Friday, October 30, 2009

spooks and haunts

We're at it again!
Carved more pumpkins last night by a nice fire while watching Sleepy Hollow (SO GOOD!)So we're pretty much ready for Halloween.
Problem is, Darin is much better at being spooky than me. It seems I can only carve pumpkins into cats now. Darin, on the other hand, had the creativity and presence of mind to do a cyclops.And play dead by it...

Thursday, October 29, 2009

what a fall day's good for...

going with darin and dad to the neighbors' farm and picking out some pumpkins.and enjoying the leaves and colors with my pops at his house.
then having friends over for a cozy fire in the woodstove, wine, conversation and games:and best of all, snuggling with cats by the fire:what do you like to do to enjoy these cozy fall days?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Wild Enchanted San Francisco Adventure

Last night was QUITE A NIGHT.

Spontaneously, a big group of us decided to drive down to The City (does everyone call San Francisco THE city or is that a northern california thing?) to watch a show.
I drove NINE unruly people down through the valley in my van:
my sister Addie and her husband Art, my brother Joey and his gal Emily, our friends Maya and Gabe Sady, and our friends Stan and Lesley.
It was one hell of a wild ride.


We made it across in the nick of time after being stuck for almost an hour after the cable broke. Now the bridge is indefinitely closed. The only reason we made it across was because we had flown past miles upon miles of crowded city traffic in the carpool/bus lane in our big black jalopy van Isis, singing along to dorky old mixed cassette tapes and laughing the whole way!

In case you couldn't tell, here are Addie and Emily singing along to the Bangles "Eternal Flame" at the top of their lungs:

And here's the mess upon the Bay Bridge, oh holy amazing structure that still kept us alive although you were falling apart!

We screamed and cheered at the CalTrans workers when we finally passed by.Ended up in the nick of time at one of my most favorite venues, Bimbo's 365 Club on Columbus in North Beach.
Let me just revel in the decor for a moment!Mermaids and sirenas everywhere you look!
A fancy bar oozing dreamy oceanic sensuality:
We even had time to meet up with Emily's cousin Katie and have a drink before the quirky opening act's TALENT SHOW began!
And then the highlight of the night, what we'd all been waiting for.
Dead Man's Bones!It was absolutely the perfect fallish, all Hallow's show!
The dim and crepuscular lights! The ghoulish children's costumes! The wailing voices, the flute and piano and rhythmic pounding drums. The crooked tree cut outs on the violet backdrop, the twinkling "stars" and unearthly fog.
If you haven't listened to them yet, NOW IS THE TIME! Today! So that you can play it all the way until Halloween and beyond.
And yes, it is Ryan Gosling's band. And yes, he's even hotter in person.
But please don't let that fool you. This is no superstar's masturbatory vanity project. It is actually haunting, surprising, spooky, gospelly, cathartic music released on Anti- records!

The best part about it was the ghostly children's choir. Especially when they are yelling/chanting the words "My body's a zombie for you!"
If you have time, look them up and check out some live performances on youtube. The best thing ever is the haunted graveyard wailing marching parade of Name in Stone.
Saying good-bye to Bimbo's before heading out to roam the late night streets to find delicious slices of pizza in North Beach.

"You raised your flag up into my heart!"

I drove a sleepy van-load of people home in the wee hours, singing along to (you're not going to believe this) the janky old synthy 80's tunes of Y Kant Tori Read, yes, I'm serious. Felt like a rockstar waking up at noon to have my coffee.

Happy Wednesday world and I hope you are out there having adventures too!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Happiness is a Package in the Mail

So here's the story.

Saturday I had the hardest day.

First of all, I was fighting off a nasty cold and on top of that I had to arise at the godawful hour of 5 a.m. to work my waitressing job. Then, wouldn't you know it, I had to call the cops on a self-proclaimed psychopath at 6 a.m. when it was still dark out and I was alone in my restaurant. And to top it all off, I proceeded to work a TEN HOUR SHIFT. If you have never been a server, let me just tell you that is WAY TOO LONG to waitress on any given day.

Needless to say, after work I felt like a literal zombie.

So imagine my pleasure and surprise to get home to a beautiful package of treasures in the mail! My ETSY ORDER HAD ARRIVED. HA! Very funny, universe, what a cute little trick up your sleeve. Well, guess what? It worked. This package made me very very happy.

Here's why: I special ordered this 9-pocket bag from the amazing and talented Lauren B. Yes, NINE (9)POCKETS including a heart shaped one and a felted wool one! I love pockets in purses. Although I am known to carry bottomless hole zero-pocket bags frequently, they are also the bane of my existence (to steal my mom's phrase).

I got to help through the entire process as she asked my favorite colors/styles, sent me fabric samples and then asked my preference for handles and length. What a seriously conscientious etsy seller. It was such a pleasure "collaborating" on this lovely creation.

Lauren even made me an extra little treat - this adorable sturdy little matching make-up bag:

Basically I'm walking around all day with it on me.

It just feels good. It has my favorite colors. It fits on my shoulder just right.

Maybe that explains why I look a bit manaical in this photo? A tad too excited...

Thanks for making my week Lauren!

