July 30, 2010

just a short walk away

Running errands on foot (or bike) is now my preferred method. It burns calories instead of gasoline! And today’s usual bank/post office trip included a bonus- the San Pedro farmer’s market.

Since i’m definitely an atm girl, I have never noticed the front of the bank building. Apparently, they have been here a long time.

farmers market 005

Side note for non-Californians- I know it seems odd that old buildings are of any interest. But so many things around here are modern and new. It’s refreshing to see older architecture and know that parts of town were here so many long years ago. Sometimes it reminds me of the old buildings in Greenville, OH (where I lived during a good part of childhood).

The post office also has that old-school charm. I imagine how this port town used to be back in the day…

farmers market 006 farmers market 008 farmers market 010 farmers market 012 Just out the window, you see the harbor and the incoming cargo ships…

Circling back a few blocks closer to home, I finally experienced the weekly farmer’s market.

farmers market 016For $13, I got two huge, tasty peaches, two large ears of corn, a bag of green beans, and some strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries… and all fresh and locally grown. With the exception of carrots, it seems like we can get all of our produce here instead of at the grocery. Next week, I will probably get a bouquet of fresh flowers, too. :)

farmers market 019 farmers market 017 farmers market 018  Additionally, there were food vendors (I think I’m going to try a Peruvian dish next week), live music, and some crafters. Win!

Of course, after feeling all economical and artsy, I jumped in my car and hung out with a friend at the mall…

July 29, 2010

know your region

There was an exam today in film analysis class. I’ve aced the last two, but blew this one. It’s a consequence I accepted in exchange for going on a “camping” trip with friends, and therefore missing two days of class (I say “camping” because we were pretty much in a house. A lovely air-conditioned house.).

It was worth it though, for the adventure. We went to the edge of California, the Colorado River, in order to float lazily in the current while baking in the desert sun. While one is submerged in said river, it doesn’t feel as if you’re in triple-digit heat- it’s rather lovely. In addition to good times with friends, the river offered a close encounter with a pelican and an opportunity to “visit” Arizona for the first time. However, this opportunity reminded me that swimming in current is much more difficult than, say, a pool. It also showed me that when one is stranded in the desert without any shoes, standing on plants will save your sole (thanks to my friend, Daniel, for this much-needed survival technique).

As beautiful as the desert landscape can be, I was surprised to find it smothering. Usually wide open spaces give one a sense of freedom, but perhaps knowing that a person is not truly free to roam the dry, hostile environment lends more to a sense of captivity. It was easy to see why long-term residents develop a thick skin and tough personality.

Now i sit, grateful for the new adventure, and glad to be back home to ocean breezes. It’s nice to remember the full moon and starlight dancing on the water at night, though.

July 24, 2010

rescue crab 911

This afternoon featured snorkel excursion #3. Kelly, Daniel, and I headed first to Lunada Bay. The steep, sandy path down the cliff led to a peaceful cove full of kelp. Unfortunately, there were only a handful of silver fish in the maze of seaweed, so we regrouped and moved to a different site.

Malaga Cove proved rewarding! The water was pretty clear, and hosted the usual garibaldi and various other fish that i need to learn to identify (garibaldi are easy, because they are bright, bright orange). An angel shark swam right under me, and I followed him for a moment! But as you can see below, he’s pretty tame as far as sharks go….

angel sharkI spied a neat shell, so I dove my deepest yet to retrieve it (about 10 feet- not impressive. but i’m increasing time spent under water and stuff). We examined the shell, and found it empty and perfect. Though I don’t want to harvest the ocean of it’s natural beauty, taking one shell to represent this dive seemed reasonable. So in the goody bag it went as we enjoyed the rest of the dive…. including swimming with a school of at least a hundred mackerel!

I couldn’t find an image of the type of shell, so you’ll just have to imagine that it’s cone-shaped with barnacles and stuff growing on the top, and a swirly underside, pearly and shimmery on the inside.

When we got home, we set our shells on the an empty pizza box on the counter for cleaning later. However, when I stepped out of the shower, I noticed two shells were not exactly where we left them… and they were moving!!

Quickly, I gathered the runaway shells, and little crabs ducked back deep inside (invisible again). After recruiting a gladware container to hold the stowaways, I jumped in my car and drove down the street to the beach. Soon the little guys were safely back in the ocean to live the rest of their long, happy, crabby days.

July 15, 2010

long distance phone call

The other day I called Mamaw (paternal grandmother) to wish her happy birthday. Part of me felt a little guilty that the wishes were belated (in all fairness, it’s tricky to match my west coast schedule with her east coast time zone), but the other part of me isn’t sure that she cared. I’m also not certain the extent of her memory loss.

Mamaw seems to remember the long-term stuff much better than the short-term. At least, pertaining to phone conversations I have with her. I don’t interact with her on a daily basis, and I haven’t been back to Ohio in a couple of years. Sometimes I wonder if she even remembers that we’ve talked at all, and if it even matters that I call.

