Memory Lane

Part of my children’s story gets told through photos in a treasured iPhoto Library tucked away on an external hard drive appropriately nicknamed “J” drive.

Every time I want to look at photos from their youth, I can’t help but be swept up by the flood of memories the pictures evoke.

Cameras and video capture became commonplace in mobile phone technology just in time to capture me falling in love back in 2007-2009.

It’s the closest I ever came to making a 2-parent family unit post-divorce and therefore is hard for me to look at.

The upside of documenting a love story from start to finish is that so many beautiful moments were captured – from the time we spontaneously came across Labyrinth playing in a Santa Cruz movie theater to the bonfire on the beach with glow-in-the-dark frisbees to that stunning trip to the Bellagio in Las Vegas.

The downside of capturing a love story from start to finish is that you relive it every time you delve into old family photos.

But when you come across stunners, like these, it’s hard to feel too bad:

Boudoir Flashback

Now might be as good a time as any to mention that every year, I have a little adventure I go on.

This year it’s Burning Man.

For the last five years, it’s been Burning Man.

But in 2014, I took Boudoir photos with a professional photographer.

I bought a Groupon deal from Celebrate Your Sexy for $59.

I then proceeded to spend upwards of $1,000 on lingerie, makeup artistry, hairstyling, and more.

The reason I did it was because it scared me… the thought of posing semi naked in front of a stranger with a camera.

I thought to myself, “There’s no way I can do this.”

Then I told myself, “Yes, you can!”

And so I did it.

You can read more about my Boudoir Adventure here.

There’s even a lovely little clip of me freaking out in the hotel bar while I wait for my appointment to begin.

In the end, I was SUPER glad that I forced myself to persevere and overcome my fears because I LOVE my boudoir photos.

My favorite, incidentally, is this one…


Back to the bunny burn. . .

Back to the bunny burn. . .

I had a lot of expectations going to the Pagan Bunny Burn and by and large, most of my expectations were met.

A little rain, not too much.

Quite a bit of drinking but no hangovers.

Lots and lots of socializing.

Making new friends and seeing old friends.

And being very, VERY COLD.

If I had the bunny burn to do all over again, I’d skip the tent camping and go straight to RV camping.

It’s so much warmer and easier to set up and take down.

Since it was cold, I wound up wearing a onesie and jacket with my wolf hood hat virtually the entire time.

Even in bed.

Here are some of my pictures for the weekend.

Hope you like them!


Every year, about a month before Mother’s Day, I gather my two boys, force them to wear nice long sleeve, button-down shirts and trousers (gasp!) and we head to some beautiful location to take family photos.

Last year, Yvonne took our photos and she did an OUTSTANDING job of prepping us for the shoot AND actually taking AMAZING photographs.

So this year, we’re doing a repeat!

It works really well to take family photos around Mother’s Day BECAUSE you can GUILT TRIP your children into participating.

AND since they ALWAYS forget me on Mother’s Day, this is my present.

So to speak.

It’s also perfect because I get my photos ahead of time and then I’m prepared to get my Christmas cards made long before the crush of the holidays hits.

Last year, this was our holiday card.

We chose light, Easter, pastel colors for our photo shoot.

This year, we’re going with a more saturated color scheme – navy, burgundy, and a nice deep gray:

I’m totally excited once again to actually get family photos taken and I HOPE that enforcing this one family activity with my boys will reinforce that THIS IS JUST WHAT HAPPENS IN APRIL.

They MUST obey!

Damn fine photos!

My mistrust of photographers is something I’ve written about from time to time.

It hearkens back to the day when I was 19 and the KSJO photographer invited me to his place for a portrait session which turned into a “let me help you out of your clothes and take nude pictures of you” session.

Nevertheless, despite my misgivings, I’ve managed to let a few photographers sneak into my life.

The Photographer, for one, who is quite charming and so far has only offered to take professional photos of me for my blog.

Then there’s Yvonne, Tejas’ ex-girlfriend, who is a wedding photographer and took lovely family photos of me with my boys.

So you can imagine my surprise when ANOTHER photographer joined the ranks of my FRIEND CIRCLE.

And this one is a COMBAT PHOTOGRAPHER.

I know!  Wow!

We were at Burning Man, watching an art piece burn when he saw me not utilizing the camera on my iPhone properly.

He offered to take a few pictures for me, and they turned out SO MUCH BETTER THAN THE ONES I TOOK I HAD TO ASK HIS SECRET.

And he showed me.

Kind of him, don’t you think?

In any case, I decided right then and there that he was good peeps and voilá, we became friends.

So there you have it – even deep seeded biases can be overcome by the goodness of Burning Man.

And they can lead to some DAMN GOOD PHOTOS in the process!

Below is my ORIGINAL photo of the burn:

Followed by his AWESOME photo:



Yesterday my privacy was violated.

Someone logged into my Facebook account and looked at pictures that were supposed to be private.

Ones that I had filtered from the public and friends.

Not nude pics, but close to nude pics.

Tasteful I thought.

This person then got upset and offended and proceeded to tell my mother that I needed an intervention. That I was out of control.

Nudity bothers me less than the average American. In that respect, I am less mainstream and more on the fringe.

My mother then proceeded to unload on me all her imagined “sexual trespasses” that I had “committed” in her mind.

According to her, I sleep with every man I go on a date with.

This is ironic. I can point to many men I’ve dated way more than just one time who I have never slept with.

