Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Both my sister and I recently did some moving around and shifting of our home spaces this past week. After two years of wandering with minimal attachments to or desire for material responsibilities, I have found that I like where I am at. By staying here I think I will go far. So now, I am needing some of the items I felt so previously encumbered by. I also learned, in my two years that I don't need nearly us much as I think I do and that the universe has a way of providing me with exactly what I truly need (which isn't always the same as what I want.)

Perfect example: In the last week my roommate moved out, taking with her the majority of the home utensils she accumulated over the years living in the house. As she was sharing them with us, I hadn't purchased any of my own. The kitchen was a ghost town when she left. In the same week I also started working at Little Pickle Press, the best job I could hope for until I am a successful author. Both of these new developments presented new needs. Which, by the luck of the universe were filled within days when my sister spotted late in the afternoon a garage sale sign with the word FREE written over it...she has a knack for these things.

As we walked through the garage sale finding a perfect collection of pots and pans I spotted a copier, scanner, fax machine. Since it was missing ink and a power cable it was offered to me for free. Just the day before I had a conversation with my new boss about purchasing such an item.

As we compared our loot my sister excitedly proclaimed, we are upcycling!

We are what? I wondered.

Upcycling is defined by Wikipedia as he process of converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality or a higher environmental value. Uhh what? I'm not sure if my definition is accurate but u
pcycling to me, is finding things you can use that someone else no longer has a need for. Kind of like sharing. What is the point of recycling when no one uses the materials that are being recycled. It made me start thinking about the other side of recycling...the upside.

Plus, sometimes you find things you want, not just the things you need, like this print I also scored at my Sunday afternoon upcycle:

(sorry for the poor picture quality, I just snapped it really quick with my iPhone...obviously not a 4G)

Monday, January 24, 2011

Poetry in the Sky

My dear friend Bunni Lesh took these pictures over the last few weeks. She was kind enough to let me share them on my blog. I think, one of the reasons I write is to try to find words for moments like these so I can share them with the rest of the world. If there is any shred of poet in my personality, it is because my roots were planted and grew in these Pacific Ocean winter sunsets skies.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Purse is Half Full

If you are male, squeamish or lacking a sense of humor:


This morning, something happened to me for the first time EVER in my 30 years of life. When I turned 30, I braced myself for all sorts of new issues--grey hair, stray cats, a large collection of empty ice cream pints and wrinkles. However, this morning, something I thought should have happened to me in junior high occurred for the first time.

I didn't sleep very well and woke up cranky, was mean to my little sister without provocation, and just felt like crying for no reason. Well, at this point in my life, I know what that means. PMS Express, round trip ticket for one. The "P" in PMS for the men who continued reading despite my warning, means pre...it usually means in a week, mother nature will remind me with a vibrant shade of red what exactly it means to be a woman.

I decided to drop everything, put my headphones on and head out for a run to clear my head. I hoped to generate enough endorphins to make it through the day without physically assaulting my innocent little sister. Despite the bleeding blister on the back of my heel I hit my stride pretty quickly, felt the sun on my shoulders and began to cheer up a bit. But then...

Well, apparently Mother Nature's New Year's Resolution was to be more punctual, so punctual that she decided to show up a whole week early.

Ladies, you know what I'm talking about. When it comes, it comes and you know it the moment it happens even if its off schedule or in the middle of a much needed run. Men, you don't want me to describe it in anymore detail. Let's just say, I turned around and ran back to my house much faster than I ran out starting my run. I was feeling quite dejected. I had set out to turn my day around and ended up turning around faster than I had hoped. The attitude I had hoped to shake, was not only still there, but worse now.

Since she arrived a week early, I wasn't prepared with the proper toiletries for Mother Nature. I dug through my purse and found not only a tampon but half a bag of Peanut M&M's. I ate them for breakfast.

Now, even after the rough start to the day, I'm eating my Peanut M&M's, writing a blog post that will hopefully make you laugh and believing that the purse is half full.

Monday, January 17, 2011


Today I am pondering the weather, probably because I am supposed to be writing my column for DEEP Magazine. My feigning focus is easily lead astray by the rays of 80 degree sunlight shining through my living room window. In Santa Barbara, we have mild and unpredictable weather, i.e. the heat we are experiencing in January. I want to state that this post is not a compliant, just an observation.

I lived in Chicago last year, and even though the temperature there rises well over 80 degrees at certain times of the year, it is currently 34 degrees with conditions described as a wintry mix--I'm guessing some combination of rain and snow. (I personally prefer the snow to the rain.) While my friends in Chicago consider me lucky, I have a longing for flakes--the weather condition, not the personality type as I find flakiness most aggravating.

