Posts Tagged ‘friends’

Finding a happy place.

Friday, September 6th, 2013

I haven’t written in a hot minute, and generally I try to keep things upbeat on here. But I’ve have a bunch of things swirling around in my mind recently, and thought that it might be helpful to pick up the keyboard again. Just a heads up.

When I’m feeling sad and alone, when life feels too loud and bright and like its spinning out of control, when I feel helpless in taming things I try to go to my happy place. It’s a beach about and hour and a quarter from my house. It’s a place I feel safe and comfortable. Where I run into good people that I know who do good things. Where I can strike up a conversation, or keep to myself if I’m having a day that I want to be alone. I feel like it’s my home away from home. The best time to visit is between September and May when its cool and quiet, and most of the summer crowds have left. I surf when the surf is good. I walk the beach when the waves are flat. I take in the beauty of nature and relax into the calm of thinking only in the present.

I watch the gulls splash and bathe in the shallow shore water and soar overhead. And while they are normally little bastards who try and steal my loaded bagels, those birds make me happy to watch them doing their normal goofy seagull things. Watching the sets roll in over and over and crashing with the most calming regularity. Way better than any artificial white noise machine.

In September the air has started to cool and it feels like fall. Luckily the sun is still bright and warm and feels good on my skin. It takes me away from all the dark that has seeped into my life and that I am now stuck with the complicated task of figuring out how to replace it with goodness, and then growing from this whole thing.  All of the hurt and loss and guilt. Disappointment and that which I have tried to grasp, but have been unable to thoroughly understand. So I walk and think and stop to write; to get things out of my head; to keep them from bouncing around.

Collecting bits of scattered sea glass brings back a tinge of an old fond memory, which is now too painful to dwell on. What do you do with all of those feelings, or do they just fade and you have to suck it up and deal with them until they do?

A couple flying kites. The wind messing up my hair.  The creepy old shirtless man wearing guyliner, who asks to take a picture of me shortly after I’ve finishing crying behind my sunglasses and keeps making small talk about the Blondie concert he just went to.. These things bring me back into the present and remind me to keep going. To try to replace the bad thoughts with the good. There is no good result that will come from dwelling on things that I can’t control or change. My control freak self needs to just settle down in the sand, feel the wind in my hair, the sun on my face and sit back and take in the beautiful sets of waves rolling in and crashing over and over. Wonderfully consistent, steadily.

New Adventures: 8 of 30 – Take part in a beach bonfire.

Friday, September 23rd, 2011

This adventure is what happened immediately following adventure #7. Basically Juice & I had been surfing on the Cape, it had gotten dark, we went on basically a fruitless (ha!) search for local organic food, and then hung out on the beach near a place that played the worst reggae music ever while we pondered our next steps. I wanted a bonfire, and we needed to figure out where we were going to camp for the night. We could camp on an ocean beach, but we’d probably be woken up super early by tons of people & the sun rising directly into our faces. Or we could find a beach on a pond that Juice had a vague recollection of… Somewhere off the beaten path, not on maps, super small, pretty secluded where the trees would surround us and let us sleep in past 5am. He called it the “secret spot”. Immediately, that piqued my interest, and we head in that direction. Keep in mind that its about 1am, totally dark. I’m sleep deprived. Juice doesn’t remember exactly where we’re going or how to get there, and the roads are all screwed up and covered with debris after a storm that had passed through recently.  Luckily, we needed some firewood, so as we drove through these dark unlit side roads, we were able to stop & scavenge enough firewood to make a good size (and free!) bonfire.

We keep turning onto smaller and smaller roads. And then we get to what seems like a dead end, but it’s not, it just turns into an unmarked & unpaved road. Driving down a super narrow dirt road through the woods in the middle of the night sounds kinda scary, but oh ! it gets even better. We then come to fallen trees in the road?/path that we had to get out of the car to move….in the dark…… And a few terrifyingly steep and washed out embankments that I had to drive down, with faith that Juice knew where we were going & hoped that I had cell phone service in case I needed to call AAA to tow us out if I got stuck. But damn, you gotta love Audi’s and their all-wheel drive! Eventually Juice said that we were there & we unloaded the wood & some blankets. And alcohol. Because I certainly needed it after that terrifying drive of doom, and also, you can’t have an authentic beach bonfire without open containers of alcohol.

It was a new moon, so there was nothing lighting our way other than thousands of stars, and a tiny flashlight on my key ring.  The beach was only about 20×20 feet, and there was a still silence. We were the only signs of any light or noise, so it felt like we needed to respect that serenity, talking in whispers & shutting off the car’s lights. Juice built an awesome bonfire (with my super helpful and totally appreciated guidance of course!) and we set up our respective blankets on both sides of the fire. That way, we both got a front row seat & we could also poke at the fire & bask in its warmth.

