Allowing Myself

…to feel, to love, to be.

Tag: Carter Cash

Piqued

Los Angeles’ best small venues to catch music in.

Jill on trusting in basic goodness:

I am already whole, all of us are — this is basic goodness. I am not a problem to be fixed, or a project to take on, and neither are you, nor anyone else. You are not — no matter what advertising, religion, culture, or that little meanie with sharp teeth that lives in the dark might say – you are not basically bad, you are not unworthy or unlovable.

Lindsey on Parenting as an introvert / Parenting as an extrovert – knowing that my introversion affected the dynamic within my nuclear family growing up, and is something I navigate often within my relationship with my sister now as adults, I am keenly aware this will continue to be part of who I am as a mother:

My introversion and natural shyness surely means many things for my children, good and bad. I worry that the bad outweighs the good, that my lack of outgoingness and my struggle to include other people in our life sacrifices something important for them. All I can do, though, is be the best version of who I know I am. All I can do is swear that I will keep trying to open up—myself, our home, and our family.

The Barefoot Contessa is every piece of Long Island I wish my life could be, wrapped in a clean and calm cooking show. So naturally, I found this drinking game to be hilarious.

Ani Difranco is one of my creative heroes. Reading this interview was like sinking back into my 15 year old self, except that now Difranco is speaking about babies on top of feminism and songwriting. We’ve both come a long way.

Difranco talking about her new album “Allergic To Water” :

Yeah, I mean that sounds like a cool way of interpreting it. I guess my particular way would be that everything that is worthwhile and in fact necessary, what sustains you and gives you life, is also painful. And often the most important things are the most painful. I think the reason I chose that song to title the whole record is because that feeling, I noticed, comes up a lot in the record. It was just that kind of year for me, or couple years.

A tad late, but I am becoming more and more a person who wants to have a spiritual Halloween (or New Years or Valentine’s Day) and be much less about drinking beers in bars. Reading more of thenuminous.net may be the right way in.

My obsession with Jimmy Eat World continues (saw them perform again last week, blog post coming). And if you have an obsession, the Internet is right there with you, helping you along. This candid interview with Jim Adkins is delightful, minus Matt Pinfield’s aggressive chatter.

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It was a quiet week – always grateful for that. I slept really well despite intense dreams, the cooler temps and darker mornings made for sleeping in some. We ate dinners at home, made it to the climbing gym and I got a haircut.

I feel like I did a really good job resting up before an overnight camping trip this weekend, 2nd Jimmy Eat World show in a month on Sunday plus traveling for work this coming week. I’m learning that I don’t just need recovery time after highly intense situations but I can build in “topping off” time to make sure my reserves are at their fullest before going into intense or tiring situations.

And now, a few links…

Kyla Roma is just a gem on her site. This post How I Live (Mostly Happily!) with Depression & Generalized Anxiety Disorder is not only an eye-opener about her experience, but also has a ton of links to resources and apps (!!). She writes “I had no idea how much of what I experienced daily wasn’t normal (and was optional!)” She makes the point that we only know the world as we know it, and if we’ve always felt a certain way, how can we know that that way is normal? More importantly, depression can make you forget you ever felt otherwise and obliterate you in its passing. It’s a good read.

“The process of making these books is good for you to help you process each season, appreciate it, and remember the details while also creating something to look back on in the future.” You may not know how much I love the idea of scrapbooking, but this list 10 Reasons To Give Scrapbooking A Chance hits on all the points of why I do. I just want to do it more and more. Journaling, blogging, photographing and scrapbooking. Tell all the stories!

I am continuing to learn more and more about introversion and being highly sensitive. I am not sure this applies to me for business meetings When Introverts Should Avoid Coffee, but in general, I am very sensitive to caffeine. Last weekend I had a mocha and was so wired I couldn’t think straight. Overall, I’ve switched back to tea, sip one latte a week (more for the comfort than caffeine) and avoid straight coffee entirely. Decaf doesn’t seem to matter, but the quality of the coffee does.

