red lipstick

So we had our first evening in San Francisco. The city sky line was so shallow to me and little. The tallest building paled in comparison to NY's smallest.

The shops we pass are darling and enticing. The clothing thrift store has a giant neon sign that makes me giggle: Out of the Closet. I read it twice before I remember we are in SF and it's funny. How fun! Way more fun than passing a stone building with the engraved markings: THE FEDERAL RESERVE.

We find parking on the street easily. (?) (!) Head towards a greasy, dirty burger joint called Flippers. We see several males loitering out front in tight leather pants, some funky hats, and fashion that won't hit the streets for at least a year. The guys want to hesitate, thinking it's a niche crowd desired for burger serving, yet we proceed. Turns out Flippers is next to a gay bar. Awesome! Can't seem to talk them into going in and getting a soda with me. Maybe next time.

I order my California burger (in California!) and smirk at myself. It's strange to see a menu where any item can be replaced with tofu. It's exciting to be sitting inside an establishment with people who wear Pumas, make an attempt to dress in something different, and no children can be found. Boys with the long swoopy indie hair-dos. Girls who don't shave. People who are different, not suburban people. I miss these kind of people.

I glance at the door and a transvestite walks in with a sundress on and a lot of red lipstick. We lock eyes and I smile in delight. It smiles back. I settle in my seat and decide this is a fun evening already.

The new friends with us are funny and clever and tell us about the city. We share stories and it feels like we have known them for years.

I grab a 6 pack of bottled Strawberry Crush from an earthy grocery store that looks more like a designer warehouse and we head over to the party. Wondering where that happy medium is between the city and the burbs.



Hey- what should we do with this old couch?

Oh, I dunno. Maybe stick it out front?

Wouldn't that be kind of white trash? It's not PATIO furniture.

Dude, we live in Santa Cruz. Where there is no such thing as white trash.

Alright then help me push it up against these plants.


IBC- not the rootbeer

Wendy! We always remember to send each other Christmas cards. We don't talk often, but I get occasional email forwards. She is one of the few to actually screen the forwards, so I can trust it to be worth my time and they always makes me laugh out loud. Today's was something much different and much appreciated.

It was a news clip about a type of breast cancer. I thought it was a joke initially and waited for a punchline about implants. There was no punchline. It was sad stories about some women with Inflammatory Breast Cancer.

So here is a site with more details that's well-worth your time. Thanks, Wendy.



Bally's: Take Two

*6 minutes from home

*clean, white, large brick building

*mall-like parking space

*Why are the stairs so shiny, I don't need shiny stairs at the gym. Dirty stairs would be alright.

*the equipment is brand new, endless rows of treadmills

*Sweet, healthy, youthful kids working at the counter- the kind I went to high school with. They probably get good grades, speak better English than I do, and won't start fights in the parking lot.

* I am offered a free locker key in exchange for my entrance card to be placed on a wooden grid. It's nothing short of valet parking to me.

* I am patiently escorted to the place Zane will be playing. I am concerned. This is the deal-breaker for me. A large room down a short hallway. If a fire breaks out I can grab him quickly. The room is well-organized with toys that are newer and cleaner than the nursery play area at church. And that says a lot. A nice woman holding a newborn welcomes us and Zane goes right for the cars. There is one other little girl there. We each get to wear plastic bracelets, those you collected up your arm as a teen from the waterparks, with matching numbers. He forgets I exist. I run the treatmill and I didn't even have to sign up for it!
* The dumbells are arranged in order of weight. Imagine that.
* None of the ceiling tiles or florecent light covers are broken OR cracked!
* The carpet is so fresh and I don't see any blood stains or chalk marks.

* To top it ALL off, there is a huge magazine rack with Thom Yorke staring at me from the cover of Spin.

Have I told you lately that I love this place?
** pic not by me


& life in general

For someone who loves music, I was amazed at how challenging it was to land on a wedding song. One would think there would be a long list to choose from with over 200 CDs in a collection.

