Monday, June 18, 2018

On WWABD, alligator, and spicy noodles

Anthony Bourdain died last week. And I'm still not over it, which is weird considering how totally unacquainted we were. I never thought of myself as somebody who could be so heartbroken by the death of a celebrity. But Tony wasn't just a celebrity, he was a writer, chef, and foul-mouthed traveling foodie who ate spicy noodles ALL THE TIME- all things I wish I could be, all the things I wish I could do. Maybe I'm a jealous person by nature, or I've just grew out of that 'anything can happen, the world is my oyster' phase of adolescence, but I've always been envious of the life he lived because I knew it would never resemble mine.

This weekend, I found myself as a musical festival of sorts on a grassy, hilly pasture in the middle of nowhere. Think Stagecoach with less reputable bands, and a lot more county. It was rumored that one of the food trucks was cajun style and had alligator on the menu. Was it a wise decision to order alligator and cajun 'boudin' balls on the last night of the 3 day festival in which all 3 days were 90 degrees and beyond? Probably wasn't the freshest, probably wasn't the wisest... but then I thought to myself, "WWABD-What Would Anthony Bourdain Do?" He would have ordered the damn alligator. And, so, I did. 

The one thing that shocked me in the aftermath of Tonys death, was the sheer outpouring on his behalf. Now, I'm surprised that I was surprised. He was an infectious, authentic human, filled with curiosity and humanity. He lived life in motion. He lived fiercely, unapologetically, indulgently. And so the irony does not escape me, considering the way he blinked out of our world so prematurely. I think about these things with my arms wrapped around the toilet, at 3am, the night of the alligator. I also wonder to myself how many times he had found himself in my likeness after many gratifying nights of cold brews and spicy noodles. I mean, the man DID love his spicy noodles. And, well, he definitely liked his cold brews too. I can imagine him saying something to the likeness of how much more palatable it was going in than coming out. And I can imagine him waking up the next morning to do it all again, not so fresh alligator and all. He probably would have found some insightful, philosophical life lesson about all of this. But I am not Anthony Bourdain. And I can only continue to find moments to honor a spectacular man, and everything he has taught me. 

Things I have learned from Anthony Bourdain

Sometimes its about the food, and sometimes it about people sitting down together over a table of said food. Because food can bring us together. 

We are all just people who are doing our very best. So many people want to go on and on about our differences. But our differences are so much less important than our similarities. 

There is great importance in curiosity, happy accidents, and winging it.

And finally, order the damn alligator. 

Monday, January 22, 2018

Nancy Drew, and ugly crying

I used to love reading books when I was young. I was the kid that had to be told to put down the book and go to bed, or to clean my room, to do my homework, go to school. My favorite part of elementary school was library time. I was really into to mystery books then. Nancy Drew was a bad ass-  I had almost every yellow spined book and I was very meticulous about arranging and rearranging them in numerical order. Basically, then, everything but reading was an obligation.

In the last 20 years, time has gotten scarce, life has gotten crazy and weird, and kind of a lot to handle sometimes. I don't have homework anymore, but now I'm self employed so that basically means that my entire day is a long homework assignment that was due yesterday. I don't have to clean my room, now I have an entire house to clean and I actually like doing it. I stress out about things like life insurance and retirement... and what the right work/ home life balance is, which is extra alarming because I work at home and all that gets kind of tangled together. I've lost my yellow Nancy Drew books. I don't even have a book shelve to rearrange because we have iPads and kindles, and is the only library I go to now.... which makes browsing for books less magical and more "I should add some toilet paper to my cart before I forget".

But a few years ago I discovered audio books, and they have saved my life from the mundane of long drives and bad tv shows. I listen while I cook, I listen while I drive, I listen in waiting rooms. My taste in books have changed considerably from Nancy Drew, but I do still love a good mystery. My favorite book read last year was A Man Called Ove. It was one of the first as I was getting back into the throes of reading again. And it knocked me on my ass. As in, its been almost a year since I read the book and I still don't know what I can say about it except it's a wonderfully tender story about loneliness, and despair and hope. The novel is funny, heartbreaking, poignant, and it had the most perfect and satisfying ending, to which I ugly sobbed for about an hour. I've read (I mean heard?) quite a few books since then, and all I know is the books that I love the most are the ones that make me cry. Like a lot. Like bawling over my simmering spaghetti sauce, or ugly crying so hard driving down the road that I think I should probably pull over because the roads are getting blurry and fellow drivers are probably thinking that I just found out my long lost Aunt Lorene died. The catharsis is real, guys.

