Weekly Wonders: October 30

Weekly Wonders October 30

In less than four days I’ll be heading out on a much-needed sister adventure to Massachusetts! I’m most excited about seeing the historic town of Marblehead, right on the Atlantic. We plan on doing a day of sightseeing in Boston, but my sister and I are over any city sights having been in San Francisco for so long, and are in the mood for a more magical little escape– yes, especially to Salem!

IT’S HERE! The Fall/Winter issue of Marjorie Magazine is available now for your vintage/nostalgic reading pleasure. Our second issue is 48 pages of beautiful photos, featured interviews with Monalogue and Caffe Bianco, a travel guide for Bruges, Belgium, more cocktail recipes by Jennifer Richmond, and a breath-taking cover feature by Jacki Geary Art. It’s ready to be yours now for just $10 at Marjorie Mercantile!

My birthday was just this past Saturday, and boy, was it a happy little celebration, truly. The Bob Ross-themed party in the evening entailed dancing to remixed autotuned videos of Ross and a big canvas on which every party guest added their own fun work of art! Painting soon to be posted; I’m so grateful for the fun friends and incredible family that always make my birthdays so memorable.

Saltwater taffy, I realized, is my favorite candy. Around Halloween the cravings especially bump up. Peppermint and blueberry are definite faves.

This year’s costume was a silly but special one! One of my boyfriend’s favorite movies is The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, and so we decided on being Steve Zissou and the Jaguar Shark. I chose last year’s costumes of being Rick and Negan from The Walking Dead– so this year, not too shabby for his picking. As my boyfriend’s costume was fairly easy to buy and assemble, mine involved a bit more creative approach to making it work, as nowhere sells onesies or costumes for the mythical sea creature. So,¬† I took a leopard dress (an XXL tank from Target), and cut out/hand-painted a shark fin wth leopard splotches, which, I found, are so easy to draw!

Tea. TEA. I’m starting to crave tea more than coffee– and for my birthday, come Ceylon. I got to enjoy a wonderful birthday tea brunch with my best friend at SIP Tea Room in the Inner Sunset, right across from Golden Gate Park. It’s new, sleek, and encompasses all the feels of an elegant, modern tea room with comforts like mismatched antique china and delicate tiers of petit-fours and traditional sandwiches. Some jokes made: Oooh look at that! High(phy) tea, curds and clots, and getting the tea a Bible because it was so loose.

After finishing the second season of Stranger Things I was a bit indifferent about the direction it went (meh with the new characters like Billy and definitely Max, Bob was Ok as sweet and funny as he was and much-needed to give Joyce some happiness [too much spoilers?]), but looking back now, it was just as good as the first. The different storylines as some characters joined unexpectedly together and others reunited were well done and built up to a beautiful ending– I’m really am glad they ended with the Snow Ball (and that it was not Mike and Eleven’s first meeting since the season 1 finale as the Duffer Brothers originally intended).

Lastly, the wonderful thing about my birthdays now is that I have my boyfriend by my side to celebrate with. He’s given me so much inspiration and happiness and laugher in this past year that really showed me the kind of love everyone should have. I truly love this pearl and southern magnolia necklace he generously gave to me this year for my 26, a true unique handmade gem from Morning Heirloom!

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A Twilight of Sorts

October 9 – October 15

It was Sunday around 11 when sleep was ready to take over my stiff body lying down on the couch when I smelled the smoke. I swore I was not crazy; I woke my sister up to make sure she could smell it too. It seemed like it was just above my head, maybe only in my head– but it grew and sweltered in our little apartment, no heat but just the thickness of a smoke nearby, like a wire spark. I opened the fire escape but the alley was dark. I looked out onto the street, nothing. Nothing, but something was up.

And then the ashes fell in the morning. A sheath of crusted gray covered the car and on the tops of tables outside of cafes on Chestnut Street. We wouldn’t be sitting outside in this stinging air except we had Bentley. A week later, whether it was the smoke or just because of his daycare, he would get sick, congested, a bad cough.