I linked to Elise’s blog before. Most recently she blogged her business story (you can read the entire thing here). In the last post, she spoke about her newest product idea, the BIG IDEA, the Get To Work Book. Crazy thing is, it isn’t even in production yet, and she won’t launch till July 2015. Being a paper / planner / Type-A / listmaker I am excited for the product, but more so, I am sooooo pumped she is sharing the process and behind-the-scenes of launching this product. #celebrationemoji

Years ago I wrote about stillness, and how I realized that it was never going to arrive, but instead be something I needed to actively seek amidst the activity of my full life. I think all the time – daily, at least – of TS’s Eliot’s lines from Four Quartets, We must be still and still moving. Being still in the middle of the busy-ness, that’s the goal, at least for me.  Finding ways to breathe and to be here, mostly because without doing that I miss my life.  And as I remind myself, over and over again, I chose this, this manifold set of responsibilities and identities which unfurl, shimmering, piling upon each other, beautiful and daunting at the same time.

The Slipstream of Life. Lindsey continues to break my heart and take my breath away.

Don’t forget to set your clock to “fall back” at 2am Sunday! Bye daylight savings time.

For the Halloween spirit, every year, Cathy Zielske wears a bee costume, and recently posts a video of her dancing as said bee. While the video is funny, the fact that she wears the same costume every year for 24 years is what tickles me. Check out the 2014 Bee Dance.

Lastly, h/t to my friend (and former boss) Emily for this delicious video of Patrick Fugit singing, rock star hair and all. #scorpio #obsessed

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Twas a good week, finally. Yay.

Steph was back in town – we walked the neighborhood, watched Elizabeth Gilbert on Super Soul Sunday (highly recommend) and took selfies with Carter Cash.

Balance to the Universe restored.

I booked a flight, pretty much on a whim, to visit my friend Chelsea in Denver. Hi Chels!

We still have absolutely ZERO plans for Halloween. Maybe b/c we have to be up at 6am the day after.

And I’m getting some quality home alone time while H is at a math conference with his best friend.

Here are a few links for you this weekend:

7 Strange Questions That Help Your Find Your Life Purpose. While I’m so over the self-help culture and how it’s exploded into a black hole of lists to make you feel bad about how you’re living your life, these questions are funny and thought-provoking. Enjoy.

Found Shoestring Adventures (total weekend warrior porn) because they interviewed on of my fav bloggers ever Jillian Lukiski. She’s a metalsmith, blogger and photographer who lives and breathes nature, takes amazing photos and writes like a banshee.

“I make what I make because I live in the interior West and this space has carved my spirit and my life. This is the land I know by heart. These are the mountains I hike and run and ski. These are the trees I know by name. These are the wild animals I watch and cherish and hunt and fish and witness and take into my own life cycle on a daily basis.”

My college roommate and I knew this, but coloring is soooooo relaxing. I can just smell the crayons now.

Some straight office/productivity advice: don’t answer emails that lack questions.

And a little combo of hippy and good advice – do it anyway.

“At one point, she (Cheryl Strayed) was talking about uncertainty, about how to keep going when you don’t know how, when you aren’t sure of the outcome, about how to take that step when the deck is stacked against you: she said that you have to say a prayer to the god of doing it anyway.  You have to take a deep breath and go for it even though you have no idea how it will all turn out.  You have to find that teeny bit of faith so that you can take the very next step.”

I usually don’t link to funny videos, but H and I couldn’t stop laughing at this kid:

 

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The week continued to be a doozy. It seems after the meltdown on Wednesday, things were looking up again. Thursday was quiet. Easy. Good.

Then Friday I ran around and hosted a big event. The amazing thing is that I have an assistant now and he rocks. This was the first time I felt like I was actually hosting an event and not just running around like a crazy person for 5hrs.

But back at home that night I cried and cried again – getting into an actual argument with H and melting down for the 2nd time in a few days.

What the heck?

Yes, it’s definitely hormones, but besides that, I still don’t know. And I’m not sure I’ll figure it out. But I have today to hang out with a good friend from college, tomorrow a video chat with another longtime friend and then completely free. Monday I plan to take an entire day to myself and go wander Pasadena, taking photos, sitting in cafes and exploring.

The above picture is of Cater in a large box from a hiking backpack H ordered. Carter knows tons of commands, so with a little food bribing, we can get him to do lots of cool things. Like climb into a box and lay down, b/c it’s funny… but then he stayed there! So we gave him his duckie and towel and he chilled out for a while. Proving again, he is secretly part cat. Also, animals are so weird. And the best.

