Archives for October 2013
Newport Beach, California.
I was born about 700 feet from here. Obviously, I don’t remember that moment of my life, but I have so many other memories from this area. My Nonny and Poppy lived here. My Grandma and Grandpa and my parent’s boat still do. Some friends, too.
The first time I ever remember noticing the moon was on my Poppy’s shoulders in his backyard here. Every time I look at it now I still think of that night when I first saw the man in the moon; now I think the man in the moon is my Poppy. I love the moon.
I worked here for three summers during college, teaching little kids to surf. My boss was crazy. One time he screamed in my face and told me I wasn’t worth the money he was paying me because one of the camp counselor kids I was in charge of lost a surfboard. Then, I had to drive this 11 year old camper home. She was so sweet and told me she thought I didn’t deserve to be yelled at. I remember thinking she was so empathetic and mature for her age. Another time, on the last day of camp, my boss took us to a fancy Mexican restaurant and bought us shots of top shelf tequila to celebrate the end of camp. Then he left me with the bill.
It’s funny though, because when Scott and I came to surf at the same beach where the surf camp used to be, I could only think of this time fondly. I remember there were some kids from Las Vegas who were given the gift of surf camp for Christmas. They were some of the most stoked people I’d ever seen. They really appreciated the ocean because it was the first time they’d ever seen it. I remember carrying several foam surf boards on my head across 300 yards of sand just so I could prove I was as strong as the boy counselors. I remember driving my dad’s 1972 GMC Jimmy through Laguna at 5 a.m. so I could surf the river jetties in the dark before camp started. I remember surfing the foamies during the lunch break and bonding with my fellow counselors at The Big Belly Deli after work.
I have hundreds of memories from camp, and taking the boat out with my family, and pulling pranks with my sisters and cousins, and being at Nonny and Poppy’s house which felt like another home, and going to my Grandparent’s wedding, and to Nonny and Poppy’s funerals. All of these memories came from this area and they all came back to me this weekend when I paddled out at tower 68.
You can practically get hepatitis a, b, c, d and e, from surfing this close to the Santa Ana river mouth and the dog beach, but the waves were crappy and the weather was foggy, so it was, of course, worth the risk. Or at least, it was worth the memories.
It’s been kind of a crazy week around here. I feel like I’ve been saying that a lot lately (waah, waah). It’s becoming very obvious that there’s no getting out of this being an adult thing now. I’m in it for the long haul (or at least until the weekend). It’s hard sometimes, but when I think about what it would be like to find out you have breast cancer like my cousin Michelle did almost a year ago, it really puts things into perspective. Talk about having to deal with something like a grown-up.
I wanted to follow-up on my post in March about Michelle’s battle with breast cancer.
I was crying one night when I saw how many of you stopped over to Michelle’s blog, left comments and have continued reading and supporting her on this scary, crazy journey. It’s obvious why you’d like her blog. It’s still better than the book I’m reading now and all the books I read this summer. She tells it like it is. She’s inspiring and thoughtful. But I want to thank you for supporting someone I love so much. Someone you probably don’t even know. Your actions remind me of the intrinsic good in people and I’m sure they have made Michelle happy.
Now, on to the best news of all the news in all the world (or at least in mine). Michelle is in remission! Yeah. Michelle is cancer free!
Michelle is healing and Michelle is stronger and Michelle is moving forward. Not just that, but even with all the havoc a disease like cancer can wreak on your life, Michelle has been doing a lot of good. Not just with her blog, but through her work as a copywriter.
You may have heard of #Mamming. Maybe you’ve done it. Michelle helped with that campaign! Below is the video. It’s a very creative and funny way to take the awkwardness out of mammograms. It’s a very constructive way to spread the word about the importance of checking yourself for breast cancer. Or as Michelle put it, “It’s much cooler than a pink ribbon on a salsa jar.” Yes.
I decide to do art next. I want to explore my creative mind more. I feel I’m always grasping for a creative enlightenment I never quite seem to reach. A part of me is happy about that. If you really arrived at your creative boundary that would probably be really depressing. I’m actually not sure such a thing exists. I think you can always grow as a person, forever.
