Thursday, September 29, 2016

A Tale of Two Men

In the summer of 2015, I laid on my couch as I perused craigslist furniture for sale. We had just moved to a new spot and, as it always goes, the entirety of moving had made us feel as if we had been hemorrhaging money for a good month or so. I was in no mood to continue parting with my dough. Problem was, we still needed to fill our space up with a couple more items. In an effort to minimize that on my wallet, I had been searching craigslist daily for any unique home steals that caught my eye.

Sure enough, I soon saw a chair that I knew we had to have. It was a lacquered slate grey with tall wings and bolted divets running up and down the tips. The second I saw it, I knew it was mine. A few emails and texts with the owner later and there we were, standing at this man's door knocking loudly to grab our new-to-us chair.

I don't suppose I'll ever forget this very mild experience. I was like a week new to this big city so I was fervently noticing the shift from the type of people here vs. the type of people in Portland. It was all so fresh on my radar and I was like an urban sponge as I absorbed every new thing. As the door swung open, it instantly revealed a very successful man. I made this judgment by a quick assessment of a few things: His home was fashionable, masculine and organized. He wore a thick, expensive suit with horn-rimmed glasses and had his hair styled to OCD perfection. 

After exchanging a few pleasantries - Jay, the man and I walked over to the living room to get the chair. I had now learned that he was selling it because he was moving to NYC for a job transfer. He was in finance and his company wanted him to oversee an investment project in New York. No denying this man was a catch: masculine, friendly, handsome, worldly, professional, successful and outgoing. 
Within seconds, Jay and I had the bold grey chair in hand and were about to leave the premises of this pale grey house. As we neared the door, we lurched to a halt unexpectedly. So we pushed again. And again. And then we realized we were stuck in the frame. The tall wings that I had loved so much were far wider than the opening. Shucks.

No matter, the man took my spot on the front lines of this holding gig and together Jay and him did acrobats with the heavy recliner as they pushed, pulled, lifted, rotated and shoved. No such luck. It soon became clear that this wasn't going to happen without a little elbow grease and some tools.

"I think we should take off the door really quickly," - Jay suggested.
"Oh yeah, I remember that's how it got into the house in the first place, I had totally forgot." - man replied.
"Great! Do you have a tool kit handy?"- Jay.
"Uh..." he wavered, "I think so".

The man shot off into his bedroom and came back with a few lonely tools that had somehow been separated from their pack. As Jay assessed what we needed to do, the man was standing at ready to assist.

Jay asked for the Phillips screwdriver.
The man stared at the 7 tools over and over and reached for the flathead screwdriver. I grabbed the Phillips instead and handed it to Jay.
Jay instructed that they should both start to remove the hinge pins
The man had no idea what that meant.

With each step, I watched as this successful and well-groomed person stumbled his way around every inch of the hardware. He didn't know what to hit, he could only barely use a hammer and he certainly had no idea what any of the tools in front of him were. In fact, I caught him again trying to twist off a screw with the wrong screwdriver.

And I immediately thought - how funny is this? Here is the portrait of "success" proving himself to be utterly useless to this task at hand.

It has served as a good reminder to me of what it does mean to make it in this world.

The man selling his expensive chair from his SF home as he made his way to NYC for a big titled job certainly made it.

But so did the guy who works with his hands and can easily help anyone with a jump start or renovate a bathroom. He made it too.

Both would shine at different times and both would dull at others
There's not one way to be a great success story.
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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

A Spot In The Sun

For someone who just wrote a post about their excitement for fall and colder weather, I'm backtracking on my words just a little bit. Because it was all kinds of hot in San Francisco this weekend and even hit 91 on Sunday. Anddddd ... I loved it.
Our Sunday had originally started out like any other. We woke up and decided we wanted to enjoy a proper breakfast. It was my mom's birthday that day and after a resplendent conversation with her on the phone about the brunch we had planned for her up in Portland ("we" indeed- I coordinated with my sister from afar) and seeing the pics I was being texted of it - I felt like I wanted to enjoy some birthday fare too

There's two ways to do brunch.

The first way involves waking up refreshed and leaping into the shower with a uppity tune reverberating in your head. You smile at the mirror while you brush your teeth, you happily blow dry your hair into the perfect style and you step into an adorably stylish outfit with the help of little chirping birds. You arrive at brunch refreshed, fantastically fashionable and energized for the day ahead.

Then there's the second way. The slow waking up, the "feed me" gurgles shouting from your stomach, the empty fridge you know has nothing for you. This is followed by the will to find food as fast as possible. You throw your dented hair into a forgettable ponytail and scramble into workout clothes as fast as you can to embark on your quest to eat eggs

We chose the latter this day.

