Thursday, October 31, 2013

the last word, v11

People Magazine has this feature thing on the last page of their magazine.  On the last page, they have a feature called the last word (so clever!) where a celebrity answers a few questions on some of the last things they've done.  So even though I'm not a celebrity or anything (wait. what?!), I'm going to go ahead and answer the questions.  Because, why not?

The last time I went out to dinner was two nights ago in NYC.  Megan and I decided to go for a last minute train ride to the city to an Ed Sheeran concert at MSG.  She is such a huge fan.  It was her first concert ever, and she just about died.  We brought my niece Bridgett and met up with Kara and Frank and went to this cool bar called Stout in Manhattan.  I had a great steak salad, and there was yummy blueberry beer.  Mmmm

The last time I cried was so stupid.  I don't even know if it is considered a real cry but it was a well of tears.  Fine, maybe one or two fell, who cares.  I get random wells every other five minutes these days because I am a fucking freak.  I was thinking about this Halloween night way back in the 80's and the memory kind of got me choked up.

The last song I sang out loud is a song that I just cannot get out of my head.  It's called "I Wanna Be Yours," by The Arctic Monkeys.  And now I will share it with you.  Because, oh.  I feel it.

The last time I cringed was while watching a movie trailer for Anchorman, just the other day.  Oh. My. Gosh.  I just know I will be cringing throughout the entire movie, and I cannot wait.  

The last time I cursed was this morning, because, of course.  I make a point to curse every day.  Because I love to fucking swear God dammit.  I believe I said, "Trick or fucking TREAT, yo."  Because I'm so gangsta.  *I said that to a grownup, I swear.

The last compliment I gave was when Alex hugged me.  I said, you smell really nice.  Because he does.

The last TV show that I watched was Duck Dynasty last night at like, midnight.  I love that show so much.  Every time I watch it, I laugh.  It really is addictive TV.  How can you turn it off?

The last website I visited was The Huffington Post.  I pretty much have a lineup of news and media outlets that I hit each day, I can get so caught up reading stuff... I really tend to like articles on The Huffington Post.

The last household chore I did was laundry.  It's always laundry.  Never ending laundry.  Laundry.

The last sports event I attended was a high school soccer game.  My son's soccer team was in the state semi-finals yesterday, it was very exciting!  They lost 1-0, but it was such a great, hard fought game, I was so proud of them.  I'm really sad the season is finished!  I can't believe next year is his last year playing high school sports.  I think I will be so sad when it's all over...

my boy is #6

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

heart shaped rocks

I just found this heart shaped rock while I was hiking.  

Funny, I happened to be thinking about a time I was walking on the beach a couple of years ago, head down just mulling.  I just had so much on my mind. I was looking at all of the different and unusual rocks and shells, and I sort of made a little deal with myself. I told myself that if I could find a heart shaped rock, then I wasn't wrong about things that I had been feeling, doing, thinking so deeply about.  As I walked, I layed out the rules for my game, it had to clearly be a heart shape, I had to continue walking the path that I had planned, it had to be a shell or a rock.  Each footstep brought me closer to wrapping up my walk, and there was just... nothing.  On a beach with literally millions of rock and shells and shapes.  Like maybe it really wasn't meant to be.  Like the thoughts and feelings that I had been mulling over were way off base, just wrong.  Trudging up the dune, sand deep and hot and biting my ankles, the noise of the waves blended with the sounds of families on the beach and it all seemed so far away.  Salty sweat touched the corner of my lip, but it tasted like a tear, and then I saw it.

My rock.  My heart shaped rock.  I found it, right at the end of the walk.  Right when I needed to find it.  Right when I needed an answer.  Do you know that feeling in your chest, when you can finally breathe after you've been holding your breath?  That's what it felt like, when I saw it.

I'm always looking for heart shaped rocks now when I walk alone.  My game. My Magic 8 ball.

I stood and looked at this one a bit, this answer that I desperately need.  And I decided to leave my heart it where it was.  Just go and leave it.  But I can't leave it fully God damn it, so I took a picture of it so I could remember before I walked away.  So there it is.  

Monday, October 28, 2013

revising a list

I'm an introspective person.  I think a lot.  I spend a lot of time with myself in my head.  That is probably unhealthy.  I'm working on it.  

One of the other things I've been working on is revising a life list.  I read this thing about people having bucket lists about material things, like owning a specific sports car or whatever, and even though that may be one of their ultimate goals in life, and you know, to each his own of course, I'd like to think that personally, the things that I want to accomplish before I die are deeper than that.

I have so many obstacles right now.  Most of them mental.  I have so many things that I need to get past so when I wrap up this journey I can close my eyes peacefully and feel like it wasn't a waste. 

