Pacific Ocean : Oh Fair New Mexico

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by Karen Fayeth

Let The Sun Shine

One of my coworkers brought in oranges from their yard today. Look at this, it is perfect! A supermodel among oranges. Spokesmodel for the State of California. This orange made possible by the sunshine of the Golden State. Gorgeous!



©2018 Karen Fayeth










Photo taken by me, all rights reserved. Taken with an iPhone7, the Camrea+ app, a green folder from the office, and a little bit of goofing off time while at work.

The Question – Never To Be Answered

Often times during the many (let’s not count, shall we?) years that I have lived in California, I have had occasion to ask myself the following:

“California? You live in California? Why the [expletive deleted] do you live in California?”

Never is that question asked more strongly of myself than at the holidays.

When someone asks me what is my favorite time of year in New Mexico, I will respond “It’s a toss up between September, when the leaves are changing, and Christmas when New Mexico shines like a pinõn scented jewel.”

It turns out the holiday season is when I miss New Mexico the most. California feels too crowded, too stuffy, too something for me to really believe I live here.

Then I get into the spirit of the season and I find ways to make my corner of the world a little New Mexico. I bake biscochitos. I put my New Mexico ornaments on the tree. I remember my home state, and it’s ok.

That said, there are newer traditions too. California traditions that I have made that over time begin to also have meaning.

One of my favorites is to go to the ocean on nor near Christmas Day.

This began many years ago in the time before The Good Man. I believe that is referred to as the BTGM epoch.

One year in the age of BTGM, I was all alone on Christmas, and that was actually ok by me. Things were pretty good in my life, all in. I was a bit lonely but I was doing fine.

On Christmas Day, rather than sit home alone and sulk, I decided to go visit my favorite beach in my favorite coastside town of Half Moon Bay.

On that 25th day of December, while the world sang carols about letting it snow, I drove down California highway 92 and squinted into the clear bright sun.

That was one of the most beautiful, perfect days I can ever remember in Half Moon Bay. It was quiet, easy and not crowded.

I drove home from my day at the beach content and peaceful. The next day it started to rain and didn’t let up until, oh, about May. But the memory of the beautiful day lingered through the damp season.

This year I had the chance to do my new(ish) tradition again. The Good Man and I went to Half Moon Bay to celebrate a birthday with a family member. For her special day, she wanted to watch the sunset over the water, and we were all too happy to oblige.

The Good Man and I got there early, on purpose, so we could be calm for a while and watch the waves.

As I sat there in a nice comfy Adirondack chair, watching the world go by, this was my view:




Copyright 2013, Karen Fayeth


This is a fairly iconic view of Half Moon Bay, and my photo has done nothing different or special with it. But this is my photo. A memory of my day.

You’ll notice nary a cloud in the sky. I didn’t even need a jacket as the sea winds blew in. It was so calm and so peaceful and a perfect holiday day in California.

I disrupted The Good Man’s peace by declaring that, “I need to do a selfie!”

He grumbled about the state of the world and how you can’t just tell someone you went somewhere, oh no, you have to prove it by taking a self photo and…rabble rabble rabble….

That accounts for the sort of smirky face. He rabbled while I snapped:




Copyright 2013, Karen Fayeth


Then we had our late lunch and it was delicious and happy and we spoke of holiday things and laughed and it was my own version of joy to the world.

After we ate we went back outside to watch the sun set quietly over the ocean while a guy squeezed the life and song out of a bagpipe. That loud clear bagpipe and the rapidly setting California sun was almost dream quality, surreal but oh so real.

It looked like this:




Copyright 2013, Karen Fayeth


And as the sun sank below the horizon, I smiled. I thought about how beautiful that same sun must have looked earlier setting over the volcanoes in Albuquerque, casting a glow onto the Sandias.

I thought about home, but I also thought, “you know, this isn’t too bad either.”

Merry Christmas Eve, ya’ll.

May it simply be “not too bad” wherever you are today.







Photos Copyright 2013, Karen Fayeth, and subject to the Creative Commons in the right column of this page. Taken with an iPhone5 and the Camera+ app.





You Can Take The Girl Out Of the Desert…

…but you can’t take the desert out of the girl.

So here’s something that is grinding my gears lately.

It is the summertime here in the Bay Area and that is a complicated thing. As many know, the marine layer and I have long had a tempestuous relationship.

July looks like this: overcast morning gives way to a very hot and sunny day which is then doused by fog by the afternoon.