All through work I stayed in. I never noticed how cool and sharp the air 41 stories high in this building was. Stepping outside meant your hair would smell like the pack of Camels you didn’t smoke. It meant deeper breaths stifled by the quickly-ascending sick that couldn’t be shrugged off anywhere there was open space. A pink, hellish haze blanketed the skyline, the Golden Gate a clouded patch of whiteness, nothing.

Friday the 13th seemed fitting to fall right in the middle of this nightmare. At least in the city, it didn’t feel like one, but the devastation, the fear– it loomed and made everyone uncomfortable even if cities away from the true hell that was happening north. But it was on the 13th that something spectacular happened. The evenings seemed not darker, but cooler. Smoky, but a mist where pixies waited in the shadows. I was reunited with old friends and they with my new ones, and new friends uniting me with their olds. Walking around those nights as the fires burned bright and deadly far off, but here in this city it was dark and shadows of the night outlined lonely houses and twinkle lights edging the windows of second-floor apartment windows and living rooms. I remember only feeling good on those nights, not sick– not panicked. But I still felt strange. How was it these seemingly magical moments were on the worst of times for this place I called home? To the North, it was all nothing. Nothing was left. Everything was burning.

It is only I realize that, in the wake of these fires dying now, that feeling of hope. Something always magical lingering. All that remains are stories of devastation but just as many stories of love, hope, miracles. Odin and his goats, the wedding rings rising from ashes, the half-charred photographs that still possess those never-forgotten memories of the humans who may have lost everything, except that happiness, those moments. Though I cannot understand the total loss and devastation of what happened beyond the dark, the dark is only fleeting now. In the morning, it will be a different sort of light, the kind that warms without burning, the new day and moving forward and not without lifting up our neighbors in need.

You can find more information on assisting/donating to the Fire Relief for Northern California here

Row Boat for Sunday: Summer Vignettes

It’s a luxury that I’m used to be completely secluded with my loved ones. It was last with faces from college when our boat was Rihannon, and now in a nameless rower we’re still just the two of us, untouched and separated from the beauty of these old trees and turtles below that find us circling and troubling these shining waters where as we try to stay afloat, we’re still falling in deep for each other.

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Weekly Wonders: October 16th

Weekly Wonders Oct. 9 (3)

Perry Ellis boots, these are my absolute favorite for fall weather. I stumbled upon them at the Vintage Thrift West store in Greenwich when I was in New York last December. I tried them on, left the store, and not two blocks away I asked my friend if we could turn back. No regrets! And were only $24. You must check out the pretty embroidering on the toes, too.

Julia Engel of Gal Meets Glam just came out with a gorgeous rug in a collaboration with Lulu & Georgia! She’s one of my favorite bloggers, being a fellow California gal with a love for the south and florals, plus her and her husband (and her photographer) Tom are just adorable. The Garden Party Rug is the first thing I want to add to my apartment when I get around to redecorating next year.

I came across Pascal Campion’s artwork this past month simply scrolling through Facebook. The first thing I fell in love with was his style; the composition of light and contrasting simpler, neutral warm colors make his work feel so welcoming. And then the subjects, mostly of him and his wife and their three children. They live a happy life, family pillow fights, days at the beach– but the intimate paintings of Pascal and his wife alone, when they’re having coffee together in the kitchen or talking to themselves on a fire escape at a party or embracing in bed in the early morning resonates so much with me. Looking at those particular works, I don’t see the artist his wife– I feel like I can only see me, and my own love.

Tea is always the perfect way to start and end the day. I’ve been working from home a lot this week, and I couldn’t go get coffee– so it’s nice to get back onto tea for a bit! And best served in a pretty little mug.

My favorite spot in Golden Gate Park is the Shakespeare Garden. Despite the heavy smoke from the fires up north, I still found myself out in the sunshine and thick haze to admire its glory. It’s peaceful, rather hidden, and contains all the flora mentioned in Shakespeare’s works. Also, it’s the only place in San Francisco where I can soak in the beauty of my favorite plant, Spanish Moss, draping the dark trees overhead. It’s a lovely sight, as anywhere there is Spanish Moss, as far as I’m concerned, is Heaven.