I think the lesson learned here, is that I like stories that transport me to another place and another life. Ones where I find so many similarities to my own, that it's comforting to know my wants and struggles are shared. And stories of people so different that me, that I can understand the vastness of our world and the people in it. And those stories just happen to make me ugly cry.

Let's sob it out, together, guys.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

On New Years Resolutions

Happy 2017! 

I will admit that I have been a bit MIA in the blogosphere, for reasons I might share later. But as January 1st comes and goes, I continualy find myself looking back on my reflections in years past. I can say with certainty that the most awesome, occasionally awkward, sometimes surprising thing about having a blog is the ability to take a little peek at all your earlier selves. In this little capture from five (FIVE!!) years ago, my 2012 self is reflecting on my past years resolution. Or more accurately my letter to 2011. It's been five years (FIVE!!!), and I can't think of a more fitting attitude to take on 2017. I can't even begin to anticipate my life will be like in 2022 (OMG.) but I am so looking forward to looking back on this day and this thought and this self. 

P.S. Future self, I'm going to go out and buy some real good anti-aging moisturizer so you better be looking on fleek, or whatever is they say in 2022...

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

On the snowpocalypse and other places

I took this picture today. It was my first experience with a snowpocalypse. I was prepared for this. I went to the market and picked up enough food. I got my snowpocalypse wine because duh. I filled my car with gas in case of emergencies (like I was going to be able to get out of my driveway for the next 2 days). I canceled my trip to LA.
.... And then it didn't snow.

Just kidding, it did! So this morning  I bundled up, went outside, and enjoyed it with my pup like the snowpocalypse virgin I am. It was cold and wet, and white... But the most striking thing to me were the drifts in the snow. I couldn't decide if it looked more like the desert sand or the calm water in some bay, but it didn't matter because both meant home.

It's a funny thing, this life we live.
Somehow, someway, I've ended up here, in a place that is so incredibly different than where I grew up for so long. Sometimes, here and there seem worlds apart- but ever so often, these little resemblances come flooding in. Like I might have left home, but it hasn't left me and it creeps it's way into my thoughts in the most bizarre way.

The sound of the wind barreling through the tree is almost indistinguishable from sound the ocean beating against the sand in the late evening. And sometimes, in the summer, I can hear a faint lawnmower -and the air is just warm and still and dry enough, that for a second I'm back in my old neighborhood sunbathing in the back yard. And now, even the snow makes me feel like I'm home.... On the other hand, it could just be the cabin fever talking!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Thoughts about thoughts

All the sudden today I realized,  I'm going along in life, through all the motions. But that's all, just motions, no movement. I know that's a really strange and seemingly bland realization. But here's the thing, I used to blog, like a lot. And recently I've started reading all my old post and realized.... I was so thoughtful and ardent. Like I really, honestly thought about every small event in my life. I had real and complex thoughts about spider webs, and ocean waves, and love.  And somewhere along the way, without even knowing, it all slipped away. All the small but important thoughts don't come now. Now, I think about what I'm going to watch on Netflix now that I've finished Gilmore Girls, or what color I'm going to paint the living room, or what shade of pink bridesmaid dress to pick. Don't get me wrong- all very important thoughts, but not the things I used to day dream about. I'm pretty sure this has to do with being "adulty" and that's just how life is when you're past your mid-twenties (ohmygaa I'm past my mid-twenties....). But sometimes I find myself wanting to feel insatiable and wrung out and uncertain all at the same time again. Because you know what happens when you feel insatiable and wrung out and uncertain?? You realize how nice it is to be satisfied, full, and completely resolute.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Big Jet Plane

          Last week I posted about a cool brother/ sister duet Wild Belle so this week I'm posting a band called Angus and Juilia- another brother/ sister duet (Australian this time!). This song is mesmerizing! I'm going to lay outside by the pool under the 80 degree sun and soak up my last few rays of the California sun.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Monday, April 2, 2012


         Drummmmm rollll pleaseeeeeee............MUSIC MONDAYS (cue fireworks and crowds cheering)!!!!! This week the up and coming brother/sister band Wild Belle  is stealing my heart!!! This particular song is very Santigold- and come on, seriously, who doesn't love Santigold??? Happy first Music Monday everyone!!!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Nothing good gets away

Back in 1958, John Steinbeck, author of East of Eden, The Grapes of Wrath, and Of Mice and Men, got a letter from his teenage son Thom, in which Thom confessed that he had fallen desperately in love with a girl named Susan at his boarding school.

Steinbeck wrote this wise and wonderful letter back to him the same day...

