Monday, May 7, 2018

Commuting and The Chaos that Follows

The Lost Coast - Day 1 - April 2018
I wrote a story about my commute. I originally wrote the story for a writing prompt on ManRepeller — a fashion website turned all-things-life-in-general website. Spoiler alert: I did not win. The winning submission proved to be far more endearing and hopeful but most notably involves actually being on a train at the time, while mine mourns the loss of a beer as I wait at the bus stop. But, alas, I enjoy my story. You might too.
My Favorite River Crossing - The Lost Coast - Day 2 - April 2018
Sheila the Wonder Pup - The Lost Coast - Day 3 - April 2018
The Screamer, The Sheriff and A Little Sumpin'

On my way home from work I turn a corner and stumble upon an altercation. A man in his mid-thirties and disheveled to the point of concern is holding a beer and screaming at a man a decade older dressed in an all-grey uniform complete with a sheriff’s badge. Screamer throws an arch of beer in the direction of Sheriff but most of it lands directly in my path. I pause and look over, gauging whether it’s safe to run-walk past. What strikes me is not Screamer, but the fact that the beer Screamer is wielding is a Lagunitas Little Sumpin’. Good taste in beer, I think to myself.

The two shift out of my path, providing me the perfect moment to sneak past. I, like most people on the sidewalk, have learned that the safest thing to do in these situations is to simply keep walking. I do just that and make my way to the nearby bus stop.

So there I stand with 30 other folks facing the road but looking to our left, watching as Screamer lunges toward Sheriff. Sheriff declares, “Now you’ve officially hit a member of law enforcement.” I find myself, somewhat shamefully, wondering, Is Sheriff actually a sheriff? Do they wear grey? Did his badge look plastic? I feel like it looked plastic.

In response, Screamer throws his bottle of Little Sumpin’ on the ground. It shatters. I, again somewhat shamefully, think, What a waste.

The altercation intensifies as if the sound of the shattering glass were the toll of a boxing ring bell. With two free hands, Screamer is more confident, throwing open-hand hits at Sheriff’s face. Sheriff attempts to grab Screamer and pin his arms down. When this doesn’t work, he throws Screamer on the floor. Screamer’s head smacks the sidewalk. There’s a collective inhale from the bus stop crowd. Screamer gets back up. There’s a relieved exhale.

I think to myself, This is getting out of hand. I’ve gotta do something. Someone should do something. A young professional steps between them. I think, Oh my gosh, this man is a hero. We can’t hear what he’s saying. He must be speaking low and calm. That’s smart, I think. But then Young Professional takes three large steps back and begins flexing, pumping his right fist. Wait, is this guy kidding?, I think.

Screamer has taken a new opponent. Sheriff appears relieved. Young Professional apparently decides it isn’t worth it and walks away. Screamer’s attention returns to Sheriff and the squabble continues.

Finally, after what feels like hours, the 5R arrives, and I board my bus. I turn around to get a last look at the men arguing and find Screamer is sitting calmly on the ground, legs spread in a forty-five-degree angle while Sheriff stands above him breathing deep.

I take a few deep breaths myself, letting my anxiety dissipate. And as the bus rolls on, I find myself, no longer shamefully, mourning the loss of a perfectly delicious Little Sumpin’.
Sea Urchins Have Pretty Skeletons - The Lost Coast - Day 4 - April 2018
Cool Cats - The Lost Coast - Day 3 - April 2018
The photographs that are delightfully separating blocks of text throughout this post are all from my backpacking trip down The Lost Coast. It was a four-day trip, 25 miles in length, with an incalculable amount of smiles. Walking through sand and loose rock for miles on end is no easy task. It's definitely exhausting. But as you can see, it's worth it visually speaking, and as you can't see, it's worth it physically speaking if you like that sort of exhaustion. The trip taught me a few things, including I can do "it," I can keep going, and that there's certainly truth to the concept, "The only way out is through." Keep ya head up.
Not a Bad Campsite - The Lost Coast - Day 2 - April 2018
Happiest Beer of my Life - The Lost Coast - Day 4 - April 2018

