Recently, I was so lucky!!! to be doing some homework in the sunshine of my backyard. At my last apartment, my backyard was super green and full of bamboo, ivy, and lots of other totally overgrown green things that grew happily without getting a ton of direct sunlight for much of the day, because they were surrounded by tall, tall buildings in SOMA.
In my new backyard, we get tons of great sun! Bright and good for flowers with colors like this lovely lavatera. I was also the only person at my last apartment building who put any time/care into the yard, and it suffered as a result. I had little free time and what I did have went to pure maintenance – never improvement. Luckily, my landlord actually puts time and effort into making this backyard beautiful, so I can enjoy flowers like this surrounding me while I work. It makes working SO much easier and more pleasant.
school and work and life = quite a combo! kicking my butt lately. i have been very angry at daylight savings time for ruining my life! who has time to lose an hour these days? nobody, that’s who.
anyway, i’ve been doing stuff but no time to put it here. now it is my spring break YAY! so i have time to say – i went to the Monterey Bay Aquarium in January for the first time ever. i’ve lived in san francisco for the past 10 years and never been. DOH. no good. i am so glad i finally went and met this grrrrrreat jellyfish friend! who is blobbing around being awesome. i am sad he (she?) is trapped in a tank for his (her?) sake but so glad for mine. and hey, at least it is safe in there. always food at the ready…better than prison! due to aforementioned safety issue. um. maybe this jellyfish is quite content! i am not (yet) clued in to the emotional and intellectual capacities of jellyfish. i’d like to think that they don’t think. in which case, an aquarium is waaaay better than prison. x 1 million. anyway. lovely. i hope this beauty keeps spinning and swimming and bringing so much joy to so many people for a loooong time! joy and also relaxation. it is mostly extremely soothing to stand and watch jellyfish make their way around the water. it brings to mind the desire for the human equivalent of perambulating – walking around for pleasure, in a leisurely manner. so uncommon to see and so beautiful! the jellyfish and the humans perambulating. just lovely.
Love this city! Especially all the new views of it I am enjoying from Bernal Heights Park. I was supposed to get some pierogies on Cortland Street and go for a walk with a friend the other day, but then she couldn’t join me. I was planning to go to the gym and then go for a short walk on my own, but on my way to the gym, couldn’t resist just heading up the hill.
So gorgeous! And there are so many new things to see every time I walk around there. I guess you can’t notice everything at once. I like it for one of the same reasons I like meditation – every time, I think I know what it’s going to be like, and it is NEVER ever that way but instead full of surprises.
Also, I deeply love aloe plants and love it that Bernal is full of them. Saves me that trip to South Africa – whew! I will just walk around my neighborhood instead. Luck! Joy! Sunshine!
meanwhile, back in san francisco…i moved to bernal heights! home to this very lovely lush grassy hill with its meandering paths. in fact there are many outstanding views, angles, vantage points, and varied bits of beauty. a whole panorama of beauty actually – not just bits – from many parts of the hill. totally worth the climb!
i used to be pretty (read:extremely) lazy about climbing the hills of glorious san francisco. i loved the sunshine and taquerias and colors of the Mission and SOMA, but I also deeply loved the flatness, for I was a lazy, lazy lady. i would climb some hills once in awhile under great duress or desperation – Tank Hill for fireworks a couple of times, Bernal Hill maaaaybe once or twice before, and Twin Peaks when I was shamed into it once. Coit Tower! I went once as a tourist before moving here many years ago. Mostly I liked to drive to the parking lot at Twin Peaks and take in that view, lazy style.
NOW i am so happy to head for the top, because the effort is totally worth it (and there are no sidewalks filed with needles, poop, blood and hepatitis up here! wootwoot). Beautiful, expansive views, nice people and their nice dogs, mo’ quiet and space to think and breathe and be. I am so lucky to live in Bernal Heights now and get to climb up here whenever I want! And the more I do it, the easier it gets.
WOW! cacTOOS! how very protective you are of yourself…and how little i know about you. but you seem pretty awesome. i admire and envy that intensely self-protective quality you have. but is it hard to make friends?
i was waiting for an emergency taco in los feliz, los angeles when i decided to stare down this cactus.
mmmm crunchy potato taco from Macho’s Tacos.
i have enjoyed many a taco here and sitting out back under the bougainvillea, i usually stare down the cactus at whatever table i’m at. this time, i got to visit with a new cactus that lurks by the food pick up window. and boy am i glad we got to be acquainted. well, as acquainted as it would let me, anyway.
for awhile, i spent a lot of time in LA but not much at all recently. i missed my cactoos time. San Francisco taquerias are certainly filled with deliciousness, but short on cacti. And bougainvillea, for that matter.
It is still hard to call her fresca. for a long time, to me, she was Sassy. after our beloved childhood cat Mr. Cinnamon died, my sister and I were lucky enough to get a brother and sister feline pair – Squirelly was hers, Sassy mine.
Sadly, many moves from Maryland meant I left Sassy behind with my sister, an excellent caretaker in all respects but for the renaming. Upon reflection, I truly cannot argue that Sassy is a better name than Fresca. (I did try to argue it once with my sister but her “I pay the vet bills” shut me down fast). BUT I can argue that as a soda, Fresca does not taste good. Why not name Sassy after something delicious? Not that we’d ever eat her, of course. I guess she was pretty fizzy back in the day.