We stayed up for a few hours, talking, listening, feeding the fire. Talking about all of those wonderfully random things that only start to come up in conversation when its super late, you’re half asleep and in a chilled and relaxed state. And then the birds started getting noisy, and the sky started turning that light grey/purpleish color that it turns, right before the sun rises. That was our cue for bedtime. Right before I feel asleep, Juice said something like “Just wait till you wake up; the beauty of this place will blow you mind.”

And the next morning I awoke to this serene setting.

We spent the morning swimming in the lake and catching frogs.

And then we packed up our gear & then headed out to try for another surf session. Trying to leave the “secret spot” as pristine as we had found it.

For a bonfire experience, I had expected something much closer to a beach bonfire scene from a 60′s beach party/surfplotation movie like Gidget or Beach Party. But this was really awesome in a relaxing and chilled out sort of way. I got to experience the bonfire & appreciate the setting (even if I couldn’t really see it until the next morning), instead of having to concentrate on navigating social scenes. Good times, good times. I can’t wait to do it again.

New Adventures: 7 of 30 – Watch a sunset.

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

Watching a sunset on the East Coast is easier said than done. The sun sets in the west, however the ocean is generally to the east, so finding a good vantage point to check out the dwindling daylight is key. I thought that this would be one of those easy things to do during a boring week so I could check something off the list: Drive up some hill, watch sun set, go home. Nothing life changing, Easy peasy. Luckily this adventure was way more than that, unplanned, not well thought out and wonderful in its randomness and spontaneity.

So I have this friend who I hadn’t seen in 8 years, let’s call him Juice for the sake of some semblance of anonymity on the interwebs. I met Juice back in 2001 when we were both riding the Red Line from Braintree into Boston pretty late on a Sunday night. Normally I don’t strike up conversations with strangers on the T late at night (in fact, generally I advise against it), but he was carrying a surfboard and since there is no beach near the Braintree train station I was curious about what the deal was and what his story was. I struck up a conversation and the rest was history. Anyways. He moved to Californina around the time that I moved to Seattle and we kinda lost touch. Until recently that is.  I’ve been on the lookout for surfing buddies & his name popped into my mind, so I decided to see if his cell phone from 8 years ago still worked. Shockingly it actually did, and he was east coast bound again, and he was looking to reconnect with adventuresome folks like myself. Funny how stuff works out like that.

Fast forward a few months. After some misfires on hanging out, I gave Juice a ring last Tuesday morning & was like “Yo. The fun time waves of awesomeness are here. I wanna go surfing. Let’s do this.” And then he was like “I’m in, but it’s all about making a trip out of it and going down to the Cape. Screw a day trip to New Hampshire. You drive and I’ll provide stimulating conversation and knowledge of the Cape geography where it relates to surf spots and illegal camp grounds.”

It was relatively early in the day, so I figure we could make it down to the Cape’s National Seashore and into the water by 4pm, and hang out in the water for a while. But I had forgotten how time flows differently around Juice, and how stuff always seems to take forever. When I got to his place he was still working on packing & he was very meticulous about it. (Somewhat randomly, I was also thrown off my game by the huge fricking beard that he had grown since we last saw each other, but that’s neither here nor there.) I just wanted him to throw his gear in my car so we could get moving, but it didn’t quite work out like that…. Although looking back at it, that’s probably for the best, since we ended up camping under the stars, so all that random shit like blankets and bio-degradable hand soap totally came in handy. My board was very excited, because it was the first time that it got to spoon with another surfboard on top of my car….

Our surfboards spooning.

Anyways, so we finally get to the beach around 6.30pm, but then drive to 3 different beaches to find the best conditions. Finally, it’s about 7.20 and its starting to get dark, so we settle on the last beach, Nauset Light Beach in North Eastham. We throw on our wetsuits and carry our boards down the stairs to the beach, passing about 5 other surfers who are done for the day. There are only 2 other surfers in the water & then they too call it a day a couple waves after we get in the water.

