Wednesday, July 21, 2010

My First Viral Gallery

I love photos. I love taking them, being in them (sometimes-my mother really pushes my high limit), looking at them, being inspired by them, and the mere fact that we are lucky to have such a technology that only seems to get better or faster or easier to continue this trail.

Photos are visible, tangible evidence that we were once there with friend A or friend B, lover A or lover B. Faces are placed in certain backgrounds. Chairs or tables or a living room, a club night we'll never forget or the day at the park that was just perfect. I love photos because they allow us to always remember, a external hard-drive for our memory so to speak.

Therefore, I give you my photos. I am but an amateur photographer, but there's something I can't explain about how certain things just kinda catch my eye. I really want to continue exploring the world of the photographic life.

One goal: learn to develop my own pictures.

Somewhere, and sometime soon, I'm going to find that dark room.

"These Heels Were Made For Walking"

"Send Me a Postcard"

"Accidental Cool"


"Matching Nike and Cat"

"Wood-Pane's View"

Maybe a new feature blog is now in the works....

Thursday, July 15, 2010


I understand why hell is hot.

This is the epiphany I had today while sitting outside at work.

I work outside and for the most part it allows me the pleasure of enjoying Mother Nature in her element. The weather sorta changing (it is southern california) and though the leaves may not fall in a great array of autumn colors, I do get to appreciate fresh air at my workplace.

But, there's a "but." The "but" was born July 12th, 2010. A mere few days ago. Before the "but" the June gloom was, yes, gloomy, yet I didn't mind. Making cup after cup of hot coffee was not bothersome nor did it push me another inch closer to heat exhaustion. No, during June gloom such worries were nonexistent.

But, July 12th came. And with it: summer.

I grew up in Chicago and outside of the city till I was 13. I lived through 12 summers and through 12 states of pure humidified hell. Now I'm thinking hell resembles something in between the humidity of my youth and the helplessness of having to be in it now (as a hard-working adult).

I believe hell torments its souls in that in-between of what it is-and its no exit sign. The real torment comes from your endless search of it. At least I can't complain about the fact that my work day has an end and I have means (a pool) to cool myself and find my humanity again. My happy, cool, and contented soul still grounded in this earthly reality.

The heat does funny things to its recipients. People get tired, grouchy, exhausted, particular (think whiny), crazed, lazy, mean, etc. etc. Heaven I imagine is like a cool 70 degrees all the time. Like light-sweater weather. Weather that allows you to dress with ease, not the anxiety of trying to dress in the heat ( even hell has to have some sort of dress code. I mean, nudity would be too easy).

People always ask me: would you rather be hot or cold?
Answer: Cold. You can add layers, but you can't take of your skin.

That's how my midwest summers were like: the constant desire to take off my skin. Morbid, you think. But I'm betting you haven't ran to the shade after riding your bike and near tears because it's still hot and your parents don't believe in air conditioning because the electric bill gets too high and you're fine just go out into the sprinkles and get wet and you'll feel better but you dry up so quick it's pointless and all you want to do is cry because you can't escape the horrible awful pit in your stomach that is just HOT.

That, is wanting to take off your skin, let it chill in the freezer, and put it back on.
Like your summer pajamas.

"But" better.

Stay cool readers.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Red Light

"Our stories are the tellers of us"

I cornered page 131 while reading Little Bee by Chris Cleave and I had to pause. I had to chew on this line for a while. Obviously as a writer, I was drawn to this line, but as a reader I was also drawn to it.

As writers, what we choose to write and how we write it and where it goes and ends, is so telling of the author. As a reader, what we choose to read, who we spend our time with, and what ways we react to the material that is printed before us, is so telling of you as a person. That's why I believe that one can't be a good writer without being a good reader, and vice versa. It's a super-connection that should hardly ever be broken. If you broke it, stop reading now. And go write.

But back to the quote-I find it to be a special thing when something breaks out of the page like so when you're reading. You're really not looking for it, but it finds you nonetheless. It's the subtle beauty of literature. Maybe it's my hobby to read quotes that makes me more prone to find such one-liners, but then I highly recommend reading quotes as an easy and rewarding pass time. Quotes have personalities all their own. Not knowing the context is half the fun. Half the great mystique of them. Without context, interpretation is open, endless.

The universe of quotes is vast and ever expanding (so much like our own). Author or no author, something is written down that can deeply affect you or at least make you sit for a bit longer in thought. Some are funny as hell while others make you cry. They hit close to home and remind of us of certain memories, certain times of our lives.

