Tuesday, December 8, 2009

take charge and watch the glass fall.

chandeliers - the ambassador - sf, ca

remind yourself that there is little to complain about. you've got your confidence. you've got your good looks. you've got your creativity and zest for the world around you. and most of all, you've got a warm bed and even a space heater to toast the chill of your pied-a-terre. life is good.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

when you step with a sister, they go sixty at a time.

my sister and i walked from my place all the way across the golden gate bridge and back today. the ultimate trek for a perfect sunday. looking down from the span's center was as terrifying as it was when i did it years ago, but so exhilarating. perfect. perfect day.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

the zest is back the sky is blue.

clearly marina - fort mason-ish - sf, ca

i feel like that stella who got her groove back. i lost my fun for a few weeks, but i found it in a hot-quick way. have an excellent saturday.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

hard shadows and a stand in line.

my neighborhood at sundown - union street - nb - sf, ca

i need a mantra, but i'm worried that i'm spending far too much time in my own head.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

the clouds look like jellyfish.

kites in flight - marina green - sf, ca

i wish daylight savings were reversed--that the timekeepers, whomever they might be, would give the evening hours a bit of consideration. haven't they realized how lovely it is to leave work at seven with the sun just beginning to set? i don't recognize this six o'clock before me.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

open letter to autumn with an attitude.

summer is over - the garden - napa, ca
will you please stop with all of the teasing? all of the back-and-forth? my wardrobe and i are going insane. what is one to do with a downpour day followed by one full of sunshine and temperate breezes? come on. it's time to forfeit the warm weather in favor of degrees more fitting for blazers and oversized cowls and riding boots. you've had your seventeen minutes. time to kill the spotlight and give the podium to the thunder clouds rumbling at your feet.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

mannequin hands and bent forks.

why not - modernism expo - sf, ca

we're all artists in varying capacities, and the boldest among us are those who turn craft into profession.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

the raindrop collective. an excuse for balm.

wiggly water - the garden - napa, ca

i've just recovered from being pretty ill for the past three days, and i stepped out to a wet world this morning. those at work who clearly don't know me blamed my sickness on the dreary weather. no way flora may. i've maintained a lifelong love affair with all things related to raindrops. anyway, i was reminded today--while eating lunch in the break room--of the days when recess was cancelled due to downpour. and how cool it was to have permission to eat at my own desk and draw fashion cats at the same time. alas, my fluffy flashbacks were demolished when i realized where i was. at work. sitting with my back to a nameless man who pronounced eatable, "eetable." a storm of a different sort, i suppose.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

quick! under the quonset hut!

car hood bandshell - fort mason - sf, ca

the sailors are on their way. it's fleet week, yet again. so ready your dixie-cup-snatching skills because the boys in white will be aplenty. but don't let them fool you girls--just because they're dressed in all white doesn't mean their intentions are pure.

Friday, October 2, 2009

stainless like the steel. apple orange peel.

looking west - from telegraph hill - sf, ca

watch out. before you know it, you'll be turning into the people who surround you. and the places too.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

silence with a view.

still glow - the garden - napa, ca

i collect quiet places in the city. just in case. the latest? where francisco street meets hyde. find it. find yourself a pocket of calm. siren-free.

the dutch dip in resin what we left decades ago.

marcel wanders's crochet chair - one of twenty in the world - sf, ca

this resin-dipped crochet chair would look perfect in place of my bedroom's sad, white linen futon-couch. for now i'll file wanders's design in my covet archives to be later visited when outfitting my home's modern-minimalist-meets-1920s-french-eclectic interior.

