Friday, June 28, 2013

Apology you never got

via Pinterest

"Life becomes easier when you learn to accept an apology you never got." -Robert Brault

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

From the archives: touch

by wtlphotos via Flickr
Sometimes, especially when I feel down, I like to go back and read things I wrote when I was a teenager. I wrote this entry in 2003 and find it fitting to read it again as I traverse the beginnings of a potentially new relationship.

words can lie. and words are not always the whole truth. but truth can be found in actions, in a simple touch. you can say anything you want, however many times you want to say it. but it's a completely different thing when it is put into action. the most truthful action in the world is a touch. you don't touch another unless you mean it. hand in hand, people find the truth about how they feel. nothing is held back when you touch the skin. it is as simple as that. the honesty is so intense you can barely stand to touch them, but that's the thrill of it. how long you can withstand this intensity. yet somehow, you want more, it's practically addictive. how good it feels, and yet how truthful it can be. all the walls are torn down and you are faced with the complete truth. you almost feel naked, as though all of your secrets have been revealed and it's simply you, in front of another. to be touched is to be honest, completely truthful about how you feel. nothing is quite as scary, surprisingly comforting, or enticingly breath-taking as a humble touch.

Monday, June 24, 2013

What makes the Bay Area different

by pifou95 via Flickr
Now that I've been a California resident for almost 6 months, I feel like I can reflect a little bit on what it's like to live here. Here are the three major differences I've noticed between living in the Bay Area and everywhere else I've lived.

1. Drugs are everywhere. It seems like the majority of people here don't realize that pot is illegal in America. I smell it on the street. I smell it in my apartment building. I smell it on public transportation. Hell, I've seen people smoking pot on the street, on public transportation, at concerts. Don't get me wrong, if that's your thing, by all means, go for it. I'm not being Judgey McJudgerson over here. I'm just used to it being more taboo and hush hush. The people of the Bay Area, on the other hand, like to let their freak flag fly.

2. Homeless people are everywhere. I thought there were a lot of hobos in Richmond, VA. Boy, was I wrong. The laws are much more lax here, so homeless people can pretty much sleep and loiter wherever they want. I've smelled and seen more human excrements than I care to admit and I know I'll only be seeing more while I live here. More than anything, the daily sight of all of these homeless, mentally ill, and addicted individuals makes me really sad and uncomfortable. If I had to choose one thing that I like the least about living here, this would be it.

3. Recycling is everywhere. You guys, I get to compost my paper towels and banana peels at work. I no longer have to worry about what number plastic my containers are. As an avid recycler and general environmentally conscious person, it tickles me to see how little I throw away on a daily basis. The stereotype of Californians being a bunch of tree hugging hippies isn't too far off the mark.

Have you ever been to California and the Bay Area in particular? What struck you the most about what makes this place different?

Friday, June 21, 2013

Missing reality

by marilynjane via Flickr
"People who are grieving walk with death, every waking moment. When the rest of us dread that we'll somehow remind them of death's existence, we are missing their reality ... A rendezvous with death, for them, was waking up each morning without their [father]." -Barbara Kingsolver from Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The lost email

by gregoryjordan via Flickr
A few days ago, I logged into an old email account to retrieve a password. I only check this email once every few months. For some reason, I was slow to give my dad my new email address when I switched a few years ago and, on the rare occasion he emailed me, he almost always continued to send it to this old address. Before I found the password I was looking for, I searched my inbox for my dad's email address to see if he had sent me anything since the last time I checked this address and before he died. Lo and behold, he had.

He emailed me the day before he left for vacation with my brother, sister in law, and nephew, which is when and where he passed away. The email was mostly full of news about his progress restoring his home and working on his art. His last lines, however, sent me crying instantly. The words are heavy with extra meaning considering the context, but the message is still excellent advice regardless of when it was given:

"Be good, keep your chin up and be your best.
love ya, dad"

I'm trying, Dad. On all three counts, I'm trying.

Monday, June 17, 2013

The 2000 Things challenge: part 2

by linus_art via Flickr
A few weeks ago, I began my 2000 Things decluttering challenge. How have I been doing lately? Well, life got pretty crazy there for a second. I've been working long hours to meet deadlines and a new love interest has sauntered into my life, so I've had very little free time to do my regular errands and things, let alone extra projects. But! I still managed, in the extra seconds I've had at my disposal, to get rid of a few more things and identify things I need to work on using up.

I got rid of:

  • a box of tea that only had one teabag left in it (I used the teabag to make a cup of tea before I recycled the box)
  • a compact of blush that I finally used up
  • a pot of lipgloss that I've had since high school (seriously)
  • 5 samples I had received in the mail that had been lying around for awhile
  • a broken spray bottle that I finally got a replacement for
  • a nearly empty bottle of hand soap that needed to be emptied into my soap dispenser

Compared to my initial 189 items, these 10 look measly, but progress is still progress, no matter how small.

I think that it is potentially just as important to work on getting rid of things as it is to actually get rid of them. For example, I have some containers of lotion that need to go, so I've been trying to remember to use them whenever I can. Also, I've been trying to finish a jigsaw puzzle and work through some really ancient crossword puzzle books so they can go out the door too. It's not possible to throw everything out immediately when you identify it as something you no longer what or need, so making it a priority to use up is crucial. Otherwise, it's just going to continue to sit there.