Of course experiences make our lives more enriching and exciting, but I believe that the reason we crave these activities goes a bit deeper.  What drives these desires is the yearning to belong, to feel love, to feel connection.  When we do what we love, and make those connections, we become an expression of love and our happiness is infectious. 

Some newer things to accomplish...

1. Forgive people who broke your heart
2. Stop trying to control your outcome
3. Look in the mirror and love yourself unconditionally
4. Find your purpose and live it 
5. Trust that everything is in its right order
6. Travel to the place you keep thinking about
7. Try something that scares you
8. Be open to change
9. Let go of your past
10. Stop trying to change people
11. Stop looking for answers outside of yourself
12. Stop thinking you did something wrong
13. Just be your weird, crazy, beautiful self
14. Follow your heart
15. Risk everything for love
16. Reject rejection
17. See the world as a beautiful, safe, and loving place
18. See everyone as equals
19. Give up attachments to stuff
20. Recognize the journey is the reward
21. Stay hopeful and optimistic in difficult situations
22. Welcome all life lessons
23. See the opportunities in every challenge rather than give up
24. Live your values
25. Inspire others by your own bigness
26. Stop apologizing
27. Forgive yourself

TRAVEL San Francisco: Traipsing About the Bay A

I went away this past week...  I took a little trip out to San Francisco.  A little trip all by myself.

When friends around here heard that I was going off alone they looked at me like I was a little off.  Like going somewhere on my own was weird.  A few people were all like, Wow!  That's so brave of you!  Doing it all by yourself! 

I think they meant that in a positive way?  I am a very independent person.  I don't feel like I need someone with me to be able to do things that I want to do.  I'm perfectly OK with making a solo trip.  Maybe that makes me weird.  Of course I love to travel with my family, and I do often, but it's nice to sort of escape from real life sometimes.  To take a break from every day responsibilities and just wind down.

I was thinking back to a time where I just threw a bag in my crappy car and drove til I was too tired to drive anymore.  All alone.  My first real solo trip.  I had traveled alone to meet up with people before, but never just a time that I knew was just going to be mine.  I think I made it 9 or 10 hours.  And I spent a week not speaking to anyone but the clerks at the places where I grabbed a bite to eat.  It was fantastic.

I regrouped.  I thought about things.  I read.  I walked.  I basked in the sun.  I explored.  I relaxed my tense brain.

Sometimes, for someone like me, getting away is a really good thing.  It's just enough to keep, for a while.

Here is a little smattering of some of the things that I did and saw in San Francisco:

*Walked way down to the Ferry Building and saw the Bay Bridge, all lit up and beautiful in the darkness. 

*Went to Muir Woods and walked though the trails, feeling so very small compared to those massive redwoods.

*Stopped at Muir beach and walked barefoot in the sand.

*Went to Sausalito and got a great sandwich (and cookie) from a cool little sandwich shop.

*Pulled over and stopped for an amazing view of the Golden Gate Bridge on a gorgeous clear day.

*Went down Lombard(?) Street, the crookedest street. So cool and steep and narrow.

*Rode BART.

*Went to Monterey, walking along Cannery Row and saw the Monterey Aquarium.  Had a great meal there, mini portions of sea scallops and steak and risotto and a chocolatey dessert thing that just melted in my mouth.  And also a crepe thing that I actually had to force myself to stop eating.

*Visited the tiny sleepy little town of Davenport, where I walked along a secret beach and had a big fat raspberry muffin and a perfect cup of coffee.

*Rode on a cable car.

*Explored a bunch of districts in the city, went to China Town and spent a bunch of time (but not much money!) in the shopping district.

*Got dinner from this amazingly cool restaurant that is outdoors and plays old foreign films on the wall.  Had the best cheese I have ever tasted from there, some kind of mozzarella that I wish I remembered the name of.

*Walked around Fisherman's Wharf and had a great bowl of clam chowder and got stalked and harassed by a gross seagull.  Checked out the smelly seals laying around on the docks, looked at Alcatraz and debated taking a ferry over to see up close.  Went into this cool old time arcade where they had these real, old fashioned arcade games and things that you could play for a quarter.

*Walked and walked and walked.

*Ate and ate and ate.

Ah, there were so many more amazing things!  I want to write it all down so I don't forget any of it!

I am so glad I went, so glad that I didn't chicken out and find some great excuse to keep me from such an awesome week.

The only bad thing was that I FORGOT MY CAMERA.  Can you believe that??!  All of the pictures that I am posting were from my iphone.  Unfortunately they are nothing spectacular, but definitely enough to remind me of some great moments.  I did some tweaking and editing of course, but overall a few not so bad shots.

I will be following this post with some in depth reviews of the things that I did - including places I ate, stayed and visited on my trip.  So be sure to come back to check out my thoughts on things to do in the iconic city by the bay...

I am already thinking of the next destination for another solo trip... any ideas for me?  Where would you go if you were going on a solo trip?