Monday, September 28, 2009

take cover. these raindrops spell hurricane.

car hood bandshell - fort mason - sf, ca

today was absolutely strange. everything that could've possibly gone wrong did, but being in the midst of all the unsettled energy left me oddly calm. i wasn't particularly pissed off. i wasn't on the verge of tears. it was as if the stress of the situation was a foamy mass hovering around my body. i could feel the tension, but it was just there, rubbery and curious. i tried to make sense of the raining mistakes and mishaps to no avail. the deluge wasn't forecasted in my horoscope, so what could it be? a martian monday, i reckon.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

golden inspiration for art walls everywhere.

charley harper prints - sf modernism show and sale - sf, ca

i nearly passed out when i came upon the show space featuring the work of charley harper. what you're seeing is precisely what inspired my bedroom's collaborative art wall in the first place. charley's work has immense personality, and up close, you can't help but smile at each and every print. he put nature on the page with inviting whimsicality and sense of humor. i aspire to own an original, but for now, i'll be saving up for a silk screen.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

the beatles meet the very best in a buttercream gang amalgam.

stacks of bangles - nahmyo's wrists - isla vista, ca

my friend pete and his band the buttercream gang maintain a kick-ass blog. i fully encourage you to click that there link, and prepare to gather music knowledge because they've done all the hunting for you.

thus far, my favorite find has been the very best's song called yalira. no joke. twenty-two times on repeat already.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

from the ceiling to the glow beneath.

blurred chandelier - the fillmore - sf, ca

there was a time years ago when i found myself fascinated by the idea of wealth. imagining homes with elevators and sprawling lawns and indoor swimming pools, i would lie on my back for hours staring into the passing clouds. but strangely, i never coveted the fantasy estates in my head--they existed more as an imagination exercise than anything. but that didn't stop me from diligently counting chimneys on passing hilltop houses. and don't get me started on chandeliers (i thought crystals were diamonds. honest mistake).

a lot has changed. i have a pretty firm grasp on fortune. but i still maintain a swirly complex relationship with luxury and luxe living. i work surrounded by goods i cannot afford. i'm a part of this micro pocket of people who work at the feet of san francisco society. i covet the idea of having a vast expendable income. and all this is held in perspective by an awareness of the preposterous pretense that so infects wealthy corners of the world--and the wannabes too for that matter. something i have observed only recently is the personal puppeteering act that happens among the super-rich. it's as if--at some point--these women, these people, become so obsessed with representing their bounty that they lose themselves. they lose their flexibility, their ability to relate, their ear to the real-world wind. there are exceptions of course. quite a few, in fact. but what a chore it must be to keep up and stay up and work toward being the most up of the up. the competition is never-ending--a marathon of archaic checkpoints and a treadmill lifetime of networking. at some point, you have to wonder if that life is really a life worth wanting.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

ticket-tape inside your head to read later on.

a painters paint job - chestnut street (nb) - sf, ca

try not to take advantage of the moments you share with yourself and yourself alone. that time spent will keep you sane in the end. or at least i think it will.

Monday, September 21, 2009

light [conspiracy] theory.

sunday night - from telegraph hill - sf, ca

i can't believe how many business building lights were lit at eight o'clock on a sunday evening--or at least that's what i imagine the glowing transamerica windows to mean. and if not, what a waste of electricity. or maybe it's company policy to keep the fluorescent bulbs abuzz twenty-four hours a day to prevent suspicious activity? but haven't the honchos learned by now? serious crime laughs in the face of surveillance. then again, i bet the cameras are there only to instill fear in employees--to prevent the hoarding of new sharpee pens and tape dispensers--and ultimately distract the small-people-small-jobs from the underhanded deals of their superiors.

see, the nightly news ruins everything. even a view.

my monday wears a sombrero.

fire escape shaddows - larkin street - sf, ca

if you break up life into small achievements, then you can likewise rejoice in mini crises avoided.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

and they sent me soaring.

family day kite festival - marina green - sf, ca

when i emerged from cervantes street to the marina green today, i was completely elated by the sight before me--a sky filled with kites. the family day kite festival i witnessed, which started in 1978, gave both professional and amateur kite fliers a chance to share their floating friends with the san francisco public. watching the blooby figures catch the air and jiggle around as the wind changed was entrancing--and however cheesy this might sound, i swear i felt lighter being in their presence.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

tangled in the treasures.

accessory friends - my closet - sf, ca

every time i consider consolidating my collection of accessories, i side against it. mostly because i want my kids to have an insane dress-up box. plus, for the time being, it's better to hang onto questionably cool items. theme parties are bound to continue well into my thirties.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

eight shakes from the salt mine.

