Saturday, January 2, 2010

Going Out With A Bang

Happy New Year everyone! From the way these first two days have gone, I reckon 2010 is going to be a great year. I have already slept 2 nights by a river, started strumming the guitar again, given myself a facial from the earth of a hot springs and eaten 2 deliciously home-slash-cottage cooked meals cooked by Liz while listening to Billie Holiday.

And, oh, how I've missed "Poem, Sweet Poem." Apologies for my absence by the way. And I didn't even say goodbye, how rude of me! Right before Christmas, I decided to take a break from the blog while I enjoyed a long holiday vacation in L.A. Now that I am now back in San Francisco, I feel blissfully and utterly recharged. I don't love the battery allusion, because while I do feel ready to see in the New Year with boundless energy, I also plan to relax more often. And how can I achieve such calm? I resolve to seek out (organically, mind you) that certain kind of pause in my day where I can be thoughtful and compassionate. One way in which I will discover such moments is through poetry. This year will be filled with reading, writing and experiencing poems, sweet poems. New poems, old poem, odd poems. I hope you will join me...

Anyway, today is Sunday, thank goodness and I am ready and looking forward to my first week of the New Year. Along with a new arrangement of digits after "20," two-thousand-and-ten shall begin with a new work schedule at Small Press Distribution (more hours, yay!), more bike riding and yoga (my cold and the cold will be massive inhibitors no more!), and more time spent in the kitchen, cooking and spending time with loved ones and friends (I just watched "Julie and Julia" and am happy to remain in that mode, thank you very much!).

Since I've been tardy so long, I thought I might offer a glimpse into what I've been up doing while not typing away and uploading pics. Here are some highlights from the end of 2009:

Beginning with a perfect scene: friends gathered around, enjoying cookies, Glögg, and each other. None of us knew what we had in store for later in the night (dance performances, Gaga, and finishing the impossible puzzle...)

Isn't this the scene of triumph. While decorating for my cookie exchange party, I splayed puzzle pieces out on my makeshift "game table" (how old-fashioned of me, I know!) in the hopes that someone would attempt to tackle the impossible image. Upon placing the final piece, the joy was a slighter version of touch downs at a football game (I can only imagine). We applauded, cheered and exhaled like they do in stadiums. Oog, I hope all these football references aren't flowing out with such ease because I saw "The Blind Side" while I was in L.A. Maybe so. All right, back to sports...eek does this mean the New Year will involve me talking about subjects of which I have NO CLUE???

Liz and I (plus groups of children on their holiday break) count down to the winter Olympics!

My family gives the most thoughtful gifts. Mom and Dad surprised me with 2 tickets to see the San Francisco Ballet's production of Swan Lake. I love love love the ballet! Some of my favorite poems use swans symbolically and I await the day when I might also get my swan. Symbol or not, they will be there in front of my eyes and cannot wait to be inspired.

Isn't Mommy the best cook? (a line I ripped from "It's Complicated"--yet another movie I saw AND adored while home). My mom's famous chocolate crinkle cookies filled the house on Christmas morning. They filled bellies too, as did the most glorious food imaginable. Thank you, family, for such cozy Christmas memories, xo.

Even though I gave "The Blind Side" a shout out (and now 2 mentions), I drooled over "The Young Victoria" starring Emily Blunt. Heather and I made it for a 10:45 a.m. showing and loved every minute and here's why:
A. I love a period piece. Costumes. Scenery. Accents.
B. I love a good love story. Hey, "Bright Star."
C. I love correspondence through letters and they wrote them in this one.
Totally got the creative juices flowing, flowing, and still flowing.

There I am in Runyon Canyon! Red in the face, out of breath and lurching forward in typical hiking style. To think my sis does this almost every day! It's so inspiring and got me yearning for an S.F. version. Yes, we have Bernal Hill with its 360 degree views and encompassing path, but if I want the intensity of Runyon while still going urban, my best bet is hiking up to Twin Peaks. I've done it before, I can do it again!

Oh, I just adore the Charles Burchfield exhibit at the Hammer Museum. I had never even heard of the artist until I actually saw his heart. (Okay, upon proof-reading this post, I see I wrote "Heart" instead of "art" and I will be DAMNED if I fix that typo. Anyway, back to the show!) No expectations, no preconceived notions, no hype. In a way, it's the ideal way to approach anything. This visit was special because I went with my Dad. He loved it too, especially the historical significance of Burchfield's work. The above image is one of his wallpapers. Can you imagine having that up in your bathroom? It would be happy.

Had an awesome afternoon with my sis in Venice after visiting our Grandma in Westlake. We stopped into 3 Square Cafe on Abbot Kinney for some good drinks. A beautiful sunset glowed upon our sisterly ways as we watched the beer bubbles, took pictures and forgot the time! Almost late to "The Blind Side"--and there's my 3rd reference. Yikes.

Nothing like Dim Sum after a long and strenuous hike. The place was way out there and I forget the name, but the wait was worth the Sprimp shu-mei and the fried rice.

Speaking of waits, there she is! I was so happy when Liz finally came down to LA. We had special plans for New Years (to be blogged about soon) as well as LA plans with my family. She is such a trooper. Barely off her Southwest flight, I swept her over to Joan's on 3rd for a delicious scene and then to Amir's Garden in Griffith Park for some succulents. We made pizza for dinner and then met up with friends. It's never too late in the year to pack it all in.

Oh, and I almost forgot!

I am almost finished with Lorrie Moore's "Birds of America." Another end of the year pleasure: I finally read the story everyone's been talking about, People Like That Are The Only People Here: Canonical Babbling in Peed Onk, which was featured in "The Best American Short Stories." It really tugged on my heart strings and confirmed, once again, how literature empowers. I'll leave the object off that sentence, as I believe it is open. As is the day...


  1. wow sissy this is so beautiful and inspired! epic, if you will. can't wait to tackle 2010 as sisters! xoxo

  2. I love that you come to LA to recharge and we come to SF to recharge. Perhaps we put our batteries in backwards?

  3. oh my gosh, I am glad that everything is going so well. Life seems busy, full and cozy at the same time. Miss your face meggie!