Thursday, July 30, 2009

Words cannot describe...

My beautiful new Drusy ring. Thank you so much, Robindira.
You have no idea what it was like for me to receive this ring. When I opened the box and the ring fell into my palm, every emotion that I've felt all summer surfaced and I couldn't help but cry. This ring is a symbol of my growth and courage and my journey to become the person I am meant to become. I cannot express my gratitude enough. I am in love with this ring.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Seeing the light through the leaves

"Two roads diverged in a wood and I-
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference."
-Robert Frost

As my time in California is coming to a close, I'm realizing that a little chapter of my life is closing, and something else is about to start. I've been doing a lot of thinking about my life, and my future, and I've been trying to think about what it is that I'm hoping to find or what I'm trying to do with my life. This Robert Frost poem seems to sum up my life so well.

Not to be overconfident, but I've always had a feeling that I was destined for great things. I know that my path is not the same as so many others. I know that I was born with a heart filled with courage and a zest for life that I don't often find in others. I think I've always made it a priority to follow my dreams, and even though sometimes I don't know what those dreams are, I'm always striving to place myself in a position to be able to secure my future with them.

The picture of the tree above was taken last summer in London. In London, I spent a lot of time in Kensington Gardens reading and watching the summer season take over the park. The trees there were so tall and majestic and strong. I loved laying under them, looking up at the old branches and following their weaved patterns and watching their leaves rustle in the wind. The light from the sun would peek through the leaves and cast a little halo on everything below. It was so beautiful and the whole scene brought me peace.
I guess I was just really impressed by them, too. When you think of everything that a little acorn has to go through to become a big tree, it makes you appreciate the beauty of it as it matures. I guess that's maybe why I love them so much; maybe because I can relate to the story in some way, that someday my adventure will lead to something beautiful.

I hope you're inspired to take the path less traveled on, and that at least once in your life you do something for yourself to follow a dream (no matter how large or how small). Go seek adventure. It's out there waiting for you.

I wish I had a Nili Lotan dress

Nili Lotan does amazing things with photography and fashion. Oh I love her dresses... So delicate and feminine.

Where to buy: Two Skirts, San Francisco, CA.

Big Summer Sale at MZ Wallace!

Oh my gosh-

MZ Wallace is having a 60% off sale!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is BIG news!

Oh I love the Ikat Ciara bag... sale price $158.

To shop go to

Monday, July 27, 2009


This weekend I went with some friends out to Lake Folsom. I guess it was kind of northeast of Sacramento (which is apparently the capital of California). It was so much fun!

We ate donuts and jamba juice and mexican food (and I had an AMAZING sandwich for lunch). We bought pool toys and braved the rocks and slimy mud to get to water deep enough to not be able to touch the bottom of the lake. We listened to Birthday Sex about twenty times... not by our own choice, however. We did the balance dance, and we screamed when our legs accidentally brushed up against submerged trees in the water. We saw a man give his pool float up for his two chiuhauhas and he swam alongside them. (That's unconditional love, people). We saw a family of ravens eating a dead fish. We went to Safeway about three times. (I didn't know they sold stomachaches there). We bought two bottle openers. We applied sunscreen about ten times. We all got a little sunburned, but only one of us ended the day looking like she was beat up by Chris Brown. We got sticker burrs stuck in our feet, and we did the hot foot dance on the pavement. We went to Folsom Prison and were amazed at how beautiful it was, and then we were intimidated by the prison guard that came out to talk to us. We feigned a birthday and got a sombrero and ice cream.

And we laughed a lot.

I'm going to miss my California friends.

Express Yourself

I have fallen in love with pretty stationary and funny greeting cards.
I think beautiful stationary is so romantic. Write me a letter, please.

Oh and the best birthday card ever. I have Communism on the brain, obviously.

Oh Ray LaMontagne.

So tonight I'm burning the midnight oil trying to finish my homework... but I'm really good at procrastinating, and instead of working, I'm daydreaming and listening to Ray LaMontagne.
Why am I doing this? Listening to him makes me sad and breaks my little heart. Do I enjoy this self-induced torture? I guess I do, but mostly because he has a beautiful voice. And I like the casual guitar picking. It makes me really really happy to know that he's out there somewhere writing more music about life and love and happiness. It's comforting to know that someone else believes in this kind of love, and I'm not just making it all up in my head.

I could hold you in my arms. I could hold you forever.

Oh I almost wish I could run into Ray somewhere... like the grocery store. Gosh I daydream too much. I guess that's my charm.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Pretty Pearls

This collar necklace by Moussaieff is stunning. Pretty pearls on the pretty Anna Friel- the new Holly Golightly at London's Theatre Royal Haymarket. This necklace is so magnificent, it makes you wonder: what dress could be paired with it?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Dive into Summer with Robindira Unsworth

So I'm really proud of this... I styled the jewelry in this photo and now it's on our website! Go to to see it for yourself. Or... you could just look at this photo... oh and Robbie actually took the picture... so I really can't take credit for it all! Oh I'm going to miss my job so much!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

An immortal jellyfish? That's amusing!
I can only hope that this species is a friendly, peaceful one. Hopefully they don't hold grudges.,27574,24970100-23109,00.html

Lenin ruined Love

It seems as though I feel this way about every book I ever read.
But this may be my favorite book ever.

