A new year

We’re heading out of summer and into fall and it seems I owe everyone an update. My plan was to take down this blog this year. I scarcely updated it and it just didn’t feel like part of my world anymore. I started to want more privacy while also feeling like there wasn’t as much interaction as there had been back in the day. Behind the scenes, taking down the blog would have taken some work. Archiving old recipes and photos and such. I just didn’t get around to it. Life got in the way. It wasn’t a priority just like writing new entries here wasn’t a priority. So I locked it and left it for another day.

In the past month or so I’ve gotten a few emails and notes from readers who asked about the blog and since I hadn’t totally removed it, it just seemed better to put it back up for posterity. I most likely won’t be updating it anymore. I’ve started posting images and back entries from our adventures over at slow universe.

Then again, I’ve found myself longing for a place to write again so perhaps I’ll revive things, but no promises.


The new year is here. Now is the time for both looking forward and looking back. What was accomplished this year and what can we strive for in the next?

I wasn’t particularly fond of 2014, though it held lots of wonderful adventures. I aimed to write more, which I succeeded at on some level. I finished a new feature script and made progress on another, which I feel pretty good about. On the other hand, this writing is hiding away on my computer, rather than out in the world, so it sometimes feels like it hasn’t happened. Though there were a few posts here I was proud of this year, I’ve neglected this blog I am not sure I will continue to keep it. I may find another avenue to share photos and words.

Another goal was to do more camping and exploring and we did much more than I ever expected. Shawn and I visited Joshua Tree, Yosemite (in winter, spring, summer and winter again) and Pinnacles. We went backpacking in Kings Canyon, in Big Sur and the Fish Canyon Narrows. We took a trip to Oregon and Washington, visiting Mount Hood, Mount Rainier and Olympic National Park. We hiked to the top of Mt. Baldy and I took my first cross country ski lesson, two things I could not have imagined myself doing even just a year ago. There were also several trips I haven’t even blogged about, including Death Valley, Sequoia, Point Reyes and the Salton Sea.

Clearly Shawn and I had a bit of wanderlust this year, which was both exciting and refreshing. It did make me feel less productive though than I normally am. I watched significantly fewer movies this year than previous years, which in some way was a relief. I did on the other hand read more books, a trend I’d like to continue in this new year.

So what are my goals for 2015? It’s best to write them down, lest I forget, which I inevitably will. I want to make more meaningful connections with friends, more time spent in the real world than online, which includes making an effort to meet people in far away places that I consider dear to me. I want to put myself out there more as a filmmaker. It’s much easier for me to be reclusive about such things, but what I really want is to be out there making stuff. That means working on other people’s films (especially lady filmmakers) and sharing more of what I’m doing. I also want to allow myself time for hobbies. The thing I missed the most this year was small creative projects, which really fell by the wayside. I already have a sweater in mind to knit and some quilt ideas on the horizon. I’m looking forward to all the things a new year can bring.

Happy New Year! May all your dreams be within your grasp.

new things

sunset-1It’s easy to let blogging slip by when you’re outside exploring. I try to take pictures, remember moments to bring back to this place. I keep finding that the weight of a large camera gets in my way. So it takes awhile for me to collect my thoughts and assemble them here. Too long, one might say.

There are other things too. I’ve been blogging here in earnest for over six years now. It has evolved over time, from a place of mostly food, to a more personal journal and then to catalog of adventures. I’ve let things go quiet in part because the blog world isn’t what it used to be. Long ago I sought out blogs to connect with others. These days blogs feel like a window where you’re always on the other side of the glass. It’s easier to chat on twitter or just ignore the internet all together. Social media or whatever seems to be spiraling into a new place.

