Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Lamentations of a Ticking Clock

Its October.

Someone, it would appear, is playing a cruel joke in which 12 months have gone so fast they have in fact, disappeared.

It is my last month in California. And though it really is horrid to think about leaving..

I have lived. I mean really, truly l i v e d. Like only a twenty three year old can (and should).

I have partied, and traveled, and danced, and learned, and road tripped, and laughed and snorkeled and surfed and loved and camped and hiked and snowboarded and felt and cried and lived.

This year has taught me how life can be, how I want life to be.

It has not been a year without trial or difficulty, I've faced some of my hardest here in CA. And inevitably, there will be more where that came from. But I think I've grown more this year than any other point in my life. And turns out, San Francisco bay is a pretty fantastic place to deal with hard times. How long can one really dwell on sadness when living a drive away from some of the most beautiful places America (if not the world) has to offer.

I have learned that Californians are some of the warmest, genuine, loving people, who actually care about each other. They really do! Each other as family, friends, but also each other as strangers on a bus, or fellow cyclists, or shoppers in Trader Joe's (love you long time TJ's).
I'm not sure I'll ever live in another place where strangers congratulate me on my form as I run, and encourage me to get to the next mile. Is this heaven?

But of course the people are real, there are real problems, issues, and this place isn't perfect. But I wouldn't love it as much if it were. I like the homeless men that initially unnerved me, with whom I now freely converse, I like the gritty neighborhoods and the hipsters and the hole in the wall restaurants where customer service is nonexistent but the fare is other-worldly. I like that people are constantly arguing about politics, neverendingly questioning the government and congress and those running the country. I like the vested interest. I like that people bond over discussing yoga (bikram, acroyoga, Ashtanga, Kundalini to name but a few) and that healthy living is eternally on trend. I like that at school I've never seen a Coke on the table, but a mason jar with dandelion floating around is quite normal. I like that I can look out the window and spot 3 Priuses (Prii?) on my side of the street alone.

I have learned that to be surrounded by people that love me, bickering and laughing about card games, in a cabin, in the middle of the rainy woods is pretty close to my personal heaven. I have learned that I need people, I feed off their energy and I really think that to belly laugh with a group of 4+ people is gorgeous and should be a form of practiced therapy (ooh incidentally, it is.. Therapeutic-Laughter).

I have also learned that I can be happy anywhere, and despite being in a place which has made that ridiculously easy, I know that wherever I end up next, for whichever length of time, I'll always have my memories!

So, roll on the next adventure.. Blighty, here I come

Monday, 1 July 2013

All you need is love

Gay pride SF weekend. 
Emotion, Love, good food, Love, people, colour, positive energy, excitement, Love. 

This weekend was inspiring and incredible on many levels. I'm so blessed to live in the bay where people are so compassionate, open minded and generally fantastic. Amazing!! 

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Remember that time I lost my mind?

This weekend, ladies and gentlemen, I will be running 10.5 miles.

Usually when I run its 4 miles max, for funsies. 

But apparently I felt I was lacking excitement in life.

Last month I signed up with friends for a relay race total 70 miles. 
7 team members. I'll be doing 10m around Lake Tahoe - ie. 6200 ft ABOVE SEA LEVEL. 
When I train, in Berkeley.. At. Sea. Level.
1 word. Altitude. 

My first week training I did 6.9 miles and literally spent the rest of the week recovering. 
Last week I managed 7 miles, this week I'm hoping for 8. 
Oh yea, that's right I've only been training for 3 weeks, argh!? 
On the awesome side, around 20 people from Berkeley are coming too, awesome awesomeness.

So, providing I don't tragically die mid race, and actually complete the 10 miles, (which I WILL) I'll get the satisfaction of knowing my team and I are badass, plus being able to party it up with the rest of the Berkeleyans in a beautiful cabin for the weekend. 

Win win. 
Unless I lose, obviously.  

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

It's about that time..

I'm back, by popular demand (/nagging from certain people, you know who you are)

Up today..

-Beautiful Native American Dad (BNAD) has.. a BROTHER?! Whatttt?
-Public transport girl crush
-A 'homeless' lady conned me into buying her food
-A woman collapses in front of me mid-run

That's all up next, after the short break sponsored by.. Dominican Ventures (oooo.. ahhhh...)

If you love white beaches.. 
..caving adventures..
.. beautiful brown people.. 

..dune buggies.. 
.. daily marriage proposals from resort staff named Julio..

..geeky snorklers.. 

.. and crystal clear water.. 
Then the DR is the place for YOU - Book Now.

(Proposals sold separately) 

Glad to have you back!