We thought about how Blink-182 would burst from the speakers as we put our boots on for all those snowboarding trips. Perhaps we could start out with a classical piece and have the record scratch to our favorite Blink song. Granny would really be confused. Somehow that idea fizzled.

Then it occured to me there was a song that had more meaning than any other in my colorful array.


My Junior prom I went on a day trip with a guy I didn't really know (and did not find very interesting to say the least) along with 2 other couples. They were also rather boring and none of us were an official pair. It was a car full of awkward ladies waiting for the whole thing to end and hopeful, yet essentially, disappointed boys. I think we went to Slide Rock (Sedona?). Doesn't matter. What DOES matter is there happened to be a saving grace during this road trip: A Depeche Mode cassette tape. Score!

I had heard DM in passing, but was not a fan. Then I found a song I liked and played it repeatedly until I knew every word. I am sure the whole car load wanted to toss me over the cliff, but they were lame so who cares.

I loved the song because I knew from the moment I heard it that if I ever felt this way about a person (and he felt this about me) it would surely be the person I would marry. Lo and behold I forgot all about this song until I was dating Mike.


The song is Somebody by Depeche Mode. It was our first song/ dance as husband and wife.

I want somebody to share
Share the rest of my life
Share my innermost thoughts
Know my intimate details
Someone who'll stand by my side
And give me support
And in return
She'll get my support
She will listen to me
When I want to speak
About the world we live in
And life in general
Though my views may be wrong
They may even be perverted
She'll hear me out
And won't easily be converted
To my way of thinking
In fact she'll often disagree
But at the end of it all
She will understand me
I want somebody who cares
For me passionately
With every thought and
With every breath
Someone who'll help me see things
In a different light
All the things I detest
I will almost like
I don't want to be tied
To anyone's strings
I'm carefully trying to steer clear of
Those things
But when I'm asleep
I want somebody
Who will put their arms around me
And kiss me tenderly
Though things like this
Make me sick
In a case like this
I'll get away with it

Other songs that were under consideration:
That I Would Be Good by Alanis Morissette (minus the awful flute solo)
Kiss Me by Sixpence None the Richer


Pretty Girls Make Graves

I really want to like this band because they have a killer name. I even got one of their (used) CDs hoping they would grow on me. But they didn't. And that's unfortunate.
**photo not taken by me



In college I heard about creative people getting creative jobs and wished that I would land in that world when my feet touched the ground post finals.

I never did. I ended up a spoiled corporate america type. While it paid for snowboarding trips, European travel, and Broadway Shows, I never felt the corporate coat I wore was really what I had imagined/ hoped I would do. It just kept me climbing ladders with financial appeal and teased me away from paths that could have provided more lasting rewards.

So these are some successful creatives who had dreams and followed them. I have been amazed at their talent. Feeling lucky to know them and much inspired!






*** drawing and steel frame by Michael Whiting


daily dose of imagery


this is a photo blog i love

it reminded me of how badly i wanted to photograph grand central station in winter with all the black coats bustling around. procrastination never pays.

today's listening pleasure

nothing gets me unpacking like

and then relaxing after lunchtime clean-up and wrestling a monkey into a crib with


what i love

about living in california is everyone wears Vans.

the kids at the park
the middle-aged dad
the shopping-cart-getter at the grocery store
the teen angst at the mall
the mailman
the H&M sales force

so where are all the moms that wear Vans?

time for an ad in craig's list. calling all skate moms...must live in east bay

true joy



I love Jones Soda. I love the bottles, the unique photographs on each label, the cap that tops it, the flavor, the bright colors. I love it! And not just because once I found a bottle with a picture of a Candyskins album cover on the front (a brit pop band from the 90's).

I dropped caffeinated beverages from my diet a long time ago, but I still slowly pass the aisle to view the pictures on the bottles. Sometimes I reach out and touch them, longingly.