Ayn Rand seems to break my heart a little more every time I open the book. I've come to the realization that although I don't really understand the three loves (eros, philos, and agape), I have a glimmer of hope that someday I will. And it just makes me heartsick to think that no one in the novel is very happy because they can't help who they love and what they will do to help the ones they love. Bless my little <3.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Golden Gate Bridge

So I was doing some research on the Golden Gate Bridge today, and I learned a lot. The Golden Gate Bridge, while being an iconic piece of American architecture, and a symbol of San Francisco, is also one of the most popular places in the world to commit suicide.

On average, one suicide occurs every fourteen days on the bridge. People come from all over the United States to jump from the bridge. It's really a tragedy.

This bridge, at its conception and then at completion, was celebrated for being a structure of remarkable design and beauty. On days where the fog has swept across the bay and you can't even see the tops of the towers, I can be sitting in rush hour, bumper-to-bumper traffic and still feel like I could reach up and touch Heaven. It's such a spiritual moment for me. On those times, I feel like God is reaching down, extending hope for the future, and opening my eyes to the beauty around me.

But for others who are drawn to the bridge with the misconception that a jump from the bridge's four foot high railing would be the easiest way to end their pain, it is a place where they spend their final moments before leaping to their watery grave below. The fall itself, lasts about four seconds. In those four seconds, who knows how many of the 1,300 people who are known to have jumped wanted to take back their decision to jump? Who, as they hit the water at 86 miles an hour, decided that they wanted to live? And how many cried as they struggled to swim the rough currents with broken ribs and vertebrae because they wanted a second chance at life?

I've really worked myself into quite a mood over this tonight. A film came out in 2006 called "The Bridge". Director Eric Steel documented a year at the bridge and his film not only captured twenty-three suicides, but also features interviews with the families of the departed. You can check out the trailer on YouTube if you like.
It can be found here: . Warning: this trailer made my spirits plummet, so unless you're completely heartless, consider what you're about to see and know that although the footage isn't graphic, you will never be able to erase what you see.

Although there have been discussions of setting up higher railings on the bridge to eliminate the possibility of jumping, the high speed winds that go through the bay, as well as the astronomical cost to build a structure 4200 feet across (on both sides... 8400 feet), a fence enclosure is out of the question. Even if funds were raised for one, it couldn't be built safely.

In 2008, however, the Golden Gate Bridge Board of Directors voted to build a net under the bridge that will extend 18 feet on either side of the bridge, and will hopefully not only be a visual deterrent, but also a physical restraint for those who are thinking about jumping.

The structure itself will cost $40-$50 million dollars to complete, but I feel like that's a small price to pay to save lives, families, and souls.

This post was written mainly for me to express my feelings about this bridge and to share what I've learned about it. If you or anyone you know has been considering suicide, please talk to someone about it. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK, or visit their website As someone who has lost a loved one to suicide, I can say that your life is worth living, and that someone loves you.

I'm sorry that this post was incredibly depressing. I just wanted to deal with all this knowledge in some way. Thanks for reading.

I love San Francisco

I love San Francisco. I don't really feel like leaving.


if you make one wrong decision, do all the choices you make following that one wrong one continue to be wrong because they're compounding on that first choice? or is every decision that we make the right decision, even though it seems like it was a bad choice? did it have to happen that way for everything to work itself out eventually? i need to figure this out before I drive myself crazy. are things supposed to fall apart sometimes? is there just a cycle that has to go through all its stages?

oh and don't worry... i'm not falling apart or anything... i'm just thinking too much.

Oh Alaska.

I've heard of politicians kissing babies, and even autographing women's chests, etc. But Sarah Palin is taking her fifteen minutes of fame and has begun baptizing little Eskimo children in Alaska.
What is this world coming to?

The previous hero of Alaska, Balto, has been heard whimpering himself to sleep every night for the past eighteen months. Don't worry pup, you are not forgotten. You will be back in the spotlight once more.

The best thing about Saturdays

This is my self portrait.

Monday, July 20, 2009

I've been SHOT!

So last weekend I went to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and I saw the Richard Avedon exhibit (and it was AMAZING). Richard Avedon was a very talented photographer who got his start as a photographer as a young merchant marine when he was designated to be his ship's ID photo-taker. (He was the only person on board who had a camera). Well he realized that he was really good at taking people's portraits... and then he started working for Harper's Bazaar! He's done some amazing work and worked with some amazing people. He was a somewhat-often visitor to The Factory, and he photographed Andy and other regulars on more than one occasion. I won't get into some of those pictures... but here's one I like.