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Japannnnn and following your dreams

Kinkaku-ji AKA the Golden Pavilion (who knew) - Kyoto, Japan - February 2017
A lot of rambling paired with some fun pics from Osaka, Kyoto (my favorite) and Tokyo. I did many fun, new, uncomfortably-wonderful, somewhat-exhausting, enjoyable things and went to many fun, awe-inspiring, centering, overwhelmingly-stimulating, unique places and talked with many fun, polite, kind, helpful, creative people. The trip was eye-opening, beautiful, cold, enormously-fun (Can fun be enormous?), too short, delicious (in terms of food) and dreamy. I pet an owl which was terrifying because I thought it'd bite me, sad because it was chained up and soft because duh. I ate lots of the best ramen I've ever had, onigiri at every meal and loads of sweet bread. I bought lots of souvenirs I sometimes stare at and remember where I got them and what was happening around me. I talked with people who were thrilled to meet us and excited to help us find our way and take photos that had all of us in them (Where's the button? Oh yeah, where it always is.) I drank lots of coffee made by the hippest people I've ever seen. I walked A LOT. I saw 10 story buildings covered to the top in one square inch ceramic tiles over and over and took photos of them over and over then dreamed aloud with Courtney about what color we would cover a house in — hers: cream/beige/grey, mine: indigo. I'm almost crying of joy thinking about all the things we did and how wonderful of a time we had.
Osaka, Japan - Feb 2017
I was obsessed with their taxis. This was the most boring color of them all. - Osaka, Japan - Feb 2017
Courtney being her usual thug self - Osaka, Japan - Feb 2017
Some of the few blossoms we were lucky enough to catch - Osaka, Japan - Feb 2017
I urge you to get up, to get out, to go look out and up, to go looking at pretty things, things that you can't look away from. It's so easy to get stuck in the same routine. To look at the same things and not quite see them any longer. But they want to be seen just as much as you want to be seen. (Sometimes I get a bit frantic and worried about others missing the beauty around them. Forgive me.) These pretty things can be so inspiring — if not inspiring, then at least uplifting.
Top-notch, tour-guide Courtney and wising-I-had-a-warmer-jacket me - Kyoto, Japan - Feb 2017

Tourists dressed as Geishas & tourists dressed as themselves - Yasaka Pagota - Kyoto, Japan - Feb 2017
Look at that sign though! - Nishiki Market - Kyoto, Japan - Feb 2017
The prettiest pork bun there ever was, also the most delicious - Nishiki Market - Kyoto, Japan - Feb 2017
I have taken up running again now that it's light out past five o'clock. Okay let me be clear, I jog, not run. I wish I ran, but perhaps someday. Anyway all this running, sorry, jogging, made me re-fall in love with San Francisco. I love all the green and the beautiful, highly-detailed homes and the crazy, amazing people.
Yasaka Shrine from Gion - Kyoto, Japan - Feb 2017
Me being me - Yasaka Shrine - Kyoto, Japan - Feb 2017
Tiny one - Kyoto, Japan - Feb 2017
Lit lanterns - Yasaka Shrine - Kyoto, Japan - Feb 2017
Stone family - Arashiyama, Japan - Feb 2017
Looking up in the Bamboo Forest - Arashiyama, Japan - Feb 2017
A quote from the book I'm reading reads, "Keep your dreams, you never know when you might need them." And while the first time I read thought I thought it to be sad, I now see it as more beautiful than sad. Following your dreams is terrifying and I understand accidental and purposeful detours happen, so it's nice to know you can keep your dreams for later. They'll always be there, waiting for you. They can oftentimes be too patient.
Fushimi Inari - Kyoto, Japan - Feb 2017
Jenny and Courtney being fun - Kyoto, Japan - Feb 2017
Refreshing and uplifting, also ginormous - Kyoto, Japan - Feb 2017
Lunch half-eaten - Arashiyama, Japan - Feb 2017
Fushimi Inari - Kyoto, Japan - Feb 2017
On the other hand, for those who have followed their dreams, we all know the road can be a hell of a ride, and not always the thrilling sort. Keeping your dreams safe allows you to refer back to why and how you got here in the first place, which gets you to persist. I have no idea why I seem to feel road/driving metaphors are naturally associated with dreams. Will the world ever know?!
Some cool shop - Tokyo, Japan - Feb 2017
Tokyo, Japan - Feb 2017
Space ship, just kidding - Tokyo, Japan - Feb 2017
Casual stroll in Shinjuku - Tokyo, Japan - Feb 2017