That's what I love about them: their ability to make us think. Provoke us to "smell the roses" in our thoughts. Constantly our brain is bombarded with thoughts, and lists, and memories, and doubts, that I imagine they all sorta rush around like L.A. traffic-sometimes polluting our souls with more thoughts than necessary. Reading quotes, to me, is like putting a large red light in the middle of all the chaos and putting the brakes-on everything. I read and mull over one thought and green light the next. I take my time when I read and I let myself go completely cliche by sitting and pondering.

Yes, I ponder. And yes this blog is advocating to ponder.

Our stories are the tellers of us; they can never hide us despite any bending of the truth because even the truths we bend reveal the lies we wish to be true.

And the lies are the biggest tellers.

Go ponder.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Food For Thought: The 10K Bagel

Through my career as a barista I have fallen in love with coffee (naturally) and bagels. Gone are the days of the doughnut and cup of coffee (but trust me, I still grab a bag of doughnut holes when I want to indulge) and the era of the bagel has begun...

I'm an everything bagel kind-of-gal. Give me the salt/hint of garlic/the pop and the seed, mixed that all together, toast that sucker, and I'll cream cheese my way to a quiet food heaven. Occasionally I'll vamp up my everything and make it into a breakfast bagel (sausage, egg, and cheddar), grab a large OJ, and finally say good morning. But this afternoon, today's bagel thought was a level of bagelness I have never dare to dream.

Yes, it was that epic.

As you know, I devoured Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, and in her novel the great Liz had a great moment with a pizza from Naples. Two pizzas, actually.

I, in San Diego, in the neighborhood of Hillcrest, in the small shop of Big City Bagels, had a moment with a bagel.

Big City Bagels is a fantastic bagel shop. And I'll be honest-I'm a bit biased. The owners are also owners and managers to my current workplace-Peabody's Organic Coffee @ SDSU. But honestly, the actual taste had nothing to do with my current attachment to the ownership. If anything I must publicly applaud the owners (Kristee and Jenn) for the selection of workers. The talented Miss Taylor Katz was the muse to my moment. My Bagel Goddess.

I've always wanted to try a bagel sandwich. Lunch status. Be it turkey, or ham, or hummus and veggies, the bagel in substitution of sliced bread intrigued me. So I went where I know bagels best-my sister business. (I wanted to keep it in the family).

5th Ave is where I lost myself. The very first bite and I was a goner. Seriously.

I believe my first word that could escape through my first bite was "mmmmohmygodmmmohlordmmm." I really need to start bringing a tape recorder to my Food For Thought meals and attach an audio clip with my picture. When it comes to eating, the sounds are just as it important as the visuals.

If one day restaurant menus had an audio button corresponding to a special entree of the week or day in order for their customers to "hear" a "review" versus reading a description, sales would raise-easy. Were there an audio button you could press at Big City Bagel of my first bite into the 5th Ave. that sandwich would be selling so fast, it would sell out.

I know I'm sounding a tad cocky with how lovely my "mmmm" was but that's not where I'm going. Where I'm going is that certain sensory that we often don't believe belongs with food: sound. When I hear neighbor from the next dining table "oooo" "mmm" their way through their meal I sneak a peek and order the same. "When Harry Met Sally" had it right: I'll have what she's having-and what I'll have is another 5th Ave. please.

It was an incredible tower of flavor. Everything bagel (what else?), then garlic herb cream cheese spread, sliced turkey, crispy bacon (and I mean crispy in the best way. most deli's when using bacon on a sandwich slap your meat with soggy pieces versus the good crunch every sandwich needs), thick tomato slices, sliced avocados, and muenster cheese-Muenster. The fact that BCB chooses muenster as their go-to cheese makes all the difference. Muenster is a highly under-rated cheese, and BCB seeing its great flavor potential receives my deepest culinary respects.

Now back to the sandwich-

This glorious tower is all placed one layer at a time (with sublime care by Miss Katz) and placed to be slightly toasted and delivered warm and gooey to yours truly.

Eat without care. Erode the 5th Ave till nothing but the poppy seeds. Let it be a small piece of evidence that something of bagel genius was once on this paper basket and now lies in your stomach and lingers on each taste bud.

All 10,000.

Rarely do I find the need in my mellow lifestyle to venture out to 5th ave. and parade around in heels that kill (my feet) and pay 30+ dollars to just get into somewhere "cool," but this 5th Ave. requires none of the above. Just me and my taste buds.

Say ahhhh.....