This is Andy Warhol's chest. When I was standing in front of this photo, and I heard a woman behind me say... "he looks like he's gone under the knife a few times..."

Excuse me, what?!?!?! Was she serious??? She couldn't be, right? I mean, those scars are obviously not from plastic surgery... ANDY WARHOL WAS SHOT! And then, the doctors had to open up his chest and MASSAGE his HEART to get it to START BEATING again!!!!

Talk about extraordinary measures! His was a life worth saving. Here's what he said about being shot:
"Before I was shot, I always thought that I was more half-there than all-there – I always suspected that I was watching TV instead of living life. People sometimes say that the way things happen in movies is unreal, but actually it's the way things happen in life that's unreal. The movies make emotions look so strong and real, whereas when things really do happen to you, it's like watching television – you don't feel anything. Right when I was being shot and ever since, I knew that I was watching television. The channels switch, but it's all television."

I hope I'm not watching television when I get shot.

My head is in the stars tonight

I recently heard one of my friends talking about how she only dated people with "air signs". So I guess it got me curious about my astrological sign, and I wanted to do a little bit of research about my sign.

I'm a Capricorn, for those of you who did not know that already... and here's what I found out about my sign...

Capricorns are ambitious, hard working and never lose sight of their goals. While the pragmatic Capricorn's "one step at a time" approach to getting things done may not be all that interesting, it usually delivers results.

It is not uncommon for Capricorns to be arrogant and overbearing while on their march to success. Of course they will rationalize their behavior by saying a domineering nature is a trait of a born leader. Capricorns are industrious and detail oriented. They are not ones to take risks, which means they often have to wait for success. Being patient and confident they will succeed, the wait for glory is no problem for them.

Capricorns are traditionalist to the point of often seeming a bit stiff and out of sync. They are not ones to wander far from home or chase wild dreams. They are rational and never have bursts of emotions. Sometimes they can be a bit greedy, but their devotion to work and family offsets this easily. Although their ambition may seem limitless, Capricorns never resort to cheating to succeed. When success does come to them, they find it very fulfilling, because they attained it their way.

The Capricorn In Love:
In a relationship, Capricorns are a slow starters, but prove to be explosive performers and long-lasting, loyal companions. They are quite skilled with people, once they overcome their initial reserve.

I feel like this describes me pretty well, except I wouldn't say that I am "not one to wander far from home"... I love adventures, and I love traveling and I'm not afraid to try new things. And I don't think that I am "stiff and out of sync"... I loved the last paragraph, gosh that is really just totally me. Oh well, at least I'm not an aquarius... thank goodness I was born six weeks premature!

Oh... and Edgar Allan Poe was a capricorn... and so was Elvis. Someday I, too will be a famous Capricorn.

If being a California Girl means...

That I need to dye my hair ink-black,
Get breast implants,
Get tattoos over most of my body,
Chain smoke cigarettes,
Be sexually promiscuous,
and be generally unfriendly,

I don't want to be one.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Sunday Secrets

For those of you who don't know about post secret... you need to. There's this man named Frank Warren who started a "community art project" back in 2005 where people send him homemade postcards with a secret. He then compiles books, puts them up on his blog, and puts together exhibits of them for museums etc.

For some time now, I've checked the site every Sunday when he uploads new secrets. If you're interested his site is

This Sunday, there weren't any that I really enjoyed, but here's one that frustrates me.

What is this? Do people actually think like this? I cannot image marrying someone when I knew that I didn't want to be with them forever! Ugh, I believe that it's people like this who screw things up for everyone else.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Josh visits San Francisco

My friend josh came to town to visit me this week. It was his first time in San Francisco, so I tried to show him some neat places. Arriving on Wednesday evening, I picked him up and took him down to fisherman's wharf where we walked around for a little while. We walked from Ghiradelli square down to Pier 39, and on the way had tons of fun. We saw a street artist making spray-paint art, and he had this huge crowd gathered around him! It was kind of cool, but really, it was the crowd that drew the crowd around him. While down there, we saw the guy that hides behind bushes and then freaks people out... and then asks them for money... it was so funny. I had heard about this guy before, and I'm so glad I got to see him! it was really funny to see people jump.