growing ice crystals - on the plane to ny - somewhere, usa

tonight i ate a roasted carrot so salty that it brought me to a new state of thirst. an out-of-body thirst experience, if you will. it was as if i'd taken a gulp of sea water. you know, where you pull up the inner side of your swimsuit and lap your tongue against the fabric in effort to quell your raisin tongue, only to realize that the agony cannot be escaped. so tonight, before my hand lunged its way to the water glass, i just sat there thinking, is this carrot really this salty? i have to be imagining this. my mouth must be mistasting. but after eating yet another, i confirmed they the orange vegetables were, in fact, sodium-ridden. booo. what a waste of a perfectly delicious miniature carrot. fortunately the rest of the meal was far more delicious. my bolinas cod was perfectly tender with a crisp crust--not over-handled. and i'm convinced that the bread was baked somewhere on cloud eighty-nine. good-lord-good bread. lay off of the white stuff, bar tartine. and keep up the good work with the ratatouille.

Monday, September 14, 2009

hold still omelette and say cheese.

sunday brunch - bacara resort and spa - santa barbara, ca

looking at this picture reminds me that i doodled through much of the still-life lecture during my art history course freshman year. i'll wiki it this week. you should too. why not?

to find a way is to reach the sun before it falls.

the view - from telegraph hill - sf, ca

i often find myself wondering--however narcissistic it may seem--if i'm truly exceptional. if i am actually as interesting and gifted, maybe, as i fancy myself to be. the frustrating thing is that my own self-doubt is keeping me from doing what it is that i know i want to do. and on that same level, i waste time reassuring myself that i'm young and that things will pan out as they should. my dad tells me that there needs to be balance. my mom encourages me to baby-step my way into the future i want (in other words). and then i have my own voice telling me that i've always been an all-or-nothing character who has avoided challenge in fear of failure. in fear of criticism. what a cop out really. the only person standing in my way is me. and as many people can attest, i'm no small feat.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

fearless ofelea the forever believer.

tower flower - the garden - napa, ca

restarting my netflix subscription was the best decision i've made in a while.  i finally watched pan's labyrinth--which i've been wanting to see since its premiere--and i was absolutely captivated from beginning to end.  see it.  and prepare to have your fairy-tale conventions flipped on their snow-white and cinderella ends.     

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

be careful where you park your valuables.

fire through my nalgene - john muir trail - somewhere, ca

as i was walking home this evening--intently tweeting about the air's fall transformation--i was stopped by a young, disheveled looking guy.  stopped in an indirect way really, because i can hardly recall how it was that he came to my attention in the first place.  it's as if i just jelly-wobble-morphed into the position of interpreting the confusing combination of words and colors on the parking meter to his right.  he was coke-bottle glasses in front of me, and i was being trusted to inform, and to inform correctly.  so i read it over.  twice in my head.  once aloud.  once in unison with the guy.  and all i could think was that the city needed to hire a better sign editor, if such a position even exists.  i said, "you should be alright," and gestured to time portion and permit requirements.  "but i mean, i dunno.  are you feeling lucky?"  and he replied, "no, actually.  i've had a crazy day."  "crazy how?"  he was doing this nervous thing with his hands.  "well, i just had my laptop stolen."  "oh my gosh, that's horrible. how?"  "i checked it in the back of a thrift store, and somebody must've seen it back there, and they just stole it."  "well karma is on your side then.  the universe owes you." "yeah, or i could have my car towed."  i thought, he's right.  we threw a couple chuckles back and forth--his mixed with apparent anxiety-- and we eventually came to the conclusion that he better just park his beat up white toyota corola in the lot next door.  he thanked me for "all of my attention."  and i wished him "the best of luck." 

take your glow worms and light up somewhere else.