While walking about Golden Gate Park, my friend (who is back from living in Portland!) and I stumbled upon John Steven Morgan sitting at an upright piano and playing this own breathtaking compositions aloud for all to hear and fall in love with. I sure did. I particularly am drawn to his song, “Robots.”

I finally did it. After years of wondering and hearing the buzz surrounding last year’s revival and constantly being told it’s a show I would love, I am finally getting into the Gilmore Girls! OMG! It truly is the show for me. Some of the scenes and plot lines can get a bit fantastical, but the heart and soul of the story is perfect. The characters, their dynamics with each other, the magical setting of Stars Hollow, all belissimo! This is the kind of story I aspire to writing down the road.

When in doubt, Fairy Lights. It’s actually the best way to get your home or work desk to feel festive (I’ve strung it around the desktop screen) for all seasons– summer, fall, and of course, Christmas. Little effort, everlasting impact.

 

Magic Moment

October 4 – October 8

And just like that, the magic is upon us.

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October magic. It’s what they used to say about your baseball team when they made it into the playoffs, it’s how you feel when you see your Halloween costume on for the first time. Something wonderful this way comes, and when they say the Most Wonderful Time of the Year on other days– well, I can’t help but think Hallmark is wrong.

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In California, it’s a different kind of magic. The weather up along the coast is warmer for only so long and the Pacific looks bluer, when you make your way out to it. The way we did, it was a backroad, a bypass I never knew existed having only gone up and down the 1 so many times. But there’s dry hills there, a lake we pass over, dark trees scattered at the bases of this new landscape that are usually dusted by the Marine layer. It was a lucky day to be experiencing this magic, discovering a new road and just like that it brought you back to the past. The last time I was in Half Moon Bay was five years ago. I wore a funny outfit with tights worn under shorts and long leather boots with a white fleece scarf– in the spring. We were exploring the town, family and I, and my sister’s ex boyfriend who wasn’t really supposed to end up an ex. Everything was green and the houses around the Main Street seemed beautifully aged, not old. Today things seemed old, a bit run-down, but resigned. Happy. They live the good life out here on the water, far enough from the city yet close enough to be the perfect day getaway for anyone looking for a bit of that magic.

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Scenes of Half Moon Bay, 2012.
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By the sea

And when you come here, to the waterfront, the Brewery where dogs lounge below in the shades of the tables, kicking up the dirt at the many pumpkin patches lining that backroad in between the cracks of the foothills smothered in sunshine, you better not be alone. Have a dog, it’s the best. Have a sister, she’s truly your best friend. And have a partner, a lover, the love of your life so that when you experience days about on small adventures like this, you can actually stare into each other’s eyes and feel blessed that though one day, there will be other days to follow. A small party to take in the day, to sit around in a car while music from high school is blasted driving along the same waves where the Mavericks happen. Too many people make you feel alone, makes the moment forgettable. Too many people might make you forget that you’re wanted.

Half Moon Bay is a little known treasure to those within the Bay Area. And we all know the best time to see it is now, on a sunny day in October when the small town is glowing, explaining its most popular even the Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Festival. It’s a pasture of heaven, worth the drive, a true breath of fresh air for anyone longing to feel those true affects of change during the fall. Change for the best, in this case, as you see the town get comfortable in its own skin beneath the sun.

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There is no reddening foliage from the few trees, no log cabins, no crisp cool air or button-up plaid. This is fall in California. Almost perfect, a bit off, never-changing. It stays the same– and it only matters if, as the visitor, it has changed you.

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Caen’s Truth: Summer Vignettes

June 2017

The fog might thin and the heat may swelter, but then this city becomes a gem that’s fallen out of a dream and into the hands of women in rompers and boys who wander parks wth coconuts filled with rum and falling shades. I sat there by the Phoenix poolside and on the slopes of Dolores waiting any minute to die and truly find that Heaven was nice, but it wasn’t San Francisco.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weekly Wonders: October 9th

Weekly Wonders Oct. 9 (4)

Enamel Fall Candles in Kitchen Spice (mint) and Pumpkin Spice (orange), $5 each at Target. The apartment is just perfect for fall now, paired with twinkle lights and a few pumpkins. Masks the smell of dog accidents, too.