I highly recommend you check out her shop and also, support artists and recyclers and buy all your Christmas presents on Etsy!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Woman of the Year

Yesterday was a most important day.
Amy's Birthday.
Amy Eileen Smith Beatty: the radiant, the good, the wonderful, the wise.
I so love this girl that my brother chose to blissfully wed about eight years ago.
Amy, if I could mail you a pet llama I would
or, I'd paint your sky gold
I'd present you with a mermaid's trunk of sea pearls,
build you a swimming pool,
make you earrings out of found butterfly wings.
I'd like to design a swingy, folksy dress in your honor,
tell secrets with you until four am,
with popcorn and pillows and soda pop.
I'd like to name a mountain for you, full of rivers and pine trees and sunlight.
I wish I could make you a patchwork quilt out of every good memory I have with you.
Build you a castle treehouse with trapdoors and a tower.
Have ten little babies to play with yours.
And sing songs for you from across three states.
Happy birthday to a country girl, an adventure mama and a comedienne.
You inspire me always!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Be Here to Love Me

Last night was movie night with friends. Stan even came in his pajamas with a pot full of fresh popcorn. We watched this incredible movie: Which kills my heart and soul.
If you've never listened to Townes Van Zandt's heart achingly beautiful country/folk songs, I highly recommend them. And I also highly recommend watching this fascinating documentary about his crazy life.
Kinda makes you want to take a horse out into the hills of Colorado and wander a while.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Chop Wood, Carry Water

Almost a cord of beautiful fresh cedarwood delivered to our driveway yesterday.
An important day in country life!
I love the mossy pieces:Way too much fun...I love how it looks stacked out front: But most of all, I love how this feels:

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Moving Day

Monday my sister Addie and her husband Artie moved from my house where they'd been temporarily staying to their ADORABLE NEW FOREST CABIN in Grass Valley, California.
I got to drive Art's Volvo station wagon and listen to nostalgic old homemade tapes the whole way there on a drizzly afternoon, following the caravan of moving-day helpers (aka Dad, Joey, Nick, Addie, Art). Turning onto Rattlesnake Road out in the country with the pine trees and yellow leaves stark against the swirly gray sky, deep into the forest with red mud underfoot and smoke creeping up from chimneys, tired little porches and weathered wooden cottages, with the heater on and listening to old Tori Amos songs, well I almost cried at the cozy sweetness of that drive.
Then to see their new red house nestled up to the woods, with the smell of woodsmoke and rainy earth and the slight countryish smell of harvesttime, my heart sang for them as they get to explore and nest in their new home.

Moving is not such a fun occassion to most people, and everyone was opposed (!) to me taking pictures. So these are really all I got to show the new home:
Addie and Art bustling by on the front porch:

All the boys successfully moving in the PIANO, object of much exasperation when it comes to moving:

And of course, ultimately important in any Beatty home: the cats. Grabby and Owl immediately found safe hiding places in the tiny closet shelves and stayed firmly settled there until the chaos died down. I think they're going to love romping around in their new forest yard once they have full rule of the roost.

The best part of the day was when they took us out for delicious pizza and pitchers of Anchor Steam at the coolest local Roadhouse with the cutest waitresses and most amazing homemade jalapeno ranch dressing for dipping!

Sad part: now I wake up in the morning and miss having coffee and gabbing with my lovely sis. But we've decided someday we'll all live together again, in neighboring houses on our communal family farm!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Bohemian RhapsoDAY garage sale

As far as garage sales go, mine (i must admit) was sort of a grand fiesta of junkyard treasures!
If I may say so myself.
Me, Momma and Addie pose amongst my kooky clothes.

Although none of our visitors seemed so overly excited as I may have anticipated, I still maintain that if it were ME walking up to this garage sale, I'd freak out and start grabbing stuff left and right!

I mean, the books, the books alone!
A table full of weird and wonderful books!
What could be better?!

See what I mean, Darin found a good one!
Zack and Sylvan were quick to dive into the old Jurassic Park play set.
Making old toys come alive again! (yes, i'm a sap, it sort of makes me nostalgic...)

Most of all it turned into sort of a family reunion hang out. Both our families were around for the day and we got a lot accomplished around the house.
We may not have made a whole lot of money, but we sure cleaned out some superfluous stuff and made some lonely junk gatherers happy! At the end of the day I was more exhausted than if I'd worked. as it is, remind me not to do this again for a WHILE.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

2nd Annual Pumpkin Carving Contest

Our dear lovely friends Jorden and Becky Mingle (of velvet leaf fame) hosted the cutest pumpkin carving contest Friday night. They had their little grape arbor all strung with lights and decorated for fall with craft paper and tools set out for some full-on pumpkin creativity.
Jorden and Becky are the adorable couple on the left
while my artsy hub is hard at work on the right.Joey and Emily creating their masterpiece.

that's their twisted tree-scape on the left there,
and greg's (ultimately) first-place-winning lotus flower design on the right!

don't they all look lovely and haunting lit up!

I'll admit I was a tiny bit proud of this pert little cat-o-lantern that I whipped up.

posing with my creation:

our hilarious friend daniel trudeau tried to make a corporate advertisement jack-o-lantern and ended up accidentally creating our new favorite ridiculous slogan, MYSACE dot com.

right next to jorden's super spooky old tree.let the JUDGING begin!jorden announces the winners in front of the chilling display. the tribal art bird is darin's.
they even had rad prizes for the winners!

brittany won this rather creepy stuffed frankenstein stand up doll. the whole cozy scene:apparently some SORE LOSERS had to get all destructive by smashing their pumpkins.for which dakota was none too pleased! standing guard over the poor broken pumpkin...jorden and becky even gave out beautiful apples from our own dear apple hill as consolation prizes for all participants. addie poses with sweet dakota.

it was a perfect october evening that ended with a nice fire and stories round the backyard chiminea. the kind of night that makes me so grateful (once again) for the most amazing, sweet, dorky, joyful group of friends!