lattice windmill arch - outside lands festival - sf, ca

we are entitled to make our own choices--to foster our own habits, better yet.  but seriously people, smoking is so 1991.  there is absolutely nothing cool about it.  packing your newports against your palm.  not sexy.  blowing forrest fire fumes out of your mouth.  gross. wasting hundreds of dollars per year on something that only leads you closer to your tomb.  fucking stupid.   oh, you say you only smoke when you're drunk?  how about you find an imagination and conjure up an excuse that is worth my damn time.  and while you're at it, trade your brain for a new set of lungs.  you're clearly not using the former, and you'll need the latter down the road.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

boogie man diaries. i'd like a plush toy please.

beachside bonfire - aptos, ca

when i was younger, i thought i'd outgrow my fear of being alone in my house without my parents present. nope. no such luck. i'm still lowering blinds with my eyes closed in fear that i'll find a face in the darkness on the other side of the window pane.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

when one bridge closes, you can count on the train.

chive blossoms - home - napa, ca

the bay bridge is closed. the local news is predicting chaos for tomorrow's commute. i have a feeling that things will run more smoothly than they expect. it's kind of like leaving your cell phone at home. you're disconnected, which is uneasy. but you find a way to get around. and once you're home, you're shocked to see that you've only missed two calls. looks like you can survive without it after all.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

ballpoint without a point; your pen is running out.

above the building - next door - sf, ca

existential thinking starts innocently enough.  you're walking.  it's beautiful outside--the kind of pre-fall five o'clock that is still soft around the edges.  you look up, naturally, to admire the clouds and how they seem to hold the sunlight from within.  in looking upward, giving half notice to those who tread in your wake, you realize that you're yourself.  in your own head.  thinking your own thoughts.  on your own journey.  and the others, they have theirs.  now you're breathing, consciously so--holding the air as the clouds do the light.  you can't imagine doing anything other than what you're doing; breathing, walking, thinking, being.  but it all ends eventually, and you hope that your awareness of that will somehow buy you a pass to an acceptable end.  one in seventy, eighty years when things make more sense.  when you've seen your share of skies.  is that all really?  life measured by days and nights and the time that passes between the two?  it's all too much.  all you can do is know that you're present.  the pondering will drive you crazy.  you've got to make your brain stop, so you shake your head as to settle the sandstorm.  and just like that, you're there.  twenty-four.  seeing and stepping with the satin breeze at your back.  

Monday, August 31, 2009

[a] tribute to the [m]an who mixed the music.

forever applause - outside lands festival - sf, ca

an impressive person has left the planet.  someone who seized his passion, shared it with fortunate masses, and, for craftsmen like him, replaced doubt with the possibility of success.  dj am will be missed on many levels, by more people than he could have ever imagined.  

Friday, August 28, 2009

your schedule will open up at just the right time.

blue sky, spring branches - home - napa, ca

this weekend is going to be nutty.  and with my saturday and sunday clear as they are, i just might just forget that monday awaits.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

finding the right places to scrounge around.

digging dogs - home - napa, ca

i'm over the marina.  i'm over the triangle bars.  find me--from now on--in a better space.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

back to la paz. back-to-back.

prayer flags over the garden entry - home - napa, ca

i'm beginning to notice that my pictures are starting to resemble each other.  even if the subjects change.  that either means that i'm developing a personal style or i need new terrain slash inspiration.  in effort to keep everyone interested, i'm taking my camera to the streets.  watch out for the urban captures.

flipping the bird to the bull.

noodley zinnea - you know where - napa, ca

cut the bullshit.  prioritize your life.  and focus on what matters.  if people are saturating your everyday situation with stupid shit, ask yourself why you let them.  ask yourself if the nonsense that they're spitting has anything to do with you or your happiness or your most certainly brilliant future.  if it doesn't, tell them to f-o.  and quick.