New York
November 10, 1958
Dear Thom:

We had your letter this morning. I will answer it from my point of view and of course Elaine will from hers.

First -- if you are in love -- that's a good thing -- that's about the best thing that can happen to anyone. Don't let anyone make it small or light to you.

Second -- There are several kinds of love. One is a selfish, mean, grasping, egotistical thing which uses love for self-importance. This is the ugly and crippling kind. The other is an outpouring of everything good in you -- of kindness and consideration and respect -- not only the social respect of manners but the greater respect which is recognition of another person as unique and valuable. The first kind can make you sick and small and weak but the second can release in you strength, and courage and goodness and even wisdom you didn't know you had.

You say this is not puppy love. If you feel so deeply -- of course it isn't puppy love.

But I don't think you were asking me what you feel. You know better than anyone. What you wanted me to help you with is what to do about it -- and that I can tell you.

Glory in it for one thing and be very glad and grateful for it.

The object of love is the best and most beautiful. Try to live up to it.

If you love someone -- there is no possible harm in saying so -- only you must remember that some people are very shy and sometimes the saying must take that shyness into consideration.

Girls have a way of knowing or feeling what you feel, but they usually like to hear it also.

It sometimes happens that what you feel is not returned for one reason or another -- but that does not make your feeling less valuable and good.

Lastly, I know your feeling because I have it and I'm glad you have it.

We will be glad to meet Susan. She will be very welcome. But Elaine will make all such arrangements because that is her province and she will be very glad to. She knows about love too and maybe she can give you more help than I can.

And don't worry about losing. If it is right, it happens -- The main thing is not to hurry. Nothing good gets away.



        Boy oh boy does that man have a way with words. I hear cheesy advice on love all the time (like 'love yourself first' and 'good relationships are hard work') but this is a far cry from that mushy inspirational shit you find on Pinterest. It amazes me at the level of wholehearted support, respect, and admiration Steinbeck has for his teenage son's supposed first love, certainly something you don't come by often in this generation. And with that mental state of complete equally, Steinbeck hacks it out- that undeniably true, hard to gulp, insane reality about love.  "There are several kinds of love. One is a selfish, mean, grasping, egotistical thing which uses love for self-importance. This is the ugly and crippling kind. The other is an outpouring of everything good in you -- of kindness and consideration and respect -- not only the social respect of manners but the greater respect which is recognition of another person as unique and valuable. The first kind can make you sick and small and weak but the second can release in you strength, and courage and goodness and even wisdom you didn't know you had."  .....damn, Steinbeck.

Ps- Men take note: Steinbeck gave his son the best advice when he said 'Girls have a way of knowing or feeling what you feel, but they usually like to hear it also'. Redundancy isn't always a bad thing : )
(found on Cup of Jo via letters of note)

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Yellow espadrilles

(via odessamay)

            I cannot bear it any longer! Beautiful, beautiful summer days, I cannot wait for you to be here...

Thursday, March 22, 2012


(via lost)

           This is what today felt like. If I ever move away from dreamy Southern California, I'm really going to miss this...

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Video games

           My last weeks have been spent listening to Lana Del Reys new album Born to Die. Over and over and over again. Have you ever noticed how every year (and always during non-summer months) an album always is released that makes you ask yourself, "Why isn't it summer right now!?!?!?" In 2008 it was Shwayze...Well, this year it's Lana del Rey. This music video kills me! All I need are burning hot days and warm breeze nights spent being happy and lazy with people I love.

P.s. Does this video remind anybody else of this scene in Love Actually???

Encased in plaster

           For the longest time, I used to step over a little black widow spider web as I walked in and out my sliding door to my back patio. It wasn't that I was content in letting the little spider nest at my doorstep, but rather that I thought it was easier to take giant exaggerated steps over my doorstep than to deal with the obvious problem at hand. Until one night I was up late outside spray painting some clay figures I had just made when I stepped barefoot into the spiderweb! After a momentary freakout (like high pitch shrieking, running around in circles/triangles/hexagons, flailing my infected leg around - freakout), I grabbed the closest weapon (my can of white primer spray paint) and attacked with full force. And when it was all over, I was standing before this little web that was flecked with a million drops of microscopic white paint. And in the center hanging from a string was a tiny curled up dead spider entirely encased in white paint. It was all so morbidly beautiful and surreally peaceful. I don't think I've ever had a moment of complete clarity, but that is what I would imagine it would feel like. I had the intention to spend the next morning's sunlight to take photos of it, but it was so windy that night that everything blew away before I could document it. I had almost entirely forgot about it all until I saw this DIY on dipping brightly colored faux flowers in white plaster. They have the same sort of terrible, quiet beauty that my spider had. It's nice to be reminded of the beauty I saw that night in the spiders nest and to be reminded to always look for the exquisite elegance that comes with (the often unexpected) moments of life.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Keep calm

(via tumblr)

          I'm not very fond of the increasingly popular Keep Calm and *insert wholesome-y feel good phrase* posters. But this gem is a titillating exception! There's only so much calm keeping a girl can handle, sometimes a bitch just snaps....