It’s solidly dusk, and Juice and I are alone with our boards out in the water. (Well, alone if you don’t count the Gray Seals that were hanging out with us, swimming around us and popping up every now and then to see who we were and what we were doing in their ocean.) You can actually see the waves on the horizon way better when it starts to get dark, which is pretty cool. Looking towards the shore, the sun was setting over the sand dunes. It was a bit cloudy, and all of the fluffy white clouds had become neon shades of pinks, purples, oranges and reds. It was really magnificent. And then the lighthouse on the beach came on and added a whole different level of beauty to the setting. In fact, the sunset was so beautiful, that I had to keep forcing myself to turn around & keep an eye out for good waves to surf. It definitely wasn’t my best surf session because I was pretty distracted & in sensory overload. But, it was definitely the most beautiful view I’ve ever had while surfing. We ended up surfing till it was so dark that we could barely see the beach anymore & then we decided to call it a night & figure out the eating/drinking/camping situation. It was really a remarkable sunset. The view, the location, the vibe. I couldn’t have imagined a cooler situation to just sit & watch a sunset.

Me (Emma) & Juice

Thanks to Juice for taking so long to get ready that our surfing at sunset was a necessity, his senior surfing expertise & advice and also for the awesome company.

New Adventures: 2 of 30 – Tattoo Fixage

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

When I was really young and crazy at the tender age of 20 or so, I got a medium sized tattoo of vines & roses. I didn’t research it at all. Just walked into the tattoo parlor, with visions of roses in my head and picked some flash off the wall and pointed to my back. I think the piece was originally drawn for an arm band or something, who knows… The artist at the time didn’t necessarily do a bad job, but he also didn’t do an awesome job. Also, I was kinda an idiot about tattoo aftercare. I remember smearing on some neosporin on my back, not bothering to cover it & going to bed, only to wake up with an greasy/inky tattoo transfer on my bedsheets. Gross & horrifying, I know.

It has about 9 years, and the tattoo is pretty faded & you could see some problem areas. Uneven lines, uneven shading, uneven placement, etc.. I needed to fix that shit. I knew that I needed to fix that shit about 5 years ago, but just put it off. Not exactly sure what I wanted. If i just wanted it touched up, added to, covered up, or whatever. I finally decided to bite the bullet. I still love the roses & the idea of vibrant colors & it’s a pretty design, so I decided that I wanted it added to and redesigned a bit. Rose is my middle name, so I really wanted them to be a focus. A botanical/overgrown jungley feel, that looked less like something you could pick off the wall at a tattoo shop.

After some online research, I found Precision Body Arts in Nashua, NH. They had good reviews, a good website and I thought that all of their tattoo artists had pretty impressive portfolios. I went in & ended up talking with Nick Kelley. I showed him what I had & what I wanted done to it. He is a man of few words, and I get really overly verbose when I’m nervous, so I probably came off as a crackhead & threw out a bunch of lame-ass buzz words. Lord knows how, but he ended up figuring out what I wanted and drew a great sketch that was basically the look that I was going for & then he made a few minor changes to make stuff more girly & swirly. It was kinda crazy on point how he totally got what I wanted  & the style blended perfectly with what I already had. It’s hard to tell where the old one ends and the new one begins. Nick did a really fucking amazing job, period.

Here’s the original design before:
IMG_1061

And the magic that Nick Kelly made happen:
IMG_0372

Such a crazy awesome transformation. I’m super happy with how it turned out. Many thanks to Nick, and also to my tattoo buddy Brendan, who brought me crosswords to occupy my mind because I’ve apparently become a bit more of a wuss in my advanced years… Whatever. At least I take pain stoically and silently, unlike this random crazy chick.

2 of 30 completed.

In the year twenty ten…

Monday, February 1st, 2010

Howdy gang! ….Although it’s been 2 months(!!!) since my last confession, er, blog post, so who knows who is still checking this regularly? Soo, what’s been a’happenin’?

The holidays were a blur, but full of goodness. Family & friends, awesome presents relating to surfing and modern Italian design home decor, crackling fires in the fireplace, a Christmas lizard of doom and other things like that.

I’ve been hitting up a bunch of local rock/punk shows at the Middle East, which has probably been my fav music venue since I was a wee teen. The most recent show I took in was a Punk vs. Metal night, with all sorts of fantastic bands, including the August Spies, who used to play most of the punk shows that I saw in high school. It’s always nice to learn that some Boston punk bands from the ’90s are still around. Ahhh, I’m old.

But yeah. I gotta get better with this whole keeping up with my blog thing. What with discovering microblogging via Facebook and Twitter, it’s harder to make myself sit down for 30-60 minutes and write a real blog post. But I’m gonna give it a shot again.

Brush with Top Fame.

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

So last night I was out drinking at a bar….. Ok, I know some of you think  that you know where this is going…. “Just another one of Emma’s stories which would make her parents proud.” Hear me out. In actuality, I was just out having a post-dinner cocktail with a dear friend, at Eastern Standard (a snazzy &  hip eatery/lounge in Boston’s Kenmore Square, which prides itself on authentic cocktails from the pre-prohibition era.). So we walk in & I snag us a couple of stools at see through glass bar by the door. At that point I notice a strikingly dark, tall and handsome gent standing by the waitress stand & say to myself “Wow, he’s really good looking!”.