So now, some links:

Elizabeth Gilbert on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday. Yes, I linked to this in other posts, but I love E. Gilbert and I will watch anything she’s on.

The internet has created the Facebook engagement reveal, blog-featured wedding, and Pinterest-worthy baby’s rooms – so of course announcing a pregnancy is also swept up in this series of public displays of “my life is awesome”. A couple announced their pregnancy by creating a Wes Anderson parody and I loved everything about it.

I want to set a calendar reminder to reread A Cup of Jo’s post 10 Things I’ve Learned In My Career every month.

She also linked an article she wrote for the New York Magazine about people who only wear one color. Being almost 38% done with my #30daysofdresses challenge, I am finding it more constricting than liberating. So I’m not sure I could wear only one color, but I do love me some navy.

Elise is sharing This Is My Business Story in installments and I can’t get enough. The details, the timeline of things, the practicality and the reflection. Elise is a planner, works super hard and really values the behind-the-scenes sharing which, in my opinion, is a great use of the internet and the other side of the coin to the above paragraph about everyone’s fabulous version of their life they share online. And as someone who is considering updating her blog / changing the path of my career, I love that she’s kept every one of her posts live, all the way back to the beginning. How’s that for behind-the-scenes?

Lindsey never ceases to amaze me with her words on memories, living, time and life. Time Folds Like An Accordion made me aware of my own life again, it’s little details as I sit here typing this for you, for me – to remember – H napping on the couch, Carter napping in the chair, a vase of flowers on the table, and arrangement I made for the event on Friday night. How time slips and slides and truly does fold back on itself.

And because I saw Gone Girl last weekend and b/c Jennifer Garner is gracious and adorable while being asked about her husband’s success with the movie even though she has TWO movies of her own out (ahem)… watch her on Ellen.

Think that’s enough for now. xo

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#30daysofdresses – day 7

Or where we finally get to the new Dunkin’ Donuts…

Sunday I woke up and mentioned donuts. H responded with us going to the new (and only) Dunkin’ Donuts in Santa Monica.

Done.

While H waited in the line – out the door and about 20min total – I walked Carter around the block. I decided to wear my new Jimmy Eat World t-shirt from the show the other night and a jean skirt. I know this is technically not a dress, but like I mentioned, the heat is making wearing a dress really unappealing.

The shirt is awesome because it’s navy (my fav), has constellation-like writing (also fav), and it’s of my favorite Jimmy Eat World album.

I never wear this skirt, and wanted to ditch it when Jess and I met up last year. Apparently, every girl should have a jean skirt, especially those that live in sunny SoCal like me. But it always felt like it was riding up and not sitting right.

Solution – tuck in a shirt and wear a belt. Ta-da. Plus the belt and tucked-in action up the put-together-ness action of the outfit, so even though I’m technically just wearing a shorts + t-short combo, I look way more like I care than normal Sunday coffee-run outfits.

 

Winning all around.

With our Dunkin’ Donuts food in hand, we drove down to the beach path above the ocean, found a bench in the shade, and hung out. H was all excited for his fantasy hockey league draft and Carter checked out the squirrels and other dogs. The view was a pristine blue – possibly the only benefit from an LA heat wave.

I can’t wait for it to cool off…

Skirt is Gap, from a long time ago, per usual. Shirt is merch from Jimmy Eat World. Belt is originally from this dress. Flip-flops from Kohl’s.

PS – Happy birthday to my dad!

Climbing Stoney Point

This weekend, we spent both Saturday and Sunday at Stoney Point Park. It is as awesome and as ghetto as the reviews online say.

It’s a rock-cropping right along a freeway, with tons of bouldering, rock walls, trails and caves. But it’s also covered in broken glass, dust and spray-paint. H said it was considered the original climbing gym of LA climbers back in the 70s, y’know, before there were actual fancy indoor gyms.

Lately, H is climbing Point Dume once a week and learning to secure his own top ropes. He was excited to climb outdoors this weekend on his own. We went to Stoney Point Saturday on a whim, on what we joked was a recon mission, just to check it out.

