Saturday, October 26, 2013

Hi. So I'm travelling for a year (I think) and I am in Mexico right now. In Sayulita. It's an hour outside of Puerto Vallarta and ugh man, it's nice here.  

My neighbor. Okay, I am about to unromanticize this horse. So until now, I have never seen a real horse dick in my life. And oh my god, the other day, this horse, it's dick was out and it was crazyyyyy. I was like, holy that's what they look like? Honestly it was like an elephant trunk, it was nuts.

Ugh these tacos killed me. 

Great novelty: drinking Palomas in a can on the beach. They're not great, but they're cheap and who cares.

This dog. I was like, aw this is a cute sleeping Mexican dog and I want to take a picture of it. The instant I did it freaked out at me and completely spazzed and now I don't want to take pictures of dogs again in Mexico.

Although this dog was nice and followed us around (because we had food) and her name is Tootise and apparently she follows anyone with food around.

Everyone I talk to asks me why I came here. And I say that I came here because I wanted to learn how to surf and I've always liked Mexico and I've heard that this is a nice little town to be and surf in. And it's been good so far. I take Spanish classes every few days (but still can barely understand the basic things people ask/tell me), go to yoga in this open air space, and try to surf (I've caught like 5 waves out of 100 so far).

But it's all about the small victories here. Like going to the laundry place where this cute old lady doesn't speak any English and kind of understanding what she says and coming out with clean laundry the next day (and you feel so fresh, cause god, it is hot and humid here, so clothes are constantly sticky - they even get...mouldy. CRAZY! Clothes get moldy?!) Or having a small conversation with the caretaker of the apartment and then him leaving the most giant avocado for you on your steps (aw he likes me!) Or going to the next town over via the local bus to go to the bigger grocery store and running across the highway and back and not dying. And catching a wave after missing so many of them and riding it till the very end. Or being able to buy tamales for 15 pesos each. And huge slices of cake for 15 pesos each. 

Ugh and time, time moves fast and slow here and I used to wake up in panics back in Vancouver, panic over what I had to do or just feeling a constant sense of that I needed to do something or that I haven't done enough. And I'm glad and lucky that I haven't felt that much since coming here. I guess that's a given and will only last so long, but I'm glad I am able to feel it.

Talk soon friends, hope all is well with you. 

Big Sur

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Jane and I took a roadtrip to Big Sur at the beginning of September, here are some snaps:

Dessert buffet at this godawful truck stop restaurant in Oregon called "Country Pride". Don't make the same mistake and go there. And also don't make the same mistake of ordering chicken fried steak with hash. 

Funny contrast: what we ordered at Tartine with Andy and Vivian in San Francisco. We stayed with these guys for a couple of days (thanks again!) and had some good hangs and ate such delicious food.

Big Sur. 

Beaches in Big Sur are so windy and this is what we always looked like there:


Tent setup. This was the best spot - right on the cliff overlooking the ocean, waves lulling you to sleep. We got this spot thanks to Jane being totally on the ball.

Oregon Coast. Gotta say, it's really beautiful along there, almost even moreso then Big Sur. The beaches were a whole lot less windy and the colors were somehow nicer shades. And man, when it rained and the fog rolled in, everything would become so much more saturated and so moody and twin peaks-y, it was so great.

Ace hotel in Portland. We were there to see The National.

Jane asked me what drew me so much to Big Sur and I told her that from what I've heard, it's this really nice place that seems to restore and heal a lot of people that go there. And I would say that us going there and driving and camping a lot on the way, it made me see that I could do so much more then I thought I could and yes, it was really beautiful and I am glad that I got to do it all with her.

xo Big Sur September 2013.


I want to tell you about my balcony garden. Here is a not so great picture of some it at the end of Spring or so of this year. 

What I love about my garden is that for every part of it, I have a somewhat mundane (but interesting to me) story about how it got there and

I think it was at work and my senior editor, Darren Fleet, was really getting into gardening and also my old art director, Will Brown really got into gardening as well and their enthusiasm just rubbed off onto me. I've always wanted to feel some sort of self sufficiency with food (although this is kind of laughable after having this garden) and I got these really romantic notions of growing your own stuff and maintaining a garden in a city.

Darren helped me make some of the pallet planters last summer. We went around his neighborhood and scoped out the pallets, he told me what to look for (which haha, I can't quite remember right now, but I think I'd know a good pallet when I'd see it thanks to him) and then we (or rather him) carried them back to his place and we (mostly him) built the planters. It was also the day where I first learned how to remove a nail from a pallet, and man, it is one of the most satisfying things ever.

I decided I would grow "easy" things - radishes, broad beans, garlic, spinach. My apartment is facing north east and doesn't really get a lot of direct sun, and these things seemed like my best bets.

This is a radish. When I saw it, I was like, oh man, radishes do this? I also thought that my radish was just a super radish and that it really loved my soil and just went crazy. Then I ate it and as like, man this is tough and kinda prickly. And then I found out later that this is...bolting and that the radish was probably in the process of dying.

These are broad beans. When these popped up, I was like, man nature, have I got you figured out. When I planted these, I honestly thought I wouldn't get anything from the seed, I just didn't think there was enough sun or nutrients. I was also thinking, what are people talking about when they say gardening is so hard? Because all I did was just plant the seeds, watered them, and watched them and they just grew. But then I opened these up - AND THERE WAS NOTHING INSIDE OF THEM! I couldn't help but think then that my garden was a metaphor for my personality.

Garlic scapes. By this point I was getting pretty lazy with my garden (for a couple of weeks there I was obsessed, I would think of other things that I could grow and would go to the garden center once every week on their discount days and buy a bag of soil and seeds and haul it back on a bus). I didn't pick these at the right time. They shouldn't be this straight. They were kind of tough and I refused to just throw out the tough parts when making a pesto with it and then still wouldn't take the tough parts out even when my blender couldn't chop them up. Also they were insaneeeeeellllly garlicky. It burned my body to eat just a tablespoon of pesto with this stuff. I was telling people that I felt overly healthy when I ate these garlic scapes, it's like they burned everything possible and I felt almost drained and dehydrated. I also had really garlicky breath that I was super self-conscious of. Sorry to everyone who had to hang out with me that week.  

I'm amazed that this grew. My boss gave me this sunflower seedling. I was really surprised that he did that and my mind went crazy with why. Of course I thought it was incredibly nice, but it's also something that was completely random for him to give me. He told me that it's a beautiful plant to watch grow. A true life cycle. I began to notice on the leaves that there were these little larvae with brown shells encased in the leaf. At first I was disgusted (I also felt this way when I discovered aphids on some of my plants or a bug in general), but then I got fascinated by them. I tried to help the plant by removing all the ones I could see (which I did almost everyday for weeks - I liked doing it because it's being really nit picky and forces me to focus and calms me down), but the stuff just kept coming back. And you could actually see the pathways that the worm things took on the leaf and you could just see the disease spreading.

I saw this in the middle of summer:

When I first saw this I was like, is that me? It kinda bummed me out, because gardening then just seemed like for sad old lonely people. But now I don't really think so anymore. Sometimes I found my garden to stress me out more then I'd like - I'd be afraid to deal with it for fear of what I'd find (a billion bugs I've never seen before, rotting plants, problems to deal with, etc) and plants would just start dying and flopping all over the place and look terrible- but every time I would finally just go in and clean it up, it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be and I would always feel kinda nice after. Real healing. And I'm just constantly amazed that something grew. And yep, I think that this is all a metaphor as well.