Eventually we drove over to the Metreon to get tickets for Harry Potter, and although we got to the movie theater at 9, we couldn't get tickets until the 11:30 show! So we got our tickets and then walked up to Union Square so I could show josh, and we were hoping to find something yummy for dinner. We saw this little thai place, so we ran in. It gets so cold at night! So I like to move briskly. I got yummy pad thai and a thai iced tea, and josh had pineapple fried rice (I liked my dinner better than his... haha, but i think that worked okay for him because I don't think he really felt like sharing with me anyway.) After dinner we finally got up to Union Square and we decided to spend some time in Borders because it was the only place open. We searched the entire store for a Post Secret book (didn't find one... at B&N I would know exactly where that is...) and towards 11, we decided to grab a hot drink and head over to the movie theater. We got hot chocolates and they were AMAZING. On top of the drink, the barista put whipped cream and shaved white chocolate, and then a chocolate stick (which immediately fell into the bottom of my cup). We decided not to put lids on our hot chocolates (which was a huge mistake) because as we walked back to the movie theater, I kept spilling.

We had great seats at the theater, and over all I really liked the movie. I didn't really enjoy the whole teen drama/romantic comedy feel it had... the Harry/Ginny, Ron/Hermoine love drama was a little overthetop for me, but I hardly remember the book at all... so maybe it was there and I just don't remember. Helena Bohnam Carter was amazing! She kind of stole the show for me.

When the movie was over, it was about 2:30am... and we had about an hour drive back home :-(
I was exhausted by the time we got home! The drive seemed even longer because I was trying so hard not to fall asleep!

The next day (and I feel really badly about this) I woke up around 10:45... and I found josh wide awake... he had been up since around 9, just chilling in his bed... sorry josh! Well, I got showered pretty quick and we made breakfast and made a plan for the day. We wanted to go back to the city to rent bikes and just see what kind of trouble we could get into.

We got to the city around one on Thursday and I was like "Josh! Let's drive down Lombard street!" (Because as much as I hate doing super touristy-cliche things... I really wanted to drive down the "crookedest street" in the nation... and I figured that when my family comes out here, we would probably drive it, but the probablity of me driving is low... So, we did it! It was everything I thought it would be, and while we were going down the street, we noticed a sign for an estate sale on the street! So, we drove a block over, parked, and went over.
We had to walk up the street to get there, and when we got into the house, we both noticed our legs were shaking! It was pretty funny, but kind of sad too. Well, the estate sale was pretty neat. I was expecting the house to be beautiful and old and kind of fancy just because all the houses on the street are really nice from the outside, but the house was a little dilapidated and was gutted out on the inside of the kitchen. The ceiling was caving in, and the kitchen hadn't been updated since the fifties at least. The previous owner was a San Francisco artist, and tons of her paintings were for sale, as well as a really big collection of glass-blown clowns (which made me think of the glass blower in Grapevine who I have a little crush on simply because he's a glass blower... but that's really another story). She had some fur coats for sale, but I didn't get one... although I will need to get one before I go to Russia... just because I feel like you need to have a fur coat in Russia in the winter.

When we left the sale, we went over to the Marina, and parked in 2 hour parking (I was determinded not to pay for parking since I spent about $35 on parking the night before). Then we walked over to some pizza place josh wanted to go to and we shared a yummy pepperoni and pineapple pizza (my favorite!) I love the Marina, there are tons of really cute shops on Chesnut street, and there are some really nice houses with pretty gardens. After lunch, we walked over to the Palace of Fine Arts, and climbed up onto a ledge and read a newspaper and soaked in the sunlight and heat from the concrete we were perched on. With about twenty minutes to spare, we walked over to where we had left the jeep... but we really didn't remember where it was parked, so we had to do a little investigating. (I'm working on trying to remember things... it just is a slow process).

We found the car and drove a few blocks to Fort Mason and parked in 2 hour parking again! Yay! And after stopping by Starbucks... we went across the street and rented some bikes! We were told that we could only have them out for an hour... but an hour and twenty minutes at the most because the guy was closing at six. We started biking along the Marina boulevard, and were going much faster than the commuters stuck in traffic! I really wanted to go up to the bridge and bike across, but josh was like, "that's so far! I don't think that's going to happen!" but I was determined! So, we biked pretty fast to the base of the hill that the bridge starts on, and we decided to go up. I felt like a total weakling because forty year old men would speed past me on the super steep inclines! And, I was also having a hard time with my gears... like, really... I drive a stick-shift and mountain bike... I should be able to figure out the gears on this bike! Well, we made it up the hill and onto the bridge! Oh it was amazing! And the fog was everywhere, and it was really windy! The views were so neat, and we were on the side of the bridge that pedistrians don't go on, so it was extra nice. Biking around the huge red pillars was kind of scary because for a little moment you would have to really work to bike against the wind, and then you would be pushed back to the straight path at a high speed when you turned! I almost fell once when my hand kind of spasmed on the brake! We made it to the end of the bridge and then biked back, and then we got to go down the hill that was so hard to go up! It was really rewarding! And I didn't even care that I had rented a bike that had a little fanny pack on it! It was a great new experience in the city.