Now they have Jones Soda Candy. It was a pleasant surprise at the local grocer:

* Fizzy at initial phase of candy eating experience
* Rich in flavor
* packaging looks cool
* The candy itself remains intact for a good amount of time (about as long as a certs)
* Fufu Berry is my preferred flavor so far
* The container is made of tin- slightly larger than a tube of lipstick
* The lid clicks open and there is a unique quote from random person
i.e. Joe tells me to "jump up and down for no reason"

It's really the new orange tic tac.

Or perhaps in your case, the new altoid.



While I have never been great at coordinating outfits, there are items that require careful, specific selection. One is sunglasses. You definitely must go without as opposed to settling on a pair just because.

In High School I found a pair at a thrift store that were amazing. I would still be wearing them today if I had them- they were that amazing. They were rectangular in shape with thick, plastic framing. The important point to note is they were
orange. The type of orange that doesn't exist on anything else in the whole world. The lenses were so dark you could not see my eyes. They were real glass, I imagine they might have been made in the 60's? Who knows. They rocked. Somehow I found a boy wearing the exact pair at Lollapalooza and we traded. Apparently he found his at a thrift store in France. It was like meeting a pen pal, he was as stoked about his shades as I was! Another worker stole them from my cubbie when I worked at Tower Records. I was crushed.

I took me a year to replace them, but no other sunglasses will ever fill that hole in my heart. The next pair were Arnette (catfish), sort of regtangular with a slight cat-eyes flare at the edges. They were royal purple with mirror action on the front. They were the official sunglasses for the K2 girls snowboarding team, so they discontinued them just as I got a pair. I had them for the honeymoon! They were rendered crooked and useless after a few moves and too little sunshine in my life.

And now I have these babies! Spy brand, Zoe sunglasses. I love them. They are slightly more glam than I wanted going into sunglass shopping mode, but things have changed since the Arnette days. Discovering these made my summer complete. Especially on Jamba Juice Fridays.

saltwater film

Sometimes a song fits your feelings so perfectly it's like it was written just for you. Sometimes that song will make you shed a tear in the middle of traffic when you finally hear the words weaving together the hundredth time you listen like a deep, maroon tapestry upon completion. Sometimes that song is like a punch in the gut, reminding you about feelings you want to forget.

Recently I have been wondering how I would feel if I got news my father died. Would I go to his funeral? Would the Plan of Salvation I comprehend be enough for me to forgive him? For me to see him as a human being?

Would it be enough for him to wish that he would have been a different person on this earth. To wish he had treated my mother better. Would he get glimpses of what daycare was like for me? The kid who fell and cracked his head open and landed next to me, inches away? Would he feel remorse for the years we were so very thin, but not for fashionable reasons?

Or perhaps he will feel embarrassed that we did it without him. That he contributed zero value to our lives. The sad fact that we were probably better off without him.

Through his absence, I knew clearly what the most important traits the father of my posterity would need to have. Mike, who danced circles around that tall list, fit the bill. He is the antithesis of my father.

Styrofoam Plates by Death Cab for Cutie on The Photo Album
This song is simple on paper compared to the experience of listening to it, but I can't find a way to link it (?!).


NY Memory

My first real job started in downtown Manhattan. I would leave the building and walk several blocks to get to the subway that would take me home. I would pass the burnt-salt smells of the nut vendors, stinky gutters, steamy potholes, and nutty cab drivers. On the roof top of the cabs there is usually an advertisement of some sort. Concerts, Ballets, Broadway Shows, Restaurants, you name it.

So I kept seeing HELMUT LANG on top of several cabs. Black background with bold white lettering. No other information. Each time I though: Hrm. I didn't know Helmut was still a band. Who liked them that I knew? Someone I know liked them, I just can't think of who....O well. Wait- they were pretty hard core, like, loud guys. They must have made it big on the east coast recently. Wait. Nooooooo. They are touring with KD Lang? That can't be right.

Two months later.