Monday, August 17, 2009

make them apples last.

compost heap - home - napa ,ca

i finally got to making apple sauce tonight.  as you can see, the apples at home abound.  they grow by the ton.  and i--channeling my inner john and carol euser--did what a smart person does when presented with ten pounds of quickly ripening gravensteins.  i made apple sauce.  

simple instructions:
1. start with tunes that remind you of home.  it is impossible to make good apple sauce without great background noise.
2. peel your apples
3. quarter and core the peeled apples
4. place quarters in a large pot (apples shouldn't rise above 2/3 mark)
5. add a 1/4 cup of water to prevent burning
6. cook over a medium flame, stirring frequently
7.  apples will begin to break down, and while they do, mash occasionally with your stirring spoon
8.  continue to cook, stir, and mash until--voila--you have delicious, homemade apple sauce.  

cooking time: approximately ten minutes
sugar: optional

Sunday, August 16, 2009

all the seriousness halts on sunday.

hands up - the farthest pedestrian point - sf, ca

on a day-to-day basis, i tend to be pretty critical.  but i'm a different person on sundays.  i embrace that chubby men will jog shirtless despite their bouncing man-boobs.  i forgive drivers who ignore me in the crosswalk.  and when trader joe's is out of its organic, nonfat plain yogurt, i give their european-style alternative a try.  i think it would behoove me to hold onto the sunday spirit--sprinkle it on top of the rest of my weekdays and heave-ho the rest.  

Saturday, August 15, 2009

slap that saturday right off your face.

the beach house - beach drive - aptos, ca

while i'm working on this most painfully perfect saturday, i'll be thinking about how much i'd rather be at the beach.  

Friday, August 14, 2009

eighty grams a day keeps the doctor far far away.

vegetables in a a row - the garden - napa, ca

people, are you getting enough fiber?  i'm not talking about that metamucil bullshit.  i know that you know that your body doesn't want fiber in the form of artificially-flavored, chalky, orange water.  in fact, scrap all of the fiber intake methods that don't occur naturally.  the sooner you introduce fruits and vegetables into every which one of your three to five meals per day, the better.  

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

pick your letters at random and the record-breaking is only inevitable.

scrabble board - at the beach - aptos, ca

the most points ever earned on a single turn of scrabble is 365--the gentleman-scholar michael cresta earned the points using the word QUIXOTRY (adj. exceedingly idealistic; unrealistic and impractical) back in october of 2006.  watch out cresta, my eye is on your prize.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

produce knowledge: hard avocado, green cure.

spindly little sunflowers - the garden - napa, ca

so you might have noticed as of late that grocery store avocados are one of two things:  ripe and overpriced or stone-hard and semi-affordable.  well, i refuse to spend $2.50 per fruit, so i'll share with you some knowledge i picked up in the check-out isle.  

place your yet-ripened avocados (i find that they ripen best in groups of three or four) in a brown paper bag (you're thinking, duh, everyone knows that).  BUT, here's the sparkle point that will put the yellow-to-green, buttery deliciousness in your sadly pre-picked produce:  
add a green apple to the bag.
why?  because i'm telling you to.  then give those suckers a couple days.  

but don't forget to investigate the potential of an avocado before buying.  if it's completely green, chances are it'll end up watery and not worth your while--even after a brown bag vacation.  and if it's too soft from the get-go, you're bound to find mushy bruise marks that'll inevitably gross you out.  so choose wisely, be patient, and add that avocado to everything your healthy heart desires.  

Thursday, July 23, 2009

get your grammatical game in line.

nostrils flared - neighbor horse - napa, ca

seriously.  nothing irks me more than grammatical error--no sort worse than the misuse of your and you're.  

e.g. your mom has fluffy hair.

you're=contraction of the words you and are
e.g. you're an idiot if you don't know the difference between your and you're.

so next time you consider writing a card or a facebook message, take a split second to consider the difference.  would it make sense to say, hope your having a great summer? no, it wouldn't.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

to all of the things left on your plate.

i've always thought it was my calling to write and design greeting cards.  one of these days i'm just going to do it.  i'll design ten.  make a rough version of them.  distribute to friends, family, and a stranger or two, and see where the whole thing goes.  

