31 August 2009

it can only go up

Cough (cough) Cough! Uh, excuse me... I can't seem to stop coughing. The hills behind our house disappear each morning in a cloud of smoke and the air quality is far less than perfect. To say the least, it hasn't been a great weekend.

(night photography not great because I still don't have a tripod!)

This is what's being called The Station Fire. It's not threatening to our home, just our health.

And speaking of health... The Captain had a rough weekend.

We're lucky he's such a trooper! Bad Mom and Dad are too scared to trim his nails and have been lazy about taking him to get it done. Last Thursday Little Bear and I went on a run together and he came home licking his paw. There was a little crack in his nail but nothing serious. Then on Saturday we were out on the deck cooking dinner when all of a sudden he jumped into the air and wouldn't walk on his back paw. He had cracked the nail all the way down. Luckily the emergency vet is right down the street. They removed the nail and wrapped the foot in a little boot. Poor guy!

28 August 2009

they look like big, good, strong hands

Last year an acquaintance of mine (more like a friend of a friend) sent an email about her niece. Her niece needed to have open heart surgery. This friend of a friend decided to do what she could and raise some money for her sister and brother-in-law. She made bracelets and sold them to anyone she could. I was one of those anyones.

The bracelets are basically a piece of hammered metal slipped onto a vintage watch band. I ordered 2 as gifts for my sisters. She was doing this as a gift to hers so I felt it appropriate to make it a gift to mine. I had the words VIDA SANGRE AMOR hammered long ways down the metal. My sisters are exactly that to me, LIFE BLOOD LOVE.

I don't know at what point I decided I wanted to have these words tattooed onto my skin but I held onto that notion for a while, waiting for the right time.

A few weeks after giving my sisters the bracelets my friend Stuart was diagnosed with leukemia. The call for blood and platelet donors was put out and I responded. As a platelet donor you have to meet a lot of criteria, one of them being no ink in the past 12 months. So I waited for Stuart to recover before going in for my new tattoo. And then it took on new meaning. I was giving my blood to someone I loved in hopes of helping to save his life. Unfortunately, that's not how the story goes.

So on the first of August I went and got it done. Celebrating the love I have for my sisters and the special life of my dear friend Stuart. Blood never felt so important...

(close up)

(in context but backwards because i took it in the mirror!)

27 August 2009

around the bend the rooster

I'm into my 2nd week now of getting up at 6:30 (okay, the alarm goes off at 6:30 - I don't always get up!). I wake to the silence and the sun in order to spend an hour or so with just me... focusing on my food for the day and exercising this body of mine. So far it's been a good experience. I've never enjoyed diet and workout like I am this time around. The beauty in doing something just for me outweighs the desire to indulge. I feel happy. I feel healthy. I feel like I am finally on the right track. Now, I know that the first week is either the hardest or easiest time to stick with something new. But the second week has been even better. I've just got to start setting the alarm a little earlier so that I will get up by 6:30!

Here's one of the joys of waking so early. There are fires all around us that are making our amazing sunrises spectacular sunrises.

(this is the view from our bedroom)

24 August 2009

this is a love story

A couple of weeks ago My Heart also entered his 31st year. It's a lot of pressure having his birthday just over a week after mine. I always have big shoes to fill in order to make sure his day is just as special as mine was.

This year I took inspiration from the movie (500) Days of Summer. It's not out wide yet but we saw it a while back and both really loved it. It was filmed entirely in downtown LA and the city really felt like a character in the movie. I also took a page out of a Mr. Dadd's (our financial adviser) book. He took his wife for a weekend out in the city and they pretended they were in NYC.

Step one was recreating the movie poster with personal touches (too personal to show here, sorry!). (31) Years of My Heart began early Saturday morning when I secretly left the poster with directions for the day next to my sleeping love as I went to run some errands. It cryptically said:
Please pack an over-night bag
1 outfit = dressy, fun, punk rock but with shoes to walk in
1 outfit = casual & comfortable

Be prepared to be away from home for most of the weekend.

Have your ID on you.

Relax. Enjoy.

Car service leaves Avenue 37 promptly at 2pm today.
Be ready!

I think he was a bit anxious - not sure how much he really likes surprises but in the end he LOVED it!

First Stop:

The Omni hotel in downtown LA... the service there is amazing and you can sign up on their website to become a member (for free!) and receive even more perks - they saw that it was my husband's birthday so they sent up a complimentary bottle of champagne!

Next was a stroll through the city where we hit the Bradbury building and then hiked up Angel's Flight to the benches in the little park above that over looks a small piece of the city:

Then back to the hotel for a change of clothes before the big night... We had dinner at this great restaurant called Traxx that is located inside Union Station. We opted to sit outside which was really the great entrance hall to the train station. After dinner we walked over to Olvera Street to listen to the band and watch the people dance. And then the big event of the evening... Cirque Berzerk! We actually ended up running into some friends there which made the evening even better.

I had also arranged with the Omni to have a little cake and a bottle of champagne that I brought to be delivered to the room at midnight (his birthday was officially on Sunday).