So we skipped out of our building and walked the few blocks to the eatin' street to get some grub. As we sat on the back patio under a canopy of sun drenched palm trees, I realized that today was going to be a beautiful day. A really, really beautiful day.

In order to actually enjoy some of it, I proceeded to then hit my normal Sunday errands with rapid fire: Grocery store, check. Apple store, check. Paper Source, check. Making sandwiches for lunch tomorrow, checkity-check-check-check

Now let's go to the beach.
^We've lived here awhile now and I still am awestruck by this view.
^I picked up a new IPA for Jay to try.
^I longed for a sailboat.
^We opted to sit on the grass this time because I had just dealt with a ton of sand and I didn't feel like doing it again that evening. Living by the beach has been amazzzzing but the 10 million additional grainy, rocky roommates that come with and infiltrate every corner of your house are a bit more difficult to make peace with.
^I sipped a rose in my wine chiller. It was the perfect libration for the heat.
^Chandler spent his time fetching tennis balls which was basically secretly a trick to tire him out. We kept throwing the ball down the hill so he was basically cross fitting leaping up and down it over and over and over again.
^We acted as though it was straight-up July (as did everyone else we were with)
^Which is easy to see why!
^Sunday vibes.

I honestly could have sat there for hours more But alas, there were things to do and real life to tackle. But boy how I loved that little moment in the sun.

^Our cheers via Instagram

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Sunday, September 25, 2016

Happy 60th Mom!

Today my beloved mom turned 60. 

She thrives on humor so I'm inclined to write on here: "D*mn, you old." 

But being the sweet little daughter I am, I'm not saying that. And truth be told: I'm not thinking it. Trips around the sun deserve cheers and hugs and celebrations. I'm happy to oblige.
In the spirt of "60", here's 6 things I love about my mom:

1) She made childhood great:
Heart-shaped PB&Js on Valentine's day, letters from the tooth fairy, coming home to a house full of holiday spirit in December - check, check and check. But deeper than that, she instilled in me an understanding that what makes me me, is something to cherish. Which helped me to note how everyone has something that makes them them and that's something to cherish too. I know without a shadow of a doubt that I'm a nicer person because my mom raised me.

2) She wrote a newspaper column for years and years:
Taking after her Philadelphian Dad who penned new stories his entire career, my mom had a column that ran in the papers for what seems like maybe a decade? The woman can write. And she's largely to blame for the fact that I like to blog (sorry interwebs).

3) She likes the good stuff.
Unlike me who pretty much takes my pick of varietals whenever I'm toasting something, my mom likes things like whiskey, neat or an old fashioned. Bad Italian! Bad! Drink your wine.

4) She helps people.
I've seen my mom time and time again help someone asking for money by offering them one of the many canned goods she keeps in her car for that purpose. She's smart (food better to give than money) and beyond considerate.

5) She's fun to be with.
I love to hang with my mom. We've enjoyed shared laughs as we watch a movie with one headphone on our flight to Europe, we've fallen asleep yukking it up in dorm hotels at college orientation and we've enjoyed drinks and adult talk in many downtowns. 

6) She's caring.
In college, I had someone very special to me endure an incredible hardship. My mom wanted to do something, anything, to send a message of her love. She said she would give me a gift to give said person. When I saw her, she handed me a cashmere blanket. Gorgeous on its own, I inquired further why she chose that. "Because..." she replied "I feel like a blanket is something someone can wrap themselves up in and that's extremely comforting during hard times. I want him to feel wrapped-up in love or like he's enveloped in a hug from me." 

Gulp. So sweet.

Luckily for me, she will land here on Saturday afternoon and I'll get to take her out proper to toast all that she is.

Happy birthday Mom, I love you!
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Thursday, September 22, 2016

10 Things About Me

1. I consistently don't read as many books as I'd like. I know that the exact reason is because in lieu of spending my quiet nights with my nose in a fable, I'm always up blogging or editing my photos. However, I do love to read when I make the time to do it and my library card down here has helped me to put a few more notches on my literary belt.

2. I have to really stop myself from eating entire jars of peperoncini. I love them so much. So very, very much and could consume 2-3 jars at a sitting easily, which would be sheer havoc on my body.

3) I have had future children's names picked out for over 10 years now. Only my sister and husband know what they are and I am always quite fearful someone close to me will snatch them or one up. What could you do? But I would privately (and to myself!) be very bummed out.

