31 December 2009

59 things (or, the good that sort of fell into my lap)

I'm not going to lie. this is a really long list. go ahead, scroll down. it just keeps going and going. and going. but this is what I like to do. around this time of year, I like to put together a different kind of list. I like to throw a little party for the unexpected and you are cordially invited to attend. because sometimes the best things are the ones that slip in through the back door. for one reason or another, this is how my 39th year went down. it was a big year, maybe the biggest ever. I traveled to twelve different cities in ten different states. I experienced what felt like a hundred firsts. if ever there was a year to celebrate unpredictablity, this would be it. I'm telling you, my 39th year was a force to be reckoned with. my 39th year was not kidding around.

this year, I:

1. photographed a tulsa sky.

2. found myself on a warm beach in south texas in the middle of february.

3. walked halfway across the brooklyn bridge at night.

4. watched ava take her first ballet class. and cried.

5. discussed motherhood with my best friend over chocolate cake.

6. hit the vintage brooch motherload at olga's house of stuff.

7. became a regular contributor for a beautiful publication.

8. visited disney world. for the first time ever.

9. taught my first photography workshop.

10. had my fortune told at the 24 hour church of elvis.

11. fell in love with armenian baklava.

12. rode a clown bike through the streets of queens.

13. swam in the warm waters of the atlantic ocean.

14. stumbled onto a sea of red lanterns.

15. shared a cherry-dipped ice cream cone with my brother on the last day of summer.

16. planted a little garden of wildflowers that took over and grew beyond my wildest expectations.

17. photographed the wedding of one of my favorite women in the whole world.

18. threw a penny in the fountain at fellini's on ponce.

19. collaborated with the man behind dustbrand films.

20. scored ava an awesome old banana seat bike at a church basement sale.

21. traveled down a small section of historic route 66.

22. fell in love with an installation.

23. brought home a pack of candy cigarettes and the world's smallest deck of cards from archie mcphee's.

24. dangled my feet over the edge of a quiet dock.

25. photographed 23 third graders.

26. spent an entire day alone at one of my favorite places in the world.

27. had my polaroid portrait taken by an amazing polaroid photographer.

28. became a regular contributor for one of my favorite blogs.

29. put together the wall of sunshine.

30. found great solace in the rainbow that appeared just moments after a tornado touched down a few miles south of our florida hotel room.

31. was published in one book, one zine and a few very stellar magazines.

32. wandered through chinatown with leslie.

33. had a polaroid show at my church.

34. contributed to the delinquency of a few juveniles at a party for hannah.

35. realized that pretty much everything tastes better when eaten on an old yellow school bus. especially grilled cheese sandwiches.

36. photographed dan aka listener.

37. spent a morning up on the roof of my brother's building. stood silent while trains sang in the distance, looked out over the rooftops of queens, swooned over a miniature manhattan skyline.

38. watched my mom dance with my grandma.

39. lost myself in a rainbow of mexican wrestling masks and tiny guitars at san antonio's el mercado.

40. learned how to turn a head lamp into a disco light while navigating pitch dark wooded paths.

41. meandered down the aisles of the alameda fleamarket and came home with a vintage suitcase full of happy.

42. lounged with jen in the living room of her brooklyn apartment.

43. watched quietly as my dad waded out into the pacific ocean.

44. held my best friend's newborn baby girl in my arms. a child I am sure to spoil mercilessly for decades to come.

45. photographed jon the originator.

46. purchased a sweet little camera.

47. stood high above the golden gate bridge.

48. and then way down below it.

49. watched ava and ezra catch their first fish.

50. found myself at karen's house on a sunday morning. feasted on pancakes while marcus and alex charmed me into a sweet oblivion.

51. ran my fingers over a piece of guerilla knitting downtown portland.

52. beamed with pride at my husband's first book signing.

53. shared a deep-fried avocado with my brother while a 17-piece mariachi band rocked the house.

54. had a meaningful conversation with a man on a new york subway.

55. walked the streets of the mission with mati.

56. spent a morning alone at a deserted carnival.

57. found the equivalent to ruby red slippers.

58. woke up to a window full of bridge magic.

59. laid in the hammock in the backyard and saw my first shooting star.

28 December 2009

things are quiet around here

which is good. I am wearing pajamas a lot. also good. when things are quiet like this, ideas roll like marbles around my head. they bump into each other and shift into positions that are both lovely and unsettling. and (like a million other people in the world) I'm thinking about the year behind me, the year ahead. I'm ready to string words and sentences together in a more organized way.

but first, a clementine. and a christmas cookie. and more of that thing they call lounging.

22 December 2009

for the record

normally, I do not allow this kind of jumping on the couch. but it's only three days until christmas. I sort of want to jump too. also, I might be high on salted caramels. consider my judgment officially impaired.

p.s. little holiday tour of my home over at cafe mom today. thank ye kindly, sheri.

17 December 2009

number 1

last friday night, I rocked the backwards skate. true story.

I totally channeled my 9 year-old self and crossed number 1 off the (now outdated) list.

though apparently, I am not an advanced backwards skater. which I (unfortunately) discovered during the advanced backwards skate. in my defense, I did not hear the announcer say 'advanced'. all I heard was 'backwards skate' and the 9 year-old in me yelled GO before I had a chance to properly assess the situation.

for the record, I do not recommend the advanced backwards skate for anyone who cannot skate backwards at a breakneck speed. but should you find yourself in this particular situation, hug the sides and pretend like you know what you're doing. lean into it with your hips but do not close your eyes. then slowly make your way to the snack bar. that's where they sell the cherry icees. you will most likely need a cherry icee after the advanced backwards skate. you will also need a deep tissue massage and a special medal of honor.

which are all things I will keep in mind for next time. and there will be a next time, I am sure of it.

15 December 2009

thank you

for all the birthday wishes, I thank you. truth be told, I've been a little blue. it was, after all, my last birthday as a thirty something. I nearly cried over the title of the new list. 39 things to do before I turn 40. wow. I am staring down the barrel at forty. how is that possible? no really, how? typing out those last two numbers nearly killed me. but the new list, it's a good one. perhaps my best yet. and the red velvet cake, it was off the charts good. spectacular even. but the best part? the roller skating. definitely the roller skating.

11 December 2009

photobooth friday

photobooth friday

today I am 39. clearly, my hat is enormous. but after 39 years of living, I think I've earned the right to wear this sort of hat. today I'm going to bake the red velvet cake. I'm going to make a new list. and I'm going to go roller skating.

09 December 2009

number 13

I did a little wandering through san francisco's mission neighborhood monday morning. which just happened to be number 13 off the list. number 13, indeed. I highly recommend this wandering aimlessly thing.