Slog Happens

Well, I haven’t been blogging enough lately for it to become a slog, that’s for sure! After what has turned out to be a very busy summer, I am finding my unemployed sea legs once again. And returning to the thing no one pays me to do; blogging, walking, cooking, making, and traveling.

Sitting in my favorite Albuquerque coffee shop (Zendo) this morning, I read the NY Times article, “When Blogging Becomes a Slog,” about a group of young design bloggers who are already feeling the effects of turning their passion into a profession. It eventually became a grind, they forgot about the joy component, and are now somewhat burnt out.

The article reminded me of a recent conversation I had with some fellow costumers. They were talking about how best to move up through the ranks of the department, in the hopes of eventually reaching the end goal of becoming costume designers. I commented that about six years ago I stopped looking to the film industry to be my creative outlet and instead let it become simply my job and the way I pay for the things that do fulfill me creatively. I had no interest in moving up and accepted that it was what it was for me; a job, with plenty of pros and cons.

I think there was a period of time when I would not have said that out loud, feeling somehow guilty that my job wasn’t my end all be all. Or that I was settling by not merging money with creativity and passion. I have endless hobbies, I have two different “business” cards for businesses that make me almost no money and yet, it works for me. I think it is a lucky few who figure out how to rely upon a passion to sustain them financially without it eventually becoming a grind and, well… a job.

At the moment, I’m enjoying one of the pros of my odd profession; a chunk of time off to do with as I please. Stay tuned!


Hobbies Coming Home to Roost

Yesterday was a funny day. My hobbies, the things I do for fun, to keep my brain and creativity working and flowing, came home to roost.

Last year I took almost six months off from my job as a costumer. During that time I took several creative writing classes and began submitting work to various journals and publications. Yesterday I received a copy of the 2014 Santa Fe Literary Review and I am proud to have a story among the pages.

As I was flipping through the book, my phone buzzed to tell me that I had sold an apron on my Etsy site, I started this site years ago, as a way to justify my love of fabric and vintage table linens, but it has been sorely neglected for the past couple of years. It always shocks me when I sell something.

Sitting near me was an Italian dictionary and my guidebook to Amsterdam. Travel and the study of languages were favorite hobbies until, at some point in the past decade, I allowed them to take a backseat. In October I will be able to use both books when I cross the pond for the first time in four years.

It occurred to me that, for almost a decade, I allowed my film career to eclipse any unrelated interests as my life became a cycle of jobs and recovery. Upon realizing this last year, I counterbalanced by taking too many months off; too much time with too little structure. This year has been more balanced, with consistent, but short, jobs, most in town rather than on the road, and some free time to continue writing, making, exploring, and learning.



The Scenic Route via scones, babies, and redwoods.

I am sitting in the airport, early for my flight home, drinking California red, and high from the loveliness of my long weekend in Sonoma County and San Francisco.

Arriving at SFO on Friday, I was able to swing through San Rafael to meet the beautiful and hilarious 5 month old daughter of a dear old friend, before heading north, into the vineyards and redwoods of Sonoma County. It was the perfect kickoff to a weekend full of babies, scones, and choosing to take the scenic route.

Saturday morning I awoke to birds chirping, in a cabin outside of Occidental. It smelled like camping. Waking to a greeting from my friends’ 15 month old daughter, coffee and scones in the garden at Wildflour bakery were next on the agenda. It was a hard choice but, instead of strawberry rhubarb, I went with a blueberry, bacon, maple, cornmeal scone. It was an excellent decision.

Later that day, after borrowing a paper map from my friend’s father, I made my way north, sans cell reception and therefore GPS, to Healdsburg. Stopping at Shed, where a dear friend works, I bought a sort of fabulous Korean vegetable scrubber and various exotic chocolates to give as gifts.

Curving through the Russian River Valley, past vineyards and picture perfect pastures of grazing cows, and finally ending up at a BBQ in Cloverdale, it was a near perfect Saturday.

Sunday brought more of the same, but with a gorgeous home, baby shower, and fantastic feast of homemade mole, tortillas, and rosè from the surrounding vineyards to boot.

On Monday morning it was time to head back to the city and then home. After a hearty breakfast of biscuits and eggs in Occidental, I headed south on the 101, finally crossing the Golden Gate Bridge, one of my favorite things in the world. The beauty with which those two rust red spires shoot out of the fog, never ceases to take my breath away.

Walking along the coastal trails near Cliff House, the sun was shining, it was 70 degrees, and a breeze blew salty air off the Pacific. I inhaled, hoping to take some fraction back to the desert.

As a last stop before the airport, I parked near the rose garden in Golden Gate Park and walked to the Japanese Tea Garden. Ending my trip with a walk and cup of matcha green tea, I was full of contentment and gratitude. So grateful for good friends, great wine, scenic routes, and weekends that truly renew you.










There was a book I loved as a child, about a gypsy caravan. Though I have forgotten most of it, including the title, I still remember the line “gypsies only come to go away”.

I was enamored with the idea of traveling with ones tribe and house, always waking at “home”. It was the beginning of my love of Airstreams, Volkswagon campers, and it apparently led me straight into wardrobe trailers. But, after spending the better part of a decade living out of suitcases and hotel rooms, the allure of the road began to wane.

Instead of feeling that I always woke at “home”, I found the opposite was true. Even when I was there geographically, my routines and habits were a confused jumble. I took this as normal until last year when, after taking several months off to try to develop a routine, I realized that jumble was a choice I was making.

