Thursday, June 30, 2011

Driftwood Horses

My dad sent along an email showcasing the driftwood art made by Heather Jansch. Normally forwards aren't worth mentioning, but these horse sculptures are so beautiful and weirdly realistic.

I pulled the pics directly from the email, but want to give credit to Heather Jansch. Visit her website here.




Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Best Cover Letter I Ever Read

A friend of mine is at her wit's end applying for jobs from bartending to babysitting to vet teching. She found a job opportunity as an ice cream truck driver and wrote the most blatantly honest, hilarious cover letter. I've always wanted to write a cover letter saying exactly what I think without the polished corporate speak. I simply had to share.


"I actually have experience driving an ice cream truck. I really do.
Back in the day (1997), I drove an ancient '56 International stepvan
around inner city Portland, to the tune of 'The Entertainer', or
'Turkey in the Straw', selling crappy manufactured ice cream bars to
impoverished youth. Executing a 27 point turn on a dead end street
without killing any one member of the mob of children surrounding the
truck speaks volumes for my skills. Ask my friend John Bruno, he
owned the company. there were 2 other trucks, a Ford and a Chevy, but
the International was my personal favorite. It looked like something
out of Toontown.

So, suffice it to say, I am qualified. I also have excellent
navigational skills, and know northern California, Oregon, and much of
Washington state quite well already.

I have other experience: I am a self-employed horse trainer, and have
been a: bartender, cowgirl, barista, veterinary technician, organic
farmer, (am still an) excellent party host, have taken EMT courses,
speak Spanish, am a world traveler, have lived off-the-grid, out of my
car, and out of a tent, can change a tire, change oil and spark plugs,
jump start a vehicle, drive a 1 ton truck with bumper-pull or
gooseneck trailer, can (in a minor emergency) doctor humans and
various other animals, understand the importance of local,
sustainable, organic, biodynamic, perma-cultured, fair-trade,
humanitarian enterprises, am radically in favor of aforementioned
enterprises, can talk to anyone about anything, enjoy adventure, make
friends easily, network expertly, know someone almost everywhere, play
the banjo (badly), and would absolutely love to do this job."

They'd be fools not to hire her! What's the weirdest job you ever applied for?


Saturday, June 25, 2011

Cornerstone

The other week, one of my parents' oldest friends came to Sonoma on a work conference. With her passion for the outdoors and architecture, I found the perfect place for us to meet- Cornerstone Gardens.

My favorite part of the gardens was this upscale junkyard in the back of a gallery with antique hardware and oddities awaiting yuppie remodels.



These gardens are unique in that they incorporate sculpture, landscaping and architecture, with a mix of urban planning.







This grass garden inspired a friend of mine who transforms urban lots in Chicago into community spaces using the natural landscape.



Sharing this place with someone who has known me my entire life made it even more memorable. When someone has known you long enough to see you change, while growing into the person you always were, there is an insight into the events in your life that can be the most worthwhile advice.

Being at a crossroads in my career and personal life always sends me to throw change, even chaos, into my life. Having someone who's been in my shoes give perspective was as soothing as the garden.

We can not change the landscape we are in. We can only do our best to plant a garden that will thrive in that environment, and wait for it to grow.

Friday, June 17, 2011

My Amazing Burrito

I'm slowly catching up on backdating some past blogs to share with you, but have returned to the land of slow internet.

In the mean time, let me show you some takeout food porn and the incredible "burrito diavola" that saved my terrible day yesterday when I got into my first car accident.

Don't worry, it wasn't serious and no one was hurt. Except the pickup truck door that I crashed into when a knucklehead had pulled up too far at a stop sign.


I did learn a thing or two from the wreck.

1. The reminder that lots of things can go wrong at any time and how lucky you are when something goes wrong and no one is hurt.
2. Being cranky and upset doesn't help at all in dealing with adversity.
3. It's not your job to decide who's to blame.
4. Accidents happen all the time. Try to avoid them, but when they do happen, all you can do is move forward and be grateful it wasn't worse.
5. When dealing with bad stuff, try to find something good to eat. It always makes things seem better.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Fun in the City

I love San Francisco. In addition to being one of the most beautiful and romantic cities in the world, it also has some of the best food. And believe it or not, I haven't even visited the city since I've been back in California for nearly nine months. I know, it's shameful.

