Thursday, July 24, 2014


I am embarrassed to start this story by saying our third wedding anniversary was almost ruined by the backgammon game of India. 

We picked it up at a thrift shop in Oregon for $1 and have been playing everyday since. I wonder about who used to own it and why it ended up in a thrift shop.

Our first game yesterday went fine, because I won. Then we decided it would be interesting for each of us to play two colors instead of one. If you are unfamiliar with Parcheesi, the game is very similar to Sorry where players get knocked back home if an opponent lands on the same space. Playing with all four colors increases your odds of being knocked off. I got three players sent home in one of Scott's turns and told him, "I wonder if the people who used to own this game gave it away because it caused too many fights." 

It was actually kind of a fitting anniversary as marriage always seems to be about growing and working together and getting through challenges and blah, blah... you know, not pouting about board games. 

What games do you like to play? 
I want to learn chess next. That should be good for my patience. Do you know how to play?

Monday, July 21, 2014

"Summer Teeth"

notebook from Matsumoto Studio

We are home from our Oregon road trip (as you may have guessed from these pictures of our house). My car smells like firewood and bananas. 

I'm listening to this song on Pandora by the Arctic Monkey's. I thought it said "summer's in your teeth," but it said "something's in your teeth". It got me thinking that at the end of it all, I hope it feels like summer's stuck in my teeth.

Scott and I went to the beach at home yesterday and today. On our first day back, I was hoping the waves and water temps would convince me beyond any doubt that it was good to be here and not traveling through Oregon anymore, but the waves were terrible. It didn't really matter though, I still wound up persuaded. 

Today the waves were smaller still, but better. I love those kind of days where you and the waves feel like you're playing together.

The limes and the plumeria decided to bloom while we were gone. I have to smell the plumeria everyday because I know those flowers don't last very long. I have to check on the limes every day to make sure the ants "squatting" on the land, aren't trying to take over. 

The last picture above is of winter squash stuffed with kale, red peppers, garlic and onions, sprinkled with a little sea salt, butter and olive oil. We had it at our neighbor's house last night. I can't take credit, but I'm definitely going to try to make it and maybe even bring it to something for other people to try (doing that always makes me nervous even though I post recipes here for you all the time). 

Also, I thought you might find these pictures amusing. 
I didn't realize how close Scott was to me. Luckily not closer or he might've of ended up with some other kind of summer teeth! Our friend Nick saw this all go down and said "You should really smile for the camera!" 

Friday, July 18, 2014

The Wild Coast

I want to take in every last bit of Oregon, but I want to write about it while I’m in it, so I’m going to try to do both. 

We’re on the 101 headed towards home. I just took a drink out of our water bottle. It’s humid in there and it smells like mildew. I can’t believe I just noticed. I think I’m ready to go home when I encounter things like that, but a part of me thinks I would be very happy in Oregon. I guess it’s easy to fall in love with a place when you’re on vacation. But I love the wild we found here. You felt like you were breathing it in and becoming wilder yourself. 

I just spent almost an hour in an antique mall looking for these detailed little German shot glasses with tall necks that Aunt Liz served fresh squeezed orange juice in at her cabin. I left with a small porcelain Mickey Mouse for my cousin’s new baby-- of course they didn’t have the shot glasses. Maybe a part of me just thought I needed them so I could be sure I was bringing some of that wild feeling home. Like if I served orange juice in those cups I would be like Aunt Liz, a wilderness woman. 

This morning I went for my last surf in Oregon. The only guy out told me the water was 50º , which if it was, it is the coldest water I’ve ever been in by five degrees. 

When I first paddled out, I was alone. I focused on feeling the wind against my face, wondering about the tourists taking pictures on the cliff above, who they were and what they loved about Oregon, and tried not to think about my biggest fear that developed when we planned to come here-the sharks, of course. I even opened my eyes when I was duck diving because I wanted to reassure myself that there weren’t any of them lurking below. But checking on that is scary, like tip-toeing downstairs to see if the bump you heard in the night is a burglar. I looked at the sand brushing back and forth across the bottom, the waves making their own art on the ocean floor, before I thought my eyes would freeze in their sockets. 