There’s a fine point pen I need to buy to finish my drawing of a hot air balloon. I decide to drive to the art shop down the road. I pick out a black pen with a .08 felt tip. I draw with it for a minute on provided test paper, putting the pen through a bit of a trial before I decide if it’s the one for the job. It is. When I pay, the girl says “Can I tell you something kind of weird?” I’m nervous, but curious to hear what it is. She says “You smell like the Caribbean.” None of the options I considered were even close. I laugh a little and she wonders if it’s perhaps because of my shampoo. I tell her I haven’t showered today and we both awkwardly laugh. Then she says, “Well that’s good then”.
Next, I go to CVS to pickup a few things. The only people in the store are me, the workers and an elderly couple looking at candles. I’m used to waiting in a line so long I can usually get through my whole instagram feed, but today I stroll right up to the pharmacy counter. As I leave, I decide to go down the holiday isle so I can be surrounded by the Halloween decorations, but they have already been replaced with Christmas ornaments and trees. What a bunch of crap.
On the way home, I notice things in my town I’ve never seen before. The coffee shop sells boiled peanuts? Are those any good?
Then I’m home and I feel the urge to write this all down. It’s an ordinary day, but that makes it all the more likely to fizzle away in my mind. I don’t want it to. I like this day so far. It’s random, but typical. I’m on my own schedule. On my own adventure, in a way.
1. I jumped in the ocean on my way home from work Tuesday and found these treasures while I was in there
2. sometimes I just love it when nobody’s around
3. watching my surf students surf
4. afternoon snack
5. surfing for my students 🙂
6. waiting for Scott to come home on Fridays feels like waiting for Christmas morning
7. I wonder if this bird thinks its feathers are pretty?
8. this one afternoon for about three minutes a corner of our house looked different than I’d ever seen it look before
9. A last walk with a person I realize now has become one of my favorites. I guess I’m just thankful for the time we had together over the last two years, because the goodbye was really hard.
I’m sitting at my computer on a quiet Monday. Quiet, as in no one’s around, but I can hear the trash trucks and trains go by. There’s a light breeze today and I know the times when I can open the doors and windows to let it in are dwindling, so I am taking full advantage. Some of my favorite “fall” songs are playing now. None about leaves or wind or pumpkins or anything, but songs like Beach Baby by Bon Iver that I’ve been listening to ever since I started this blog and stayed home on Mondays to write it.
I want to say this weekend was better than the last; I want to say this weekend was better than most, but I don’t feel right comparing them. I guess all days are good if they help you grow and live a more enlightened kind of life. When I think of the word enlightened I think of yoga class and my mom and that book by Eckhart Tolle I’m always meaning to finish. Nevertheless, there were some really bright spots over the last two days. Not the least of which was a surprise party for Kevin. He didn’t expect it at all. He was so overwhelmed by the surprise he might have even cried, but you didn’t hear it from me! It was awesome. It’s crazy how someone who isn’t actually in your family can feel like such a big part of it. I’m so lucky and happy to have Kevin in my life (and in my parent’s backyard most days 🙂 .
Scott’s mom and dad decided last minute to come down for the festivities too. The waves and weather were perfect. Usually it wouldn’t matter to them if the waves were good or not (except that they usually like to watch us surf), but this time they got out on the water in the kayaks and rode some of them. Carolyn actually had a major wipeout that sent us all running down the beach, but almost exactly after she popped up from it, she was back in the seat saying that at least she didn’t have to worry about getting wet now. My dad’s been pretty into this whole sea kayaking thing lately, getting all the gadgets he can for them (floating sunglasses?), so he was happy to give a few lessons and even took Carolyn all the way out to the kelp bed where the lobster traps lay.
We all watched the sunset until the moon showed up and then we embraced and dispersed before the Charger game started. As I’m typing this, that song Janglin’ by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros just came on and I’m reminded of sitting covered by a blanket someone spilled coke on as we watched the band perform it during a summer sunset. I think this means, in the calm of fall, I am finally finding the fondness I hoped I would for summer and all that went on during that time. I’m also feeling like this past summer is just beginning to teach me about letting go of a little of the control I try to have over my life. There’s a lot of good that can come from things you don’t expect.
taco soup // blue corn chip nachos with avocado & tofu