It was hot, dusty and busy. We saw a few teams of people climbing and a few single people bouldering. We took Carter with us so he’d have some exercise as we’d been out late the night before and had plans that evening. He was not too pleased with our plan, but it turns out, he’s so adorable, that people are willing to chat with us just to pet our dog. That worked out really well b/c we spoke to two different guides who told us the routes they were on and other info about the walls.

Sunday we got up early, packed up our stuff (new rope, cooler, water, shoes and harnesses) and drove up again. We picked up our friend T who wanted to join.

When we got there, we totally lucked out b/c the main wall we wanted to climb, Mozart’s Wall, had two groups on it, but only 6 people total, 4 of which were just learning to climb outdoors. It was the perfect opportunity for us to practice outside and for H to practice setting top rope anchors.

I was able to climb the Far-Left route, which is listed as a 5.8 in Urban Rock and H was able to get up Center Route, a 5.9 with guidance from one of the other climbers. We didn’t get a ton of climbing in, we each did about 1.5 routes, but it was a successful day.

It’s been 7 months of climbing for us. H really needs to climb outside now as he’s hit a plateau at the gym. For me, each day I climb anything, I get better.

I’m so addicted.

You really can not beat this life. xo

Summer Nights, School Days

Evening roller-blade

Walking at 5am

Math I don’t understand

My view most nights this week

Besides it being post-vacation-blues week, it’s also back to school.

H started his 7th year of teaching. Each year I hope he’ll hit the easy groove that experienced teachers do, and then some huge opportunity/challenge presents itself. Two years ago it was a masters program. Last year it was being department chair, a masters program and 4 different classes. This year, masters program completed, it’s department chair and multivariable calculus, which happens to be the hardest class they teach.

Which he is reviewing every night, all night, after working a 12 hour day.

Which means that it’s just me and the Carter-man for long stretches of time.

I’ve learned that the shift from summer break, having H home all of the time, helping around the house and generally being there for me, to the first week of school, arguably one of the most stressful times of the year, can suck. I love my alone time, but having him around all day, everyday and then not at all puts a strain on our relationship.

Or, should I say, a strain on how I feel about our relationship.

Because in reality, we’re the same as we were last week (well, not entirely the same since last week was still Alaska). I’m just going about my day assuming it’ll be one way and it’s another, totally different yet OK, way…

Luckily, I’ve noticed this pattern, and I let things slide to compensate. So, dishes won’t get put away quickly or he won’t remember to do something (because he hasn’t had a moment to himself) or I have to take the dog on all 3 walks for the day. It’s not easy, but it’s not awful either.

It’s just life.

—–

Yesterday I was up at 5am to be on a 6hr video conference call. Apsht. Somehow I survived, and the early start time meant an early leave time.

Feeling completely burnt from the meeting, I settled on yoga, made green juice, and took the dog to the park to run around a very dry, very hot baseball field. I straightened up and vacuumed. I ate turkey chili cold from the Tupperware. I perused Instagram, cleaned up DropBox and worked on a small project taking photos of our possessions in case we ever have an insurance issue. I cooked zucchini and heated up left-over pizza. I went out with Carter again, this time on roller-blades.

I wrote this sitting across from H as he went through calc problems and muttered things like “oh shit, I found the area instead of the arc length” which may as well be German to me.

We kept the front door propped open so a breeze came through the apartment while it went from twilight to pitch dark outside in what seemed like an instant.

I couldn’t fall asleep the other night and stayed up past 1am.

Carter mopes around looking for H, patiently waiting for him to finish his work so they can play.

It’s a transient time of summer nights, school days, 5am alarms, evenings solo even though H is home, and hot weather. The last of it seems to throw me off the most. Autumn feels like the natural signal for us all to hunker down, do our work, spend more time indoors. We don’t get that here in Southern California, the season or the natural transition.

I miss it.

 

Sad To Be Home, For Once

Usually my “back home” posts are ones I look forward to – full of relief and routine. My last post was written ~12 days ago, and if you’ve been following along, you know ALASKA happened.

And Alaska is something that resonated in me so deeply, I am not sure how to tell you about it yet – though I did keep a travel journal which is half-way done, so I do have some notes on it all…

But that’s not what I want to write about this morning.

