this is what 45 is

[This post is in no way an invitation for the god of ridiculous blog coincidences to shoot a tragic foot situation my way.]

When I was a little kid, I heard a story about someone working in a factory who put their hand where they shouldn’t and all four fingers were chopped off. Only the person didn’t know right away because their brain hadn’t processed the information–instead, they saw four bloody, severed fingers and thought, “Huh. That’s weird. Where did those fing–HOLY FUCK!”

I used to think about that story a lot because, for years, I had a nagging fear I’d lose a finger or toe and be forever relegated to the freak show. When you’re still in your first decade, losing part of your physical being seems like the ultimate horror, followed closely by a boy seeing your panties during co-ed square dancing in the cafeteria, which they made you do whenever it rained and you couldn’t have recess outside. You’re too inexperienced with the world to know there are much, much worse things you can–and will–go through.

Let’s fast forward to today. I was doing a bit of yard work, trimming the hedges (not a euphemism) with freshly sharpened hedge trimmers. I cut the stuff down, it fell on the ground, I dragged it over to the yard waste can, then I chopped it into smaller pieces where it lay so I could fit the maximum amount possible in the can.

I was wearing flip flops, of course, and as I made fast work of the debris, it occurred to me that if I wasn’t careful, I might chop off a toe instead of cutting through a branch. And unlike the effect it would have had in my childhood, that thought wasn’t scary. Sure, it would hurt like hell and probably bleed a lot, but other than getting a great blog post out of it and maybe eating some sympathy ice cream, it wouldn’t have a major impact on my day-to-day, my foot modeling career never having taken off.

Tomorrow I turn 45. For most of us, by the time you reach that age you’ve seen some shit, man, and come out the other side. Battered, bruised, a bit gravity-ravaged–but still kicking. Those childhood fears are mostly inconsequential–except for the thing under the bed. That one is still quite healthy.

So I wonder–if I get to be an old lady–what will I think about the things I worry about today?

this duck says "just relax"
this bird says: just relax, baby, and ride with the tide–and maybe wear real shoes when gardening

personal new year

Yesterday was my 44th birthday. The plan was to work a bike ride into the festivities, but it rained most of the day. Which wouldn’t be remarkable, except that this area is in the midst of a severe drought. I guess all they needed was for a couple of people to move here from Houston. We brought the rain.

Today was clear and beautiful. We headed to Asilomar and then took the coastal bike path back around. About 6.5 miles in all, which is a lot when you factor in the goddamn hills. And the fact that we hadn’t been on our bikes in a year.

Some shots from our ride:

there were lots of people on bikes today, and most of them weren't wearing helmets--just James and me and the people who have serious, spandex-heavy biking outfits
there were lots of people on bikes today, and most of them weren’t wearing helmets–just James and me and the people who have serious, spandex-heavy biking outfits–you know, the kind that can hold a banana real tight
I’m not waiting on a lady, I’m just waiting on a friend (note the bird taking off or landing in the center of the photo)
all this tree needs is a hammock, with me gently swaying in it (after many awkward–and failed–attempts to get in without flipping over)
looking across the bay to Monterey
the rocks are less in evidence once you’ve entered the Monterey Bay, which means the surfers and kayakers suddenly appear (though they don’t appear in this shot)
this engagement shoot probably didn’t end well–I’m pretty sure the water was well on its way toward surrounding the rock they’re standing on, and when we left they were heading further up the rock–maybe it will be a fun story to tell their kids someday, assuming they lived
saw these dudes in this yard when we were walking back from dinner
(unrelated to the bike ride) walking back from dinner a couple of nights ago, we saw these dudes chowing down in a neighbor’s yard



Today is my 43rd birthday. It’s Good Friday, and I’m off. Which means that I haven’t showered yet. Got up at the usual time (6:45), lingered over my coffee and enjoyed breakfast made by James. Received calls from my family and opened presents. Will likely take a nap with the dogs later today and then go out for Mexican food tonight. A great, laid back day after a non-laid back trip to southern California. Dig it.

I share this birthday with:

  • Eric Idle (Monty Python, writer)
  • John Tyler (10th US president)
  • Sam Walton (Mr. Walmart)
  • Earl Campbell (Houston Oiler, sausage maker)
  • Amy Sedaris (awesomeness)
  • Bernie Madoff (thief)
  • Scott Wilson (one of my favorite people on The Walking Dead)
  • John Major (British PM)
  • Lucy Lawless (Zena Xena)
  • Billy Carter (brother to Jimmy, promoter of Billy Beer)

And yet people still think astrology is bullshit…

In closing, this.