Stevie Nicks, particularly her single “If You Ever Believe.” Been watching one of my favorite Halloween favorites, Practical Magic. The perfect mood and aesthetic for a magical month.

I have my eyes set on a monogramed vest at Marley Lilly. I’ll be heading out east for a sister weekend trip to Rockport and Salem, Massachusetts, and if there’s not an ounce of prep in my step, the excursion will feel off. For not having anything personalized, I gotta feel fancy.

Confession: I scaled myself over the summer and found to my dismay I’m twenty pounds heavier than what my state ID says. I started walking to work, I hydrated better, and am currently attempting intermittent fasting. Besides morning coffee or tea, I hydrate the rest of the day with just Hint water since my company stocks the kitchen to the heavens with it. Blackberry is the best, the sweetest and most subtle. Forget La Croix, techies– reach for the Hint bottles!

My birthday is less than a month away. To save on Massachusetts, there will be no big celebration at home other than a delightful small tea party for which I plan to wear this flower crown. Get it here on Wish.

Somehow I rediscovered Tuck Everlasting. The children’s novel by the late Natalie Babbit remains as fascinating and magical now as when I first read it in 6th grade. A simple adventure with such a deep and tragic theme about life and immortality that’s really relatable– and still a better love story than the eerily familiar Twilight saga. It’s set in the late summer but the lovely descriptions of the woods and time period make for a relaxing and charming fall read.

The search for the perfect fall lipstick has ended. Nyx Lip Creme in Berlin.

 

 

Thoughts I Have About Having A Dog in my Life

September 25 – October 3rd

How much more do I need to wash my hands? The answer, I learn, doesn’t matter anymore. I’ve probably hand-fed Bentley his good boy treats countless times after popping some candy corn in my mouth or removing a stray lash from my eye.

Puppy smell–and especially the breath– is real. The first night someone asked to smell him was a Friday night at the Skippolini’s in downtown Clayton when we were staying over to visit my parents. The woman took in a big whiff, right up on his soft, dirty fur– the face of my mom was priceless.

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Being in India for a week I was prepared for the jet lag, the odd hours at feeling fatigue or waking up. 4 am is like clockwork now– and it’s not because of that. I was prepared for the jet lag but I wasn’t prepared for how hard it would be to potty train a puppy in a small San Francisco apartment.

That brings me to budget. When the bills are taken into account, there’s usually a rough amount left for whatever the hell fancies me. Let’s take about a 25% chunk out of that. Let’s just call it a day most days and stay in to watch the dog– and save money.

He’s not much of a walker.

We took him walking before he finished his Porvo shots.

We took him walking after the shots. He still hates walking.

One of my fondest memories of these first walks was over to Lafayette Square, on a Friday afternoon. I think I was hungover, coming from the HAIM concert the night before in Oakland and I was in bed the whole day while thankfully he slept. He slept until 11 and finding things for him to chew other than his actual toys was the name of the game. Then my boyfriend came by to keep us company. Our first walk together was the three of us two blocks away to Lafayette Square beneath small billowy trees still green before the fall hit and fresh-cut grass with those scattered little blossoms he tried chewing on. We sat on a bench as other owners walked by and forgot for a second about their dogs as they looked at us. “Aww!” “So cute!” “Welcome to the world, little guy!” They told us we had such an adorable dog. My boyfriend and I looked over at each other. Someday, we’re thinking to ourselves. Someday we’ll have our own Bentley.

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He’s into big dogs. Namely big girl dogs.

He’s small right now to pick him up if he gets unruly. Same with baths in the kitchen sink. So much water. It won’t be this way for long.

I think about this a lot, especially during the puppy training class we attend at Puppy Prep down on 6th Street Sundays at noon. There’s a special part of the session where the dogs are let off their leashes and they must socialize, not long before owners have to dive in to pick up their dogs as they say “GOTCHA!” in their little ears. How the hell are we going to pull that off when Bentley– whose father was 140lbs–is full grown?