4) The ongoing process of laundry is pretty frustrating to me, especially since I have to lug it up outdoor stairs and we hang dry mostly everything and don't have a laundry room. So it dangles all over our house for a day after coming out of the washer and is a solid eye sore. But I don't mind folding it while watching a show. I hate scrubbing the bathtub with a passion. I don't mind washing dishes or Windexing anything and everything (*Cue the "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" quote).

5) I watch things I love so many times that I have a pretty impressive (if I do say so myself) verbatim recall of movie/tv show quotes. And I can pretty much tell you exactly what Louis CK said in any of his bits. Exactly. Which makes me super annoying when people try to casually say his jokes and I have to stop myself from correcting them.

6) There's few things I hate more than when motorcyclists rev their engines loudly. 

7) I do my best work when I'm listening to something. Most of the time, you will find me at my desk at the office listening to a documentary on YouTube while my fingers dance across the keyboard and my to-do list whittles down.

8) I wish I could fall asleep quickly at night and wake up very early. I am the opposite and it's exhausting (especially since I have no choice but to get up early for work anyway).

9) I don't like to cuddle while I sleep. Cuddling is the best but when it's time to buckle into dream land, it's time to get some distance.

10) Our last home in Portland is shown in the picture for this post, taken on the day we got the keys to it. It has given me a forever fondness for lipless sinks, grey floors and pale sea foam backsplashes that I hope to emulate some day.

Wish me luck on a crazy, busy day today!
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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

My Hometown-In-Law Is Better Than Yours

It is so very me to post a fall post yesterday and reserve a thick of summer post for today, on the official first day of Autumn. Nuuuurrr. Whatever, I'm just now tackling all my summer pics so here we go. We're ... going ... going ... back ... back ... to Oregon ... Oregon. 'Cause in case you just walked into this blog, you'd know that that's where I'm from. And you'd also know that while I'm born and raised in Portland at the north tip of the state, Jay hails from Ashland, the southernmost most town of the state. So to put it in "Game of Thrones" geographics: I am from the Wall and Jay is from Dorne  (within the state of Oregon). Which kinda makes sense since I dress/style myself like Jon Snow and Jay is a little sunlover as a result of his childhood in his dry, deserty Ashland/Dorne climate.

Which is a nice climate to annually visit on Independence day, I must admit. Just as we did again back in July. 

And I don't think it's hard to see why I love to head there - because this is the kind of stuff you get to do within its city limits:
^Stop and smell the roses - or in this case, stop and photograph them.
^have family time that can't be beat.
^Go for long walks with the whole Brady Bunch clan (or like 5% of them...)
^Take beautiful pictures of gushing flowers
^Laugh at dogs unwilling to part with their tennis ball while they drink water in the laziest fashion ever
^Sit on the ground where you married your husband and relax.
^Notice how naturally pretty everything is.
^Enjoy yappy hour out on the back porch - vino for you, disgustingly slimy tennis ball for him (which results in a disgustingly slimy upper thigh during all his drop-offs)
^Confuse your dog yet again about if you are his mom or his girlfriend.
^All hands on deck to set up for a meal out in the farm.
^... which included all of this.
^... and this...
^ and this.
^while staring at this...
^Love up on your "wedding venue" otherwise known as your MIL & StepFIL's gorgeous home
^Bask in the glory of canine land while feeling the soft grass under your bare feet
^Love the opportunity to talk with the two fine people who raised your husband
^Enjoy murals downtown with childhood friends (but really, that mural though)
^Watch everyone smile as blue hour envelops the city in its peaceful blanket
^Calm your nerves and use your macro lens on a bug that scares you quite a bit
^Digest faster with a post meal farm walk
^which brings with it an ethereal glow
^Like really, an ethereal glow. Look at that view. Just look at that. So gorgeous.
^Catch-up with the men of the family
^Have ratty wind hair & get ignored by your dog since he has so many better things he could be doing right now like romping through water vats and leaping over blackberry bushes.
^Harness that light for a photo
^Admire botany
^Drink awesome shooters and get together and just soak up each others' awesomeness
^Notice how quickly everyone loses steam for photos.
^Swim in a lake while the dogs run free.
^And tire them out by swimming with them while you play fetch amongst each other.
^sweat like a pig in this gorgeous setting
^Love me some orange.
^Still conquer your fears and get closer to the bee...
^Pose awkwardly.
^Coo at Lady & the Tramp
^Take the perfect pic of this perfectly lovely family that you get to be a part of.

I mean, talk about a perfect weekend.

Yes, indeedy - I love, love, love my hometown-in-law.
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