monkeypod trees

Just got back from my first visit to Oahu. Couldn’t get over how green everything was, but hopefully you’ll agree these monkeypod trees are pretty cool in b+w…








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Triptych: Last Sunday

After more than 17 failed attempts
last Sunday we landed a robot
on Mars. Last Sunday
a man with no legs
ran in the Olympics. Then
a man with a gun
killed six
in Wisconsin. As for me
I did the laundry
the dishes
and went to the store.
What I remember most
about last Sunday
was the shape of the clouds, how
all day they billowed up
behind the mountains, then
stretched by the evening wind, each
wispy fragment shone
like stained glass
as the sun dissolved
into the Pacific. Today
I am trying to remember
life gives us little choice
but to feel the sharpness
of its pain, breathe the sweetness
of its beauty. I want to remember
these hands so eager
to embrace the latest joy,
they too may gently touch
our suffering, as if to say I see you,
I care about you, and you, you too
are real.

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Just got back from a quick trip to the Big Apple. Had a great time–ate at every vegan restaurant I could find (including an all-vegan doughnut joint in Brooklyn!), checked out the Whitney for the first time ever, wandered around Central Park, and of course took a few photos…

six-sided sidewalk stones

Hexagonal sidewalk stones along Central Park West…my old stomping grounds.

Canal Street

Our hotel was right on Canal Street (in the Tribeca/Soho/Little Italy/Chinatown part of Manhattan)–a little noisy at night, but great location!

the UN

United Nations Headquarters

High Line Park

High Line Park–a little windy/cold and still under construction, but very impressive!

Overlooking Central Park

View of Central Park from the Natural History Museum on 79th Street.


Pay Phones at Grand Central Station.





High Line kitty

Another view of the High Line.

Soho doorway

Doorway in Soho.

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Fall Highlights

To say I’ve neglected this blog would probably be an understatement, but by way of explanation, I’ve been more than a little busy this fall trying to juggle grad school with working full time, etc. I have, however, been posting regularly to another blog as a project for one of my classes…feel free to check it out.

Below are a few snapshot highlights of some of the non-school related things I’ve been up to the past few months. Happy Winter Solstice, everyone!

Mobile sculpture at Goleta Beach.

Mobile sculpture at Goleta Beach. Helped celebrate a one year old’s birthday here in September.


Washed up sailboat at Butterfly Beach, a regular stop on the 5ish mile “loop” Dana and I try to run/walk at least once a week.

CA Science Center

Entrance to the California ScienCenter.

Rachel Maddow

Got to see Rachel Maddow in person!


Weekend clouds.


Saw the Giants on their way to winning the World Series!


Downtown Spokane. Enjoyed a great walking tour of the city, courtesy of Dana’s brother who is studying at Gonzaga.

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phone shots of Chicago

Recently returned from a trip to Chicago where I had a lot of fun with my new toy, the iPhone. Thought I’d share some shots of the Windy City…

Here’s what Chicago looks like during the day.

And here’s what it looks like at night.

Saw lots of cool art at the museum…

…and some interesting things on the streets…

…like this parking garage…

…and this window display.

And what would a trip to Chicago be
without a visit to Navy Pier? 🙂 

Moral of the story: watch out, world!
I now have a pocket-sized camera with me everywhere. I. go.

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On First Seeing the Cormorants in the Eucalyptus

Feeling Zen with a debt to Keats.

Traffic on the 101 today
halfway between
the Milpas Street S-Curve
and Carpinteria State Beach
means you might not miss
the double-crested cormorants
nesting in the eucalyptus.

You might even
catch a glimpse of them
with prehistoric wings
spread wide, see them
look at each other
with a long-necked wild
surmise, silent
before their million-
dollar view of the Pacific,
the Channel Islands,
the oil platforms
in fog.

There are days
and times of day
where it’s possible to drive
the speed limit. Watch out this world
its stack of unpaid bills
will lull you
into missing the cormorants
entirely, tempt you to mistake
these disheveled nests
for something else,
say, mistletoe: the
haphazard clumps of it
delicately, invasively
balanced between far-
flung Australian branches.

But these nests
are nests. And this traffic
means you’ll be late
for where you’re going. Late
for that, yes, but maybe
right on time, right on time
for where you need
to be.

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We knew the neighbors kept odd hours

We knew the neighbors kept odd hours, hardly slept
the night they decided 2:00 a.m.
was as good a time as any to move in, lug
their sofa, their five-piece bedroom set
up the stairs, shush the dog
they weren’t supposed to have. Before dawn
we knew the woman had a British accent, the man
a high-pitched voice. And the dog, its name
was Rocket. Months passed
before we saw them in the daylight.
By then it was like watching a movie
based on a book, how
the characters in your head
never in a million years looked like George Clooney
or Julia Roberts. Turns out
the lady wasn’t middle aged
or a size sixteen, didn’t have bad teeth
or wear socks with her sandals. And the man
with the tiny voice was all muscle and hair,
wore baggy cargo shorts like a teenager,
took the steps two at a time, rusty ice chest
balanced on his shoulder.
When he set it down with a thud
on the stoop we shared, pointed, offered
freshly caught crab from Half Moon Bay,
all I could offer was, No thanks
we’re vegetarians before rushing off to work,
smoothing the imaginary wrinkles
from my freshly washed cardigan, turning the key
in my sensible Swedish sedan, checking my blind spots
twice before leaving the carport. After that
we stopped guessing if the new neighbors
were bouncers or bartenders, prostitutes
or heroin dealers, stopped
dreading the day our little fourplex
might explode
along with that meth
they surely had cooking in the kitchen.
Later the man confirmed they were, in fact,
fishermen. In that line of work, he said,
you don’t get to choose your hours. You work
when the ocean tells you to work.

Before they left for good
we heard them fighting at 4:00 a.m. He said
I’m done paying someone else
to live in this shitty apartment. She said
it’s not shitty. He said with or without you
I’m leaving to live on the boat for free.
It wasn’t long before that bedroom set
traveled the stairs again
in the middle of the night. Later that morning
I made coffee as usual, ground the beans
as the water boiled, pictured all that furniture
sitting quietly
in a storage unit somewhere in Oxnard. On the way out,
stumbled over–cursed–kicked–the abalone shell
left face-up, unannounced
on the welcome mat. But you can’t stay mad for long
when your neighbors leave a gift like that.
So you’ve lost a little sleep, spilled a little coffee
on your shoes. It’s hard to hold a grudge
against a world so generous
in its measures of morning sunlight,
where the pearly rainbow
of an abalone shell left on your welcome mat
is one of many, many ways
to say goodbye.

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yosemite in b+w


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