After we returned the bikes, we went up to the park around Fort Mason, and sat on top of the hill looking out at the water, and watched some people swimming in the bay. Those people are so brave! The water is freezing! When the sun started setting and as the fog rolled in, we went back to the car to go find something to eat for dinner. We drove over to the Mission, and went to a little Mexican food place on Valencia. We ate at the bar, and although the food was really good, I have to say, I prefer Tex-Mex to authentic Mexican food. They did have a really good salsa, though... and a mariachi band. And by mariachi band, I mean two old men playing a guitar and an accordian. After dinner, I was craving gelato... but didn't really need it... so we decided to look for Birite (it's apparently the best ice cream in San Francisco... and it's conveniently there in the Mission). We found it, but it was absolutely packed! The line was out the door and down the street, so we nixed the idea and started making our way back to the car. We got home around ten and decided to go to bed since josh's flight the next morning was at 6:15... which meant that he should probably get to the airport around 5:15, which meant that we should probably leave my house around 4:10 to be safe.

I woke up Friday morning at 3:30am, and I'm pretty sure one of my other roommates had just gone to bed because I heard him scrambling around in the kitchen when I woke up! I don't remember the last time I woke up that early! That's more of a weekend bedtime for me! Well, I had to get up so early because I had to go to work Friday, and we were going to be going into the city and meeting with stores... so I needed to look put together and fabulous. So I got up and adrenaline kind of took over. I got ready, and tried to make myself look older, but that doesn't really work very well... and I ended up just looking pretty. I went to make sure josh was awake at 4, and he wasn't, so I had to wake him up! He seemed a little out of it, and I'm sure I interupted a mesmerizing dream. I was ready to go on time! Kudos to me, I have to say. Sadly, punctuality is not one of my strengths. Well, we got out the door and blasted a really neat radio station for our drive down to the airport. I love this radio station! Their DJs actually mix the music and only have commercials one time an hour. Driving into the city, it was still foggy, but the darkness was turning lighter, so I think josh got to experience it a little bit. I got him to the airport at 5:30! And then I left and drove back to through the city and back across the bridge to go to Melissa's.

I got to the city where Melissa lives around 6:10, so I went to Peet's for coffee and breakfast. While I was there, I worked on catching up on my internship work and then around eight I left and went to Melissa's. She lives up on a hill and has a beautiful backyard filled with flowers, herbs, chickens and fruit trees. We watched the Today show, and planned out where we needed to go while we were in the city. I cannot believe how skinny the lead singer of All American Rejects has gotten! Ugh... he is not looking very good. Even though I think it's great that he's lost his old waistline, he definitely looks like he's doing too many drugs. Oh and what's going on in Florida? The parents of 16 kids were killed this week? What? All for a safe that the suspects were unable to open? Didn't these criminals learn anything from Dick Hickok about searching for safes? Oh it's such a sad situation.

While making our list of places to visit, Melissa told me that we were going to go visit a store called Brown Eyed Girl. It must be my kind of store! In the studio we all joke that the song was written about me. Eventually we played dress up with the jewelry and got all ready to go down to the city. We had a great day, and some positive interactions, but it was so hard because we would go into stores and I wanted to try on clothes and buy everything! I managed to show some will-power however, and we left the city in the afternoon. I sat in awful traffic trying to get back to Petaluma! My leg was hurting so much from sitting on the clutch! But eventually I made it! And then I went over to Lisa's to hang out with her girls. We had so much fun!

By the end of the night, though, I had almost been up for 24 hours! It's been a good week though!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Today when I got home from work..

Today after work, Melissa, Kellyn and I went to a wine bar in downtown Petaluma and I tried a flight of exotic white wines. mmm, but when I got to my third wine, there was a little fly in it, so that put an end to drinking that little chardonney. Oh well. I got back to my house around 7:15 and when I got out of my car I saw a german shepherd walking up the sidewalk. His pink tongue was hanging out of his mouth and he was just walking towards me... so I just watched him with a little grin on my face. (He was totally adorable). And as he got to where I was standing, he looked me over and then moved into the street (still watching me). He started to walk away, so I kind of clicked my tongue against the roof of my mouth to get his attention. He didn't really feel like sticking around, and I think he got a little suspicious of me because he started barking and growling at me.
Isn't he a cutie? Well he reminded me off the Modest Mouse song, Wild Pack of Family Dogs.
a wild pack of family dogs came runnin through the yard one day
my father got his gun, shot it up they ran away ok
a wild pack of family dogs came runnin through the yard
and as my own dog ran away with them i didnt say much of anything at all
a wild pack of family dogs came runnin through the yard
as my little sister played the dogs took her away
and i guess she was eaten up ok yeah
my mothers cryin' blood dust now
my daddy quit his job today
i guess he was fired but thats ok
and im sitting outside by my mud lake
waiting for the pack to take me away
right after i die, the dogs start running up towards the glowing sky
they will receive their rewards
check it out.