This particular conversation took the usual cycle- what we’ve done lately, when did I plan to visit, the weather… followed by what we’ve done lately, when did I plan to visit, the weather…. and again what we’ve done lately, when did I plan to visit, the weather… interspersed with slight variations, including Mamaw singing a few bars of an old hymn I didn’t recognize. However, I did recognize that moments like that are precious. I would not forget them.

I was careful not to tell the dog to be quiet this time. During our last conversation, she kept forgetting that I live with a dog now:
me: Yes, I’m hoping to visit in September…. Oh, Tootsie, quit barking at the neighbors!
Mamaw: Why are you calling me Tootsie? haha!

This time, she told me how she celebrated her birthday- with dinner at Cracker Barrel. She remember those events of a few days ago. They were important moments with her family. That’s when I figured that even though she didn’t remember the content of our conversation, I was pretty sure she would not forget that I called. The weather didn’t matter. Neither did my latest version of a busy schedule, or what she did today. What counts is the time connected by a cell phone signal, defying time zones and distance to bring together grandmother and granddaughter.

I told her I missed Cracker Barrel. She said we’ll go when I’m there in September- she’ll start saving her money, she said with a laugh. After we hung up, I decided that I was dragging her to that dear old country restaurant, whether or not she remembers why. A dinner with my Mamaw is long overdue.

July 09, 2010

this entry makes no sense

Often, in the middle of some kind of good life experience, I will think to myself, “i’m gonna blog about this.” Then i become consumed with whatever that bloggable thing was, and forget. Later, I find myself sitting in front of a blank page, wondering why i thought i had enough thoughts of interest to write in the first place.

i’m afraid that will happen with screenplays. i need to write them. i want to write them. but the apprehension of sucking prevents me from jumping in and writing. And it’s odd, because that’s not typical of my personality.

But i’m enrolled in a screenwriting course in the fall, so we’ll end this nonsense right quick!

Meanwhile, life continues to be grand. Challenges exist, but God handles them. i’m learning to chill out and let Him do His thing. For those of you interested in the factual recap, here’s the buzz:

Church work is good. We are putting together vacation Bible school from scratch, to be complete in a month. It’s a superhero theme, and i’m having fun brainstorming the ideas.

I still occasionally write copy for Salem. And i think there’s some sort of clause I have to put on my blogs now about this not being the opinions of the company or some sort of silliness. But i’m pretty sure there is no doubt in anyone (all ten of you reading this) that my affiliation with Salem is barely anything.

The next Masquer show is “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”. I’m doing some production stuff since i’ll be out of town for opening weekend. I know it’s silly, but i miss rehearsing already. i  want to learn music and blocking and… you know. But i remember that i have a still-new job and school that needs focus.


My rambling has just been interrupted by one cuddly dog belonging to my roommate, Kelly. Tootsie has been quite a blessing… i’ve missed having a pet around since Jolie died last year….

But onto happier things. Last weekend I went snorkeling for the first time… and it was incredible. First, the fact that such things are available a mere ten minutes from my front door blows my mind. Second, I am hooked, want to do it again, and realize i am a weak swimmer. This must improve. Third…. so beautiful!! We went over a rock ridge that was covered in purple sea urchins and colorful starfish. There were silver fish… orange fish (garibaldi), and a couple with stripes. And lots and lots of kelp. Also, going in and out of the water involved rocks. Many rocks. Rocks that grab flippers and knock a girl in many directions. Rocks that require a girl to bond with band-aids and neosporin for the next few days…. But I’ll embrace my battle wounds. The scars will remind me of my first time snorkeling ever!!

Ok, you’ve put up with this scatteredness long enough. You’re updated, that’s what matters. i shall demonstrate better writing skill next time. seriously. i promise.

July 01, 2010

have work, will travel

First week of summer semester, complete! Thankfully, this is an entry level course, so taking it during this accelerated semester works well. It’s super easy, and moving any slower so boring….  Then again, maybe that’s my short attention span shouting through the two-hours-daily class time.

I hardly have any right to complain. Since I haven’t yet received my church keys, i’m working from home most days. Today, I had my fill of sitting on the computer, so I packed up my notebooks, hopped on my bike, and rode to the beach.

I hadn’t been to this local beach before, and it’s been years since I rode a bike any considerable distance. But the adventure proved a little easier than anticipated. True to a friend’s description, this beach is a teeny bit ghetto. A narrow wooden footbridge led away from the beachgoers (why were there only children in the water?) to a rocky shoreline. Waves rolled over round stones with a delightfully soothing, almost musical, clacking noise. I climbed over graffitied rocks and under cliffs of layered rock to find peaceful solitude. Perched atop a stone barrier, I overlooked the water and worked on a piece of copy for the radio station. And I couldn’t help but think that no matter how hard they tried, no punk can spray paint the ocean.


Thanks to fresh air, sunlight, sand, and even a nice patch of grass, I finished a major project for church. Thanks to the bike, I exercised and saved gas (and my rockstar parking spot in front of our apartment). This is a beautiful, beautiful arrangement.