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