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

and why not? and why not, and why not.

a different approach - earth day circa 2007 - isla vista, ca

i'm still on my ariel levy kick, so forgive me if my reading recommendations are a bit same-page this week.  but really, the woman can do no wrong as far as i'm concerned.  i not only think that she is a seriously skilled and readable writer, but her subjects are just as compelling.  in may of 2004, she wrote this great piece about stanley bosworth, the creator and head master at saint ann's school in new york--brooklyn if i'm not mistaken.  anyway, read it.  i was totally entertained with bosworth's banter and levy's weaving of the man's many-layered personality.

the article got me thinking about living and learning and pursuing things in an off-kilter manner.  but i realized, when reading bosworth's quotes, that truly remarkable thinkers don't even consider their thought process.  and the idea of consciously attempting to be less conscious and more free-to-fuck-the-world completely contradicts the point altogether.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

when you are your best company.

view from a great spot - east beach - sf, ca

the walk from my house to the end of crissy field and back has become a fast favorite.  the final stretch in particular--just before reaching the warming hut--puts a perma smile on my face.  excellent people watching.  happy dogs all over the place. kids being kids.  and active people giving off their active-people vibes.  plus, when you put peter gabriel in the mix, the whole experience morphs into a spectacular sensory kaleidoscope.  find yourself there.  in both senses of the word.  

Saturday, July 18, 2009

those who disobey their mothers.

that's right - beachside - isla vista, ca

so many things cracked me up today.  the following takes the cupcake.

setting: market street walgreens
character: chubby chinese kid
props: ruby red cell phone
dialogue: "did you get in trouble?" long, anxious pause.  his face squished up in apparent pain.  "please say no.  please say no.  please say no.  please say no. please say no."

i passed him before i could hear the outcome.  but i can totally recall being young and pissed at a friend who was selfish enough to f up just in time for the weekend.  you didn't put your power rangers away after you used them?  you snuck a lollipop on no-sugar saturday and got the damn thing stuck in your sisters hair?  now she has a bob?  way to go, idiot.  i guess i'll be jump-roping to a million by myself.  whatever, you don't even know how to count past one-hundred anyway.  

Friday, July 17, 2009

super duper friday excited.

 flamingo found - near a cactus - sb, ca

hello friday night.  
you are looking fine.  
can i have your number?
on this napkin you'll have mine.
oh, you say you're taken?
she lives across the bay?
well keep that bridge-and-tunnel, babe.
you're just another day.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

a woman to inspire women.

the energy among us - statemynt - santa barbara, ca

get to know ariel levy.  her intelligence, her eloquence, her take on the world and the way she writes about the people in (on?) it blow my mind.  see.  mind blown. 

start here.
then go here. (which is actually where i started.  which brought me so many other places.)
then go here.
then go wherever it is that clicking takes you.
(you know how i get when i get obsessed with something/someone.)

Thursday, July 9, 2009

canvas for the masses.

skyline - from the boat - sf, ca

think about all of the thoughts you trail behind as you move toward the next thing.  the places you just were--the places behind you--turn small within moments.  you're baffled.  that building was just towering above you.  twenty minutes later, it's pinky-sized and totally pinchable.  but gosh, to even consider scooping up all of the mind matter synapse frenzy that spilled along the way is out of the question.  your brain is just too much to contain.  mine is all over the place.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

mason jar homes for future frog friends.

golden hour - up the road - napa, ca
my sister and i spent a serious amount of time in that creek right there. wading. digging. harvesting tadpoles. clearing brush. all while wearing improper footwear. seeing how well she and i have turned out, i'm semi-convinced that sloshing around for hours on end had a lot to do with it.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

this white light? fade to bright.

the greenhouse - my front yard - napa, ca

i just finished watching the michael jackson memorial slash tribute.  and i'll tell you what.  i'm pretty bummed about the whole thing.  that music--his music--has so been a part of my growing up.  most notably during my free willy obsession.  most recently as part of the pick-me-up soundtrack to my  stomp home.  bearing witness to all of the grief across the world, i've begun to realize that some of the unity cliches used to describe the king of pop really are true.  i suppose 'man in the mirror' in my ipod sounds the same in your ipod as it does in the ipod of a kid all the way in moscow.  and you know what?  we're all feelin' it.