10 Jan 2012, 12:45am
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I just got home from my first jazz vocals class and it was so much fun that on the walk home I found myself tiptoeing along ledges with my arms out, skipping in circles from sheer cheerfulness. Around the corner from my house I saw some graffiti I hadn’t seen or noticed before: “p.l.u.r.” and a large abstract rendering of a woman’s face in a few picasso-esque curves. Last week, when walking in south Berkeley, down Shattuck’s familiar sidewalks, I found several big thriving white sage plants I had also never noticed before; I picked a leaf and kept it in my pocket all day. I don’t know, I just feel good about 2012, friends.

I spent a lot of 2011 anxious. Anxious about moving to California, anxious about planning my wedding and getting along with my family, anxious about finding a job, and then anxious about my job once I had it. (Also anxious about my friends and myself getting tear-gassed and shoved around by cops at Occupy Oakland and Occupy Cal, which should be a lengthy post in its own right.) 2010 was a year of adventure and possibility. 2011 was the year of follow-through, and follow-through is hard.

Here are some intentions for 2012. Or, resolutions for this revolution.

– find a church in the east bay.
– find a farm in the east bay.
– keep learning more about taking great photographs; keep looking for my photographic voice.
– grow my photography business and photograph more weddings! more people! more fun times!
– fold 1000 paper cranes before our wedding.
– get married! celebrate with friends and family! yay!
– stop eating the junky snacks the school provides for the kids in the program i teach for. I’ve put veggies in the fridge at school to eat instead.
– say “yes” to the kids more often.
– sing that one song in front of an audience of at least a few people, and knock it out of the park.
– get back in the habit of bike commuting.
– be a good friend.
– practice.

Since I last wrote: I went to Portland for Thanksgiving, and yes, I loaded my car full of stuff and strapped even more to the roof. When I got home to Berkeley, I parked the car in the garage and brought in a box or two; the rest I left in the car to deal with later. I didn’t want to unpack the car, ’cause doing so would mean I couldn’t change my mind and turn around and drive back to Portland again without having to pack everything back up. After a few days, I missed the bus to work and had to take the car. I had just a few minutes before I’d be late to work, so I got to work pulling stuff out of the back and cutting through the used bike tubes I’d used to strap a huge duffle to the roof rack. And there I was, driving the empty car to my job in Oakland — I’d moved to California.

It is so nice to have my books here. I loaned my copy of Infinite Jest to one of my housemates. The other night while in the kitchen talking to another housemate and a couple friends, I ran upstairs to get my copy of Gaia’s Garden and the book of stories my unitarian church gave me when I was in first grade, because these things were relevant to the conversation we were having and because I could. The quilt my mom made me when I left for college is on our bed. The triptych I painted in college is… well. It’s leaning against the wall in our room because I haven’t quite committed to putting into the wall the six nails required to hang it. Small steps.

After Thanksgiving I had three more weeks of work and then two weeks of vacation. A and I spent our first week roadtripping to southern California; you can see a bunch of photos I took here and here. Joshua Tree was beautiful. We camped for one very cold night, alone in the desert.

We drove back to Berkeley, took a day off, and then drove all the way to Portland. On the way up, A read aloud from a book called Cadillac Desert while I drove. The book is all about water, irrigation, rivers, dams, and so on and how they have shaped (and will shape) the American west. The experience of reading it reminds me of reading Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee in 2010: it is important and terrible.

Spent Christmas with family, mine and A’s; spent new year’s eve walking all over northwest Portland with my brother and then drinking in a hotel room downtown and kissing A at midnight. When we took off to catch the bus, my friend Gabe yelled, “this is the year you get married!” and so it is. A few days later, A stayed up all night outside the Parks & Rec office in Portland to secure our ceremony venue. On top of a hill. In a big circle of trees.