Friday, July 12, 2019

Feed Me Tacos and Tell Me I'm Pretty

All of a sudden we've been married for 30 years. We didn't have our act together to pull off a party, yet the occasion seemed too good to overlook, or postpone. Siri suggested a San Diego spot for a best breakfast, and when we were walking around the Gaslamp, I saw a T-shirt that read "Feed Me Tacos and Tell Me I'm Pretty," and I couldn't think of a better theme for the rest of our 30th anniversary celebration. We walked, explored, talked, discovered, got nostalgic, revisited, and celebrated...

And I got to take pictures of colors and buildings, pretty things, and memorable moments, art, and spaces, which makes me happy. And Geoff did all the driving, while I navigated. There was no agenda, and we could stay out as long as we pleased, and that made me happier, still. It was a good day, and it's been a very good life, marriage, and as we often do on our anniversary, we agreed we should stay together.

As we drove around looking for parking we heard this sudden roar, cheering crowds, big joy erupting from bars and diners. I realized, "World Cup Soccer! I think we must have scored," I declared in an our team, exulting way. And with a happy breakfast crowd, we shared the last 15 minutes of the final, and USA's awesome win.

We walked before breakfast, and we walked after breakfast... all over the Gaslamp. On Sundays there's an Artisan Market, which was fun to see. A favorite discovery included meeting the artist for Circles and Squares, David B. Cuzick. He's the one that created my power shirt, Fierce.

From the Gaslamp, we headed north to Hillcrest and Artist and Craftsman, where Geoff helped me stock up on materials... I'm enrolled in a new art class, this one online. It starts in August, but it was fun to do this necessary errand with Geoff, because he helps me make good choices, and he gets enthused about new projects, tools, making!

Next stop, North Park. We make a good team, Geoff and I. He doesn't get discouraged about finding parking, and as long as I can give directions, he's game to head anywhere. We walked around North Park, popping into shops. We grew up in San Diego, mostly, but it's a big county, and it's been a while since we've been back to some of these neighborhoods. And also... we are old. lol. Styles and hip things, succulent shops, fiddle figs, and "cool things" are all new to us. When did white plastered stuff trimmed in gold paint become all the rage? We gotta get out more.

Inspired by what's new and our discoveries, I decided to ask "Where is South Park?" And we drove there, and I gotta say, South Park is charming! And after we paid that visit, I remembered our theme: Feed me tacos. So we headed to Barrio Logan, and Salud Tacos.

Chicano Park. My Mom worked in offices here, and this was where my brothers and I would spend time, out of school, on weekends. I remember Chicano Park Days, in the 70's, the struggle to preserve the land for the neighborhood, for the Park. We even got to be artists, painting the low walls around the playground. By the end of grade school, when I had to choose where I would bus to middle school, and it was a big turning point for me, for who I would become. In the end, we moved further away from the Barrio Logan, and Chicano Park. Going back reminded me of places, people and events that had been formative in our lives.

It made me emotional to see how much was the same, familiar, nostalgic. And it made me very happy to see improvements, growth, resilience and promise, too. Keeping traditions, respecting the past and staying viable, progressing... these are hard won achievements for any community.

I am always tender and sentimental about places I knew. We moved around a lot, and there's never been a family home, a destination that we all know, where we've always gathered, and I am sometimes a bit taken aback by how a street, or town, a place in the woods, or roadside attraction can feel like going home. It can make me very emotional, homesick. It's unreasonable, I realize, but I look for signs, for hints that we were there, hoping that we are remembered, wishing to be recognized, claimed. I would so dearly love to see a picture of me, with my brothers, sitting on the concrete, painting the playground walls, our dog Chichi on her leash.

Soy del tipo de mujer que si quiero la luna, me la bajo yo solita. Frida Kahlo. Painting by Evgeniya Golik.

La Bodega Gallery had the most exceptional exhibit of art, inspired by Frida Kahlo, that I have ever seen. It was refreshing to see original concepts, and insightful homage, and I especially appreciated art, like Emilia Cruz's self-portrait, that evoked the spirit and candor of Frida, without reducing her to a commercial, cheapened cliche, creating something new, something personal, and beautiful.

Ohmygoodness... I haven't had this particular pleasure since last year! When Robin and Sean had Salud Tacos cater a company party, and the churros with Tajin undid me, for life!

Something sweet to toast our wedded bliss!

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Fierce :: Fake It Til You Make It

Summer cooking. Summer cooking is sleepover breakfast, late and hearty, made with friends. It's fresh from the garden, right off the tree. Summer cooking is potluck, open house, outdoors, open flames, fresh, novel.

Thank you, Charles and Diana, for the Roccbox! (hearts hearts hearts) I think all of my writing, these days, is emoticons, and I want to fill this page with effusive smily faces and blowing kisses to our friends for their generosity and thoughtfulness. Charles is retiring his catering business, and he kindly let us take over one of his pizza ovens. It's so brilliant and awesome! We have forever to master the art of pizza oven cooking, which is tasty tasty work, and we love it. The bonus to all of this is that Charles and Diana can, of course, borrow the Box anytime.

When we met the artist that makes this shirt, he said it's called Fierce, and it's about faking it until you make it, even when you feel small and shaky, like you're teetering, on stilts. I guess the bear is the foe, but sometimes I see it as I am the bear, me and California against something posturing, and weak, someone who wants to take me down. I think I need to remember that I can be the bear, I have the real ferocity to face obstacles and trauma. And I can also hang in there and fake it til I make it, even if I feel small and vulnerable against indomitable foes. The duality speaks to me. The notorious RBG, and Kiki, speak to me. I am rallying all of my crew, and forces, to be fierce, to stand in courage, that I may or may not feel or recognize.