I do the best I can to share intimacies with men who I feel have the possibility of developing into something more.

In some cases, I am right – like with Luke and Jay – and I wind up in 18 month relationships.

In other cases, I am wrong – like with The Israeli – and I wind up ghosted with a face full of cum.

I rarely spend the night and I don’t have sex at my house.

These are the rules I have.

As a 43 year old woman, I don’t think I need to justify my sex life to my parents and it’s a shame that they are all up in my business about it.

It hurts that someone felt the need to spy on me, but what hurts more is knowing that my parents have a flawed and skewed image of me in their heads.

According to my mother, I am a slut.


That woman has never been comfortable with my sexuality.

There is no great insight I have here.

I’m rather confused and hurt about the whole experience.

And it’s ironic that all this is happening at a time in my life when I’m focused less on dating and more on friendships.

Yes, you read that right.

I’m settling down.


Family Photo Time

It’s time again for my annual family photo and I’m so happy that this year the lovely Yvonne will be taking our picture.

She’s already given me GREAT advice about what to wear, bring, etc.

The trick, as always, is getting my boys there.

The first time I did this to them they gave me a hard time about it.

The second time went smoother.

And this time, I think it’ll be even easier.

In true motherly fashion, I have GUILT TRIPPED my boys into taking the photo.


Truth be told, I wish my boys were a little more helpful and participatory when it comes to helping out and doing things.

This past weekend, Yvonne held a party for her late husband and close to 60 people showed up to remember him fondly.

Yvonne is also mother to two boys and they showed up and helped out and were basically incredible.

It made me a little wistful thinking of my own boys.

Hopefully they will mature into men who are more helpful and supportive. Hopefully I’ve laid the right groundwork and it’s just a matter of time until I see them mature into the fine young men I know they can be.

But for now it’s all about video games, and cars, and animals, and avoiding me.


So here are the outfits my boys and I are wearing for our photoshoot – pastel green, blues, and purples for us. Should be BEAUTIFUL!

We’re going to Natural Bridges in Santa Cruz to take our photos.


Good on paper, bad IRL

I’m constantly torn when I’m internet dating.

If I went out with every guy who showed interest in me, I’d be going out on two dates a night.

Instead, I go out with just the guys I’m attracted to.

That’s a MUCH smaller pool.

I’m just going to go ahead and admit that I almost exclusively use photos to select my dates.

I look for genuine smiles and broad shoulders.

Lately however, I’ve spent more time READING profiles.

And I’m torn.

Is it better to go out with someone you find unattractive whose profile speaks to you? Or is it better to go out with someone you’re simply attracted to, regardless of their profile?

So far, I haven’t had any luck going out with men I’m not attracted to and HOPING that an attraction develops.

Although I can talk myself into kissing just about anyone ONCE, it never pans out for me.

I always wind up caught up in an awkward embrace, trying to keep my lips from being hoovered off while he grabs at my ass like a baboon scratching its butt.

Occasionally I’m pleasantly surprised.

Like with Tony from Sweden who basically kissed me and made my toes curl.

We’re friends on Facebook.


So I’m just curious, is it worth going out with men who look good on paper but maybe there’s less attraction IRL or should I keep plugging away at the men I find attractive?



Perfect 10

fisherI had a little too much to drink and “accidentally” signed up for a 3-month Zoosk membership.

I couldn’t help myself.

The men online looked SO DELICIOUS.

Needless to say, my foray into Zoosk has not turned out that great.

First, they double charged me.

Then the app wouldn’t work.

And when I finally managed to get everything working, I got pinged by two guys asking for MORE PHOTOS.


I bet men would ask for a bikini photo if they thought they could get away with it.

It’s so disheartening to be reduced to your appearance.

I say this because lately, I feel like my 43 year old appearance is sliding from slightly seasoned to old.

And so much of who I am is wrapped up in what I look like.

It’s hard to age as a woman.

I feel like I have to develop a new identity – one that isn’t focused on what I look like.

That also means that my self-esteem has got to find a new anchor – my intelligence, my humor, my kindness, my adventurousness?

The irony is, everyone’s beauty fades – except for George Clooney and Michelle Pfeiffer.

So these guys who are out hunting for the Perfect 10 will one day be disappointed in their choice.

To quote the late, great Carrie Fisher (may she rest in peace):

“Youth and beauty are not accomplishments. They are the temporary, happy byproducts of time and/or DNA. Don’t hold your breath for either.”



Photographer or “photographer”

From time to time I run into photographers who ask if they can take my photo.

Are they photographers or “photographers”?

I don’t know.

Take for instance this past weekend.

Ben, who was assisting in my hot air balloon ride, told me I had an Anna Nicole Smith vibe.

It always begs the question. . .

THIS Anna Nicole Smith?

anna nicole smithor HOT MESS Anna Nicole Smith?

anna nicole smithRegardless, I suppose it’s a compliment.

So there I am, getting ready to leave after my hot air balloon ride when I’m approached by Ben.

He tells me he’d like to stay in contact with me.

He’d like to take my picture.

Says he’s a photographer (or “photographer”).

And he thinks I’d look great in black and white.

I should’ve told him about my Boudoir Adventure of 2014.

But no, instead I take his business card (a business card which does not have a link to a professional website, incidentally) and I thank him for his interest.

I think of all the creeps I have fended off over the years who have asked to take my picture.

Ben came off far less creepy and far more genuine than the others.

But I’m still not going to take him up on his offer.

Lately me and photographs have not been friends.