The thing I love most about Chicago weather is that you get a bit of everything. I appreciate 80 degrees so much more after thawing out from winter. I found a quiet white winter wonder in Chicago that I will never find in Santa Barbara. My SB winter, not to be overshadowed, says goodnight with a sunset of poetry in hues of pink and orange that paint purple our island blues. I love them both for completely unique reasons. And because I am in Santa Barbara right now I will be grateful for the poetry of my sun as it departs for the day, but that doesn't mean there aren't quiet winter snowflakes softly falling in my soul.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Bye Bye Borders

The Santa Barbara Borders is a ghost town already. I went in over the weekend to buy a magazine, the only thing that wasn't on sale. I rarely shop at Borders. It is too big and if I want a coffee I go to the French Press (ok, sometimes Starbucks too but shhh don't tell anyone) not Borders. I don't like how organized everything is, plastic and perfectly in rows. There is no magic at Borders. How am I going to trip over my new favorite book if all of the books are perfectly lined up on shelves?

I grew up going to Chaucer's and The Earthling. Silent pause for The Earthling, long departed bookstore that graced various State St. locations through out my childhood until Borders came to town. I still frequent Chaucer's regularly. Walking into Chaucer's, I feel as if I am walking into my own imagination. The tall and narrow aisles are like the deep chasms of my brain. I don't even know what is lurking in them half the time but just like waking up from a dream, I am pleasantly surprised by new discoveries each time I venture into the depths.

I always refer people to Chaucer's. Even if you have to drive a little further, it is worth it. And if you really want a coffee there are a couple of places right around the corner. Also, Via Maestro 42 has excellent Gelato if you have a sweet tooth.

I don't know what is going on with Borders but I don't think its good, for them at least. I've seen a couple of Borders south of Santa Barbara with the same "Store Closing Sale--This Location Only" signs. So obviously, its not that location only. My friend in Chicago mentioned that the Michigan Avenue Borders is closing too. I didn't ask her if those sale signs said this location only or not.

As a lover of books in general, I should support the art form in all its various facets but I just can't help it. Borders took out my beloved Earthling...and though we will never have it back, I am happy to see the shift back to small bookshops. I was in the Chaucer's parking lot at 9:30 am and already it was bustling. And then I read this Daily Sound article link on their Facebook page today. Chaucer's has been a tradition in Santa Barbara since 1974, longer than I have been alive and I am getting old! I couldn't be happier that it will become a new tradition for others, hopefully many others. Now, if only they would consider opening another location downtown...maybe close to the French Press.

Friday, December 31, 2010

My December Sun

My Dad always used to tell me that only 1% of the population of the world gets to see the sunset over the ocean.

Each December my sun creeps out over the Pacific. On clear bright mornings (like the spectacular one today!) it paints a glimmering path of gold across the sea to the edge of the world. Maybe the ancients wanted to fall off--into its beauty and so they hoped, rather than assumed, the world was flat. On grey December mornings my sun yawns sleepily and stretches its refracting light through fog and ocean, its like waking up to a morning dipped in sliver. In the shortest days of the darkest month my sun shines the brightest.

It says goodnight to me in hues of hopeful pink and magnificent magenta. Each dusk my sky is a finer masterpiece than you will ever see in a museum.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Leaping into my 30's

I turned 30 this year. With my birthday falling at the end of the year, I spent most of it pondering how to mark the occasion. I wanted to find a way to celebrate and honor the first 30 years of my life while also setting the tone for the direction and goals of my next 30 years. I wanted a little fun and a little reverence.

I've always wanted to go skydiving. I don't know exactly why. I am not afraid of heights, in fact, I often climb to the edge of structures both natural and man made while fighting the urge to jump off of them, to jump away from them, to not be held down my gravity's force, or any other forces for that matter. I think more than anything else I wanted to experience something new, something I had never experienced before. I love the symbolism of jumping out of a plane...leaving my 20's behind and leaping into my 30's.

On the morning of my first day as a 30 year old adult, my mom, sister and I drove to the Lompoc Airport, home of Sky Dive Santa Barbara. Despite Skydiving being the choice sport of adrenaline junkies, I found it to be more peaceful than anything else--once I was out of the plane. Sitting on the edge of the plane, with my feet dangling 13,000 feet above the Earth I was afraid I was going to fall, as soon as I realized that I was supposed to do just that it was smooth 120 mile an hour sailing through the sky. As I tumbled toward Earth, I revered at the beauty of it all, the blue of the Pacific stretching out for miles, the green of fields and trees. I thought about death and then life. I felt like I was in God's hands, my atoms mingling with the upper atmosphere. I was out in the universe and I loved every second of it.

There is a unique perspective provided by 13,000 vertical feet of space. Space enough for the wonder and the possibility and the passion to set in and take hold of you all over again.