cool about being in a cemetery when it’s just you, the bugs, your headphones and the dead. I serenaded them to Fun.’s “We Are Young” quite loudly. I can imagine they rolled over in their graves and told me not to quit my day job.

If being in New Jersey has afforded me one thing, it has been the ability to really enjoy nature, vegetation, seasons and the critters. Reza and I walk around the neighborhood a lot and between that and my bike rides I have been able to score what I call “back yard treasures”. I am sure people are skeeved out enough over all my bug photos but the cicadas are on their way out for the Summer and I have been lucky enough to roll up on some perfectly intact specimens. My first pinning job came out quite nicely! And yes, that is almost a whole bird wing I found on the sidewalk.

Then of course there is Fall. Yes, it still feels like Summer temperature-wise but the feeling in the air and the trees are telling us otherwise. We are already seeing the leaves change and soon it will be October when lots of yard work comes into play. The stores are already jumping the gun with the Halloween merchandise and while I would usually complain about the retail world forcing a holiday on us before its time, Halloween is the one exception to the rule. Yes we are biased and we are more than ok with this. Again, with the love/hate with this place. Just when we are feeling like we have open wounds in the shape of the state of California, the Autumn comes just in time to put a big band aid over it.

We got to see Dead Can Dance a couple weekends ago. Diana, who I have known online since before Josh and I were married, drove up from the DC area and we got to finally meet in person, partake in some tasty brunch and went to a totally epic show. Scratch that, epic is not even a good enough word… more like FLAWLESS. Brendan Perry and Lisa Gerrard are complete and total vocal perfection. I guess being here has afforded me the luxury of getting to meet several of my East Coast e-friends of many years and so far all of the ladies I have met have been an utter pleasure. I guess I am lucky in that sense that I end up aligning with a lot of good people and fate have it our paths finally got to cross. So yes, Diana is money as F and I am looking forward to hanging out with her again. She gets me. And yes, that croque madame was fantastic.

And then there are the massive amount of photos I take. Josh was ripping on me the other day cause I had 2000+ photos on my iPhone. Hey! I am a visually driven person, what can I say? Here are some of my recent favs…

I have been very fortunate to get some really cool items in the mail as of late. Dinah & Derek sent me some really cool, blank vinyl figures and I got all into it. Never painted on these kind of guys before but they really were fun to do. I still have a Frankie to do so when he’s done there will be better photos. I am also working on a kidrobot figure, the sketch in the middle is concept art.

So onto the real nitty gritty here. This post makes it look like all is well, perfect and coated in maple syrup. Look, I am not fooling anyone, much less myself by saying all is well. Things always could be better and Josh and I are doing our best to find the purpose and reason for all of this. We try to find the silver lining in everything and staying distracted is key. I am going to be real… our hearts are not here. We hold each others but there are so many factors that contribute to our overall well being and there is nothing in this state that will ever fill what the West Coast has engrained in us. NOTHING. So we power on till another door opens. In the meantime we are lining up our cards, making smart decisions and doing lots of talking to make sure we are ALWAYS on the same page.

*********
the rest of my recent batch of photos can be viewed on flickr

coming up for air

(excuse the repost. my host did some work, site went down and my last entry got eaten alive)

It feels like it has been eons since I was last in this window typing up the goings on. Let me begin by apologizing for my absence, my lack of comments, birthday wishes, phone calls…. all of it. I have been trying to catch up on posts, and what little I read on facebook but I know I am missing something. I am sure someone out there is saying I am an asshole for being withdrawn but truth be told, I have been seriously overwhelmed and this little square of butter has been spread on a loaf.

The family took off to NYC this morning and we opted to stay behind. I would love to do NYC with Bee but adding my parents and 3 children to the mix and well, it can take a lot of the fun out of it. I think we all needed the change in dynamic anyway.

