Day 41 of Project 365: California dreaming.


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It has been unseasonably warm in California. Today it was 70°F and I opted to eat my breakfast outside because what kind of jerk wastes weather like this? I felt like I was on vacation, with my yogurt and my banana and my copy of “The Devil in the White City”. But don’t worry: I suffer from a perennial inability to stay in the present moment, so I immediately felt guilty for feeling so good.

What you see in the foreground is my father-in-law’s massive DIY project that involves French drains and wheelbarrows full of rocks and other things I don’t understand but appreciate aesthetically. Occasionally a gopher will pop up out of one of the holes in the yard but they have been too fast for me to photograph.

Writing from: sunny, confused California. Listening to: my external drive backing up my computer for the first time in a while, whoops.

Day 40 of Project 365: Be seeing you.

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Processed with VSCOcam with q5 preset

As we were driving to see some friends this evening, thinking about today’s photo made me a little irritated. You see, we were on our way to see not only adorable friends but their adorable child, and I am always concerned about posting pictures of kids online. So I knew today’s photo could not be the inevitably awesome photo I would take of this small human I am fond of, and then I felt guilty about the whole line of thinking. Sure, it’s a fun project, this photo-a-day thing, but it does objectify objects and humans in my life. Although I’m pretty sure objects do not object to being objectified, I avoid objectifying humans.

(Cats are fair game. Sorry not sorry, cats.)

I could go on and discuss objectification in photography and wow that would be so exciting for us all but I need sleep. So today’s photo is of a ceiling lamp that reminded me of an ominous eyeball. Turning the eye back on the beholder and all that. And the lamp transforms when you pull on one of the two cords, so you can have a little light or a lot. In the “shut” phase it kinda looks like the Death Star. There is nothing I do not love about this lamp. I loved it so much I lay on the floor to take a photo of it from below.

And then I started thinking about how much I love “The Prisoner” (the original series, not the remake) and why I didn’t go to Portmeirion while I was vaguely in proximity. Beholder … eye … be seeing you … I suppose that was the train of thought, but let’s not kid ourselves. I was probably randomly thinking about “The Prisoner” because that’s what I do. Have you seen it?

Writing from: a mostly-dark room in Marin. Listening to: “One Note” by Alberto Giurioli.

Day 39 of Project 365: Smiling Jack.


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When I look up from my laptop, my view is of smiling Jack sunning himself in the courtyard. Zen occasionally ventures out into the courtyard but cannot resist the all-you-can-eat salad buffet of ornamental plants, so she is shuffled back in, all the while moaning her discontent.

Tough to be dispirited while there are cute cats all around me.

Writing from: a sleepy room in Marin. Listening to: “To the Stars” by Alma.

Day 38 of Project 365: Choice paralysis.


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I thought I had prepared myself for possible points of reverse culture shock. Then I wandered into the candy aisle of our local Walgreens, pictured bottom-right in today’s photo. All I wanted was a pack of mints. There were so many different mints to choose from, and they were right next to a million candy bars, some of which I hadn’t even heard of before. We’ve only been gone for four years! How can so much candy innovation occur in such a short period of time?

The other two photos are from Whole Foods, one from the yogurt case and the other from the nuts aisle. I wasn’t able to capture the scale of either section of the store. There were more things to choose from than I was capable of comprehending of eating, and I really enjoy eating.

Many times while living abroad I pondered what it would be like to walk into a supermarket and be able to choose from different types of food that I wanted to eat as opposed to just different types of food that I could eat. (There were plenty of gluten-free crackers and biscuits in Scotland, but I’ve never enjoyed eating either very much.) Back in America, I’ve been bombarded by so many options that I’ve quickly become overwhelmed. I’m sure it will even out soon, and when it does I hope that I’m able to retain some of this awe over just how many options there are for me here.

Writing from: a room with kale chips in it. Two different flavors, even. Listening to: Zen’s chainsaw purrs. (She likes kale chips almost as much as I do.)

Day 37 of Project 365: Two of my favorite things.

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Processed with VSCOcam with q1 preset

Bubble tea and board games are two of my favorite things.

Writing from: a quiet room in Marin. Listening to: the soft churn of tumble-drying laundry.