Okay, first up, BNAD has a younger more beautiful brother. Who, we assume, is not a dad. 
He was at pick up today, and though unaccompanied by BNAD himself, through sufficient analytics (read: stalking) of BNAD, I have the expertise to immediately identify those genes of perfection.
Exciting times.

Girl crush - I spied a girl I liked the look of so much I almost initiated 4 year old befriending methods 'What's your name? Mine's Nicole, lets be friends?' 
Why doesn't it work like that anymore..
No, instead, I sat and covertly stared.
And covertly photographed.
Like a creepy creeper creeping.
In the name of blogging guys, all for you. (80% chance that defence would flop in court) 

Hair au naturale, clothes funky and baggy.. like looking in a mirror.
Instead of bars where you pick up members of the opposite sex, there should totally be a bar..  for friends.
'I've seen you around.. And I just feel like we could be besties. For real. Don't be freaked out.. Oh ..okay..'

Ok, on to the 'homeless' lady. Went something like this..

'Excuse me, could you help me get some food?'
'Sure, I just went to the bakery, would you like this?'
'Uh, does that have sugar in it.. because I'm a diabetic.'
'Oh, um yea..'
'There's actually a place down the street that does a really great croissant. Bacon, cheese, sausage, but NO EGG. Could you get that for me?'
'Uh, um yea, okay'

Ten mins after I give her the food, she pulls out a decent looking mobile and starts having a chat.
Conned. And I missed my bus. No good deed goes unpunished, ey eyyy?
But no worries, good story!

I was running to the chapel tonight, dum de dum, puffing up the hill, crossing the road..
A Woman, Mid Fourties, COLLAPSES INTO THE PAVEMENT, right before my eyes. Reaches for the man with her, TAKES HIM DOWN TOO, crumpled heap.
It was all very dramatic, I ran over, she was on her back, looked dizzy.. I asked if she was okay, debated whether to call an ambulance (which apparently no one does in America, bc you have to pay 600 ridiculous dollars for it - good one private healthcare, good one.)
She declined an ambulance, said she was fine.
Was more concerned about where I was from 'You have an ACCENT!' and the state of her appearance 'I'm wearing a wig you see'.
I helped them both up and they went on their merry way.

So there we have it, my internet contribution for the next foreseeable months.

I'm Nicole, and you've been wonderful, Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, 31 March 2013

a wonderful thing

Impromptu Skype calls with both my loves Casey & Moline. (They're in India for a month, fighting illiteracy like the superheroes they truly are)*

One good night.

I am a very happy lady.


Thursday, 28 March 2013


Just got asked out, by a complete stranger, whilst looking after 4 children (running in 4 different directions).

Impressed. With his class, first impression and how smooth he was.

But mostly with my amaaaazing ability to multitask.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Nice man go away, Come again another day

So my 6 year old (K) has baseball practice today. Both parents were away, they told me this morning that their friend Matt, would pick up K at 5pm, take him to baseball and drop him home after.
Assumed Matt would be 'dad-aged' and 'dad-looking'. I thought nothing of it. 

5 rolls around, Matt knocks on the door and... Holy.. Sweet Mother of Pearl this man is attractive. 
Disgustingly hot. 
As in .. His genes got together specifically to achieve aesthetic superiority.
And achieve they did.
He's asian, maybe chinese, around 24 years old, body of a jock, face of.. something with a beautiful face.
Oo, face of an Abercrombie model (despite my loathing of that brand, you just can't knock a good model) 

I looked. like. CRAP. Crap on a stick. Crap warmed up.  
Not only have I been looking after 3 children all day, but I'm also sick. SICK!
Meaning I look like a germ-harbouring, red-nosed, mumsy, housewifey, gross mother of 3 (not, that being a mother is gross, obvs. Love you mama.)

He's all..  'Is K ready?' 
I'm all 'You wanna make out?' 
For some absurd reason, I go into efficiency overdrive, introducing myself in the most formal manner possible. Gosh, I SHOOK HIS HAND. The mind boggles. 

'Are you sure you know where you're going? Will you be alright taking our car and everything? He has everything he needs, he's all ready'

Shut Up Nicole, this isn't a job interview, STAND DOWN OFFICER!

Anyway, he left, and I sighed in the comfort that I would most likely never see him again. 

I've just been informed, (after admitting my interest to the kids mum) that he's coming for dinner tonight. 

Wahh why don't I have 'game'. What is this 'game' the cool kids talk about anyway? 
Why am I sick? Why couldn't this have been the one day I didn't have kleenex stuck to my arm, and goodness knows what smeared on my glasses? 

No doubt dinner will go just swimmingly..