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

adventures in philly

I don’t know how I am going to get used to the fact that we only get whole days with Josh on the weekends again. Unemployment sure has its downsides but the year and change we got to spend together was awesome and necessary on so many levels.

Saturday rolled around and since we aren’t in the house yet, we decided to venture into Philadelphia for reals instead of the drive by from the previous night. We drove the car to the nearest Patco station, hopped on the train and headed into downtown. The whole process was pretty simple. We stepped off in the meat of the city, literally a block or two away from Independence Hall. We had interest in seeing some of the local history stuff but so did everyone else and everything had a huge ass line and when it is 90 degrees? No thanks, we will come enjoy it a later time. Independence Hall was getting a facelift anyway. We will have plenty of time to check it all out.

Eventually it turned into a quest for a good cheesesteak and at the suggestion of a friend, we headed toward South Street, to hit up Jim’s Steaks.

The walk over was so pretty, the architecture is pretty amazing, some of which is SUPER OLD, cobblestone streets, brick everything, doorways with character and streets lined with trees that will soon be shedding their leaves. Normally I am not all boner town over American History whatnot, but being here and having the opportunity to see it from a different light definitely has changed my mind about it.

We got to Jim’s and apparently everyone else had the same idea as us cause there was a huge line out the door, more inside and 45 minutes later we got ourselves a cheesesteak. When in Rome you do as the Romans do, so I opted for one with cheese whiz, which really is a culinary abomination but honestly, it worked out well. Tasty but I dunno if I can wait that long for a sandwich again. Heh.

South Street was interesting… there are a lot of cools shops, also paired with lots of tourists, crappy stores selling cheap hooker lingerie, crispy hair and guys cruising on their crotch rockets. Sounds like 1988 doesn’t it? Either way, it made for great eye candy. The biggest laugh I got came at the expense of this super hairy Italian guy who had shaved just the spot where he had a tattoo on his bicep so you could see it through all his carpet. Man, there are so many photos I wish I could get but out of fear of getting my ass beat, I had to refrain.

Eventually Reza started turning into a pumpkin, between all the walking, heat and food comas all around, we headed back to the station and headed home. Honestly I cannot wait to get out of this hotel room… Yesterday we had a family of 6-7 piled up in the room above us and they sounded like a heard of elephants. There is a reason why I never want to wall share with people again.

We are supposed to meet with our landlord today and I will get to really get a feel for the house. We drove by and it looks cute and is super close to the city, literally you turn a corner and BAM! you are on the bridge into Philadelphia. Random tidbit, it costs $5 to get onto any of the bridges into Philly, it’s free to leave… Oh NJ, no one loves you, well, except maybe the teenage girls I saw wearing shorts so small they should be underwear, butt cheeks hanging out, that said “JERSEY GIRL” plastered on their asses. Face, meet my palms.

The rest of the photos can be viewed here