Like every August, our trip ended with us coming home to a dog full of fleas. Flea season gets us every time, usually August/September, when the weather heats up and Carter Cash spends a lot of time outside. Luckily, we have our new vinyl floors downstairs and my sister cleaned our apartment while we traveled, so I wasn’t freaking the shit out after noticing fleas all over Carter’s butt right after the taxi cab dropped us off.

In less than 20min of being home, Carter and I went into the tub for a full-on-offensive-attack bath.

Then we biked him to the grocery store to restock our fridge. Henry suggested I make chili for dinner, so as he unpacked the groceries, I chopped veggies and browned turkey meat. We ate on the couch while watching a National Geographic show about Alaska (I know, I’m obsessed).

Later on we unpacked suitcases, vacuumed the dog’s crate, washed dishes and took hot showers. We were asleep by 10pm.

I woke up this morning at 7am, with the blazing SoCal sun beating through the sliding door.

Our dirty vacation clothes were packed already sorted into whites / darks / colors (because we’re crazy like that) so I was able to run a few loads of laundry this morning as I cooked breakfast. I did a hiit workout and ran the dog 2m. I drank water, hung up jackets, put away travel sized toiletries, and folded laundry. I tried to not feel overwhelmed by the piles of stuff left from the frenzied day before we left or panic about having to go back to work tomorrow.

I’m reading Four Seasons in Rome by Anthony Doerr and sinking into his descriptions of being a new father in a new city – his detailed descriptions of Rome echoing the fleeting grasp I have on Alaska. “As it always is with leaving home, it is the details that displace us. The windows have no screens. Sires, passing in the street, are a note lower. So is the dial tone on our red plastic telephone…”

Usually the details of home settle me back in – my travel is work or family related – and I crave my own boundaries and comforts. But this time I am sad. Our trip was packed, full of amazing happenings and really great family time, but it went so fast – I can’t believe it’s already over.

H went to play roller-hockey and when he returns, he’ll be transferring and backing-up the almost 1000 photos and videos we shot during the 11 days away. I hope spending some time with those captures helps this feeling of loss, and that writing about it in my travel journal and here for you keeps the deep satisfaction of my experience right where I can hold it.

Piqued

We know I love dogs (see above). If you’ve ever met Carter Cash, you know he knows a ton of tricks. Sit pretty, speak, hit the bowl, up, off, wag your tail. I kid you not. H claims he’s “the most trained dog” he’s ever owned. I’ve sort of run out of things to teach him. But this is a new bar – I could teach Carter to DRIVE A CAR. Also, videos like this, where animals are loved and proud break my heart in the best way. I want to adopt them all.

On a sadder pet note, my sister-in-law lost her bunny last week and I felt terrible hearing the news. She wrote this sweet little post about her bun and the Postagram I sent her and her boyfriend. RIP Ellie xo.

Sarah Von Bargen (of Yesandyes.org) consistently blows my mind with awesome blog content. I loved this post of innovative blog ideas. Can’t wait to try the shortest travelogue one on our trip to Alaska in T-2.5 weeks!

Jillian at The Noisy Plume takes the most spectacular photos, and writes posts that pull me into her world of nature and adventure. Check out her photos of a lightening storm in Taos.

Found Walking On My Hands via Lindsey Mead (who also recommended All The Light We Cannot See, which I’m loving) and this post, One, got me.

And getting to hear Jill Salahub speak about her creative journey on Creative Living with Jamie was a total treat. Congrats Jill.

Hope your weekending is splendid xo

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11 of 52: Year of Ocean

Friday seems to be about taking the dog out on roller-blades. This time I headed down to Venice Beach.

I’m realizing that this Year of Ocean project could get pretty repetitive. As soon as I skated onto the beach path, I thought “how the heck can I photograph this differently from the last time?”.

I decided to shoot with my iPhone, no filters, horizontal view and concentrate on the sketchy, hippy, early morning vibe of Venice.

Before the booths hawking hemp bracelets are set up.

Before the smell of incense and hoards of tourists fill the air.

Before the garbage trucks are done with their beep beep beep of backing up, breaking the quiet.

Before things are taken out of their packaging, before security gates are lifted, before the summer campers run on to the sand for their surf lessons.

It was a quick little jaunt, mostly for the dog to get some exercise, but it was a good visit, Venice locals and all.

*See all of my Year of Ocean