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

On connection and vulnerability

              Last week I touched on something a bit personal and I thought I should share a little bit more about it, or rather about why I wrote it. Because of Wabi-Sabi's recent one year anniversary (Pass GO, collect $200) the past few months I've had the chance to look back at a years worth of my life and progress. I can even look at what I was wanting, feeling, admiring, thinking about exactly one year ago to the day- which sort of creeps me out but is also sort of really amazing! The thing that I noticed, though, was that most of the things I was writing about were pretty things and neat gadgets, which are all very important to me but say nothing about who I am.  
           I recently read a post from Cup of Jo that was about  authenticity and her struggle in deciding whether or not she should share something quite personal. She writes that her mother told her that authenticity is saying 'This is what happened to me or this is how I truly feel, no matter what the popular belief is about what I should feel.'  This must have resonated with me because it gave me the courage to share one of my own struggles that I wouldn't ordinarily share with the entire world wide web. AAAND THEN (this is the really crazy part), I randomly discovered this Tedtalks on vulnerability. Brené Brown is ammmazzingly poignant, witty, hilariously truthful in this talk about human connection and the need for vulnerability. So let me break it down to a few sentences (if that's even possible):
In order for connection (what gives up meaning and purpose in life) we must be vulnerable.
Connection is the result of authenticity- the courage to tell the story of who we are with our whole heart.
 We need to learn to let ourselves be seen, deeply seen, vulnerably seen.
Ok, so, I'm sort of embarrassed to admit that I jotted down two pages of notes from this tedtalk, but believe me when I say that those little tidbits are just a few of Brené Browns amazingly insightful thoughts. They make me feel so relieved that I did decide to share (an albeit very small) personal experience to you all. Thank you for reading!! **gives awkward emotional hugs**

Monday, February 27, 2012

Mega(rad for i)phones....

           These ceramic megaphones for iPhones is genius, awesome, brilliant, crazy cool! Want want want!!!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

2012 Oscars


Extremely loud and Incredibly Close

Midnight in Paris


The Artist

The Descandants

The Help

The Tree of Life

          My favorite awards show of the year is on tonight! Yesss, that's right...I'm talking about the Oscars!!!! I need to make something clear straight off the bat, I DO NOT watch the red carpet. Okay, okay... yes, alright I watch the red carpet sometimes (what girl can't pass up living vicariously thought all those beautiful actresses in flowy long gowns!), but if you're looking' to talk fashion you better look somewhere else because we're talking set design, scores, and screenplays over here. 
       Okay, obviously one of my favorite categories is Art Direction. The above images are snapshots of the interiors from the nominees for Best Film (most of which were also nominated for Art Direction also). Some of my favorites are Hugo (obviously), and The Descandants (but, honestly, how hard is it really to make a Hawaii home beautiful). I did like The Help but I couldn't stop thinking about how much better Mad Men does the 60's. I haven't seen Midnight in Paris (gasp), but from the looks of things it probably would have been one of my favorites. 
       This year I won't be on the edge of my seat (ok, couch) hoping for any particular film to win Best Picture (unlike last year, in which I probably would have died if The Kings Speech didn't win), but I am rooting for Hugo! I also loved the Descendants, but Hugo totally had that quirky magical charm that I'm always such a sucker for. Side note: Speaking of The Kings Speech, last year it was one nomination (leading actress) away from winning the Big 5. My sister told me today that the Big 5 is when a Film wins the five major categories (Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director, and Best Screenplay-either original or adapted). This year, it will be impossible for anybody to win the Big 5 because no one film is nominated in every category. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Oh Land

            I AM OBSESSED with this new band I discovered called Oh Land. So far, Wolf & I is my favorite song, but White Nights is great too! The White Nights music video is soo bizarre and oulandish I can't help but to love it (and it also reminds me of the TV series Pushing Dasies- another thing I am abnormally obsessed with, but that's a whole different story)! And, hellooooNanna Øland Fabricius is the cuuuutest. Biggest girl-crush ever. Enormous. 

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