Things here have been good. Absolutely crazy, but good. The kids are either on their best behavior or acting like lunatics. Reza and Sai (the youngest one) poke at each other a lot which leaves Bee and I playing referee a good portion of the time. Since there are so many of us, all outings have to be on the low key side and even then, can still feel like a production. Pair it with a resounding IN THREE LANGUAGES…. English, Spanish and Japanese? You can imagine.

Liz was here for about a week and we had the opportunity to have a “girls only” day at Revel to hit the spa and have dinner at Amada. It was so necessary to have a little escape that didn’t involve kids and before the parents arrived. My father could just not understand or fathom why we did either of it so we didn’t want to deal with the 20 questions. This is the one and only shot of all three of us. In hindsight I haven’t taken nearly as many photos as I should be but carting the camera while wrangling kids can prove tedious. Besides, some moments need to be savored far more than they need to be documented.

Josh, Bee and I went to see Sigur Ros and it was nothing short of absolutely brilliant and perfect. Worth every penny and thankfully the weather gods delivered for the outdoor venue. The fact we weren’t sporting a case of swamp ass and the mosquitoes were at bay was an extra bonus.

The rest of the trip has just been outings up the street, to Philly to walk around and anywhere the train can take us. It has been low key in that sense. That many people and one car makes things a little harder to plan but Bee, Josh and I have been managing making things work.

Bee and I haven’t had as much one on one time as we would like. Kids and parents who are vying for her attention makes things difficult. Thankfully Josh is awesome enough to be on kid detail to let us escape here and there to go do sister stuff. The other night we took off to see the new Wes Anderson movie, Moonrise Kingdom. She loves his films and never had the opportunity to see one on the big screen. A massive storm rolled in that night and while we were at the movies, we walked out to an absolute downpour of raining sideways proportions. My umbrella didn’t help us much as we ran through the parking lot, huddled under it, laughing our asses off. We got into the car with soaked asses and proceeded to laugh even more. So far that moment has been the best memory of her visit.

Family vacations can be rewarding but there is just so much going on, I wonder if anyone is really enjoying themselves. My father is absolutely bored here and it shows. Honestly I haven’t heard him say one nice thing about anything. I wish I could do more but I told them there isn’t much to do here and even if we do do things, he complains a lot, especially about the cost of things, or the food sucks, it’s too far, etc. To be honest he and I have been butting heads most of the time. I have my ways and he is very set in his. I get the whole “they’re your parents” and the “they’re getting old” part, I get that! But I have never been a people pleaser that does things just to get their approval or nod. My father seems to have purposely been making offhand, off color and inappropriate comments about things in an effort to get a rise out of me and I, like the hotheaded person I am, have been falling for it which has only made things worse. Comments about Josh and I having more children, comments about religion and how it’s a shame Reza isn’t going to catholic school…. these are two things we are very firm on and no one, and I mean NO ONE, is going to coerce us into either. All he talks about are numbers, the cost of shit, how much it is in pesos and my personal favorite, arguing about things he knows absolutely nothing about. It sucks cause his age has only become more apparent this visit and I feel like a shithead for being angry or annoyed at things when in retrospect, their time here is so little.

One thing Bee and I have absolutely put our foot down on, this is the last time we do this whole “everyone piles into one house vacation” for quite some time. We have our own family units, we both love to travel abroad and as much as we love to see one another and our parents, we need US time. Thankfully we agree on this cause we already are getting the “you need to come to Mexico next summer” comments. No way or how. Sorry!

Let’s see, what else?

I finally got fitted for a bra and let me tell you, when that woman said “F” I about shit a brick. Big tits are so overrated. Thankfully I scored on a great deal on a new tit harness that lifts and separates better than Moses did to the Red Sea. AHHHHHHHHH! I am trying not to fret cause as the weight comes off, the boobs go with it. I can’t handle being so top heavy.

