Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Virtual Coffee

join me for coffee!

Today I'm participating in Amy's Virtual Coffee, which is an imagined conversation that might take place between you and me if we were able to sit down and chat over a real cup of coffee today, instead of meeting each other through this series of tubes we call the internet.

If I were meeting you for coffee today, I would probably talk about this past week, about how we saw old friends and started new traditions, and how I've been sort of struggling to find my blogging voice lately, which is why the posts have been fewer and farther between. I'd try not to let too much of my insecurity as a writer show, but if you know me, you know I'm an over-sharer, so who are we kidding? I'd probably talk about myself too much (oversharer), but that wouldn't mean I wouldn't want to hear all about you--it just means I lose track of time and assume we have all day, forgetting that there are other things to accomplish besides this one connection between you and me.

Speaking of connection, this week we reconnected with friends from back home in DC. They live in Southern California now, but were up in San Francisco for the weekend, so we joined them for a bit on Saturday afternoon.

Our friend Jason augmented that PX90 workout he's always talking about by lifting 30lb weights, erm, Ethan, on the banks of the pond by the Palace of Fine Arts. Everyone was impressed.

Maybe not the birds.

Ethan questioned others' fashion choices...

And ran down some hills

It was Fleet Week in the city, which meant low-flying planes and screaming fighter jets and men and women in uniform. So it was a lot like Top Gun, but without bad karaoke or Goose being blown to smithereens at the end.

We hadn't intended on going to the air show--we aren't a big "rah-rah military!!!" type of family, but there's something about the sound of a jet engine peeling through the sky and breaking the sound barrier that is some sort of testosterone-y siren song to all men, so we found ourselves, after lunch, heading towards the marina....

This picture is not really of a stop sign. Well, it is, but what I was trying to capture is the little smudge of something silvery over on the left-hand side of the picture, almost smack-dab in the middle. That? Is a fighter jet. But my camera, without a sexy zoom lens, couldn't focus on it. And I didn't realize exactly how teeny tiny that jet would look in the picture because the noise it was making? Was shattering the fillings in the the teeth in the back of my mouth.

San Francisco has a ton of fire escapes; I kept waiting to see something interesting on one, but all I could find were some cool shadows.

When he wasn't blocking his ears and trying to decide between being terrified and mesmerized by the sound of the jets, Ethan was giggling a lot.

It was pretty cool...

I'd probably complain over coffee about how our GPS takes us on wild goose chases to get from point A to point B these days because we're too lazy, cheap busy to download the map updates. Last week, on my way out of the city with my friend and her daughter, Rhoda (get it, Road-a, that's what we call our GPS. Because we are dorks. Giant dorks) took us through the center of the city during rush hour when she could have just as easily taken us down one quick road to the highway. On Saturday, she took us from almost the exact same spot, through an entirely different, albeit equally and needlessly convoluted, part of town to get home. So while Husband grumbled under his breath at Rhoda and we sat in traffic, I stuck my head out the window and took some pictures.

"It's like a red light, on Green Street," (a missing line from Alannis Morisette's song about things that she *thinks* are ironic, but really aren't?)

Have you stayed at the Motel Capri? I hear it's very quiet...

I'd maybe talk to you a bit about this photography thing. I've had a lot of people say to me recently that they really like my pictures. That they see I've "taken up" photography. That they hope I do something with it. And it all makes me feel a little squeamish--in a good way? in a bad way? I don't know. I'm just another one of those people who got their hands on a DSLR and likes to hold the camera at a wonky angle when I take pictures. I don't know what I'm doing. I feel like when something comes out looking cool, it is totally 100% by accident. And my insecurities about it have led me to pretty much abandon my 365 blog because I at once hate not getting comments about my pictures when I think I've managed to take a cool one, and feel like a big giant poser when I do get comments or compliments. It's that way with pretty much any sort of creative endeavor I pursue, which is why I think I tend to drop them as soon as I start getting any sort of attention. Like the five different novels I've started in the past twenty years.

Then I'd realize it's probably time to stop with the gushing of the insecurities, and I'd make a joke about how I should be telling all of this to a therapist, not you, and I'd nervously chuckle and apologize for being a pathological over-sharer.

If we were chatting over coffee today, or in my case an tall soy, extra hot, no water chai tea latte, and I was just getting to know you (making that last conversation about my insecurities even that much more awwwkward) I'd ask you about your family traditions--not holidays or family gathering type traditions, just little everyday things, like bedtime routines or preschool drop off habits. Like how Ethan has to climb up the fence at his preschool gate and hang on for dear life as he punches in the access code to get inside the play yard. Every day. And how if some other parent is being kind and holding the gate open for us, I have to explain, "thanks, but he's going to want to punch that code in himself, so you can go ahead and close the gate!" Fortunately he's not the only kid in his class with this particular neurosis, so it's all good.

Last week we started a new tradition in our family. The evening walk. We've had a bit of a heat wave here in the past several days, but without fail, Northern California evenings are cool. If it's 95 in the afternoon, just hang on because it's going to be 65 by 7pm. So one night last week Husband, Ethan and I decided to go for a walk after dinner, before Ethan's bedtime. Just twice around our block--Ethan on his bike, his helmet cocked to one side of his head (I really hope if he falls it's on that side), Husband and I walking slowly behind, chatting about our days. It wasn't intended to become a fixture of our evening, but almost each evening since the first evening, one of us says, as 7pm approaches, "should we go for our walk?" And we do. And it's lovely.

There would be a ton more to talk about, I'm sure, and I hope I wouldn't dominate our conversation if it were real and not virtual, but you know, it is my blog, so I guess here, I'm going to be the chattier one.


Sarah said...

I so wish we were having coffee for real.

cicadalady said...

me too!

Corinne said...

An evening walk sounds lovely :)
(love that the stop sign says "all the way" at the bottom!)
And please. Enough with the insecurities about photography! Do it because you like to, and forget about the rest :) (said in a loving way!!)

Jen said...

Such a lovely post, Sarah. And, those pictures are wonderful! Looks like you were literally around the block from where I live so I know all of those neighborhood landmarks well. Nice job capturing them!

KMW said...

I really like this post!

Hey, speaking of abandoned blogs, how is the reading going:) Just read the Particular Sadness of Lemoncake and really liked it too.

KMW said...

I really like this post!

Also, I also recently read the Particular Sadness of Lemoncake and agree completely with your review. More Frustrated English Teacher soon? No pressure:)

anasmom said...

those pictures are AWESOME !!

Kelly said...

I'm glad you're an over sharer...otherwise I wouldn't feel comfortable telling you that I am too! And Corinne is right about the creative self expression...do it for you!