Some fun facts:
I still wish everyone I love could live in the same place.
I've been eating a lot of roasted veggies lately — like so many I'm afraid I'll turn into one.
There's been so much to fight for lately; it can be very exhausting.
Dishwashing gloves are highly underrated.
Sparkling water makes every day better.

Ceramic tile city - Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan - March 2017
Tokyo, Japan - March 2017

The sun came out for our last day - Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan - March 2017

Twins drinking beers on Route 66 - Cheers to the last day - Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan - March 2017

Monday, August 29, 2016

Love and deep dish pizza

Lexington—one hell of a place - August 2016
Here goes something. My mind has slowly become occupied by work and work alone. I’ve had to make an extra effort to make life balance out with work. Maybe that's growing up, maybe it's not. I couldn't tell ya. But it truly is amazing the effect paying more attention to life can have on your overall well being. Not sure where I'm going with this so moving on.
"If you don't have food, get out of my way!" - August 2016
You're welcome for the breakfast - August 2016
I visited my sister and brother in Kentucky this past weekend and it was wonderful and fun and filled with love and relaxing and sunny and centering. I met my nephew who will be 3 months old tomorrow. It's remarkable the moment you first hold someone so small and so vulnerable that all you want to do is protect him from all the harm in the world while enveloping him with love.
"So what do you think of string theory?" - August 2016
Love him. - August 2016
August 2016
A conversation I had on my trip got me thinking. Not everyone finds their path within the same timeframe. It's okay if it takes a bit longer or a bit shorter than the others. It's okay if it takes a lot longer or a lot shorter than the others. Just please remember to keep exploring, keep discovering. Do things that scare you because it is in those activities you find what comforts you. You find your thing. You find your path. And when you find your thing, don't be afraid to admit it — to speak about it to all who will listen. (Not everyone will listen and that's okay because not everyone is interested, which is also okay.) Don't give up. Who are we to think we should anyway?
Sunset run - August 2016
A room with a view - July 2016
The fairest of them all - July 2016
So here we are, in a state of chaos. Seriously though, what in the hades is going on with the world. (I put a period at the end of that sentence because I answered it the sentence preceding it.) I went to a concert a bit ago for a friend’s bday (It was tons of fun. My early to sleep and early to rise behavior is to blame for me almost falling asleep before 10pm while standing up.) and the opening act started a chant of:
“I am!”
“You are!”
“They’re the same thing.”
I was blown away. Can you say impactful and honest and thought-provoking? Sometimes I get somewhat hopeless with the way people treat each other and that chant was the most amazing reminder that there are people out there with hearts larger than a deep-dish pizza and how could I forget. Please, everyone, remember to be kind and respectful to others no matter how similar or different they are. And please remember to treat others well even when you don't feel others treat you well.

Robes and tongue faces - July 2016
Fam bam thank you mam - July 2016
Fun and friends and Seattle - August 2016
Some I just finished. Some I just started. - August 2016
I leave you with a list of things I am thankful for:
- My bed and its continuous coziness
- My friends and family for being wonderful and amazing and extraordinary
- My all-terrain slippers for carrying me to places in comfort
- Books for showing me what's possible
- Salads for making my lunches what they are, and my salad jar for holding said lunches
- Airplanes and co for getting me places faster
- William's Sonoma grapefruit soap and lotion for making my hands clean and moisturized while smelling marvelous

Gasworks with Buckles - Photo by Kate Starr - August 2016 
Ed Ruscha exhibit ruled - August 2016
The ferry is still my favorite form of transportation - July 2016