The next morning we slept in, enjoying the peace and quiet (no furry kids!) until we decided we were hungry. We then went to this cute little diner a friend had told us about for an amazing breakfast:

Then we headed home so that we could spend the day in the comfort of our own home with our family - no pressure, just relaxation (I know that's important to My Heart). Oh, and for dinner I made this:

22 August 2009

land of the lost

Last night was another Friday night like any other... the Dodgers had a home game so after the game they had fireworks which then led to the people in surrounding neighborhoods lighting some off as well. Except for this time, Friday night ended up a little bit differently...

We heard the neighborhood fireworks so loud and clear that My Heart thought it a good idea to go check the clearing... the place where the kids like to come drink, tag the street, make out and light fireworks. It's only a few houses down from ours. Apparently the neighbors had the same idea so My Heart just came back inside and we started to get ready for bed. When he took the dog out he could smell the smoke and it smelled of campfire in our bathroom. It was about this time the sirens and helicopters started. My Heart went outside first...

I could feel something wasn't right and when My Heart didn't come right back I followed. It was so overwhelming and emotional for me. I watched the hillside burn as the fire department steadily but diligently worked away at it. We were out there for what seemed like mere minutes but now looking back, was at least an hour. It was unsettling and scary but our neighbors were all calm and welcomed us to the neighborhood. My mind was eased when the first of the helicopters dropped water on the hillside and really made a dent in the raging fire. We left before it was completely out but with little worry that anything major would come of this.

This is what we found today at the clearing. The charred area a lot smaller than what I thought was burning last night. Seeing all the garbage and destroyed land on MY HILL made my heart heavy... why do people do this? They have little or no regard for the land or those who live on it. Today I'm a little bit sad for what was lost in the fire.

(Check out my facebook page for more photos of the fire and it's aftermath)

21 August 2009

shananigans abound

So I started getting up early to (gasp) exercise! It's a routine I'm trying to get into, 5 days a week some sort of morning work out. Mondays and Fridays off but I still have to get up early to blog/do personal stuff - so as not to upset my routine! Hopefully this means more juicy bits for all you readers out there!

Quick Recap...
I had a birthday while I was away! Not as spectacular as 30 in Australia but 31 held it's own.

I spent the morning at Burke Williams getting a facial for the first time ever in my life (courtesy of some unfortunate event a year ago - long story!). It was by far one of the most relaxing things one could do. I get a little tense and nervous during massages but facials are awesome! It was a bit pricey though so I'm glad I wasn't actually paying for it.

Came home to find a giant birthday cake and present set up from My Heart waiting for me... got this awesome new computer I'm using right now (and a stuffed hot dog - also a long story!). Oh, and we consumed a bottle of champagne :-) while setting up said computer.

Went and got a new tattoo... photos and story to follow soon.

Met up with some great friends for a few mojitos and tacos at this cute little place on our new side of town called Malo. They have these amazing chips they call chewy... tortilla chips they don't completely fry so they're, well... chewy! Sounds weird but next time you're out here I'll take you there and trust me, you will LOVE 'em!

Invited dinner friends back to the house for more cake and another bottle of champagne (this time courtesty of Dad... a bottle of Dom). Lots of love and laughs shared while we ate and drank in the comfort of our home. Man it feels good to have a home!

It was a perfect day... thanks to everyone!

Oh, and have you had a birthday since joining facebook? Man oh man, it's the best... really makes a girl feel loved <3

12 August 2009

howl at the moon

My dear friend Jane has up and left this desert some of us call home. A place full of love hate relationships. Of excitement. Of comfort. Of loneliness. Of want. Sometimes it grows on you and sometimes you can't get it's stickiness off your skin. But Jane, she got away. It's funny, because coming here, seems like such a risk... an adventure. But staying here, that's the easy part. Change, it's what we're hiding from. In the mean time, I'm making this land of broken dreams my home and turning in for the night. Good luck to you Jane as you venture to your new home. And if any of my old friends or family run into her, send her my love. By the way, she's an amazing photographer and just sent this message out to us...

Dear Friends.

As most of you know by now, my life has taken a few unexpected turns, as life does. Five weeks ago I relocated to Boulder, Colorado where I plan to continue my work as a photographer, a photojournalist, an artist. Since arriving I have been working to find work and broaden my client base, and thought if all my friends could pass this along to all their friends, we might reach a couple people in Colorado in need of a photographer for hire.

As a professional photographer, I have worked in editorial, portrait, product, fine art and wedding photography for over the past five years.

I strive to candidly capture the story in front of me by combining human creativity, expression and beauty, from the simple routines of life to the extraordinary events. I am inherently drawn to capturing the interplay of light, color, and shadow found in nature, revealing a provocative, poignant and memorable story.

As a photojournalist, an artist and a professional photographer, it is my main goal to capture the true essence of you and your loved one’s within your comfort zone. Thank you for visiting my website and considering that I capture your next simple routine or extraordinary event. Please feel free to contact me any time for scheduling, pricing or list of services.

Thank you!


11 August 2009

we are not a barcode

Do me a favor will ya? Go visit Petunia Face today and watch the trailer she's posted.
It's a beautiful take on what life can bring.

And I promise, there are some blog postings in the werks over here... just give me a minute :-)

07 August 2009

a final farewell celebration

I don't think there's a US release date yet but I'm digging on this trailer. Hope the movie delivers.

06 August 2009

i'm the green kangaroo

I've been gone oh so long... and in that time I turned another year older and another year happier and another year wiser. Then I logged on to facebook. This is what I found:

My Grandpa

My Dad