Friday, July 31, 2009

july bride

and to cap off july, a fabulous wedding... a former roommate tied the knot, and we celebrated the day with raspberry cocktails, croquet, swing dancing, more dancing, nonstop laughing and stolen slices of wedding cake.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

two years today

happy birthday to outnumber the sand. this page is two years old today...

i started a weblog because i wanted to get my thoughts down about people and how they work, to practice my writing in general, to have somewhere to occasionally record travel memories, and to share a little bit of life happenings. i am happy to say that i feel satisfied with what i've done so far. i didn't plan for this month of daily photos to coincide with this anniversary, but i think it's quite perfect, i've truly become so grateful this past month for the people and places in my life, and i'm glad this page helped me get there. and i love having a place to type things out, review, revise, and publish every so often. i'm challenged by the fact that this is public and available to any who stumbles across it, found it on my facebook when i used to have it linked there, or have had it passed along to them. family, friends and others can and do read it, and it will always be an ongoing process for me to decide how much i want to share about where life takes me. at the beginning i didn't intend to share as much of what is going on in my own life currently as much as i have. sometimes i want to share it all. then i think, "maybe i will be embarrassed later. maybe they won't agree with how i portrayed them. maybe they will be hurt. maybe they will be put off. maybe they will know too much and stalk me. maybe they will think i'm a bad/annoying/emo family member, friend, girlfriend, ex-girlfriend, stranger, prospective employee, etc."

but then i think "maybe i will get to look back at this in ten, fifteen, or twenty years and have this wonderful journey recorded. maybe i will still remember what it was like to be in my twenties and though i try to keep my entries subtle and inexplicit, i'll be able to read between my own lines and recall all the sheer joy, the wondering, the heartbreak, the hopefulness, the love, the learning... maybe it will show me how i've grown. maybe someone i care about will read it and understand me better for it. maybe putting down my goals and plans will keep me accountable. maybe it will be for someone else what several blogs are for me, something i get excited about when there's a new entry, for i get to be drawn in momentarily to the ongoing novel of someone's real actual lovely life. maybe this is becoming just that: a novel, written in short bits, of the story of my life... the collection of yearly reviews, photos, flashbacks, encounters, thoughts, feelings, plans... it is the "adventures of corinne."

my life is wonderful and an adventure indeed. and i wholeheartedly believe that the best and most incredible is yet to come.

endless summer

On Wednesday nights in July the Santa Barbara Zoo hosts a movie shown outside on a huge screen under the stars. If you get there early, you can just relax on a blanket while the sun sets, watch the boats go by, throw a frisbee around, see the animals, and get some hot dogs or bbq ribs, wine or beer, and of course popcorn. I've been wanting to do it for awhile, and when I saw that they were showing Endless Summer on the final night, which I've always been meaning to watch, I knew I'd have to be there.

It was fantastic. The movie, the night, the setting... Wow.

In the photo below you can see some of the ocean view, and a boat going by.

And here's the moon and the surfers, chasing the perfect wave around the world...

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

the perfect bag

i've found it. been wanting one for months, to carry my things in while i bike, to fit my computer when i go to a coffee shop, to carry all the notebooks and textbooks i have now for tutoring, and for the newest reason, to hold my GRE study materials. it's my favorite brand. soft buttery brown leather. pretty pattern inside. pockets. large and small straps.

i discovered it in a consignment store. and they even gave me a generous coupon to use before i bought it.

what a steal. i can't wait to fill it and use it for years.

Monday, July 27, 2009

reason #1: it's cheap again.

I feel bad for these teenage boys studying for the SAT sometimes. Mostly in regards to the reading comprehension section. The passages are so boring to them most of the time. They have to read them and answer intricate and tricky questions about content, inferred meaning, tone, metaphors used, etc. There are passages about Japanese ants, a daughter's resentment-riddled memories of her mother, and about what it's like to be a senior citizen. They boys I tutor could care less!

Finally I thought today to try beginning one student's reading comprehension test prep with a more interesting first passage. Not from the CollegeBoard book or official online SAT study guide. But from one of my favorite magazines... GQ.

I assigned two different short articles for him to read, each one excerpted from a feature on "47 Reasons to Rediscover Europe". They had a much more relevant voice, interesting details, and it was much easier to discern the "tone." I know he preferred this to the ants passage.

After that, my student said, "You must really be into travel and Europe right?"

"Oh you know...a bit," I downplayed.

