Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A Year Ago Today

Happy Birthday to you, Outnumber the Sand.

I started this blog a year ago. I'm happy that I did because...

1) I have an outlet for various ideas and thoughts that I used to never fully formulate and this forces me to completely think them out and put a period at the end.

2) I'm reminded of how much I love writing, and I am glad to have an opportunity to do it, since I hadn't been writing anything really for years.

3) Writing has got me reading more, mostly other blogs, both personal & topical, which I have realized count as quality reading material.

4) It helped me process through a couple of difficult months, having something else to focus on and indirectly express myself through.

5) I am in touch with more friends on a deeper level. Can't ask for much more than that.

So, I'm glad I'm here. Looking forward to whatever the future brings, on these pages and off of them.


We had been playing and hiking and climbing over rocks for an hour or so. Afterwards we were riding in the car and chatting, when suddenly she stopped what she was saying and peered into my eyes with her big brown ones, and said, "Wait. Are you a grown-up?"
I don't know what gave me away. "Yes," I reluctantly answered my four year old cousin, Lauren. I think I will maybe always admit this with a bit of, I don't know just how I arrived here but here I am indeed.

Visiting Fremont is always lovely, and I think I love the Bay Area more every time I go back. Sometimes it is difficult to drive away; from family, from rolling hills, from the network of fun little towns in every direction to visit, from the diversity, from history, and again, family, so much family.

But then I take my road trip back south, and slow my freeway speed under those familiar Santa Barbara exits...Las Positas, Carrillo, Garden... I go straight to my soccer game under the lights at City College. A warm salty ocean breeze blows over us as we win our game. 3 friends call me in a row to get me to join them at Fosters Freeze for a milkshake. My studio is cozy and inviting with the smell of my orchid from Meghan. And Fiesta has arrived, beckoning me with its churros and confetti eggs and flamenco dancing and citywide good cheer.

Living here makes being a grown-up way more than worth the while. I think I'll stay here for now.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

"But I will tell you slowly, and with melody."

I saw my good friend John Mayer last night at the Mid-State Fair. I know Anna, Meg & Josh will agree with me when I say that the experience was considerably more enjoyable prefaced with footlong corndogs and funnel cake.

I would like to know though, how I did not know about this song of John's until last week. It would have been nice to have it when I really needed it, but I still can't get enough of it even now. Another fine example of his ability to tell a story with his lyrics and carry you away with his masterful guitar playing. Can't wait til I go to Mexico with him.

Had to share this cute bit from an email we got from a client yesterday... she is the sweetest, and although English isn't her first language, we understood just what she meant to say...
"Thank you for helping in these past three months. You are very good for supporting special listening my disappoint hope!"

Our pleasure.

Monday, July 21, 2008

El fin de semana

Things that were reaffirmed for me this weekend...

1. a weekend feels exponentially longer the less sleep you get. also, if you start the craziness on thursday night (i.e. seeing The Dark Knight at midnight) yet still work on friday, when monday morning comes you will feel like you got more bang for your weekend buck. i feel like i'm back in my early twenties.

2. every opportunity to see Coldplay perform must be taken, and their new album is my favorite, which is saying an incredible lot. viva la vida was designed to add euphoria to any meaningful or lovely scene in one's life. it's impossible for you to disagree with me on this.

3. the student loans i'm paying off are worth every penny when i consider the network of friends that my college has set me up with, which continues to be the crowning glory of my life post-graduation.

4. H&M has got it going on.

5. if you are intelligent, a great communicator, and are not only intuitive of your audience but convey goodwill towards them, you will have a powerful presence and a large and loyal following. the idea is applicable in any field, but it's refreshing to see proof of it in the blogosphere.

Lessons learned from the weekend...

1. i need to get a dslr camera if i want to have better photos. and i want to have better photos.

2. twitter is a crazy phenomenon that has some people participating in life with just 3/4 of themselves at best, and i kinda hope we as a society evolve out of this need for constant attention and feedback.

3. if you've been blogging for only a year you are a noob. exhibit a, yours truly.

4. i will always miss living in the dorms. we stayed at the urban house for our girls weekend & conference in the city and i swear it is good for the soul to have a dose of staying with friends in shared & easily accessible rooms and ordering pizza late at night while we read funny stuff out loud.

5. if you dance like no one's watching, people will either: a) watch b) take video/photos of you and possibly wink at you once they finish or c) join in.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

In the key of A Flat.