I’ve spent the past six months slowly unraveling the knot and am just now able to see the progress I’ve made. Maybe it took heading on the road recently, staying on couches, and in friend’s apartments, to become more certain of my need to create a grounded and stable life that doesn’t depend on that excitement to keep it afloat.

Over the past few months I’ve worked to develop not only daily routines, but closer relationships with people who live near and far, and a stronger reliance on my own inner compass to keep me grounded. For years, I used being on the road as an excuse to not do the work all of this entailed until, one day, I looked around and realized my laziness was helping to create a life I didn’t enjoy.

I know that there is some type of adventuring free-spirit inside of me that certain parts of my career and lifestyle benefit and I know that I am not cut out for a 9-5 existence. But, I also know that gypsy needs to take a backseat for a while, look for an Airstream to park in the driveway as a guesthouse instead, and unpack the suitcase.

As I sit in LA, I dream of the snow falling at home, of the first smells of spring when that snow begins to melt, and of the routines I’ve developed well enough in the last few months to miss.


2014 Smagikscope

Give yourself a pat on the back for making it through another mundane and magnificent year here on planet Earth. You’re alive!

As 2014 begins, the asteroid Salud will light the skies, urging all to take more walks, breathe more deeply, and smell more roses. Laughter will do wonders for your health this year, remember to keep it light!

On January 31st, we will celebrate the transition from Year of the Water Snake to that of the Horse. For all those who feel slightly more comfortable feeding carrots to horses than they do swimming in a lake and feeling something slither between their legs, get out and celebrate…and don’t forget the fortune cookie!

As the year progresses and settles into its own rhythm, use the spring to clean out clutter, plan an adventure, and learn something new; a new recipe, a new language, a new kissing technique, it doesn’t matter. You will be grateful for this new skill when Jupiter hosts a talent show at the beginning of July.

You may not have any idea of where you’re heading until this summer when all will be made clear. Adventure will beckon and you’ll be ready! Whether it’s that road trip you’ve always wanted to go on, that loop through South America, or the visit to relatives you’ve been avoiding, now is the moment. The weekend of August 2nd will be a great time to buy that new luggage you’ve had your eye on.

As the summer comes to a close, keep looking up as this is when money and luck will quite literally fall from the sky. Pay off debt and trust that the universe will continue to provide exactly what you need.

As we enter autumn, Venus’ light will be shining bright and you will feel love pouring down upon you. You will quite literally glow because of it. Use the confidence which comes from being unconditionally loved to pass that same feeling onto others. This is the opportune time for the world to know peace as this feeling of love will make harming others an unthinkable option.

And, as winter approaches and another year comes to a close, be kind to yourself and know that, just like everyone else, you did the best you could, and next year will be even better!

Have a magical, beautiful, humorous, love filled, peaceful, healthy, and prosperous adventure aka 2014!

Zuma in November

Knowing that winter waits on the other side of a twelve hour drive to NM, I spent my last day in LA walking in the cool sand at Zuma Beach. At 67 degrees, the air was crisp as the sun peeked through scattered clouds. Walking along, I daydreamed about buying one of the mobile homes in the awesomely funky trailer parks along the PCH, opposite some of the most expensive homes in the world. These people seem to have the right idea, the worst house in the best neighborhood, low overhead, a perfect view, and resale value up the wazoo. Not that I’m thinking of buying any real estate at the moment. But I do love those trailer parks!





Heading West For Work

Heading west on I-40, I think of all those who’ve made this journey before me.. Trekking through the desert in search of work in the promised land of California. From the 49ers to Okies to migrant movie gypsies like myself, the opportunities of the world’s eighth largest economy beckon and lure. I think of the previous times I’ve driven between Albuquerque and LA and of all that has transpired in my life and career since I began making the drive regularly, five years ago.
I now know where to fill up for gas and how far each tank will take me. I know In-n-Out Burger in Kingman is half way and Starbucks in Flagstaff and Barstow will get me through. I time my journey and usually come in just under twelve hours.
I’ve begun to see the beauty in the austere landscape of the Mohave desert and have survived Needles at 119 degrees and blizzards in Flagstaff. I’m ever grateful to have a dependable car with heat and AC and think of those who traveled my route with neither.
Coming down from the mountains that separate the desert from the coast, the air is softer and a glow fills the sky as the lights of Southern California spread out before me. The traffic speeds up, the 40 becomes the 15 before dividing into more and more freeways with every mile.
I have had a rocky relationship with this city, as with the industry that keeps bringing me back, but for now I am grateful.




Are we there yet?

In my Curious George book, it only takes one page turn to get to the ocean. But, when mom and dad took me to surf camp with them in El Salvador, it took us two days, two planes, some airport trains, and a bus to get there.
First, we had to wake up in the dark and pick up Tia. Then, we flew to a place called Atlanta where we got out for half a day, ran up and down the hallways, ate bad Mexican food at a place called Fiestas, and slept in a hotel.
Then we had to get on another plane, sit still for three more hours, and try to be quiet until we finally landed in a very, very green country. All I wanted to do was lay down in the middle of the sidewalk, so I did. Then, we had to get in a van and drive some more.
Finally, we arrived at the promised ocean and it seems like all they said it would be. There’s a swing set and a beach to build sandcastles and waves to splash in and a really fast slide. The people speak funny but something tells me by the end of the week I’ll have this Spanish thing down, no problem.
Seems like all in all, so far, being a three year old at surf camp is pretty sweet.