This phenomenon is why you see tourists shivering in their shorts down on Fisherman’s Wharf. The Bay Area warms up quickly then is naturally cooled.

However….

Before the fog rolls in, it can get truly hot around here. Hot enough that a little air conditioning would be a nice thing.

Most of the Bay Area doesn’t believe in air conditioning. I recall when I first moved here and was shopping apartments. I asked one landlord “where are the air conditioning controls?” and he laughed and said, “No air conditioning.”

“Whaaat?!” Was my reply. That was when I lived in the South Bay and temps could climb into the high 90’s during the day.

“Just open the windows. We get a cross breeze,” he said.

I scoffed. And harrumphed. And muttered something like “I’ll give you a cross breeze you rattin’ smattin’ rootin’ tootin’ son of your mother….”

As it turns out, very few homes in the Bay Area have air conditioning. No place I have lived since I’ve been here has had the sweet miracle that is air conditioning. Only some windows and a hope for a cross breeze.

Compare that to New Mexico where every home has some form of AC. It’s only right. Just. Moral. Upstanding.

I’ve survived many a Bay Area summer season by working a few longer hours at work, sucking down their gentle corporate paid cool air, or riding in my car with the AC on max to cool off.

But what’s grinding my gears lately is all of the retail stores that either don’t have or don’t use air conditioning.

Look, I learned as a young child about moving quickly from the freon cooled car into the refrigerated air cooled grocery store that was so frosty it would raise goose flesh on arms and my legs clad only in shorts. Malls and clothing stores and other retail shops are a respite from the heat.

Not here. Stores have no windows and no AC and no moving air at all and they become this stale pit of muggy heat. Bleah! I saunter around the store wiping sweat off my fevered brow.

My desert hewn body was made to be a wonder of convection cooling. I sweat, breeze passes over it, water evaporates and I’m cooled.

This is how nature made me!

But deep inside a Walgreens or a Safeway there ain’t no breeze and only the sweat remains. Gross.

So then I take up residence somewhere near the freezer section where I crack open a door and it takes me a reeeeaaaalllly loooooong time to select which brand of frozen orange juice I would like.

It just ain’t right.










Image created by quickmeme.




How I Learned To Re-Love My Home by Being a Tourist

When you live and work in an area that is a poplar tourist destination, once can get a bit…weary…of the whole out-of-towner schtick. Come summertime when the weather starts to warm up and school lets out, the San Francisco Bay Area is certainly a popular place for folks to visit.

When I first started dating The Good Man (lo these many years ago), he lived just off the Embarcadero and I learned to not just deal with tourists, but to be fully submerged into their every photo clicking, map pointing good times.

I grew a little tired of it, honestly. Kind of made me want to stay inside and avoid those types.

Enter this past weekend and the arrival of my almost fourteen year old goddaughter. She lives somewhere in that no man’s land between Las Cruces and Radium Springs, New Mexico and her view of the world is a little different from mine. She had briefly been in San Francisco five years ago around the time of my wedding, but hadn’t really spent time in the City.

So Uncle Good Man and I did it up right. We loaded her in the car and headed off for destinations such as Golden Gate Park, Ocean Beach, the Cliff House, Lombard Street, the Wharf and more.

As I huffed and puffed walking many of the seven hills and jostled my way through tourists and took in my beloved sights once more, I too became a tourist. A tourist with a memory.

Oh yes, I recalled the stone risers near Ghiradelli Square where I sat on that beautiful California day and contemplated if I could really live here. I watched the gentle waves in the Bay and summoned my courage. And OH! There is that little dude who wears a full old-time golfer uniform and waxed mustache who does a rollickingly fun shell and balls game on the streets. Man, that guy is still there? And oh muh lord, the Golden Gate on a clear day. What a gorgeous little orange gem.

I saw the familiar sights with new eyes and I remembered fully, totally, and completely why San Francisco is one of the most wonderful places in the world.

I think I needed that. I needed to remember why I live here, why it matters, why I left not just my heart but my liver, and pancreas and eyes and all the other major body parts in San Francisco. I felt the energy and excitement of all the tourists visiting my fair City and I echoed it back to them.

Good ol’ San Franciscio, she made me fall in love all over again, and that leaves me with a happy smile.

And a huge stack of Ghiradelli chocolate bars in my kitchen cabinet. Buy four get one free! Whatta steal!





Oh Let’s Let Her Lope Again

This exercise was so amazing for me and my old friend The Muse last week. It really helped break some of the rust off the creative pipes and since it was so much fun, let’s let The Muse play the Unconscious Mutterings free-association game again.


