new currently repeating

Cobra Bow Tie by The Canine Gospel. But it was a close tie with Boogie Man by the same band.

The write-up is for another time because I’ve only listened to their demo about eighteen times today, and that’s not nearly enough for an adequate opinion. (I’m totally serious about that.)

But suffice it to say, I have a total love affair with electric guitars. And this band is my new crush.

the magic of the 12-minute nap

After two weeks of testing and timing, I have discovered that I can take a 12-minute nap and feel sufficiently rested enough to continue working.  There are a couple of disclaimers:

  • This failed miserably yesterday. I suppose it loses its effect when you try to use it 11 days in a row.
  • My naps usually occur at 7:00 p.m. so that I can continue working into the evening. If I were not me, I wouldn’t suggest that this is a good idea at all.
  • The true victory in all of this for me is in my ability to meditate. I have used a method of five stages that I have stretched into seven. To accomplish these 12-minute naps, I have found that I can skip all the way to Stage 7, which is a complete clearing of the mind. I’m proud of myself that I can do this because my mind operates at hyper-speed all day. So, to shut it off so that I can fall asleep, sleep and wake up rested in a 12-minute period is pretty awesome. But, it also took me about six years to be able to successfully do Stage 7 at the end of the entire meditation.

All of that being said, this 12-minute nap business is a whole lot more economical than the hour and a half naps that I used to take last year.


I was trying to edit wedding pictures today when I got sidetracked by the overabundance of pictures I had of the musicians at the wedding. This wedding featured a mariachi band, a live DJ, and a traditional rock-type band. I had a lot of fun playing with the pictures and presets in Lightroom.

And all the while my one major thought was: If I could have a beer with any two people in the world, it would be David Hidalgo and Louie Perez.


I’ve pretty much been listening to Led Zeppelin for the past three weeks or so. Just been in that kind of mood. Plus, it’s good working and running music. I like the transitions to be seamless so pulling the iPod off the dock and switching to headphones to run is important. My current favorite, favorite song is “What is and What Should Never Be.” Screeching guitars. And it totally sets you up to think you’re going to get a nice, slow song. Then, BAM! That’s a good description of my overall mood, too.

Coincidentally, this has become my wedding-prep song. (Not for me getting married, but for shooting weddings.) Don’t ask.

For the books:

I picked up today “The Bullpen Gospels.” I heard Keith Olbermann talk about it a couple of months ago and was so disappointed to figure out that he had obviously gotten an advanced copy. So, I’m excited for it in a major way. Plus, I think it will help with the rewrites I’m about to begin.

The other is “The Winner Stands Alone” by Paulo Coelho. I’m working my way through Coelho’s books in the order they appear in my life. Seriously. I’ve had friends hand them to me. Then, I found one sitting on the shelf–out of place–at the library a few weeks ago. So, when I returned it today, this book was the only remaining book in the “Coelho” section. Figured that it must be the right time for it. The eerie thing about these books is that not only do I feel like they’re telling my story, but I also feel they’ve been timed perfectly each and every time.

15 & 30

Somehow the 15th became the marker for the significance of the number 30.

I finished the draft of my book on July 13–just as I had promised myself. And I made another pledge to start again with the new one on August 15th. The first is by no means done. It still needs a lot of work. My first two readers have finished reading through it (including my mom who cried). I picked it up last night when my mom told me she finished, and I read the last three chapters, and I have to admit that it made me cry, too. (Coincidentally, I remember the first time I really thought I could write. I was 15 and we had to write a short story that made my teacher cry. I thought to myself that perhaps I could actually do something with my words at that moment.)

All of that is an aside, though, from the real reason for this post.

15. I did start on Sunday as I promised myself. I’m changing strategy this time to prevent some of the issues that I had with the first one. It will be one month of pre-writing leading up to writing the draft.

30. I’m using Karen Wiesner’s First Draft in 30 Days to do the pre-writing. Her definition of “draft” is actually all of the outlining and research. It’s presented in such an organized way that I decided it would be a good place to start. And, already, there is depth to the characters that I did not know existed in my head. That made me extremely excited for the process all over again! And after two days, I’m already well over 2,000 words into this “draft.”