I finally had a wonderful excuse to trek to the city- Zach, one of my dudes from college was in town. We made a plan, and it revolved around eating.

Dinner involved some amazing Vietnamese pork ribs and lamb chops:


I forgot lunch! Within 10 minutes of finding a parking space and my long lost college buddy, we were seated at Green Chili Kitchen. I ordered chili rellenos, but was undecided on green or red chili. Christmas, the perfect solution. That's how you order it when you want half and half.

Next came wandering the city. We looked in on an Israeli cultural rally at Yerba Buena, made a stop for the most amazing cup of coffee at Blue Bottle Coffee, then watched the new X-Men movie. (I'm not much of a summer blockbuster gal, but I highly recommend it- the Cold War setting gave the storyline a great structure.)

And now, dinner.

I don't go out to dinner much. I usually prefer to cook with friends at home. But this was just terrific. I had one of my first bowls of pho since being in Vietnam a couple years ago where I literally ate it at least twice a day. Le Colonial brought me back to those wonderful weeks of eating. We had caramelized green beans with almonds, duck rolls, pork ribs, glass noodles with peanuts, and wok seared asparagus glazed with oyster sauce. I'll stop before you hate me ...

... right after I show you a picture of the banana split, deconstructed with pinapple, caramel, strawberries and bruleed bananas ...

... which went perfectly with my Vietnamese coffee. Due to the influence of being colonized by the French, there are lots of European techniques and ingredients incorporated in the cuisine. One of my faves is the coffee, which is brewed strong and served with evaporated milk. It's not something I brought home with me, but I love it when I'm doing as the locals do.


And here's the adorable Zach, who will always be my friend and always be a hoot no matter how much time has passed between visits.

Don't be fooled. He only looks cranky when he's actually having a blast. Next CA visit, he'll get to experience Sonoma!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Point Reyes

This time of year is perfect- the weather is warm, but not too hot, people are out but it isn't high tourist season, and the local wildflowers are everywhere. Wildflower season means my dad will jump in the car at the mention of a hike- he's a huge plant nerd and can identify hundreds of the native wildflowers (even by their Latin name!).

I suggested Point Reyes a couple weeks ago. It's one of my dad's favorite places to hike, and my new place is less than an hour from there. We usually reserve it for the hottest days when Mt. Diablo is too unbearable. It was actually predicted to be overcast, but the sun came out and it was so clear we could even see the Farallone Islands.

Here are some of my fave pics that my dad took- he's got a schmancy micro lens and can take better close up photos of these lovelies:

Seaside daisy:
Rustic anglewing butterfly:

Candyflower:

Duckweed:


Enjoy this beautiful day!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Moving: Out, On, Forward, and Up

If you haven't heard much from me lately it's because I've been frantically throwing suitcases, milk crates, grocery bags, and even unwrapped stacks of dishes in my car. Yep, it's about that time again. Why not move before it becomes a year, or two, or four? You all know I can't stay in one place too long. I just can't help myself.

Actually, I'm sick to death of moving and during the last three moves I swore to myself that I was never doing it again.

This time it's going to be really great, and once I get past the stress of getting things from one end to another, I'm excited about the change in routine. For one, I'm going back to having roommates! The cabin was super fun and having alone time is a necessity for my well-being, but shared expenses is also a good thing.

And another great thing about the new place- a muddy creek in my backyard to explore! When this rainy weather dies down a bit, I'm going to see how far back that creek goes (made it almost a mile up, but zigzagging the banks got a little slippery).

It's been an intense couple of months- full of work, including two new jobs, a complete overhaul in my regular routine, lots of amazing new people in my life, and cleaning out closets and shaking out rugs as I prepared to move.

Whew.

I am out of the old place, the old place is clean, the bills have been paid, and I have some closure. The new place is slowly getting unpacked and I'm reevaluating the mass of things I've collected over the years and thought to be important. This is one of my problems. I hold onto things far too long and have emotional meltdowns when t-shirts become too holey to wear or when something needs to be thrown out.

A friend told me what is so harmful about holding onto things is you don't make the space to let new things in. That motivated me to get rid of three bags of old clothes, burn some sage to get a fresh start in my room, and throw out old photographs and junk that was weighing me down. I have a ways to go, but I'm making tremendous progress.

I'm letting it go. Bring on the new. I'm ready.