Love this bag... mmmm so Juicy

So I saw this beautiful Juicy Couture purse at the Nordstrom on Market Street in San Francisco. Oh it would be perfect on my arm. Oh and it's on sale right now... $145. Buy it for me and I'll love you forever.

Thinking about Halfway points

Well, it's hard to believe, but my time in California is half over. Gosh, the time has just flown by! I can hardly imagine that a whole month has passed since I left Texas to head west. When I think about all the places I've been and all the things I've seen this month, I can't help but get a little sentimental and think of all the things I've been blessed with. I'll spare you my heart's every feeling, but I will say that I'm so satisfied with my decision to come to California and leave Texas (at least temporarily) behind me.

Today was really a fun day. I had an early start this morning. I was supposed to meet an insurance agent in Petaluma at 9am, and so I made sure to get there extra early so I wouldn't be late (I'm notorious for running on Dyer time... a state of mind that I'm trying to break.) Well I got to Petaluma around 8:35, so naturally, I went to Starbucks. I've become addicted to coffee ever since coming to California... I don't know if it's due to the fact that Robbie has been making me espressos with his fancy new Nespresso machine or if it's because I've been needing caffiene to get myself awake in the morning, but I've been drinking a lot of zebra mochas and iced hazlenut coffees at Starbucks. Hopefully this expensive habit will be broken when I head back to school in August, but it will most likely stick due to my after-hours float schedule... (insert excitment and dread here). Oh well, while at Starbucks this morning I read some of We the Living, and I'm starting to understand why Josh warned me that it's so sad. It breaks my heart a little each time I start reading again, oh but you'll have to read it too, (it's that good-I don't want to spoil it for you!) The insurance woman never showed up, so I decided to go on to work.

Work was really fun today, I made a few pieces of jewelry that will be up on the website later next week... so I'll make sure to point them out then, and I worked on some web boutique and facebook things... a few neat things happened at work...
When I went out to get lunch, I ran down the boulevard to Subway and grabbed a sandwich and then headed straight back to the studio so I could eat with everyone else. As I was walking up to our building, there were some young vagabonds sitting outside of a sushi restaurant playing a little ukelele and playing with a dog. A boy who was probably my age, maybe a little older, spoke to me.. "hello miss, would you like to donate to our cause?" I noticed that the crotch of his jeans was completely patched with leopard print material and that the dog had a little collar made of paper that said "if found, please give me a good home". These kids looked like they were just hanging out... they didn't really look like they were down on their luck or anything like that, but I was intrigued. No one had ever asked me for money quite like that. He was just so open about it, so I asked him... "What's your cause?" And he simply told me that they were hungry. I liked their fresh approach... so I gave them a dollar.

When I got back to the studio, Melissa had just picked up our new drusy rings and pendants and had them out on our production table. I picked a ring up and slipped it on my right hand's middle finger. I don't know how else to describe it, but the ring felt like it belonged on my finger. It was like love at first sight, only, I fell in love with this ring. Oh, I want this ring so badly.

After work I ran over to Zenergy Yoga studio for the most intense "beginner's" yoga class I've ever been to. Sophomore year of college I did a yoga class about three days a week for six months (and loved it), but I never got this deep into the downward facing dog position. Gosh, I'm pretty sure my entire body is going to hurt tomorrow, the pain is already starting in my ankles! Towards the end of the class he had us get blankets and a chair to do the half-plow and full-plow positions. Never in my life have I ever used a chair in a yoga class. I'm sure it isn't uncommon, but every time he would have us do something a little more advanced, everyone in the class would share uncertain glances. When I got up into the full plow, I kind of felt a little cocky because although I haven't done yoga in a while, I was definitely better than half of the people in the class, and I'm kind of really good at the full plow. Well, God quickly crushed my cocky attitude with a little charlie horse that tensed up the tendon that goes straight through my middle toe. Oh it was so painful, and for a minute I had to bring all my limbs back to earth and sit Indian style until I could get all my movement back. God has a funny sense of humor doesn't he? Nevertheless, it was a fun class, and I plan on going back.

Let me leave you with this song... it's not about halfway points, but new beginnings:
"First Day of my Life" by Bright Eyes

listen to it

Monday, July 6, 2009

California and Texas Venn Diagram

So I'm always learning more and more about this crazy world we live in, and I thought I would try to put into words some of the things I'm observing in California for all you Texans.

