santa cruz wharf

27 February 2009

looking at the sky ~ third


        This is looking at the sky...tonight...
        from the harbor toward the wharf.

27 feb09 sky

You can look at many other at Tisha's
maybe next week you can play along?

dark driving ~ there

We left southern California in 1995.

Once I decided to leave, it took me a full year to disengage our lives before we could make good our escape.
My job and her schooling. 
Our friends and her family.

I never really liked it in southern California.

In 1976 I really liked Davis and Humbolt.
But I was given three choices. 
Palo Alto and live at home with the folks. 
Lafayette, Indiana and live with my grandparents. 
Los Angeles and live with strangers.

I loved my folks and my grandfolks....
but I was ready for strangers.
I relocated south.

I had wonderful friends and terrific experiences in southern California. Many of the happiest years of my life.
I went to school there.
I got married.
Established my career.
Had my baby.
Grew up.

I just never felt at home in southern California.

I left in 1995 and I have never gone back until this week.

I had a somewhat irrational concept of being taken back against my
Mikhail Baryshnikov in White Nights .  I had been vilified following my defection....and they have never quit their recruitment efforts for my daughter's return.

There have many opportunities to go back. I have always come up with really REALLY good reasons not to go.

This time....I couldn't not go.
For this...I had to go.

It was 17 hours of driving in a 29 hour time frame.
Mostly in the dark.
Nine hours there...eight hours back.
(I made the mistake of getting off the freeway for something yummy and got Lost in Long Beach on the way down...thank God for AAA.)

The six hours between Santa Cruz and Westwood are VERY familiar....I've made that run well over 50 times.

Watsonville, Castroville
Salinas, Soledad
King City, Paso Robles
Atascadero, San Luis Obispo
Pismo, Arroyo, Nipomo
Santa Maria
Gaviota, Goleta
Santa Barbara
and then home.

Former home rather.
Ventura County
San Fernando Valley
The 405 to Westwood.

Every exit evokes emotions.
Memories of people. Of places.
Waves of memories.
celebrations, schools, performances,
friends, colleagues, lovers, adversaries.
Good times and Great times... and the Getty.
I have not thought of these things in YEARS.
Dredged up from deep down.

It is dark and it is late.
I am tired. The coffee has made me wired.
I find that it is better to drive without sobbing.
My mind grasps my heart in a steel grip holding it in check.
I am by myself but I am not alone.

From 2:30 in the morning...until 2:30 in the afternoon.
I was actually back in southern California. 
The OC no less.

15 February 2009

be good at life

Today we lost my sister-in-law Donna to GVHD.
Graft Verses Host Disease.

donna Christmas 1981
                         (Christmas 1981)

Donna leaves her husband, her twelve year old son, and her twin six year old daughters.  She is just a few months younger than I am.

She is my ex-husband's little sister...
aunt to my oldest daughter. 

She stood with me when I was married...
I stood with her when she was married.

A long time ago in a galaxy, far, far away... before I knew her brother, Donna and I met while she was a reporter for The Daily Bruin.  We became sorority sisters, and then sisters-in law. Donna grew up to become a formidable lawyer.  Our lives took us on different paths. I had not seen her in quite a while.

She was a devoted wife and loving mommy...
the fun, festive, perfect aunt, who knew what questions to ask.

Donna has been battling leukemia for a few years and last October had a Stem Cell Transplant... which seemed to be successful in that her bone marrow showed no signs of leukemia cells. But in the past week or so the transplanted cells realized they were in a genetically foreign body and attacked it.

The last eighteen months have been a time of loss for me.  I've written about my Grandfather. And of my Mama's own battle with cancer. But I haven't written of the others who have died. I haven't written about the inordinate number of people in my life....friends and family....who are literally fighting for their lives. 

In our tears tonight my daughter and I contemplated that we are not finished losing yet...and that being able to handle tragic death is not something we want to be good at.

We want to be good at LIFE.

