30 September 2006

morning mist on my lake. part of the hilton lakes in the high sierra outside bishop. i took this about three years ago, the first time i went into the mountains with my brothers. going there is like going home.

i've decided to do an image of the week. sometimes a photo i take. sometimes a photo from someone else that's meaningful to me on a personal level. sometimes a photo or image that i've discovered and think is beautiful.

28 September 2006

somewhere between 6 and 7, the alarm goes off (sometimes this happens as early as 4:30 or 5; never after 8). i can't sleep later than about 7:30 or 8. the alarm is set to NPR (i'm a junkie)--morning edition. so i wake to news. sometimes i stayed up too late the night before so i kind of drift in and out of sleep with NPR playing in the background. this makes for fabulous dreams in which i believe i am building an eco-friendly house or am in a board meeting discussing the sale of a company. it's kind of a lovely way to wake up.

once i am awake rather than drifting in a sleepy haze through the virtual world of NPR, i generally laze around in bed for half an hour. guilty pleasure. to simply lie there all cozy warm in my bed (which i love!). plus i get to hear the news, without which my day is crappy (see above indication that i'm a junkie). then i do one of three things: 1. turn off the radio and read before getting up; if i do this, it's cause i'm reading something either fictional or for no reason other than pleasure; 2. listen to radio while checking email, blogs, etc., etc.; or 3. i get up. which sets in motion the following: stare at my closet to determine what i will wear that day (sometimes this happens while lazing in bed; and this is occasionally a much more difficult process than it should be); assemble clothing for day; shower; moisturize face and style hair to the accompaniment of more NPR (bought a bathroom clock radio for this purpose).

i might eat. it kind of depends on whether my mom is around and how insistent she is that i eat before leaving. these days i usually read a bit or do the email cause i don't have to be anywhere til 10. which is when i show up at pam's house to work. pam is a lady i know who is blind and is working on her master's in english. i help her out. reading to her, looking stuff up online, cleaning the fridge out, running errands, finding show times and ticket prices, etc., etc. at some point she will offer me food. i usually accept unless i had an unusually large and late breakfast (thanks to my mama).

i wrap up at 2 and head off to do my own thing. which means read. or research. which are essentially the same thing. this generally happens in some cafe (my favorites these days are panera or kean) where i can get something to drink.

evenings are: monday eat and work; tuesday eat and work or socialize; wednesday eat and institute; thursday eat and institute; friday eat and work or socialize or fry my brain in front of the boobtube.

you can see the glaring omissions. exercise. scripture study. enough time to work. the scripture study will change first. tonight i spent a lovely hour in the scriptures. it was enlightening. then maybe i can work on getting my body into shape. it's about damn time i reversed the slow upward creep of the scale. not to mention making it possible to hike seven miles without feeling like i'm going to keel over dead at the next step. completely untenable since next year i'm not only going on my usual week-long jaunt but also hoping to climb whitney.

with that, i think it's my bed time. 11:00. night.
so yesterday i was back down on harbor and found the infamous hummer again parked along the curb. except i noticed the rear of the vehicle was lower than the front. so i looked again only to discover it had a very flat rear tire. i wonder which of the potentially offended parties had slashed it. eco-freak? femi-nazi? ultra right-wing prude? hummer-lover? the possibilities are endless. who do you think did it?

26 September 2006

and crass. that was the message delivered by the hummer i saw parked on harbor today. a hummer complete with custom paint job in a swirl of grays and blacks with highly stylized and completely nude women surrounded by brilliant bursts of color scattered over the whole of it. topped off with a light bar of flashing yellow lights. i couldn't decide whether i should be offended or relieved to see such honest pairing of destructive wealth and destructive attitudes. at least the offensiveness wasn't buried behind a facade of genitility.

25 September 2006

at the prompting of friends, i decided it's time to start sharing the discoveries i make. they'll take all kinds of shapes and forms. dining. sweets. books. music. art. you name it, if it's good or interesting or scrumptious or lovely, i'll try to share it. so each week, check in and see what i've discovered in the last seven days. and for good measure i'll occasionally throw in something i've discovered a while ago and continue to enjoy.