I believe one of the least favorable things about being an adult is car trouble. Every time an issue comes up, whether something needs fixing or just maintenance, I feel a little bit like I have been dealt an injustice, and that when I got excited about growing up, this was Not what I'd signed up for. And I have had quite a bit of experience in this department from the time I've had my license until today. I've had a transmission blow out in the middle of the freeway in the rain in Fresno, had something explode in the engine (I now forget what) and bring me to a stop an hour outside of my hometown, I've been in a car that flipped over in a freeway accident, and then you have your run-of-the-mill breakdowns around town. And then, last week, my car overheated. Found out why, and got that taken care of.

And then today, a flat tire. Sweet.

However. This led me to think about one of the best things for me about being (or becoming) an adult.

You learn how to handle crap. The capable hands of experience take hold and guide you through, pointing you the way around the obstacles, which over time begin to look like just minor speed bumps. This experience will whisper to you, "It's going to be fine. You will figure this out. There will be people to help. Soon it will be over and you will not be worse for the wear."

This morning as I chatted with a co-worker in the parking lot her eyes caught something and she pointed. My gaze followed her finger to see one of my back tires so flat that there was no chance I'd be able to drive it even the shortest distance for a quick replacement. It had been fine that morning, and a couple hours later, it was useless. I saw it, but felt no dismay, and was even almost amused. My immediate thought was, "This situation could easily be worse," followed by "There are several ways I can resolve this, and I'll get started right away." A few minutes later it occurred to me that I hadn't gotted bummed or annoyed at the injustice, inconvenience, and expense of it all, as I have in similar and of course worse situations in the past. I was matter-of-factly working on a solution, and though it made my busy day even busier and more expensive, there was hardly a blip on my stress radar because of it.

Becoming an adult has snuck up on me. And even though I don't always relish this fact, I'm seeing increasingly that the bad things about it are far outweighed by the good and the great.

Monday, July 14, 2008


I went to my friend Karen's baby shower a few days ago.  I love parties with and for my friends.  But some I don't always get as excited about... and showers tend to fall lower on my get stoked meter.  I've never really thought about why this was until after Karen's shower, when I realized it was one of my most favorite showers of any type I'd ever attended.  I thought about it for days afterwards, obviously, since I am now writing about it.  There were several reasons I enjoyed it, but the main one is probably the fact that
We Played No Games. 
Can you believe it.  No pass the platter around and try to remember the baby items on it.  No trying to guess the kind of smashed up candy bar in the diaper.  No.  None of that structure, everyone sit in a circle, let's see who's the best at remembering things or who knows the bride or mom-to-be best, etc.  

Instead, we relaxed outside on the grass, no one noticed I was late, there was a casual wine tasting table you could saunter back and forth from, a light buffet, if you wanted you could decorate a onesie with puff paint, and there was the freedom to sit and continue a conversation without worrying we weren't participating in something.  Hours passed and I had no idea.  When I brought up how interesting it was that there were no games (and that I liked it) Karen said she'd told her mom and friends flat out that she just didn't want any for this shower.  She's not a fan either.  

So, I liked the shower because it was casual and structure-free.  I am not a fan of parties where I don't know many people, but the atmosphere lent itself to breezy laughter and get-to-know-you girly conversation.  I don't like shower games usually anyway, number one because they're often silly, and number two because I'm often bad at them and I don't like sucking at things.  

And pardon me for always going here, but I'm realizing a distinct pattern between personalities who would enjoy a shower like Karen's as much as I did, and those who would have been bummed to not have the chance to win at the dirty diaper game or make as many words as possible out of the phrase Bouncing Bundle of Joy.  I think it has something to do with the S/N difference and definitely the P/J, maybe even the T/F. Actually all letters.  Friends that had or want games at your shower, I heart you and still want to be invited.  I will bring you a killer gift I swear. 

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Sights & Sounds

Recent sights...

Taken from my street...smoke coming from the Gap Fire burning 
up the hills of Goleta

I went for a walk in the morning on the Fourth, and around the corner saw this house laden with patriotic decor and handmade signs (likely by kids) with tidbits about our country's fight for & declaration of Independence.  I was touched by their unique attention to the 
meaning of the holiday.  
Click on the photos to see them bigger and to read the signs...

Recent sounds...

I run the stadium stairs a SB City College a couple times a week, and this past month I've been pairing that with my Coldplay's new album blasting through my headphones.  Reaching the top of the stairs while "Lovers in Japan" soars into its musical climax and then turning around to see the Pacific stretching out far far into the blue... There is nothing like it.