A couple weeks ago Jazz left this following quote in a comment on Mimi's blog. It struck me and so I googled the quote...and found it originated in an article by Thomas Lynch from November 2000 in Esquire Magazine(this is exactly the kind of serendipity that makes me love the internet....the article is worth the read.)

"There's no easy way to do this.
So do it right:
weep, laugh, watch, pray, love,
live,  give thanks and praise;
comfort, mend, honor,
and remember."

I will always remember.
see ya on the other side....

12 February 2009

looking at the sky ~ the second

Here it is Friday already. 
What happened to this this week? 

Time again for
"Looking at the sky on Friday"

I took this a while ago during an amazing sunset on a rather crowded beach.  I finally got to a place with a clear shot, when this surfer walked in front of me.  I was rather annoyed until I saw how it turned out.

sky post 090213

click to enlarge...
but you may need your sunglasses
(don't forget to visit the other players)

07 February 2009

photo hunting ~ bridge

I love looking at this bridge.
I have driven on it, flown over it, sailed under it.
The Golden Gate is amazing....

sf post ggI took this early morning shot a couple weeks ago during a little birthday trip to The City.  We were visiting Fort Point, which was built in the 1850's and one of my favorite tourist locales.

Tennessee Chick runs the band of Photo Hunters...there are really great offerings this week for those of you who are as enamored of bridges as I am. (next week's theme is nautical....)

06 February 2009

looking at the sky ~ the first


Tisha (not trisha) over at Crazy Working Mom launched this meme a few months ago when her site was rejected by another sky photo gig.  I've been meaning to join in the fun...finally got around to it. To see more of the Sky, surf over.

This photo was taken at a beach in my neighborhood, and shows why I try and take a camera with me where ever I go.

It makes me think a miracle is about to unfold...

point fave

05 February 2009

football ~ cross dating

I'm gonna be the Queen of DeNile yet again today and not write about what is really plaguing me.  I made a comment on another blog* this morning which stayed in my mind... and parlayed it into a little post... I'm considering doing a whole series of little football vignettes...

I grew up watching football. As a two and three year old, I had an imaginary friend I called 
Chandler.  My folks figured out I had taken the name from Don Chandler who played twelve years with the New York Giants, when I would point at the TV and say his name.  After moving to California we embraced the 49ers. My brother played highschool ball. I matriculated in the PacTen.  Sugar Cookie was a rah-rah, quotes stats better than Michaels and Madden combined, and has a buddy who quarterbacks in the NFL. Little Missy starred in futbol....but crossed into football as kicker for the boys' team.  The Bear Cub was born to play football, but had to give it up. The only birthday party I have allowed in a decade was a football theme. I like the game.

A few years ago I had two kids playing high school football at the same time.  The Bear Cub was a natural born Center.  As a sophomore he was called up to Varsity...which he ultimately rejected as his sister Little Missy found herself recruited to be the Varsity kicker her senior year.

Players on two teams meant two games every Saturday and two player/family dinners just about every Friday night.  You end up spending a lot of time with these people.  A fairly accurate cross segment of the Santa Cruz demographic these were not stereotypical "friday night lights" football parents.  They were surfers and cyclists and a couple silicon valley geeks who never saw a game till their son played.

As usual, many of these kids had divorced parents.  The large majority of which were remarried...some in same sex domestic partnerships. It was an interesting combination of parents, grandparents, and step parents.  Two single moms.  Twelve single dads. (smile)

The Friday dinners were geared to carb up the kids.  Dozens of highschool males consume a frightening amount of spaghetti, salad, and garlic bread.  You can't imagine the pounds of pasta and meat sauce we would go about half an hour.  Once they were finished eating...they gave us hugs...and they were gone.  It was Friday night after all...they had better places to be. 

After they skedaddled the adults would group up...savor our meals...sit around praising each other's offspring. After the first week we started bringing wine and adult desserts... before long it became a real social event.

There was one father, Jim, who kinda had a thing for me.  We hadn't formally met until that football season, but we had mutual friends outside of the highschool group.  We had been at the same 4th of July barbeque, and seen each other at a birthday party or two.