I’ve started a new instagram account and in many ways it’s taken the place of a lot of what might appear on the blog. A cell phone is light and easy to carry with me up a mountain. This isn’t some kind of goodbye post, more like an introduction for a new place to find me. The past month has been full of travels and October is full of Halloween festivities and it feels like there hasn’t been a moment to sit at a computer to write it all down. I will though, in time, I will.

summer’s end

San Gabriel Mountains from Mt. BaldyWell here we are, creeping further into the year. Summer burns on but suddenly I can see Autumn on the horizon. I’m not quite ready to to give up the excitement of weekend adventures playing outdoors but I’m starting to look forward to the cooler months. Luckily, with California’s varied climate zones we’ll be able to keep exploring into the winter. I am looking forward to visiting the deserts that are too warm for the summer months. But I’m getting ahead of myself here; it is still August and there are many sweltering days ahead.

There have been a few, brief, glorious rainy and overcast days here in Los Angeles. Having spent most of my summers on the East Coast, it’s something I miss greatly. I remember one year, leaving the Newark airport on a bus, the grey skies unleashed a wondrous downpour and I thought to myself I am home. I remember lightning storms and fat rain drops falling on me. These are some of my favorite summer memories. Yet here, the drought continues, forests turning into wildfire tinder and lakes drying up completely.

It was always so hard to return home at the end of summer, sometime in August, when the valley would still be devastatingly hot and all my friends still in the East. I have so many memories of plane rides where I couldn’t breath, the air just evaporating from lungs as I held back sobs. The loneliness would form a pit in my stomach that I would carry for weeks. I would try to make grand plans to keep myself occupied: this year I would pour myself into school work or another I might try to see every movie possible. Mostly I would just end up listening to sad songs on repeat until I felt nothing as teenagers are wont to do.

We visited New York this weekend for what felt like only a moment, spending time with family and not having time for too much exploring. While we were there, time moved slowly, as it can when away from every day realities. We walked the streets of the bustling city, celebrated the love between two people and got to meet our new nephew and it was so nice. My heart was full and upon leaving I felt that small pebble in my stomach, the sadness of going home, back to real life. I wish I could have stayed, seen the friends I missed and spent more time with those close to my heart.

I’m not so great with long term plans. I have no idea what my life will look like at the end of the year (probably much the same as it does now) let alone five years from now. It seems so silly to make plans when things are always changing regardless of my intentions. This post from Liz, posted the day I started writing this, coincidentally touches on exactly this. I do believe in goals though and deadlines.

Today the kids in Los Angeles went back to school, earlier than I ever did as a child. There was always so much hope a the beginning of a school year, excitement mixed with dread. Adulthood rarely has these sort of reoccurring punctuation marks. A chance to start fresh or be let down again. Now we just trudge forward waiting for a break in the clouds.

I listened to a report on the radio about the death of Lauren Bacall and though she lived a long life, full of success, I couldn’t escape that feeling that everything comes to an end. Death is inescapable. I couldn’t help but think of her later years when she was no longer acting and imagine what it must have felt like to look back and see that her achievements were all in her past. Perhaps it was a comfort, to know you could just drift forward. Perhaps it was like a dull aching loss with no grand schemes in front of you.

In theory my accomplishments are still in my future. It’s best I get started making them happen. I was going to make a list here for some sort of accountability purposes but I’ve gone over it so many times in my head it’s burned there like a mantra. Summer may be coming to a close but creative times are ahead.

child of the sun

A good portion of the country is covered in snow now. Storms are hitting places that only get sincere winter weather once in a blue moon. Other areas continue to be pummeled by cold. Meanwhile, here in Southern California it’s sunny and just a bit warm.

I often bemoan the fact that we don’t have seasons here, instead there are just subtle variations between all months that aren’t summer. Snow seems romantic, falling leaves beautiful and the rebirth of spring a joy. The seasons are natural markers of the wheel of life. Other places don’t live in one endless, dry medium with a few months of extra hot.

I realized this week that another place might not be so good for me. January can be hard, even without the cold temperatures. I feel like I’ve been wading through some murky darkness all year. I wanted to go in to hibernation. Even without being stuck indoors, it was hard to find the motivation to go outside or do much of anything. I imagine these feelings would only have been exacerbated by a real winter.

This week things took a turn, perhaps it was just a little bit more daylight or that I could have the office doors open during the day, but everything seems a bit brighter. I’m not so weighed down. I’m looking forward to more time spent in nature and more adventures and more daylight to spend doing whatever I want (even indoors).