  • The average woman in California weighs about fifteen pounds less than the average Texan. It seems as though fitness is a pretty high priority on everyones' list of things to do. Working isn't an excuse to not have time to work out, and neither is motherhood... it looks like we have some work to do, Texas!
  • California is the only state that has a state income tax... sucks.
  • People aren't very religious here... they're spiritual... but all their stores close early on Sundays or just... don't open. I feel like that's a little contradicting.
  • There are tons of local and independent businesses! It makes shopping way more fun! When was the last time you saw an independent business in Town Square or in your local strip mall?
  • Most cities in Northern California have a weekly farmers' market during the summer. It's like having Main Street Days every week! And there's always fresh fruit at the super market.
  • California has very little natural resources. There's hardly any fresh water, it doesn't rain very much, so water is super expensive...
  • They have a "hands free" driving law... I learned this first hand (I got pulled over for talking on my cell phone... but don't worry, I got a warning)
  • Soccer is a really popular sport
  • Architecture is more appreciated, I think. Neighborhoods aren't built like they are in Texas... no David Weekly track homes... which is a very good thing.
  • I feel like everyone has at least one tattoo.
  • The boys here are so strange... they have a punk/grunge look. I'm not really into that. The only people I've been somewhat attracted to were other out-of-towners, I'm pretty sure.
  • There are a lot of Asian people in Cali.
  • Liquor is cheap. AND you can buy it in the grocery store! One stop shopping!
  • California has the sixth largest economy in the world
  • I feel like people in California have great style. Women and men of all ages dress well, or at least with their own personal style. They aren't slaves to trends or fads, but they have the ability to look really effortlessly cool most of the time.
  • California has tons of Thai food everywhere, and it's yummy.

  • I guess both states have the ocean... but I've got to say that California wins. The pacific ocean is much prettier, and way less humid than the Gulf... sorry Houston.
  • Each state has a huge Hispanic population
  • Both states were, at one time or another, a republic
  • We both have really great state flags... I'm just saying... although, I only have Texas running shorts... I have yet to find California ones.
  • Both states have the ability to inspire me to create and to think
  • Okay... so Creedence Clearwater Revival is originally from the Bay Area in Cali... but I feel like their music has a very Southern feel that we Texans can appreciate better than California natives... ( I may be biased because I love CCR).
  • I love Bob Dylan in both states.
  • Both places have some very distinctive lingo... (People in Cali say "hella"... and of course we say "ya'll" and "fixin to") Personally, I think "hella" is a stupid adjective.
  • There are dorky people everywhere, but I feel like there may not be as many in Texas as there are in California :-)

  • It costs less to live in Texas, and the Dallas housing market is doing so much better than pretty much anywhere in California...
  • I feel like people in Texas have a huge camaraderie with other people who are from Texas. There's like, an unspoken bond, and sometimes people from Texas stand up for other people from Texas, cough, just because they are from Texas.
  • Thank goodness Arnold is not our governor.
  • We have ACL and SXSW, Cali has Coachella. (I don't really know which one I like better)... but I'll go with ACL because I love Austin, and I really don't know anything about Indio, CA.
  • We have better options for furthering our education. There are so many different colleges to choose from in Texas, and you can really find a school that caters to your needs... California kind of has two systems and you kind of fall into one... or you go to community college.
  • Texas helped rebuild Versailles... California didn't! (I love France, and would like to take the opportunity to tell everyone that the France hates Texas stereotype is not entirely true.)
  • We may have a huge beef market going on, but I think we're more humane about it... California has cow concentration camps.
  • Boys in Texas are better. They hold open doors and stuff like that... boys in California don't do things like that because they are afraid to offend the feminists.
  • No other state has Davy Crockett's quote; "You can all go to Hell, I'm going to Texas"
  • Texas is home.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Fourth of July in Petaluma, CA

Since I still don't really know anyone in California, I was kind of not too excited for the Fourth of July. It hasn't really been a big holiday for me since I was a kid when my grandparents lived at the lake. Back then we would always spend tons of money on fireworks and have our own little fireworks show. I loved the Fourth of July back then- I always used to buy this little pagoda thing that starts out as a compact box, and then you light it and it shoots up into a paper pagoda. I bought them every year even though they did the same thing, and they really weren't super exciting- I just really liked them.

Last summer I remember I was working on the fourth of july and could hear the fireworks through the walls of Barnes & Noble, and the summer before that I was working at camp and we put on a fireworks show for all the kids. That was actually really fun. I laid on the concrete in a parking lot while listening to Magnificent Seventies by American Analog Set and other really great music to accompany fireworks.

Well I guess I was planning on not doing much for the fourth, until a girl I work with, Lisa, invited me to come with her family to a party and then to watch the fireworks in Petaluma. We met up by the studio and then I follwed her up the hill to her friend, Melissa's house. Oh my goodness, this house was beautiful. There were pictures of family and children's artwork on the walls, and I kind of felt like I was in a Pottery Barn catalog- but in a really good, not overdone way. I swam with all the "kids" for a while and then played Liar's Dice and drank vodka and lemonade with the "women"... I didn't really fit into either catagory... I am no longer a kid, but not yet a woman, isn't that a song?

