Tag Archives: “Home”

More Cloud Covers

I saw The Town, and I am wondering if it is strange that five minutes into it I thought, “I could totally live in Boston.”  What about violent bank heists, broken communities, and Charlestown accents screams, “You, California girl, could live here!”?

Happy birthday to my eldest brother, JSA!

9.30.2010 – Orange Lights Lead Home*


– Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., “Nothing but Our Love”
– Rewards, “I Used To”
– The Secret Sisters, “Tennessee Me”
– Parlor Wawk, “Home”
– The Avett Brothers, “Shame”
– North Highlands, “Steady Steady”

Back in the Saddle: July Week 4

7.25.2010 – RWC* (Mount Hermon, CA)

7.26.2010 – Simple Pleasures = Skipping Stones* Diptych (Big Basin State Park: Ranch del Oso, CA)

7.27.2010 – Herbs* (Felton, CA)

7.28.2010 – Garage Treasures* (Oakland, CA)

7.29.2010 – 49er Flapjacks* (Orange, CA)

7.30.2010 – Someday I WILL Unpack My Life*

7.31.2010 -Lights and Shadows* (Costa Mesa, CA)

Back in the Saddle: July Week 3

7.17.2010 – Berkeley’s (the closest thing I have to “home”) Many Faces* Triptych (Berkeley, CA)

7.18.2010 – Unexpected* — and completely out of focus, only photo of the day so this what ya get (Mount Hermon, CA)

7.19.2010 -Bookmarked* (Always in My Bag)

7.20.2010 – Gardenia* (Mount Hermon, CA)

7.21.2010 – Printing Department* (Mount Hermon, CA)

7.22.2010 – Toys were better when I was a kid* (Mount Hermon)

7.23.2010 – Umbrellas* (Mount Hermon, CA)

7.24.2010 – Rx for Melancholy* (San Francisco, CA)

Back in the Saddle: Part 6

6.20.2010 – Air Castle* (Mount Hermon, CA)

6.21.2010 –  My Story*

6.22.2010 -My Evening Working at the Slooowest Computer* (Mount Hermon, CA)

6.23.2010 – 11B2 Diptych* (Mount Hermon, CA)

6.24.2010 – “Well, I’ll be a Huckleberry”* (Mount Hermon, CA)

6.25.2010 – Wisdom…Share It* (Felton, CA)


I have a deeply passionate love/hate relationship with my birthday.  I always hope for the best but end up in tears at some point during the day.  Each of the last seven years of my life have started off with something ranging from hurtful disappointing to tragic: the death of my beloved hero, my grandfather; my family forgetting my birthday; my closest friends forgetting my birthday; my then (now ex) boyfriend forgetting my birthday and then blaming me for this; and more of the same year after year after year.

This series of unfortunate events cuts me deeply, laying wide open my deepest fears and longings for anyone willing to take a peep.  Something about the day highlights a sense of isolation and disconnectedness I rarely allow myself to acknowledge or feel.  A year is spent seeking to care for others by being intentionally present for them, only to be (seemingly) forgotten.  Que the woe-is-me-self-pity, which produces a great amount of self-induced frustration and pep-talks.  And the cycle begins again.

Last year I tried to rectify my birthday deficiency by getting people together to spend time at a friend’s beach house in Santa Cruz.  I wanted quality time with good friends.  What I got was waking up to alone while good friends went for a long walk and who upon their return the home promptly left to make it to their next scheduled event on time, no birthday wishes (let alone a card or gift) from a then boyfriend whom I had just helped pack, move (two states) and unpack his life, crying in an airport terminal bathroom stall, and an awful dinner at a faux English pub upon my arrival in southern California.

This year I am set to celebrate my birthday with my family before I leave SoCal for a job that will require me to be out of the area for my birthday.  Already tears have spilled, as my mom seeks to make the day special.  Something in me will not allow it, as though this will only create a false sense of hope that will dissolve in couple of weeks.  So I put up the perfected “I don’t care” defensive wall to tamp down any fledgling hope.  After last year’s attempt most of me wants to pretend the entire day does not exist and simply skip it; to skip the day and the pain.  I may just get my wish this year.  If I am honest, this prospect terrifies me.  I am a place I have not been for a long time.  I know that where I am and where I will be on my birthday is where I am supposed to be.  The terror comes from the fear that another crap birthday (in this instance the negation of it) and the resultant self-pity, could derail me and this summer.

Strangely I do not feel this way about birthdays generally.  I’ll bake the cake, plan the party, and show up with bells on for others’ birthdays and birthday celebration.  To avoid the potential of hurt, I tell myself not to have any expectations, but inevitably I do.  I expect that the people I care about will care enough to remember.  I do not need gifts or cards, only a simple word or two.

Someday I will no longer be captive to this love/hate.  Someday the tears will not extinguish the candles.  Someday I will once again experience joy on a day that has ripped me apart for so long.  Someday.

Happy almost birthday to me.

Soldier on.  Soldier on.  Keep your heart close to the ground.
~The Temper Trap, “Soldier On”

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Post Script.

I love it(!) when things turn out the exact opposite (in a good way) from my low/negative expectations.  My family went out to dinner in Laguna Beach to celebrate my birthday before I leave,  and I had the best dinner I have ever eaten in Orange County.  The tears shed earlier in the day by both my mom and I were well worth the good conversation, delicious dinner, and quality time spent together as a family.

Being proved wrong is (ofttimes) a blessing.

5.30.2010 – Beets. Glare. Lights. (Laguna Beach, CA)*


– The Temper Trap, “Soldier On”;
– Horse Feather, “Belly of June”


Thank goodness for those few individuals who truly see me, who know me, and who reflect back to me who I truly am.  What a blessing it is to be and do the same for others.

To being mirrors!

5.27.2010 – Rainy Trains (Orange, CA)*

5.28.2010 – Woven*

5.29.2010 – A Stick-Your-Arm-Out-the-Window-and-Feel-the-Air-Rushing-Through-Your-Fingers Kind of Day (Tustin, CA)*


Threading In The Choirs, “Summerings” Mix

What is in Front of Me Right Now

I find that most people have an opinion (or a few) about what I should be doing right now and why where I am (and by extension, who I am) is not enough.  I know the advice given is the product of their concern and care for me; I know they mean well.  But rarely do they halt their talk and attempts to fix my “problem(s)” to hear, to know me.

I am learning what it means to focus on what is front of me.  Not the indefinite in front of me but the immediate, the right now.  I am no longer turning my ear to the cacophony of words surrounding me, which in the past drowned out my voice.  I am focused on what is front of me right now.

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5.20.2010 – A Visual Reminder: Focus Here (Orange, CA)*

5.21.2010 – Waste Not: Apples to Sauce*

5.22.2010 – Loved*

– Toro Y Moi, “Leave Everywhere”;
– Future Islands, “Swept Inside”;
– Foals, “Spanish Sahara”;
– The Local Natives, “Airplanes”;
– Hammock, “You Lost the Starlight in Your Eyes”; and
– Dustin O’Halloran, “Opus 23”