My grand total thus far: 199 items. 

Friday, June 14, 2013

Darkest skies

by fabioricco via Flickr
“It is often in the darkest skies that we see the brightest stars.” - Richard Evans

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

From the archives: patience

by acousticskyy via Flickr
Sometimes, especially when I feel down, I like to go back and read things I wrote when I was a teenager. I wrote this entry in 2003 when I was starting to date my second boyfriend. He wound up breaking my heart. As I ease myself back into dating, this is a nice reminder to have patience with the process.

i haven't felt this way in such a long time, this intoxication from happiness. i keep thinking of what happened the last time, how badly i got hurt and how careless i was. am i ready for this? have the wounds healed enough for me to get involved with someone? i'm so scared, of almost everything. i just don't know what to do. i know how i feel. and i know what i'll be getting into. i don't know if i could handle another heartache in such a short amount of time from the last. the desires of my heart keep contradicting the reason in my mind and i'm left completely confused and frustrated. ugh! to be 16 and have your heart flying is not the easiest thing in the world to deal with. it's such a shame i have the past blocking something that could turn out to be wonderful. how could i have been so stupid? i was such an incompetent freshman girl. who knows, i still might be just as incompetent. this though, this is different. the situation is quite different. and i do know better, at least i hope i do. i just wish that there was some clear cut answer amongst all of this confusion. this intense attraction is not exactly helping the circumstance any, it's only making it more difficult to find a solution. i could so easily fall head over heels for him, no stopping me, completely jump into this. but i can't. if i'm going to do this, i want it to be progressive and slow, i don't want to rush into this. that would completely ruin this wonderful chance i have. the very last thing that i want to do is completely screw this up by rushing and not being patient. if this is going to be, i want to take it slow and savor every moment. i want to be content with just holding his hand and being close to him. i don't want to move on until i am entirely satisfied.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Things that I love: beach wine

Ending a super stressful week by sharing a bottle of wine on the beach with a cute boy is my new favorite thing.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Be where you are

via Free People

"As you walk and eat and travel, be where you are. Otherwise you will miss most of your life." -Siddhārtha Gautama

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The artist's daughter

This past weekend, I visited the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) because it was the last weekend they were going to be open before they closed for 3 or 4 years for a major expansion. My interest in art coupled with the knowledge that my dad would have loved to go further propelled me to make the effort to visit.

The museum was incredibly crowded because they offered free admission to everyone on their last days. I slid in and out of the groups of people to see photography exhibits, dystopian architecture drawings, and even some Matisse before I drifted into the rooms of abstract paintings. My dad was primarily an abstract painter and was incredibly influenced by Richard Diebenkorn (who just so happened to live the Bay Area for a large chunk of his life and so his paintings are found all over around here). Going into the museum, I was worried that I would be flooded with memories of my dad, but the way that the museum was arranged, I got distracted and kind of got lulled into a false sense of security. That is, until I went through a room of nothing but Clyfford Still and then, bam, turned my head to see this Rothko:

No. 14, picture from Wikipedia

I don't know if it was the radiating orange glow or the sudden realization that I was in a room full of my dad's idols, but tears flooded my eyes and I had to turn around and sit down on a bench in front of a Clyfford Still to minimize the number of people who saw me breakdown. 

On one hand, it's wonderful to have an artist father since he left so much of himself behind for us to cherish forever. On the other hand, knowing what inspired him and having his work at hand makes for a lot of gut punching moments of sadness. 

Diebenkorn's daughter is giving a lecture in a few weeks to kick off a special Diebenkorn exhibit at the De Young Museum. My dad would have killed to attend these events and so I am planning to go and enjoy the experiences, regardless of the potential tears I will cry and how much of a tool I'll make myself look. Maybe I'll even manage to tell Diebenkorn's daughter about how inspired my dad was by her dad and bond over being daughters of artists. 

Monday, June 3, 2013

Life happenings

by pocait via Flickr
So, how was May for you guys? May was a bit of a tough month for me because having a birthday so close to losing a parent is pretty damn hard. I had many friends and family members reach out and make me feel special, so it wasn't a complete downer. Also, after visiting Boston for my conference, I was able to spread my dad's ashes with my brother, sister in law, and extended family. While it was harder than I thought it would be, I was able to find some closure through the act and mourn properly, so it was a necessary step in this whole process. Work's been stressing me out and will continue to be very stressful this week. June is looking like it's got some potential, so hopefully this summer won't be a complete loss.

On to some fun links I found this month:

This butt poking gif found on Twitter made me laugh.

Have a bunch of memberships that offer discounts at different places, but it's hard to remember them or keep them straight? This writeup at Lifehacker about Larky, a website that reminds you of the discounts you're entitled to, might be of interest.

A collection of 10 obscure museums around the world.

What not to say to a librarian. Hint: avoid Dewey Decimal jokes.

Sexy men and adorable cats imitating each other? Yes, please.

Gorgeous aerial footage of San Francisco.

To remember if/when I visit LA: an ultimate cheapskate guide to Los Angeles.