Plus, the other articles in this particular GQ were about a high school sex scandal, the greatest gory movies ever made, a top surfer who loves to get laid, and a lengthy piece about the atrocities of Khmer Rouge. Not my favorite issue ever, so certainly the travel feature was the best option, despite my particular bias.

by the bay

Last November, December, and much of January I had only one CD in my car. It played on repeat through all those weeks, acting as the soundtrack to a crazy time of change and excitement and lots of contemplating. (Believe me people, I know how emo I get sometimes. This site gets the bulk of it.)

Anyway, imagine my delight when I heard that Needtobreathe, the band behind my wintertime soundtrack, was coming to play a free concert down by the beach here in town! Bay Cafe was hosting yet another great show, and it made for a great Sunday night. I came in my bathing suit and a dress after a full day of fun, and enjoyed a glass of wine, warm air that lasted past sunset, and a truly soulful set that seemed to, as the guy next to us put it, leave the band members hearts poured out onto the pavement.

If you don't know them, you should.

"and a new day will begin"

It is so few and far between that I get to see stage performances, but whenever I do I'm reminded of how brilliant they are, how drawn in you become, how a great performer is a thing to behold. They throw themselves across the stage, sing while doing cartwheels, and are so utterly completely... vulnerable. They are singing their hearts out and making dramatic faces and wearing skintight outfits in front of thousands of people. It's truly a gift they are giving us, their talent and vulnerability give us the chance to be swept away in a story, carried away by songs like "Memory", or the chance to laugh and cry and cheer like I did when I saw Les Miserables. I'm so happy I won those tickets to see Cats... Another perfect summer night it was.

Friday, July 24, 2009

firepit friday

all day i'd been craving middle eastern food, and quite by chance i was able to end up at zaytoon's with friends to sit around a firepit and have kebab with rice pilaf and hummus and pita bread and sparkling wine and live guitar music. thank goodness it's not only friday, but a warm and beautiful one at that.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

fast asleep

stumble upon

this morning i was the 9th caller on a local radio station and won tickets to see the musical Cats. i was so stunned that i actually was paying attention to the radio at the right moment and heard the number, was able to dial right then and then thought to wait a few beats so i wouldn't be 5th or 8th, and then say the right answer and give the correct name of the radio station. it all happened so fast, and then they replayed it and there i was, on the radio. truly, i was in the right place at the right time, and completely paying attention to the moment. serendipity!

i often think about how some of the best moments when traveling are when you hit the right place at the right time and experience something surprising and lovely and memorable. one time in florence i got separated from the other students i was traveling with, and was trying to find my way on my own, when a couple stopped me. they spoke in spanish and asked me for directions to the exact same cathedral i was looking for. this was strange, since they not only thought i looked like i spoke spanish, in a country that speaks italian, but thought i looked like i knew where i was going! i spoke spanish to them and forced confidence into my sense of direction, and led us to the right place. the scenario gave me so much joy and was encouraging to my spanish skills, and was completely serendipitous since i had been on my own only accidentally.

in new zealand we arrived at the waterfront town of Wellington, only to stay for a night, and leave early the next morning. i assumed this was just a "travel-through" city, and that's what it was going to have to be for us. we got off the train and went to the first hostel closest to the ferry we were to take the next morning. no beds left. on to the next hostel. same story. so we ended up walking along most of the waterfront to get to the main downtown area where there were more hostels, our heavy backpacks bearing down on our sunburns. it was so beautiful though, the sun was setting and the town sparkled with lights all around the hills that cradled the bay. and then we came upon this tented stage, with theatrical lighting and music playing. there were people performing a show, amazing acrobats that hung from fabrics and slid down ropes and did other kinds of daring amazing things. i stood there in awe, loving this surprising moment we had come to completely by chance. an outdoor dance performance at sunset by the water, on a wednesday night... when we might have easily been setting our packs down at the first hostel and calling it a night.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

peanut butter and algebra

I am doing regular tutoring in Algebra, just for the summer for two girls going into high school. Math really hurts my brain, and it has the same effect on them. I can't tell you how much I dislike polynomials at this point.

Today we rewarded ourselves for our hard work, and also celebrated one of the girl's birthdays, by walking to the nearby cupcake shop.