Helmut and KD Lang are STILL on tour? Maybe they have a musical project together and that's what they are promoting (?).

Probably a year later or so.

Oh. I am clearly from somewhere a lot less hip on clothing. Helmut Lang is an urban fashion designer featured in a fashion magazine I read while getting my nails done. HUGE in New York. Boy am I glad I didn't tell anyone I thought it was a concert.


still. unpacking.

One of the few perks of s l o w l y unpacking your house is getting excited about stuff you forgot you had. For over a month now we have lived in harmony without the contents of roughly 10 boxes shoved into various corners. So I finally decided it would be nice to have the orange handled scissors today instead of always using the kitchen ones. I begin to open the boxes. I swear to you it's like a freaking wedding shower all over again, with a sprinkle of Christmas.

Pulling packing paper apart, flipping objects around quizzically:

Oh- my pyrex! I love my pyrex!

5 giant cookbooks! Just for me!?

Um. Ramekins. Niiiiiiiiiiiice. Distant relative sent these?

Set aside and continue digging into box.

Hrm. Diplomas I never framed.

Leave in box. Continue digging.

Envelopes! O these will come in so handy. I am so glad we have envelopes again.

Towels. Great! Everyone needs more towels.

Nail File! {sigh} How did I go so long without you?

More of my music! I had more music?

An XBOX! AND a DREAMCAST! Wow. In the same box. Awsome.

Could this get any more exciting?

If you don't plan on moving any time soon, I highly recommend packing up some cool stuff and unpacking it 6 months later so you never want to buy new stuff again. But if I were you I would plant some girl scout cookies to spuce it up a notch.


better days

Jamba Juice Friday

Family Run Saturday

Monterey Bay Sunday

Second Birthday Monday

Cookie Monster Party Wednesday


the ugly part of motherhood

There is a lot to motherhood no one tells you about. Things that are avoided in conversation at play groups. Many, many things you figure out after going through various experiences and surviving them to find yourself still alive. Those things are what bad days are made up of.

Bad days have a way of taking form at the times you least expect it, when things seem to be going well. When you are smiling and organized and have a plan. When you have things to do, people to see, positive feelings shooting in all directions. Dinner planned and the carpet vacuumed. Then it can take a turn and go downhill faster than the biggest black diamond slope.

Not many people reading this will really understand what I am talking about. The art of losing it or trying not to lose it on a bad day is really a lonesome feeling I imagine not too many mothers I know struggle with. It’s the ugliest part of being a human and the worst demon to battle. It’s the darkest feeling you will ever feel and it’s such a black hole to climb out of. And no one else can really help you out of it. And there is no perfecting the trek out, sometimes it’s slippery and other times it’s only got cracks and crevices to assist in the escape.

It’s the times a 14 hour work day in the office was a piece of cake compared to today. I am envious of the road worker digging trenches. I plead with the plumber to trade me places for the rest of today. It’s the day those mothers in Bronxville with nannies have the right idea.

It’s those times that I instantly get the image of Thelma and Louise in the convertible with the wind in their hair and the great lip-stick smiling faces and you really think that would be such a great place to be right now, this instant. And if there was a button to push that would take you there you would not hesitate. And you might not even regret it for at least 30 miles into the drive.

So today I will try a new escape route. I will arrange my CDs in a new way and listen to music, just like John Cusak did in High Fidelity. I can see the sunlight again and I have roughly 30 minutes before the nap time is over and my transformation back into a good day needs to happen.

Oddly enough, just writing this has brought be a little further away from pushing that button.



I shop at Trader Joe's and Target just as I did in NY. The store layouts are slightly altered, but I can usually navigate my way around quickly. I collect the usual items and then I stand in awe trying to figure out what is so startling about certain aisles. Both stores have vast aisles dedicated to wine. At TJ's it's like half of the store! I am still puzzled with each shopping excursion.

Then i remember- oh yea, vineyards. Many of them. Not so far away.