  • sprinkles. the most ridiculous concept in sweet goods ever. a store that sells cupcakes. that's it. cupcakes for you. cupcakes for your dog. and shots of frosting. for those of us who don't like cupcakes but do like frosting. it's also ridiculously overpriced--$3.25 for a single cupcake. that didn't stop my friends and i from buying half a dozen to sample. i recommend the funkier varieties--pumpkin with cinnamon frosting, chai with chai frosting, ginger with lemon cream cheese frosting. you can pass on the basics--chocolate and vanilla in all of their varieties. i make better basics at home. if you must have a chocolate one, get the red velvet.
  • chocolate. so i did a chocolate night with friends this week. we sampled a pound of see's candies, five different chocolate bars, and three varieties of chocolate ice cream. the discovery was lindt's white chocolate coconut bar. it was tasty. hands down the best white chocolate i've ever tasted. it was so good, in fact, that a friend who likes neither white chocolate nor coconut liked it best of the bars available that night. and if you're up for something a bit trippy, try a nice dark chocolate with either peppercorn or chili pepper.
  • kean. i'm always on the lookout for a new cafe. and my standards are rather high. i want not only excellent hot cocoa (something that is nearly impossible to find), some herbal tea options, and decent snacks, but also a relaxing environment. somewhere i can sit and study for hours. i found a lovely new alternative this week. kean. at the intersection of irvine and 17th street at the edge of costa mesa and newport beach. they not only have your standard hot cocoa, but also mayan spiced and mexican spiced hot cocoa. and they not only have herbal teas, but also herbal iced tea (something i've never found before, though i've often wanted it) and herbal chai (another rarety). and they make italian cream sodas. pair it with tasty food and the sustenance side of the equation is met. on top of it all, they have a lovely atmosphere complete with comfy chairs, friendly employees, and live music in the evening on the weekends. and they give their coffee grounds to customers to use as fertilizer. goodness in all its possible cafe forms. for you coffee drinkers out there, i'm sure their coffee is as good as it gets. and it's an independent. long live the independent coffee house.
  • dickens. so i was browsing barnes & noble last night (a pasttime for me; i just can't walk through those doors without committing myself to a perusal of the bargains). i had gone in to buy sibelius' 5th symphony (which is gorgeous) for my dad for his birthday and on my way out i made my obligatory stop by the bargain shelves. only to discover beautiful hardbound reprints of the nonesuch series of dickens novels. nonesuch was a press active during the early half of the 20th century. they printed hardbound copies of literature that attempted to combine the quality of a fine press and the affordability of a mass market printer. these use dickens' final text and the illustrations he chose himself to accompany his novels. the original set included 24 books. i only purchased 4 and i don't know how many B&N is selling, but they're only $6.98 each.
  • thai. thai nakorn, to be exact. on garden grove boulevard between harbor and fairview. go. you won't regret it. it's worth the drive down harbor to eat this incredibly delicious food. and it's not expensive. i have far too many favorites to list them all, but some suggestions: beef panang curry(i have never, ever, even at ruth's chris steak house, had beef this tender; it practically melts in your mouth), barbequed catfish (incredible fish, amazing sauce), pad thai (the best i've eaten anywhere), beef with chili and basil. if there's a thai dish you want, they probably have it. and if it's not on the menu, they'll probably make it for you anyway. for dessert try the sweet sticky rice with mango, the coconut ice cream, the coconut custard (cooked in the coconut), or the fried banana. or you could be weird like me and get the coconut ice cream served on top of the sweet sticky rice. it makes me hungry just thinking about all of this deliciousness. do yourself a favor and go. right now if possible.
  • disney hall. to experience mahler's third. this friday, saturday, and sunday. not only is this the most gorgeous venue, anywhere, this symphony is an amazing experience. the first movement is longer than the entirety of beethoven's 5th. the work as a whole embodies all of creation, from the beginning to the angels. it uses not only an immense orchestra (nine double basses; there aren't many composers who call for that many double basses), but also a mezzo-soprano soloist, a women's chorus, and a boys' chorus. exquisitely passionate. if you get the chance go. if you're a student, you can try for a $10 rush ticket beginning two hours before the performance.

21 September 2006

i've decided that since i use google to find everything else, i should also use it to discover what exactly i need. because i clearly haven't been able to figure it out on my own and google is like the 21st century version of a seer. so, with thanks to marigold who inspired this and my last post, google tells me that i need the following:

  • amelia needs you!
  • amelia needs to turn her attention to regaining her husband's love
  • amelia needs 3-4 hours of exercise daily
  • amelia needs a haircut and a real job
  • amelia needs to rise to the challenge
  • amelia needs help
  • amelia needs to pray for getting her horrible grades up
  • amelia needs him
  • amelia needs constant support and encouragement and this can be achieved with outside help and financial aid in the form of regular donations or a monthly debit order
  • amelia needs attention to details
  • amelia needs to get to the library
  • amelia needs a desk that meets her work needs
  • amelia is really a princess, and in order to break the spell she is under, she needs a kiss before two cycles of the moon pass
  • amelia needs someone who is understanding, intelligent and likes planning ahead like she does
  • amelia needs to learn impulse control
  • amelia needs a good nap
  • amelia doesn't need "big assets"
i also discovered another amelia in the blogosphere who has done this precise search. i didn't steal all of her amelia needs; i only used the ones that my own google search turned up.

now i think i should feel slightly disturbed. the entries in color are so accurate that i couldn't have stated them better myself. i made one gray because it's essentially accurate--i could certainly use a kiss within the next two moon cycles--but the princess and spell parts can only be interpreted metaphorically.

and you? do you have needs?

20 September 2006

if i were a paper doll, i'd look like this. well, i might not be wearing earrings. cause i only wear them occasionally. and it's only about a 30% chance i'll be wearing my glasses. and the puppy is a figment of my imagination for now, but i'd have one if i could. the slightly funky style and the spiky short hair--that's pretty accurate. and i suppose i should be honest and say that my thighs are a smidgeon larger than hers. but you know, if i can't fantasize about having perfect legs when envisioning my paper doll self, when can i?

if you too would like a lovely way to completely waste time on the internet, go build yourself a doll. maybe one of these times i'll build myself a fantasy man to go with that fantasy dog and those fantasy legs.

11 September 2006

my week began and ended with light. i turned thirty-one last monday. my body woke at 6:00, unbidden, to a silence-filled dawn. my blinds were open and i watched as first light crept into the world, infusing the sky with golden periwinkle against which a palm tree stood silhouetted, the whole striated by my blinds. after watching the gold grow stronger and the blue of night fade, i sat up so i could look out on my world and discovered a crystal clear sky, blue mountains beckoning along the horizon. it was a beautiful way to start a new year.

as i moved through that day, thinking about the opportunities created by starting a new year, the clarity of that half an hour laying in bed watching the gleam infuse the world stayed with me. as i looked forward i saw nothing but possibility and happiness and love. in many incarnations, but possibility and happiness and love nonetheless. that feeling stayed with me all week, coloring all of my interactions with others. shaping my attitudes. leaving me feeling happier than i have in years. and for no discernible reason.

last night as i drove on a wild goose chase to meet friends, the sun set, filling the world with shadows. and over the palm trees' silhouette standing against the deepening night sky, the moon captured the sun's light, silver infused with the gold of a sinking sun.