Monthly Archives: September 2009

A couple of fabulous things.

Look! I illustrated a shoe!

Here is the photo of the shoe that we were given to start with:

And here is my interpretation of the shoe:

I know, I know… there’s a lot of shading in there that I decided to leave out… but I have five more of these that I need to do before Thursday, and I’m realizing I need to squash my inner perfectionist a little bit just to survive. Here’s the thing though: I love this. I love sitting & drawing things. As I’m getting better at it, I like it more & more.

Another discovery this week. Litehouse Pear & Gorgonzola dressing. It tastes awesome. Usually, you buy a new salad dressing, and you try it out, and you hate it, and then you just wasted five dollars. This dressing is GOOD. In general, I’ve found the Litehouse dressings to be tasty, but this was a delight.

So, for all of you who are bored with your current salad… try this one:

Fresh spinach + crumbled goat cheese + toffee-glazed almonds + pear & gorgonzola vinaigrette. It’s awesome. (Emily, you particularly need to try this.)

A few adventures, a few reflections.

Life is so short, and it’s way too easy to let it pass by. You wake up one day and realize that most of your life is consumed by glowing rectangles. Lately, I’ve been trying to avoid letting my life get lost in the shuffle. I’ve been on the lookout for good adventures… and I’ve been finding them.

About a year ago, Weston & I had an adventure at an open mic in Folsom. I went back and forth… wasn’t sure I really wanted to, and almost chickened out at the last minute, thinking I could always come back. I decided to go for it. And it turns out that if I hadn’t done it then, I wouldn’t have done it at all. That was the last open mic they had. The performance was far from perfect. We had only practiced for a few hours. I was nervous. But you know what? We put something in the world that wasn’t there before. And that matters. It matters to share yourself, and to live today, and not wait for the perfect moment. I mention this particular adventure today, because I recently went back to the music shop where the former host of the open mic works, and it turns out he kept a recording of that night. I listened to it, and even though (as I said), it’s not perfect, it makes my heart happy to remember that night. So if you want to hear my imperfect adventure from a year ago, you can listen to it here.

Back in August, we had a little adventure in southern California. We visited beaches at sunset, passed through Ojai (I have a little crush on that town, I think), and hiked up a mountain. Something like five or six miles up to the top. I don’t usually like to talk about how great my kid is, but I’d be a complete liar if I said that the fact that my 8-year-old made it up to the top didn’t impress me. It was awesome. Here are a few pictures from our adventures that weekend. (The first picture is great, because it looks all tender and sweet, but in reality, Weston is threatening to throw my son into the ocean.)

Weston dropped his laptop in the parking lot during the trip, and it stopped working. He was pretty upset… didn’t know if it was going to be okay. He managed to get it working again while we were on the beach (RAM had been knocked loose)… this is his “yay! my laptop is working again!” face.

Labor Day weekend, we went to Nevada City again, to the incredible property that my friends own. It was a different group of people, but we still had a wonderful time. Lots of fun, lots of games, Puerto Rico, The Waterslide, and tons of kids to play with. And a dog. A couple of kids decided to get into the dog crate. And then another kid. And another kid. They looked so funny in there that I had to take some pictures.

After we were done with the campout, we didn’t go straight home. We went to the bay area, hiked around the cliffs, walked on the ocean, and then, on Monday, we went to Angel Island, where my kid hiked ANOTHER five miles. (Seriously… awesome.)

Angel Island is part of the State Park system. You can get there by taking a ferry from a number of different places around the bay (which is fun all by itself). Then, once you get there, you can walk, ride bikes, or take one of the bus tours around the island. Miles of lovely paved walking trails. And if you make it to the far side of the island, you are treated to THE best view of San Francisco that I’ve ever seen. You can see three bridges at once (Richmond-San Rafael, Bay Bridge, and Golden Gate), the whole city… it’s amazing.

View Larger Map

It’s a lovely, lovely place. I highly recommend it. I think the next time we go, we’ll rent bikes. It looks like a great place for a family ride.

(Does anybody here remember when I had a road dot collection? We saw a green one… I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a green one before.)

I’ve been really lucky the last little while. I’ve gotten to go a lot of places, see a lot of things, and I’ve had some really stand-out experiences. Once-in-a-lifetime type stuff. But when I sit here and think about it all, the thing is… every day is an adventure. LIFE is a great adventure. And I’m loving it.

Yesterday, I stayed home all day. But it wasn’t boring at all. I’m taking a class right now (which I’ll talk about later maybe), and I spent the morning studying (which felt like PLAY, because I love what I’m doing), then Connor and I planted 50 tulips in the yard. We got dirty and sweaty and he got soaked with the hose, and it was great. It’s starting to feel like fall. Yesterday was the first crisp, cool day all year.

Then, last night, I made asparagus. It’s not a big deal, right? Except that I’ve always HATED asparagus. I’ve hated it FOREVER… until I took a chance on it one night a few months ago when an ex-boyfriend invited me over for dinner and made some. He got a pan nice and hot, with some oil, and pan-fried the asparagus, and—lo and behold—I discovered something. It is the ONE TRUE WAY to make asparagus… and it’s wonderful. Last night I made it for myself. Seared in the pan, still crunchy, with a spicy mustard cream sauce. Weston and I ate it together (along with a bunch of take-out that he brought from an amazing Afghan restaurant that we found a while back.)

I know this is a lot for one entry. But it’s been a while, and I felt like writing today. So if you managed to make it to the bottom, and you’re still reading this, you should write about your adventures and send me a link. I’ll read about you, and you’ll read about me, and we can all smile and be happy because we’re still alive, enjoying the mystery and magic and the sometimes unexpected loveliness of an ordinary day. These are the days of miracles and wonders. Truly.