  1. Social ::


    A friend posted a link on Facebook essentially declaring that social media is over. Wait, there’s something ironic about that sentence. No matter, let’s press on.

    Personally, I’m pretty ready for all things social networking to stop being all anyone talks about. As if this is changing the world.

    Sure, something just as annoying will take it’s place, but maybe as “the book close(s) on Web 2.0” the internets will have grown up a bit. Stretched a bit. Maybe the next big thing will be something great, innovative and useful.

    Just don’t take away my lolcats. I beg you.

  2. Fairy tale ::


    It’s too early to discuss Christmas songs. Way too early.

    However, if we were going to discuss Christmas songs I’d tell you that I think it’s magic that a song entitled “Fairy Tale of New York” begins with the lines:

    “It was christmas eve babe/In the drunk tank”

    I mean really. Could that be any more perfect of the holiday season? I think not.

    A nod of thanks to my Rock Star cousin for turning me on to that tune many years ago when I was having a Very Dark Christmas.

  3. 0 ::


    Neither odd nor even, positive nor negative. Zero is the beginning, a place to start. Nothing and everything. Zen. Infinite.

    And a bunch of other woo-woo stuff.

    Null, nada, naught, nuh-uh, nope, zilch.

    Sort of beautiful in it’s perfection, really.

  4. Football ::


    I’m not much of a football fan, but I do idly keep track of the San Francisco 49ers. Last year I even took in my first NFL game, and it was awesome.

    That said, I think I’ve become too much of a baseball girl. I mean…162 games a season vs sixteen. Right? I think you can get by with a lot of luck over 16 games whereas you have to be mentally and physically disciplined to make it through 162.

    This is a weird time of the year where the end of baseball overlaps the beginning of football.

    Right now my San Francisco Giants are oh-so-very-close to making it into the postseason again and the 49ers have won their first two regular games.

    All in all, not a bad place to be.

    Who’s got it better than us?

    Why, I’m pretty sure the answer is: Nobody.

  5. Action::


    Lights, camera, action. Take action. Action Jackson. Action hero. Action games.

    Yeah. I got nothing here.

    Next!

  6. Setting ::


    Sometimes, on a rough ol’ Monday like this, I think about going to my happy place. I have several, actually, but the one I’m thinking about today is the town of Half Moon Bay. It’s about a half hour drive away, it’s where I got married, and it’s the beach I visited just after moving to California.

    It holds a special place in my heart and features some of the most beautiful sunsets I’ve ever seen.

    I’ve watched that setting sun alone, with dear friends (and beers) and with my love.

    Here’s my favorite photo, taken (by me) near Miramar Beach, and even this cool photo doesn’t totally capture the quality of light. But it’s enough to help me escape gray cubicle walls, if only for a moment.



  7. Boomers ::


    Did you know that in Australia, an adult male kangaroo is called a Boomer? I didn’t either.

    I learned that seeking an alternative for this prompt that would let me write about something other than ol’ hippies.

    And I thank YOU, Wikipedia, you glorious repository of knowledge.

  8. Rough ::


    This morning, this glorious Monday morning, I woke up rough. Real rough. I remember the days where I could stay up all night drinking and carousing and then get approximately one and a half hours of sleep, wake up chipper, go to class, take detailed notes, get through the day and go out again.

    Now I stay up late on Sunday night watching a good movie and oh holy hell I’m a mess from the time the alarm goes off until I can go to bed early the next night.

    Time really does make fools of us all.

  9. Words ::


    “What are words for? When no one listens. What are words for, when no one listens at all?”

    Hello you beautiful Missing Persons.

    That was the very first non-rodeo related concert I attended. (If I include rodeo shows, my first concert was Freddy Fender. You can’t make this stuff up). My big brother took me to a show at the Civic Auditorium in Albuquerque. Bits of what I’m sure was asbestos fell from the ceiling during the show.

    I wanted to be Dale Bozzio so bad I couldn’t see straight. I still do.

  10. Account ::


    Longing to be Dale Bozzio, and Belinda Carlisle, and Terri Nunn and others like them – yeah, that accounts for a lot of my teenage years.

    Really, a lot of my life.

    I just read British comedienne Dawn French‘s memoir. Now there is a lady who is 100% comfortable in her own skin. And now instead of just admiring her, I want to be her too.

    I’m such a suggestible little girl.

Ok, well…back to work.




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