Saturday, September 15, 2007

Swimming After Sunset - Friday 9/14/2007

Tomasina's great-niece's hand and foot. This is the kind of skin the fancy potion makers would like me to believe they can deliver.

Tomasina, from my writing group, invited me to attend the memorial for her father. I couldn't be more grateful for being able to participate. I took off work early and drove down to Salt Creek Beach in Dana Point. It was an amazing afternoon.

I was privileged to meet Ed a few years ago, along with the rest of my writing group. In spite of his Alzheimer's he was a sweet man who interacted with his daughter with great tenderness. Yesterday afternoon, there were wonderful stories of Ed's life as a dive instructor, boater, party-host, thinker, writer and friend.

Then Ed's ashes, mixed with the ashes of his wife Virginia, were sent up into the sky in a helium balloon! It was an amazing and satisfying send off. We watched the balloon rise into the sky until it disappeared.

On it's way.

Sunset at Salt Creek Beach.

After sunset, Tomasina, her nephew, a family friend and I went in for the first annual Ed T. memorial swim. It was soooo cold! We all dove into a few waves.

I tried to body surf one, and was reminded about the ocean. It doesn't care if you're in it's way. I stayed on top for a bit, then was tumbled and pummeled and felt like just keeping my chin off the floor was a pretty good accomplishment. Sand in the ears, nose and mouth.

It was one of the most invigorating things I've experienced in a long time. We showered off the salt and I took off for the long drive home (oh my god, 2 1/2 hours for about 100 miles).

My little lone adventure came when I missed the turnoff to Crown Valley Parkway and ended up taking the Pacific Coast Highway right through the town of Laguna Beach. Remembered vaguely from a couple of years ago that the 133 should take me in the correct direction, but then zipped past the turn onto El Toro Road.

It took me about 5 miles to find a place to turn around. All I had on was my wet bathing suit and a long shirt. I ran around to the trunk of the car to get my pants and pull them on--I was going to have to stop and get gasoline before getting home--in this dark and creepy spot between the north and south going lanes. Thinking that the last two phone calls on my cell were to my mother and husband, wondering what they'd remember of my last words. Really, it was all too horror-movie stupid.

But I got back on track, and listened to various NPR stations play amazing music and regained some of the sense that I had upon walking up the green slope away from the water and toward my car. That I love my life, and my friends, and the wide vibrant world we've been given to explore.

I am grateful.

Thursday Morning - 9/13/2007

Braveheart and I sat at her kitchen table 'til 2 a.m. talking about the evening and this and that. She gave a reading at A Different Light bookstore the night before and completely kicked ass. The novel she's working on is terrific and she's an amazing reader.

Noel Alumit
hosts the series, and he always puts the audience at ease. He introduced writers and editors who were in the audience, which I thought was a very good move.

So often I would like to tell the writer I've just heard that I am a f'ellow traveler. But then I worry that might accidentally steal a little of their thunder. I'm concerned that it's like someone saying to a bride on her wedding day, "Hey! I was married once. Wanna see pictures?"

In confessing this to fellow writers, I realized how silly that probably is. I never--I emphasize never--feel that way when someone tells me s/he is a writer after my readings. So if you see me read, and you want to talk about writing, please say something and I won't hold it against you for a second!

Jimmy is not so much interested in the news.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Halloween is Coming! - 9/12/2007

And Cinema Secrets is the place to be! I don't very often dress up, but I love the decorations and the artwork associated with Halloween. And maybe even more so Dia de los Muertos.

I always drop by Cinema Secrets early in the season to see all the cool costumes and make-up. Love the artwork on the windows this year!

Happy Birthday Gia - Tuesday 9/11/2007

Moody photo of the fabulous coconut cream cheese iced spice cake Braveheart made for Gia's birthday celebration at the writing group.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

It's Surreal Inside - Monday 9/10/2007

I had a late start on Monday, so things were feeling a little surreal when I dropped into Priscilla's for a coffee and croissant around 6am instead of Bob's around 5:15. Knowing that you can often get little gems in short amounts of time, I wrote for about 25 minutes and left feeling like I'd made an effort and learned a little something about my characters.

But it only seems reasonable to have used the "cartoonize" effect on this photo.

One of the guys I routinely say hello to as I pass by the coffee house actually did a double take to see me sitting at the table by the window.

I used to hang out down here at lunches quite a lot. It's a great place, and hardly ever this empty.

North Fire - Sunday 9/9/2007

We took Soledad Canyon Road home from having the birds groomed in Santa Clarita on Sunday. More charred hills, this time from the North Fire you may have heard about in the past week or so.

This will be especially green after the winter rains if other burns in our area are any indication.

Life on the Porch - Saturday 9/8/2007

Finally, it's nice enough to sit on the front porch again. It's a good place to enjoy an apple from our Granny Smith tree.

On a completely unrelated note, TorontoM IM-ed me at work to let me know that a Stephen Colbert profile will be appearing in Vanity Fair this month! Here's the photo she sent me with the announcement!

I ran right down to Toluca Mart to buy a copy but, alas, they didn't have the October issue in yet.

TorontoM and I like brainy guys. Especially when they bring the funny.

He looks good without that tie!

Jade - Friday 9/7/2007

Jade plant on the front porch. The cuttings for this little plant came from one of Hydra's cousins. I like getting plant cuttings from people.

Cheery Van - Thursday 9/6/2007

Just liked the paint job on this florist's van parked off of Sierra Highway in Canyon Country.