A few five foot sets began marching towards me. I couldn’t make my mind up about what to do with them at first. Going out to them seemed like creeping deeper into shark territory, but waiting for them to come to me seemed like waiting to get hit by an avalanche. After getting bowled over by a few, the competitor in me couldn’t leave without catching one and seeing what I could do with it. I loved the sensation of being smaller than the waves. Running after some of those closeouts felt like chasing trains. I only lasted 45 minutes before my hands turned both pale and bright red and I couldn’t close my fingers. 

My dad just texted me that the water in San Diego got up to 72º. Although, we don’t have redwood trees or boulders that stand out in the water like crossed-arms giants protecting the waves from the winds. 

I’m trying not to be sad about leaving Oregon. Aunt Liz said that she likes to think of life like seasons rather than phases. She said she appreciates every season that she lives amongst up in her cabin on the mountain, just likes she has appreciated every season of her life. Maybe Oregon was a season of my life. Or maybe it was the start of a new one.

p.s. the picture of me by the fire was taken at Moolack Shores Motel. The cutest little place we may have ever stayed. 

Saturday, July 12, 2014


To stay young, sometimes you have to allow yourself to do idiotic things, even though you know better.

I wrote that in a note on my iPhone while Scott was in the bathroom at the brewery we ate lunch at in Portland. 

I wrote it because I knew I was going to skate Burnside even though it was designed for the non-helmet wearing, beer-drinking, skate-every-damn-day-of-your-whole-life types. At least I had the beer drinking in my corner. I had a Burnside IPA with lunch and somehow, I think it served to help me overcome any secret doubts I had about doing this.

There was a snowy mountain in the distance, but it was 91º under the Burnside Bridge where the skatepark lived. It was built in 1990 by a couple of friends who had originally intended to build a cement half pipe in their backyard, until their landlord found out. Although they didn't fund it, the city of Portland allowed the construction of the Burnside Skatepark because the area, a no-mans land littered with drug dealers with easy access to passing freight trains, was nasty and they hoped a skatepark would change things for the better.

Scott and I checked the spot the day we arrived in the city. Everyone was so good it was like watching a live skate movie. And even crazier, not one person wore a single pad or helmet. With my rate of falling, I knew this was an impossible feat for myself and we both concluded that we wouldn't skate here. It seemed localized and like a major skate scene, unwelcoming of skate newbies who take lessons at the YMCA and wear colored helmets. But I couldn't let it go. In my dreams I was skating Burnside. Not like a ripping maniac, but like me, only braver. I pictured riding around with grace, breathing in the colors of the painted walls, making that handmade park become something I could take with me. I knew I needed to skate there. Like that time I wanted to be an actress at 15 even though the success rate is like 1% or something inauspicious. But I convinced my parents that driving to LA for acting lessons would also help me learn to drive, something I was afraid to do, and somehow they agreed. 

I needed to skate Burnside because I was here and I was capable and I wasn't going to let a couple of dudes who can do five foot backside airs with cigarettes in their mouths keep me from that. The potential embarrassment and even harassment was learning to drive a car on the way to L.A. Skating the park was getting my first audition. Sometimes I have these ridiculous things that I want to do stick in my head and I cannot let them go. 

I made the first drop, but not the kick turn. I ate crap the second drop, but not in a debilitating way. At least all the falling I've done leading up to this has taught me a thing or two about landing the right way on my pads and butt. 

You will notice in the pictures that almost no one took notice of me and my beginner antics in the graffiti painted bowl in the corner. Falling while trying to doing kick turns was about the least interesting thing going on in the area. There were people drinking beer out of paper bags in the parking lot while juggling hacky sacks and a dude with a hawaiian print shirt and Gilligan hat trying to pull a frontside air 20 feet up the back wall. But I finally did that kick turn. And then I did it a few more times. And then Scott took some pictures. And then we got the heck out of there because even from the start I knew my time was limited and I had come to do what I needed to. 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Uncle Tom and Aunt Liz's Cabin

We all wrote down something that came to mind after our weekend up at Aunt Liz and Uncle Thomas' cabin in the woods. And I think I'm just going to leave it at that because anything else might take away from the experience. 

I hope everyone is having a good week! We are up in Oregon now, anticipating our first cold water surf.  
The rest of the stories from our trip can be found here.

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