People

I love air shows


One of the oddest and most wonderful experiences I’ve had since moving to California two and a half years ago is attending air shows.

mountains

They’re usually at a brewery and the scenery is breathtaking.

heart

There is literally love in the air.

criss cross

When I try to explain air shows to my friends I describe them as an airplane ballet.

parachute

But it can almost be like watching an artist create a masterpiece.

plane down

Making photos at an air show is rewarding.

me

Even when your friends steal your camera for a bit.

portrait

This one was my favorite. I always strive to go unseen and capture what I see. Usually, it doesn’t work out because my subjects see my camera first. But here, my shutter met her gaze.

sunset

Standard
Travel

Things you’ll learn during an excursion


1) Always check to make sure the places you want to go are open.

I like being spontaneous. But I’m also impatient and I devastate easily. Biking my heart out to find a locked gate isn’t as much fun. But it was a good lesson to learn. 

2) Sometimes things look soft and harmless but they are really spiky, ninja weeds that will fuck your legs up.

I don’t think I’ll ever stop being a kid inside. While that sounds whimsical and fun, it’s also very stupid. Like when I hypothesized about breaking into the botanic gardens in town and hiked up the side of the hill to check for holes in the fence and ended up being pierced by a billion tiny thorns. Picture below.

3) Not all U-locks will save your bike. Watch this jerk open one with a pen. If you care about your bike, take the time to find a good lock for it.

I don’t actually have one. But I’ve seen bikes get stolen and I figured now was the time to make my public service announcement. Thank you.

4) Always bring water. Even if you don’t use it, it’s just better to have it. Especially if you don’t adhere to rule number one.

5) Bobby pins will keep your cap in place. Especially when you’re using someone else’s cap because you’re too lazy to buy your own.

Keep in mind the bobby pins will also try to pull the skin off of your skull when you’re biking down hill. Worth it.

6) Any bag has the potential to be a back pack. Just keep sticking your arms through the straps until one way works.

Make sure it closes well enough or people will assume you’re santa claus gifting your belongings to random passersby. 

7) Try to use your phone as little as possible when you’re on your excursion.

When you realize how incredibly hard this is, invest in a wrist watch that has a compass.

8) At every place you go, take in as much as you can. Even if it’s how much you hate the place.

9) Learn to not be bothered by bugs.

Almost every human being on the planet is a predator of bugs. There’s a whole industry dedicated to their demise. If they were going to disappear, they would be on their way to extinction by now.

10) Some items are invaluable such as paper towels, clothespins, and pockets.

11) Most mean people are teenagers.

Those teenagers are mean to adults and that’s how you get mean adults.

12) At the end of every good excursion there should be a nice, cold beer. And maybe a shower.

photo (5)

Standard
People, Travel

The people and city of Los Angeles


This past weekend I was in Los Angeles cheering on a great man in the LA Marathon. To see blubbering photos of said man go here.

We  biked around a lot of  downtown Los Angeles. It made me miss home. There’s just something about a big city that makes me deeply happy.

cold pop man

hot dog vendor

banana

train

waiting

pinata

food trucker

girl

brb

tree and birds

night art

last

Standard
Uncategorized

About life and driving, and which one needs better maps


When you’re on the road, you find you have a lot of time to think.

You have a lot of time to think when you’re on a trail, too.

You might even find that you have a lot of time to think when you’re taking the trash out.

You don’t have as much time to think when you’re avoiding rocks in the road.

Or when you’re avoiding sharp spikes.

You don’t have as much time to think when you’re trying to figure out how to climb over something.

And sometimes there is something interesting in your way that causes your mind to be led astray by imagination and you find there is time to think after all.

But beautiful things can be distracting. So you have to find your way on the road again.

You think about a lot of things as you go down this road.

The beauty and wonder of life.

And maybe how fragile it is and how quickly it can be taken away.

I get lost a lot when I’m driving. But there always seems to be a map or a sign letting me know where I’m headed.

Unfortunately, life doesn’t come with maps. So you just kinda have to keep going. Until you run into something so great, you don’t have to think about it.

Standard
Uncategorized

Moving and meeting memorable Marys


There are a lot of memorable Marys in my life.

My mother’s name is Mary. There’s Mary Bo Peep. That Mary all those people pray to and that sometimes appears on trees.

But today I was quite fortunate to have met another memorable Mary. We only spoke on the phone 15 minutes and seven seconds but I haven’t been able to forget the things she said to me.

Mary is 63 and was diagnosed with breast cancer two years ago. Around the same time, her sister was diagnosed with colon cancer.

“I am really pleased that this horrible experience with my sister and I having cancer at the same time has brought our family closer. We’re all so far apart geographically,” she told me.

It’s not often you hear the word pleased and having cancer in the same sentence. But she told me at the beginning of the interview, she has always been an optimistic person.

“I don’t really think that I’ve changed a whole lot. I’ve always been an optimistic person and I still am. You tend to value each day a little more than you used to. You get the possibility of mortality every day and that’s frightening but then you realize you can certainly still fight.”

This sort of positivity is truly impressive. And it reminded me of my cousin’s. She was the exact same way. I swear this girl would pretty much have parties to cheer her friends up about the cancer she was fighting. She basically had a “beat cancer” campaign that politicians and vegans everywhere would be jealous of.

In a year, I’ll be her age.

But she inspires me all the time. In the same way, Mary inspired me today.

I felt a bop on my head and like the lights had finally come on when Mary was talking to me about going through chemo. How she had to go through it for six months in the beginning, and then on-and-off after that. She talked about the things you realize.

“Chemo is very hard. You don’t know what tired is.”

I asked her what advice she would give to new patients. At the very end of her answer, it sounded as if her tone had changed from giving advice to new patients to just giving advice.

“And I would say, do as much physical exercise as you can do. If all you can do is walk to the mailbox, then you walk there. Because the day after that, you’ll be able to walk to the corner. And the day after that, you will be able to walk around the block, and that helps a lot with your mental outlook.”

I just moved to Riverside, California for a new job and I hadn’t written since my move. I had thought about it a lot but picking up your life and moving to a new city where you have never been and you don’t know anyone and starting a new job in the same circumstances, well. That makes a person tired. Or so I thought, until today.

I hope some Mary inspires you someday.

Standard