Oh well, I had so much fun, and I am so thankful that Lisa and her friends included me in their little festivities. Dinner was really good, and the guy I was sitting next to was a little taken aback that I was drinking, which was funny, and embarrassing. I guess I'll be thankful for my youthful looks as I get older. After dinner, Madeline (Lisa's daughter) and I played some Indiana Jones game for Wii... and we had so much fun, and kind of lost track of time playing it. I ate waaaay too many iced sugar cookies shaped like stars, but I figure that that's okay- it's a national holiday. Around nine, we bundled up and headed outside, where one of the guys was JUGGLING FIRE... I don't think I've ever really seen that before, it was crazy! Then we walked up a really steep hill to watch the fireworks. It must've been 50 degrees out... I was freezing! I sat with the younger girls and we all were joking the entire time... it was a pretty boring show. I left after the show and as I was driving home, kids would light firecrackers in the street as I drove by... it was kind of scary! And as I drove up to my house, a little family was standing in the street lighting off fireworks in a can. I really do live in the ghetto!

Independence Day always makes me really proud that I'm related to Thomas Jefferson, thank you.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Friday June 3, 2009: My little excursion up the coast.

Friday afternoon at work I decided it would be a good idea to leave work a little early and head up to the beach. It was a gorgeous afternoon and I wanted to end the day on a high note doing something I love. So I ran home from Petaluma, changed into my swimsuit and shorts and my new shirt that I got from Thailand. Oh gosh, I love this shirt- I think I've worn it almost every day since I got it. By the time I got gas in my car and got on the road it was 5:30... so I thought, "okay, I'll get to the beach by 6:30 and still have two hours of sun." I was driving with my windows down, listening to the Strokes (and then to Tokyo Police Club... and then to Tim Fite), and when I got to Guerneville, the sky was still clear and sunny. By the time I got to Monte Rio (about 8 miles down hwy 116) the fog had come up and was spreading through the trees and hills. I totally forgot about how the fog comes in in the late afternoon! Well, I decided to keep going because I had already gotten that far.

By the time I reached Jenner, I new the sun wasn't about to come out again. The seals were all on their little sand bar, though, and It was funny seeing them from the highway above them. They didn't look as cute as they did face-to-face. When I got to highway 1, I headed north without agenda. I don't know if I was hoping to find a little nook for me to park my car and read my book (I'm currently reading We the Living by Ayn Rand and can't put it down) or if I was hoping to find a neat little cove, but I kept driving.

When I reached the outskirts of Fort Ross, I saw the neatest old wooden building with cupolas and wooden crosses. And as I drove a little further, I saw an outdoor amphitheater filled with lots of people and there was a sign that said "Timber Inn Cove: Live music tonight" so I turned in. I was surprised to see that it was so crowded! There weren't any parking spots left, so I made my own in the tall grass. There was a huge totem pole on the west side of the inn that was really amazing. From my parking spot there was a beaten down trail that looked like it went down towards the water, so I followed it. I must've looked crazy wearing shorts out there- it was so cold!

There's something about being near the ocean that changes everything for me. I began running down this trail, getting sand in between my toes and all in my sandals and I caught a glimpse of the carefree person I sometimes forget I can be. From this trail there were the most amazing views. I could see the rocks beneath me, the waves breaking, and two kayakers in the cove. There was a wall carved out with hearts and initials of lovers and a little patch on the hill filled with wild flowers. After my little romp near the sea, I jumped back in my car- my feet covered with a layer of dark dirt, and I left almost as quickly as I arrived. I wanted to stay for the music, but I wouldn't have lasted long in my shorts without so much as a blanket.

I headed back south, because it was already 7:30, and I didn't want to be driving on the coastal highway as it got dark. I'm not that brave. Somewhere south of Fort Ross was a yellow road sign with a picture of a cow and the words "next 5 miles". Right after I saw the sign, I saw the cows. Basically this little stretch of land is too treacherous to build fences, so the cattle that graze on the lands are able to go wherever they want. They were just hanging out in the road. I guess happy cows really do come from California. Getting closer to Jenner, I had a moment where I was in complete appreciation of the beauty around me. This land hasn't been touched by humans in the last one hundred years, or maybe more. The beauty I was witnessing helped calm me and it made my solitary existence in California seem less daunting.

I made it back to Guerneville and stopped at a little ice cream/hamburger joint and got a regular french fry and a polish dog for $3.50... that is unheard of in Cali. And then I saw everyone's fro-yo... so I got some vanilla with reeses (it reminded me of you, K Tran!) There was an Asian family that was in line behind me, and they had like six young kids. The kids were all on the front porch and they were staring at a man in a pink dress, sky-high black heels, and a blonde wig. These kids were amazed. It was really really funny. (Guerneville is a LGBT friendly resort town so I'm guessing they're no stranger to cross-dressers). I ate my ice cream first and then ate my dinner and I read my book. Eating alone normally sucks, but it wasn't that bad Friday night. I got back on the 116, and as I was driving through Sebastopol, I got to see the fireworks. It was definitely a great day, I hope my next four Fridays are just as good.