Let me stop here and say that I am married to the most amazing man in the world who makes me incredibly happy. Devon is the love of my life. That said, I believe that there’s nothing wrong with admiring some eye candy once in a while.

Back to the “lounge”. So, tall, dark and handsome turns around and notices me, and I give him a big cheezy smile, because I’m a mega dork. He smiles back and at that point I realize that he looks very familiar….. I try to place him… Tall, kinda wild brown hair, big wrist cuff, tight & low slung hipster jeans, in a really cool eatery….. And all of a sudden my mind puts 2 +2 together………

Ok, this picture isn’t the best ever….. But!!!!   It’s fricking Sam Talbot from Top Chef’s Season 2!!!!! During his season of the show, he came in 3rd place (but in my opinion was the most talented out of the entire group). Ok, so most people probably have no idea who he is, but I think I’m a pretty big foodie, in addition to being a majah Top Chef junkie. Season 2 was probably the most enjoyable for me. I never really had the hot’s for Sam during the show, although they always made a big deal about him being “the hot contestant”, but man, I can totally see why now that I saw him in person. He’s no my husband, but he’s almost somewhat close. :)

Anyways. We totally shared a moment, and then I totally had drinks with him (from the other side of the bar). And after he left, our waitress and I recounted how we closely we had come to destabilizing into puddles of ooze. :)

God, I love this town.

Fall back.

Friday, November 6th, 2009

It’s November. Jesus. I’ve once again fallen dreadfully behind on updating. The past month has been really nice. Falling back in touch with old friends, some of whom I thought had been lost forever. Exploring new places and activities. Hanging out at the airport at night with A, which is eerily quiet, and surprisingly relaxing when I don’t actually have any travel plans. Doing Cambridge pub crawls with two friends where we got collectively propositioned which was unreal and kinda creepy. Checking out a townie bar in Littleton with my girl, Katie, that has awesome karaoke nights, and you’re not sure if the end of the night will wind up with your corpses being dragged out into the woods. :) I discovered that the commuter rail is actually a thing of beauty, and makes me rely less on my car to get into the city, and I love that. Sometimes I love driving, but it just seems horribly wrong to do it in Boston. I like being a subway rat, and the commuter rail will allow me to get back to that. It’s good. I love getting out of the house and being social, and doing random things. This past month has been really great for it, and I look forward to doing it more.

Fear of losing words.

Friday, June 19th, 2009

There’s been a whirlwind of craziness around this house. Devon’s server broke, so all of our websites were down for a while, as well as email. My email is somewhat working now, although all of my old e-mail is gone from the server as well as my current laptop. Luckily it should be saved on my old laptop, but it’s gonna take a while to get it all moved over.

I dunno why, but it’s really nerve wracking that all of my old emails from the past 10 years could be lost. Emails from old friends and ex’s regarding situations long past. The first emails that D and I ever exchanged. Emails from dear friends that remind me why I love them. Really happy stories that are sometimes forgotten, as well as poignant words that helped me get through some of my darkest hours. I’m sure that I’ll be able to recover the data from my old laptop, but I just have so many conversations that I want to keep. It sounds somewhat rediculous, but I’d certainly end up going through a period of mourning if it was all lost.

It’s moments like these that make me want to start soley communicating via the mighty pen.

Iceland Photos

Monday, March 30th, 2009

I’m back from Iceland! It was great! I’m sore from lots of strenuous activities, as well as sun and wind burnt, and I’m still massively under slept. But I had a really amazing time. My 2 favorite activities were hiking into snowy mountains to find a hot springs that we then bathed in (this tour), and riding Icelandic  horses though a beautiful area (with this company).

Some of my favorite photos:

Lemur wanted to go diving for all the coins.
Fun overall.
He wore it as a coat.
This shows a little bit better, but not really.
She had an itchy nose.
20 degrees F, 40 mph winds, heavy snow, and ready for a swim!

Check out my entire gallery of photos here.

I went with Devon and my friends Kate, Dan and David. We did lots of stuff… Which normally I would sum up, but Devon already did a great job at it on his blog… Check out:

What we did – Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.   Also see his impressions of Iceland, Impressions of our hotel and his photos.

I had a great time and I recommend the trip for anyone who would like a more active vacation, and doesn’t mind being cold all of the time. I certainly would like to return to soak in the Blue Lagoon some more.