March 20, 2014

Harley Time

I love encouraging friends to ride motorcycles as it is something Wes and I love. So when my buddy Maral said she wanted to learn to ride and buy a bike I wanted to help!

I think this might be the first time she rode outside of the class (if I remember correctly). We took her to the big empty parking lot in Emeryville (which is now Target) and had fun!

Here are some photos from that fun day in July 2009:

Maral on my bike

Wes on a borrowed bike
Here is a short clip of me taping Maral riding:


Greatest Neighbors

I have this great history of wonderful neighbors since I left home in 1998. Unfortunately in South Orange County where I grew up people didnt much interact with their neighbors (*at least not on my street). I had a couple classmates nearby by coincidence, but didnt have friends on the block just because we lived near eachother.

My second apartment in SF, right after moving in (before cell phone days) we hadn't connected our phone yet so we knocked on a neighbor's door to use their phone and order a pizza. This awesome older couple were there and we instantly bonded. Ernie became a wonderful friend who introduced me to Tennessee Williams and gave me a place to have a smoke without going outside. When Ernie passed away I really connected with his partner Bill and remain friends with Bill today!

Another friend in that building was a teen across the hall. She was like a fun little sister and we recently reconnected on facebook.

In my next building I made good friends with a woman on my floor who really became a big sister and confidante. She had a number of issues and demons that she battled, but such an amazing, loving heart. She passed away many years later from a brain tumor, but I really learned a lot about living on my own, being thrifty and being fabulous from Sue.

When I moved in with Wes, we lived in a questionable area of West Oakland, but the neighbors were wonderful! We shared a duplex with a couple guys below who enjoyed board games and backyard BBQs. One of them was usually home and it just made me feel safer feeling like we had friends around. The older gentleman next door was already kind and we shared hellos and smiles with just about everyone on our corner.

When we moved to El Cerrito, I didnt think we would get so lucky again, but sure enough there was a sweet younger couple living in the same four-plex as us and we quickly became friends. Having dinner or hanging out... we took care of eachother's cats when any of us were traveling and Amber and I even went to the gym together for a minute when we were both unemployed. They have since moved to LA, and are continuing their adventure elsewhere, but I miss them dearly!

There is no way to compare, but one of my best neighbor finds so far has been Marilyn. I decided to take a CERT (community emergency response team) class and she and I hit it off as the class clowns and fellow SOA-loving comrades. She lived very closeby and we have remained great friends. She totally understands all the funny life stuff, she doesnt judge and she has vast knowledge in just about every area. She also surrounds herself with good people. We have become real friendly with her brother Bob and her roommate Joette too.

Here are a couple photos of them the day they moved out of their last house:
They were very tired from moving!

An amazing gardener, Marilyn showing off her corn

March 19, 2014

Cute Baby, Awkward Teen and Some Time in Between

Here I am on day one:
I hope no one is offended by the blatant selfie... or the nudity - its pretty graphic!

I like the lighting, the colors and the tone of the photo... its like an instagram filter w/o the filter!

and I was kinda a cute baby too.

Here I am in school I guess? I must have thought I would be an actress for a minute:

I dont know whats worse...wearing white socks with those shoes or that I probably wasnt wearing socks at all LOL

And here is me, Zak and Dad... probably some gift-giving holiday. I love Zak's sneakers and he still probably gets CDs and  books for the holidays and I rarely get stuffed animals #ohwell

March 14, 2014

Wine Country

So before Wes and I were married and before Garrett and Christine were married... back when the four of us had three last names between us... we went wine tasting together!

It was an amazing, beautiful, hot summer day in wine country and we got liquored up!

Here are some photos I dont think I ever shared on my blog from back in 2009:

If you have ever been in a barrel room at a winery you know the smell... I love this smell!

Awww... warthog kisses

Isnt this an amazing photo of a a beautiful couple? LOVE these two!

Can you tell I didnt enhance this photo of the sibs?

Bitchin' Flames

The the following is a photo that reminded me of the paint job on a bike I owned for a few months (before I crashed it on the bay bridge)... I downloaded this from the internets to show to Wes when he asked what kind of paint job I would like (a long time ago):
There is something about the blue outline and the orange and yellow against black that is just so bitchin!

Now I know this is a tough thing to mimic, plus I like to be different so my husband painted my tank recently and this is what I got:
Ummm... how awesome and amazing is that?!??! I cant believe this is MY bike! Can't wait to ride it!

Happy Friday

A list:

  • Yesterday hit me harder than I thought... the more I thought about dad, the sadder I felt. Talking to family helped!
  • I am excited for my garage sale tomorrow
  • I won the lottery today ($2 is doubling my investment!)
  • I got tickets to baseball games for my husband today (GO Giants!)
  • I wish it were 5pm
  • I forgot to upload this photo yesterday, it this is part of why I felt more sad... here is me (at around 4 years old) and my dad... he has his camera in this photo. He bought that camera the year I was born - its an amazing camera with MANY lenses. When I was in Jr. High I took my first photography class and he "loaned" me this camera kit. I continued with photo classes in high school and dad built me a darkroom in his garage. When I went to college to study photography, he gave me this camera kit as a gift. He really supported and encouraged my art and passion. It is because of him that we have all these great photos from childhood. The photos mean EVERYTHING to me. Thanks Dad!

Neked playing with dirt and rocks

Just born Jessy (JbJ)

March 13, 2014

My Dad

One year ago today, on 3/13/13, my dad passed away.

I had taken a couple days off work to move into my new house, when my sister called me while I was in Home Depot, to tell me that Dad fell down the stairs and was in ICU. She said they are running tests and no one will do anything until we know more. She also said she and Sacha were communicating with my step-mom, so not to call her and overwhelm her. I decided to ignore that advice, as I felt strongly that these are my parents, and that sort of warning is reserved for more distant relatives. I think I texted my stepmom first, as I didnt want to go against my sister's request not to call her, but eventually talked to my stepmom and asked if I could come. She said I could and I booked a flight. This seemed to set off a chain-reaction as before I knew it I was making hotel reservations for myself, as well as all my siblings and my uncle too.

Going to Scottsdale in the middle of Baseball Spring Training is heinous because there arent many lodging options available. I managed to find affordable accommodations for everyone and off I went.

I will skip all the fun sibling dramatics and just say it was really hard to see my dad look so absent. That I can remember, i have never seen my dad in a hospital bed - I dont think I have ever seen him sick! This man was invincible as far as I was concerned- this this was quite a shock. I remember worrying about my stepmom and paying attention to the reaction of my siblings.

Everyone talked a lot about logistics and what dad would want.

We all decided he wouldn't want to be a vegetable and we decided to let him go. I couldnt remember my last conversation with him and I am pretty sure I hadn't seen him since my wedding. This makes me sad. Strange how I saw him on 10/10/10, then he passed on 3/13/13... coincidence - but still.

I also get sad when I think about what a good grandpa he is and how he will never meet my kids (if I have any). But after I let myself have those grieving thoughts I try to remember the good stuff and how he had a long, amazing life with many children that he adored.

Recently my step-mom sent me some great photos and cards and things for me to keep and I picked out the ones with my dad to share today, the the first anniversary of his passing:

Handome Sy

Me and my Dad - 1982 - What a hipster!

I was 15 I think...with dad and cousin Simone

Funny face with dad and Zak

Easting and talking

High School Graduation

How 80s can YOU be?

Mom, dad and a bunny!

Fathers Day note - with coupons!

My portrait of dad - 1986

Could YOU draw happy heart people that well in 1986?

My gift to dad the last time I saw him before he died (@wedding)