The alleyway called Clementina where we park my sister’s car smells heavily of piss.

You look at the other owners of dogs– not just in the puppy class, but all around the city– and you got Doodles and Frenchies and Corgis and perhaps other little toy dogs that stops Marina blondes in their tracks en route to hot yoga. Not my sister. She gets stares, stares for being a blonde-streaked bombshell in heels and always wearing pink paired with this whopper of a dog, considerably one of the smartest and yet most difficult and intimidating breeds out there. A Rottweiler. Did we make the right choice? Will he get too aggressive? He is now, biting us in class or growling as we try to get him off the ground to keep up his walk down the street. Maybe I should have gotten a smaller dog, my sister says to me, like other girls. She isn’t like other girls though. She loves the big dogs, especially the one she read about as a little girl who, despite his big and scary appearance, made for the perfect family pet and babysitter. We’re talking about Good Boy Carl– the dog that was only meant to be for my sister.

Having a dog means having a new car. My sister’s jeep is mid-sized and perfect for day excursions and getting around this small city with a dog. It’s forced us to get good at scoping for overnight parking and becoming familiar with street cleaning days. And my sister has improved on her ability to parallel park.

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I may be tired, but I’m starting to live for those early 6 AM wake-ups when we all pile into the car and get coffee over the hill and into the foggy streets of Chestnut or Union. Then it’s off to take our boy to Fog City Dogs– from 7 to 5PM. We’re always sad to leave him there for the day but he’s always so excited to be there, especially when he can smell his friends beyond the gate. We can even watch him on the company site’s webcams where he’s tiring himself out with Piper, a Golden Retriever puppy, and Little Mike Tyson– a tiny pitbull pup.

The attention is so crazy. The best way to make it big in the Bay Area is to work in tech or to own a dog.

This won’t be the same for long. When Bentley is bigger, people will be too scared to come by and say hey.

When he does sleep, it’s against walls or in the corners of a room or underneath tables. In his crate he once fell asleep with his head cocked back like some Exorcist fuckery. Weirdo.

Another day comes when I have to dogsit him and my nerves start failing me. He eats anything off the ground. It’s not his fault, it’s the city’s for being so dirty, I realize. But all the same I worry about the people who pass by and stare and admire him but also worry about how badly they must be judging me right now. The last thing I want to get consumed in is the fact that I don’t look like a good dog owner– and sometimes, when you have to be firm with him or tug a little bit harder at his leash, it might seem this way. I wonder now if all dog owners had to deal with this, still deal with this. A small panic attack starts, and you decide to pick him up to avoid further yelling at him but not without a fight. He snarls at you and lashes near your face, biting up your hair instead. I take another look around. No one, right now.

I know this is not the life my sister envisioned. She would have it still with the man of her dreams. If that were the case, there would be no Bentley. Bentley is here now, a reminder of moving forward with new adventures and responsibilities and a promise to herself that this is better than the nightmare before. It’s difficult now, with the training and the teething and wasting endless paper towels and money on pig ears but with the whole world so happy she’s found something that makes her smile so much, the struggle now is only temporary, and we’re all here to see this exciting new adventure through with her.

We had McDonald’s tonight for dinner. He looks up at up and tiptoes over by my sister perfectly sitting down¬† while looking up at us, never breaking eye-contact with our McNuggets. We’v discovered he’s finally learn the ways of the dog– food is everything, it is magic to help us through these first few months.

The diarrhea is out of control.

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North Beach Gallerina: Summer Vignettes

July 3- July 9 2017

She’s flowing between the hot lights that cast eerie glows on the black canvases pierced to the walls where faces melt, familiar faces with second eyes and splattered screaming mouths. She’s thrilled to know them and walk and waltz there among the artist and his now laughing muses with their second wines. It all ends when a promising night stabs her in the back and on aching feet only her one spectator in the crowd steps in to lift her from the stage and home in the dark of the Sunset.

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See the works of Emilio Villalba here.

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