One Saturday well into the season, after the games Jim caught me in the parking lot and asked me if I wanted to go grab dinner.  It was fun enough...just a casual dinner...nothing to write home about.

The next Friday evening while waiting for the feasting to begin...he asked me out again.  It was pretty private...but my exso (ex significant other) overheard...and later came over all territorial.

Now I will tell you that my exso the ladies man.  (
cue the music.)  At this point, we hadn't been together for years.  Most of the time we get along just fine.  Each of us have dated people who didn't like the other...and vice versa.  But my exso knew this guy...had known him for decades.  Not to mention the fact he actively dated from the "mom-pool" of other mothers at the highschool.  Not all of them single. Still he was objecting in hushed tones.  I wasn't really interested in the lecture, so my crossed arms and eye daggers were probably what summoned my backup.

Little Missy comes over all raised eyebrows and say's "so...whatsup?"  Her dad blurts  "kat went out with Jamie and Randy's dad."

"Yeah, we know"  She nods slowly with a smirk on her face. Both her dad and I speak at once. I'm wondering how.  He's demanding to know why she didn't tell him.  Turns out Jamie had told her.  Oh.Good.Lord. Jim tells his son...and his son tells Little Missy.

I say to her, "men are far bigger gossips than women"  she gives her dad a "whatever" and we head over to eat.

The next morning is Saturday...Little Missy and I are standing on the edge of the field waiting for The Cub's game to begin. 

Now, Jim's exwife was a team mom...her and I were friendly.  Since they had a player on both teams as well...we would commiserate the long Saturday schedule, and work the snack shack cetera.

She comes up to us and says to Little Missy, "Hey can I talk to your Mom for a minute?"  Little Missy damn near snorts coke out her nose (the liquid...soft drink variety) She just knows what this is about...and saunters toward the bleachers.  Traitor.

I am totally prepping for this woman to give what she perceives as wise counsel on why I shouldn't date her ex. So I was stunned when she asked my permission to date my ex.  Praise God for the sunglasses masking my expression.   I was incredulous.  Not so much that he had asked her out...but that she was coming to me to see I was okay with it.

I assured her that it was fine...I had no problem with her going out with my ex. I reassured her again.  I contained the instinct-bitch response of "ya know he's just asking you cause I had dinner with Jim." 

But the third time she asked if I was sure, I turned toward grandstand and nodded at the crowd gathering.

"I may have been the first...but there are no fewer than eight of us here who have gone out with him.  We're thinking about getting jackets."

I smiled and walked away.

I never dated from the dad-pool again.

is a very funny and insightful glimpse into the life of an actively dating single father.

03 February 2009

just one?

this one came from over the pond..."ou" and all.

selecting a single word was a bit of a challenge.

1. Where is your mobile? close
2. Your significant other?
3. Your hair? unruly

4. Your mother? healing
5. Your father? unfortunate
6. Your favourite? changes
7. Your dream last night? many
8. Your favourite drink? coffee
9. Dream/goal?
10. Virtue? few
11. Hobby? lacking
12. Fear? unmentionable
13. Where do you want to be in 6 years? settled
14. Where were you last night? unsettled
15. Something that you aren't? sweet
16. Muffins? blueberry
17. Wish list item? cure
18. Where you grew up? California
19. Last thing you did? caffeinated
20. What are you wearing? jeans
21. TV? several
22. Pets? possibly
23. Friends? valued
24. Your life? thresholding
25. Your mood? sketchy
26. Missing someone? yep
27. Car? contemplating
28. Something you're not wearing? hat
29. Your favourite shop? vault
31. Glass half empty, or half full? glaaaaassssss
32. Shiver, quiver or slither? quiver
30. Your favourite colour? blue
33. When is the last time you laughed? today
34. Last time you cried? sunday
35. Who will resend this? questionable
36. One place that you go over and over? prayer
37. One person who emails regularly? daughter

38. Your favourite place to eat? taqueria

go'head...try it...I dare ya...
it is not as easy as you'd guess...