The peanut butter chocolate delight that I had was so worth the two hours of mental acrobatics. They would have agreed about the wafflelicious flavor they each got.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

pool therapy

likely because of a combination of the growing tally of nights with too little sleep, the dehydration from a hot and muggy weekend, a too eclectic line-up of drinks from last night, and mental fatigue, today i found myself utterly useless. i was completely spent, often dizzy, sometimes nauseous, and definitely not going to accomplish the long to-do list i had given myself for this day.
so lazy sunday it was. i joined friends at the pool and spent the day as it was designed, as a day of rest.

pier part deux

the pier was so wonderful on friday night i had to go back for more on saturday. we sat on the patio of the wine tasting room, watched the sunset color the sky and the water, and shared a bottle of pinot grigio and some salami and herbed brie. the night continued on in a rambunctious and carefree way, the way nights seem to when we get together. but i certainly believe that sitting up there overlooking the lights on the shore and the boats scattered throughout the harbor was one of the finer moments of this sunny & splendid july.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

dusk on the pier

Tonight we went for crab cakes and lobster tacos and wine tasting on the pier. I love the view looking back at Santa Barbara from out there. I love looking at the pier even when I'm not on it, seeing it stretch so quaintly out over the water, all the wooden painted buildings, how it defines our little town's coastline. I was told not too long ago that piers like this are to many foreigners a distinctly American image, that they are not commonly done anywhere else just like we do them here... wooden pilings holding up baitshops, restaurants, ferris wheels, and other such things as they do on our coasts. I liked that.

little skye

a giggling, clapping, grabbing, throwing, attempting to walk, gorgeous little neighbor of mine...

Thursday, July 16, 2009

off to the theater...

Waiting to see Harry Potter, sitting in the gorgeous Arlington Theater breezeway, looking out at the sparkling lights by the restaurants across the street.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

whale tail

on my last day in new zealand i wandered around christchurch and kept coming back to this main square where tons of handmade goods were being sold. i had my eye on this whale tail wine holder. i debated back and forth about buying it... could i fit it in my bag? do i need it? is it worth the money? i finally decided to do it right before i caught the shuttle to the airport. i'm so glad i did, i think it's my favorite thing i brought back, besides my photos...


have never seen this corner of downtown sb before... i find something new about this city every week.

Monday, July 13, 2009

a strength that lies

excuse me while i have a love affair with summer of oh nine.

sometimes i anticipate something so much that there's no way it will live up to my expectations. i was so excited all week for the ray lamontagne concert at the hollywood bowl, knowing the weather would be great and that we would pack great food and wine and just have a lovely time. i pictured the setting of the hollywood hills and ray's soulful music floating over the amphitheater.

sometimes, when i'm lucky, the moment exceeds my fantasizing.

the night was so warm. the hills wrapped their green around us, the hollywood sign watched from high above. the champagne and salad and dark chocolate covered cranberries were so satisfying. everybody was so happy to be there, so summerfashionable, prepared with their picnics and wine. the orchestra raised their instruments, the flutes, the trumpets, the saxophones, and then, the strings. it was so beautiful. and ray, he never really talks, but boy does he sing. and he sang right to me. "be here now" he said. don't be somewhere else, corinne. now is where you are supposed to be. don't think of tomorrow, next year. now that you've fantasized about this moment don't think of what's next to come. just be still. be still.

Be Here Now

Don't let your mind get weary and confused
Your will be still, don't try
Don't let your heart get heavy child
Inside you there's a strength that lies

Don't let your soul get lonely child
It's only time, it will go by
Don't look for love in faces, places
It's in you, that's where you'll find kindness

Be here now, here now
Be here now, here now

Don't lose your faith in me
And I will try not to lose faith in you
Don't put your trust in walls
'Cause walls will only crush you when they fall

Be here now, here now
Be here now, here now

i want to love you, PYT...

saturday was a wonderful summer day. i played soccer in the morning, a fastpaced, hot, good-humored game with boys and girls up by westmont. then i got crepes at the french festival with friends. i went to northstar cafe and played on my computer. then i saw the movie away we go by myself on a whim. then i had dinner at the habit by myself. then i met up with some friends at dargans pub. then we went to yogurtland. i was about to go home to bed, but then we decided to party, and, still in my outfit from the past eleven hours, we went to indochine and the dj played one of the best sets anywhere in months. we danced forever. we did funny moves. we pumped our fists. we would try to take a break and then have to come running back since "this song is my jam!"

i don't have a single photo of any of it.

so i'll put one from sunday, which was unbelievably amazing too. there is nothing like sitting out on the ocean, alone in a kayak, looking back to the shore at your gorgeous hometown and friends playing paddleball and knowing that this is not your vacation. this is your life. this is my life.