Now she is 15 and definitely more circumspect. I was lucky enough to spend some time with her over the holidays and she was very ill for a few days – I was scared it was the end. I also forget it is not the end of the world when a cat gets sick. anyway, in her weakened condition, she let me take this photo – normally she runs. so for that reason (only), i am grateful she was slowed a bit by her age and illness.
She was probably pretty curious to see whether I was replacing her parents forever too…nope. Wouldn’t dream of it! Couldn’t possibly.
i was looking at a potential apartment to move into – and found these lemons growing in the backyard. sold!!! there were tons of amazing plants back there, actually, including a really cool thing that one of the owners of the house had built for tiny succulents.
alas, for many reasons, i did not end up choosing to move here. one day, i definitely want to live somewhere with fruit trees in the backyard. maybe it will be when i am dead, because that is my idea of heaven. but with any luck, it will even happen while i am alive. fingers crossed!
i thought i wasn’t going to move at all. with full time work + commute + part time grad school and lots of other commitments, moving seems…bold. time-consuming. scary. rents in san francisco are insanely high!
but it seems to be that i get to move into a (different) incredible apartment in Bernal Heights, and there will be jasmine in the backyard, and I will take pictures of it, but really the best part about jasmine is that amazing smell. we use the word amazing pretty loosely in today’s world and i am definitely guilty of its overuse – or maybe i am just extremely often amazed!! but if there is a proper use for the word amazing, hellllls yeah, i vote for the smell of jasmine. and a juicy lemon growing in one’s own backyard.
o! i have not been updating this blog. a lot has been happening, and thanks to the fancy iphone, i have been having a lot of instagram fun – more photo fun than writing fun. anyway, october/november is such a great time for sky and sunrise and sunset glory in the San Francisco Bay Area. i miss these dramatically interesting and beautiful skies in (way less lovely) December. this photo was taken november 15, 2012. just a few weeks ago, but feels like eons.
i got to see this sky while driving to work on the 101, sitting in traffic for the great Hwy. 92 merge mess, which always means being stopped or slow for awhile. i mind waaaay less when i get to stop and stare at skies like this and feel extra-enveloped in beauty. the 101 is my far less beautiful (than 280) route to work, but more direct, so having great skies made it extra easy to satrt the day on the right foot. you know. coffee and clouds are a winning combination.
oh my goodness~ yesterday was so weird! i got to go on a work field trip to the law school library at Stanford, and while i ordinarily would have been really excited for a field trip, yesterday was NOT the day for it. yesterday i needed to sit and be quiet and drink tea and have a normal boring day – not be challenged, nagivate and learn a lot of new things, meet new people and scan 100 pages on a microfiche reader that requires manual adjustment for each page and scan. oof.
anyway i survived my adventure, learned a lot, was alternatingly jealous and admiring of the beautiful and perfectly manicured Stanford campus (why did I go to law school in the Tenderloin?!?! dumb!) and, starving, returned to work to scoop up my lunch and race to the park to eat it and lie down. lay down? plop.
plop i did! i plopped right by this gorgeous flower in the sun and stared up at it and wished i didn’t have to go back inside. fall is gorgeous and the crisp air was really refreshing. I didn’t see what the sun had done in this picture (taken with my new iPhone 5 I can’t seem to put down) until I got back to work and looked at it in the light. super cool! super lucky. and i appreciated it even more because it was so, so welcome after construction traffic and terrible memories of college and law school applications and rushed learning of new technologies. but mostly it was welcome in the ways being able to see how far i have come to land where i am, in so many ways. like, all ways. physically! mentallyemotionallyspiritually etc. career-wise. happiness-wise. i am going to keep leaning into that sunshine too. i like what happens when i do.
last sunday, i went south for my exploring. i have been trying to spend my sundays outside as much as possible since i am cooped up indoors for work and then doing lots of homework and other stuff blergh. i am thinking there needs to be an outdoor library somewhere in the world, and i need to find it and work there!
i have been to one actually, though it is certainly not a place for gainful employment, it is amazing that it exists – at the Albany bulb, in the East Bay here. It was in transition when I visited but I love (LOVE!!!) the concept. I digress.
I went exploring south Sunday – now that I have a fancy new iPhone 5, the maps feature is like wow. It got a lot of bad press but it hasn’t steered me wrong yet and it is just beautiful to behold. Anyway, somehow, I kept seeing lots of parks and beaches on there with cool names a bit south of San Francisco and decided I’d make my way down and try and see if I have actually been missing out or hanging out at these places and not knowing their names. The answer was a little bit of both.
I stopped and had some fun looking for/finding places like Thornton Beach State Park, Mussel Rock Park, palces in between and points south. I found some adorable and fun places and sights in Pacifica, including a very excellent squirrel mobile. I should have taken waaaay more photos of the squirrels – they are awesome. I shall return!
I ended up at Pacifica Beach, where I hadn’t been in ages. I went crabbing off the pier there eons ago but somehow never usually end up there. It was a gloriously sunny day and the waves were HUGE! which was really fun to watch. So powerful! No surfing that day. Ouch.
Also no wind – YES! Perfect day for walking around, lounging in the sand, catching up on homework and a little bit of fiction even. I think Pacifica is mostly fogged in, so it was a rarely perfect day to land there for a sunshine-lover like me. It wasn’t crowded, either, like I know the beaches in San Francisco were. SUPERPERFECTO!