Before the family came, I got to spend another weekend with Griselda and I got into an exchange of words with some gross Joizey broad in the movie theater. She pitched an absolute fit when I asked her to put her phone away cause she was texting in my face. “EXUCUSE ME? WHAT DID YOU JUST SAY TO ME?!!!”, then proceeded to call me a bitch. Girl blew up and I was furious, I seriously wanted to dump my water bottle on her crispy, forever 21 clad, bathed in far too much designer impostor perfume ass. But then I thought about my having to call my husband from jail…

“Josh? hi… uh, yeah… I assaulted some broad while we were watching Magic Mike. Can you come get me?”

If I am going to get hauled away by the po po it isn’t going to be while watching a cheezy movie about male strippers. And yes, I went to see it… sometimes mindless entertainment where men are objectified for once is totally necessary.

On a whole other note, Josh and I scored a ridiculous deal on airfare and well, we are San Diego bound this Fall. I already booked hair appointments and another sitting on my sleeve. We need to see our people! Praise jeebus! let the Mexican food floweth in my moutheth. Not before I spend a month busting my ass at the gym and on the bike cause it is not easy being good with your diet with a house load of people. oof!

This weekend will be all about relaxing, quiet time, catching up on emails, cards, phone calls…. necessary.

How are you?

*****
the rest of the photos can be viewed over on the flickr set

jumbalaya

Another post in which I throw out a bunch of randomness that doesn’t merit a post of its own so I pile it all up in here…

I was at the craft store today buying some spray mount. I ask an employee if they have something to which she says, “I don’t know, if it’s not in that section over there then we don’t have it”. Isn’t it your job to know? You could look with me, no? The apathy people have for their jobs is astonishing, at the very least ACT like you give a fuck.

Oh and since I am talking about craft stores, which I also like to call Erection Killers, can someone please explain to me the bizarre crafting cult called “scrapbooking”? I mean, I get it… but it’s like sticker books for adults, yes?

Here are a handful of recent phone pix that I have liked. All reposts from my instagram cause I am a repeat offender like that. 🙂


top row: a bookcase at Revel, a quote I saw while out shopping, me and my addiction to pretty paper. Skull print paper is the shit!
bottom row: gomez + judas being snuggle rats, coming over the Benjamin Franklin bridge into Philadelphia at sunset (I was a passenger thank you), and some art I have in the works…

It has been a sea of pollen in the air over here. I normally don’t suffer allergy issues but magenta eyeshadow on a day that is so pollenated was not the best combo. Watery, itchy eyeballs. Also, why do craft stores smell like cheap cinnamon and fake rose? Between that and the pollen explosion, I am Squints McGee. Need to know what that means, look up photos of Renee Zellweger.

I had to endure the voluntary horror of both a pelvic and transvaginal ultrasound earlier today. Don’t know what it is? Look it up. I have on/off ovarian cysts if you need to know.. yes! And my new lady dr. decided it was time for a recheck. A nice round of TMI cause you know I live to make people squirm. Picture this if you will, 32 oz of water in my damn bladder and this broad is pushing down on it while happily smacking her gum. FUN. Then comes the probe. Mid probing she asks me, “are you ok?” and what I really wanted to say was “what do you fucking think lady? I am getting served a cervical beating that isn’t even getting me off or buying me dinner after. What do you think?!” Dude, I like me some toys and man meat, and that is fine up in my business but some chick shoving and wiggling around a plastic, cold wand up in my taco is just not the way I wanted to spend my morning. Subsequently, my ultrasound tech referred to my butt as as my “high-nee” (or however you spell that shit). Grown women/men that refer to body parts in cutesy names like hoo hoo, tushie and wee wee bug the living crap out of me. It reminds me of the psycho mommies on mommy boards that refer to their husbands as “Dear” while they’re writing to complain about how he never changes the poop diapers. There is nothing “dear” about a person if you are talking shit about them.

I’m not all vinegar infested today, I swear! I also had my 6 week follow up with the ankle doctor today and he basically has cleared me from physical therapy and follow up visits unless the thing flares up or I am in pain again. WORD! Now, I know I am not 100% and probably won’t ever be, so as long as I proceed with caution and know my limits, I will be avoiding surgery. HOLLAH.