30. When I was younger, I had the idea that I was going to retire at 35. After years of working in jobs that ensured that would not happen (but definitely not regretting the jobs), I did a little re-evaluation. I want to semi-retire every ten years. So, the new goal is that I will not work for my 30th year of life. Seriously. I want to travel while I can climb trees and scale rocks. What does this mean for me now? I have about two years to get out of debt and to save enough money to make it feasible to not work. Part of the plan is to work myself as hard as possible for the next four and a half months to eliminate the debt. Then, I’m going to regroup and figure out the saving part. It really made me realize that no experience is without merit because the last year of my life definitely showed me the least I can survive on.

That made me think I’m probably one of the few people alive who is excited to turn 30!

ever have one of those moments?

Where you feel like everything is absolutely perfect? It’s always (for me) just for a split second. And it always follows a really good day.

There’s this spot on the 101-N that it generally happens for me. It’s on my drive home from my parents’ house. There’s a curve and then the second the Los Angeles skyline comes into view where I get a chill. And I realize that I am insanely blessed and insanely happy. Like I couldn’t even really describe it to you. And it supersedes every bit of stress that exists in my life. All of the things that I should care about but I don’t really because they’re inconsequential to the happiness of my soul.

Yesterday, it came with an even better realization. One that doesn’t happen very often for me. But I had this distinct feeling of pride. For myself. That rarely happens. I don’t impress myself often because I always feel like there’s vast room for improvement.

This realization, though, made me feel one thing in specific: I’ve done good work. Really good work. For years. And I’m proud of myself for the work I’ve chosen and the way I’ve done it.

There’s a part of me that’s sorry that it’s over. But six years is a long time. And there’s probably some healing that needs to be done. I’m ready for that now. I wasn’t before, and I realize now that that’s okay. This and everything falling into place as it was only able to happen when the work was done.

Probably not forever. But for now.

things I learned from climbing up rocks

So, I fell. Slipped, slid, scraped. Fell. A little skin from the elbow. A little more from my leg. And a lot more from my back.

And then I leapt to my feet, said “oh well,” and ran down (really down) the trail to catch up with my family. So, I learned:

Me & My Dad

  1. There’s not too much that I’m scared to try. The list of what I think I can’t do is even shorter.
  2. Even if I fall and get injured, I’ll do it again. I fell on the first climb and totally would have missed out on something incredible if I didn’t make the fourth climb.
  3. That side-step thing I do to get up rocks quickly without thinking about it? I learned it from my father.
  4. My father has a better grasp of limitations than I do. “Now, don’t get crazy” is what he said to me. Someday, I’ll learn that.
  5. I finally understood how biblical prophets felt listening to the wind blow through a canyon. Quite possibly one of the most amazing sounds I’ve ever heard.

motorcycles, miles & my father

The day–in no particular order:

  • I have made no secret of my desire to buy a motorcycle when I turn 30. It all started when I read “Zen & The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” by Robert Pirsig last summer. I became thoroughly convinced that there is some great secret to life that is possessed in taking a road trip on a motorcycle. I fully intended to never get on one until the age of 30. Not because I was scared of it, but because I knew it was going to morph an obsession into an OBsession. With a capital O and B, no doubt. So, this day started with what I swore I wouldn’t do. And now that it’s happened, I know I was absolutely right. I HAVE to have a motorcycle. There is no doubt in my mind that there is some secret Zen quality to the riding a motorcycle.
  • Four miles. I did a slow run today. And before I knew what happened, I had run an easy four miles. I’ve come a long way with my running so that made me very happy.
  • And I think my father may have said to me the single greatest thing he’s ever said to me in my twenty-eight years of life. This actually surpasses, “I’m proud of you.” Far surpasses it. The conversation will be left for another time. But, the words I will never forget, ” That’s nothing to be embarrassed about.”

It was a really good day.


I think I’ve written a lot about dreams, especially in the last few months. I’ve explained in detail the first ones I remember and the recurring ones.

I’ve believed that dreams all carry a message. And I have done my best to listen and learn from them what I can.

I did not know, though, that a message could be delivered to me from the dream of another person. I can’t help but think that’s pretty cool.

Especially since it’s the other half of a dream I had five years ago. I may have explained this dream, but I don’t think I did. I didn’t talk about them much before the recurring series, and this was before then.

It’s funny that when the dream was relayed to me I felt a certain sense of deja vu that I couldn’t quite place, but now that I remember most of it I think I get it.