Friday, July 10, 2009

shimmering sky

days like today make it obvious that the evening will hold a fabulous sunset... the scattered streaming clouds always make for a colorful show and reflect the gold fading light in the best way...

backyard barbeque, lawn games, guacamole, coronas... a perfectly mellow friday night.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

alegre en el sol

Shortly after I graduated from college I took off for a month in Costa Rica for language school. Almost exactly five years ago today is when I returned. I spent the fourth of July there, on a weekend down the coast with a few girls at a two room bed and breakfast in a tiny tiny village by the sea, that wasn't even in the guidebooks. We couldn't believe how wonderful it was, so gorgeous, the waves were the best we'd seen, and we seemed to have the beach and the boogie boards and the tiny German restaurant with the crazy lady who needed our order two hours in advance and the kind Canadian man who ran the B&B and made us pancakes and the warm night filled with stars all to ourselves. It was one of the most amazing times of my life.

Below is a photo from another time on that trip when a few of us from my language school hiked through the hills to get to this hidden waterfall and pool. We swam there forever, and some of us jumped from the top down into the pool. Some of us may or may not have been dared to jump without their top on... and even though from down below the group couldn't really see anything, you could cover yourself with your arm and put the top back on once you were underwater...I may or may not have done it and felt like I was truly having the crazy carefree moment you should be having when you're 21 and just finished college and jumping off waterfalls in foreign countries.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

seven eight nine

you can't see it but there was a fiery pink sunset going on when i took this photo tonight. i was headed inside to watch So You Think You Can Dance with the girls. the white little lights over the back door, the pine tree in the background, karen and laurie making snacks and pouring wine for our show...

july is going well.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

summer school

On my walk from home to work downtown today, I passed the international language school on Chapala. Whenever I'm around that area I see young fashionable foreign students milling around, just out of class, heading towards State to shop or get some food. I love trying to figure out where they are from, imagine what their story is, how well they speak English... Today there were dozens all gathered outside, and it seemed that they had maybe just started a session and were new to Santa Barbara; they had that first few days of school buzz, and were slightly hesitant as they made their way in front of me towards their new adventure that is downtown SB.

"show me what i'm looking for..."

I went to a free concert tonight at Bay Cafe, near the beach. A local radio station was sponsoring it, and Carolina Liar was the main performer. I like their song on the radio and thought it would make for a fun Monday night. Meg and I were enjoying our delicious tacos under the mid-evening sun, and as the band got going, I heard a familiar accent. I thought they were all from Carolina for some odd reason, but at least one of them definitely wasn't. I didn't continue to think about it until the accented band member starting talking again. Later the lead singer, speaking American, told the crowd a story about how a song was written about his experience with the Swedish summer, since the rest of the band is from Sweden and he's the only one from North Carolina. Ha! I thought I recognized that particular way of speaking English... and that preppy funky style. It was a thoroughly enjoyable and spontaneous night, complete with the opening singersongwriter guy doing a fun cover of Part of Your World from The Little Mermaid. No joke.

Two of the band members, Carolina to the left, Sweden to the right.

Monday, July 6, 2009

sky and sea

“I can't change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.”
- Jimmy Dean

Sunday, July 5, 2009

golden rain

it was an amazing fourth of july.
i love this holiday, mainly because it's in the summer and there are fireworks. i adore fireworks. i thought the palm trees might block our view of the show, but it was one of the most memorable fireworks displays i've ever seen precisely because they were framed by the silhouettes of those tall lean symbols of california beach life. i had my jaw agape the entire time, falling in love again, as i so often do, with this town. the golden shower of sparks that rain down slowly after they explode are my very favorite. i will never forget the scene of them falling down over the palms and the beach and the harbor, thousands of people around gazing in awe, capping off a day where i was in total amazement at just how festive and vibrant my hometown was everywhere i went.

quintessential santa barbara, except for the fact that a usually car-filled boulevard by the beach was closed to traffic, except for the bike and pedestrian kind...

and this photo because this dear friend knows how to do holidays and good times, complete with the appropriate colors...

strawberry rhubarb crisp

Mom & Brad came to town, and, claro que si, I had to take them to Blush to try the most amazing dessert in town. If we'd gotten a photo of our ping pong tournament earlier in the night at The Neighborhood, I would have added that here too... these people are fun.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

sangria summer

Quintessential summer night in Santa Barbara, the Thursday night free concerts in the park... oldies music and hundreds of people dancing in the most carefree way... sangria and a picnic with friends...

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

a thousand words

every day in july i'm going to post a photo.
most of them will be from that day, sometimes i might slip in a photo from a day in the past. i will still write some blog posts when i am able.
i decided that a photo a day would make my july better.
it's not to improve my photography skills. it's to pull me into the present and keep me grateful. i really need both of those things right now.

For July 1st, here's little Blake and I up at Knapp's Castle on Sunday.