Phone Camera Memories

A month ago my phone did the thing we all fear: it told me that there wasn’t enough storage space to take pictures.

And then I decided I didn’t really need to send a picture of my dinner to my mom.

It was disastrous (1) because my phone is my main camera and (2) because my momma will never know the beauty of my over easy eggs.

It was up to me to do the unthinkable. On a Friday night–the only appropriate night for this sort of thing–I was left to delete pictures from my phone. (I’m stuck in the past tense, but just so we’re clear, I waited until tonight to delete them. Procrastination alert!)

And you know what?

There are some really great pictures on here. I’m not saying I’m Cindy Sherman. (I always go with Cindy Sherman in a photography conversation. I have a very limited scope; there’s Cindy Sherman, Ansel Adams, and that woman who takes adorable pictures of babies in things. See? Limited.)

But these pictures show some really good times. I’m reminded of what a wonderful life this is and also that I’m not immune to poor choices.


Jill. A zebra farm. Wicked soundtrack. Four hours until we change in a parking lot and Jill curls her hair in the hallway.


This is a blurry picture of Kevin Costner. I swear.



This is a blurry picture of two ladies I’m blessed to know. I swear.


Sometimes growing out your hair has its bumps, speed bumps on the highway that throw your car down the ditch.



Pepperdine at night can kind of make you feel like a Disney princess (with rabies).



I climbed this rock and sat on it, and my Italian Rachel just happened to snap a picture at the right time. (She also took about fourteen failed versions, but details.)



Oh, and the dog pictures, but I’m keeping those on the phone.


Maybe I’ll keep them all because my heart’s memory is bigger than an iPhone’s or something really meaningful that I’m too tired to articulate because it’s 9:30 on a Friday and I should be in bed.




(Estelle Getty would like to thank Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue for their consideration.)

I don’t like change. Well, sort of.

“Let me explain. No. There is too much. Let me sum up.”

Two weeks ago today I finished the last class of my Master’s. The second year kids went out after, and as I looked out on the basket of chips, I realized I don’t want to move on from this. I don’t want to move on from this place, these people, and those chips.

I’ve had a really wonderful last year of grad school. The first was dramatically less wonderful. The chips were always wonderful.

Why did it all go by so fast? What’s going to happen next? How do they make those chips?

I resist almost all forms of change. It’s a bit of a habit.

A week before I left for college my mom said, “You know, you could stay here and go to [local school] for a couple of years.” It wasn’t an unreasonable thing to say. I was following her around the house for weeks, as I claimed to be storing up “bonding time” before I left for a the great big world of college (45 minutes away).

My first year of college was an epic disaster. I made approximately two friends. The way I bonded with said friends was over a game of Scene It? Twilight Edition. (For real.) I also ate peanut butter straight from the jar and watched five seasons of Grey’s Anatomy. When summer came, I was left to see that I had fallen very far from the bright girl who graduated from high school a year earlier. (That’s very dramatic. Let me be clear, that I was still a lovable nerd, but I was hidden under acne and sweatpants.)

The next year I tried really hard to make friends and to eat peanut butter from the jar only on special occassions. I even forced myself to say hello to all the people in my dorm. (Technically, that was my job as a RA.)

Forcing social interactions allowed me to meet good friends. It allowed me to fall in love with college. It wasn’t love at first sight, but sometimes that slow friendship kind of love can be more powerful. And then, I had to leave.

The move to Cali went slightly better than college. No enormous weight gains were had. No severe Grey’s Anatomy stupors were entered. I watched Vampire Diaries instead. (Concerned about my TV choices? Me too.)

And then California got better. It turns out it’s pretty easy to fall in love with 27 miles of coastal beauty, constant sunshine, and friends who share nachos.

Now it’s almost over, and I have to start over again.

I love that opportunity. Starting over means possibility and personal growth. It means finding new favorite bookstores and their forgotten corners. It means new challenges and a new furniture arrangement. Maybe this time I’ll invest in accent pillows! Maybe I’ll have an oven! Maybe I’ll get to park my car at the apartment!

Starting over also means patches of loneliness. It means not knowing where the closest Costco is (for hotdog purposes, obviously).

It means limiting the number of phone calls I make to my family per day.

It means forcing myself to interact with strangers in the desperate hope that some of them could be friends.

I don’t like that plan. I like the people I talk to. I like having conversations that are little shortbread cookies of pleasure in my day. I like laughing without people commenting on how my nose scrunches. (Friends don’t care about nose scrunching.)

It’s funny how sometimes we don’t get what we like. (Though, I would really, really like the throw pillows.)

I talked about being an RA earlier in this post. I can’t say that I was overcome with happiness when I got the position, but I am now overcome with gratitude for that position. It made college for me. It was nothing like the experience I would have imagined for myself. It wasn’t anything I wanted, but it was what I needed.

It’s funny how sometimes we get just what we need. (Throw pillows and good chips are a need. Right?)

I’m counting on that. I’m trusting that I’m going to be led exactly where I need to be. Sure, this next step might not be a step into perfect land. There might be some straight-from-the-jar nights, but maybe this time I’ll upgrade to cookie spread. Maybe this time I’ll binge on Mad Men. Maybe this time I’ll “have fun storming the castle.” Okay, that didn’t make a lot of sense, but I had to bring The Princess Bride back in somehow.

my little mobile home

I call this, "View of Dog From Bike"
I call this, “View of Dog From Bike”

The Santa Anas were in full swing the other day, causing my thighs to burn on my bike as I pedaled into the wind to my trailer. This reminds me…

I live in a trailer, and I bike to and from my car. This is the Malibu life, people.  I don’t say this to complain because I love my little apartment, my bike, and my single bathroom sink that functions as face/dish/vegetable washing station. I get to watch palm trees swing in the ocean breeze as I bike to my car, and the place came with my favorite: a deal. My couch/table/kitchen island combo was all mine for the killer price of $150.  I even have a tiny deck and plastic chair with an ocean view (on a clear day). Ahhh, paradise.

The place isn’t without its drawbacks. It doesn’t have a kitchen, but you should see what I can do with a crock-pot and a blender.  And my sweeper (what Hoosiers call a vacuum) sucks up the berber carpet every chance it gets, and I have nightmares about dropping raw egg or meat juice on that carpet.  Knock on wood, it hasn’t happened in real life. I also have zero yard, but my neighbor did invite me into his kid’s tree house within the first five minutes of meeting me. That’s something, right?

Now, I’m 22.  I’m not supposed to be living like a queen, and most of the time, I feel pretty darn lucky to be sipping coffee on my deck as I read The New Yorker.  I feel like I need to come clean; I don’t sip coffee on my deck as I read The New Yorker.  I sip tea.

Really, I do feel lucky typing away on my couch inside and glancing back at my puppy on the deck as she enjoys the ocean view (no New Yorker in sight). I feel lucky experiencing one of the best scent combinations God ever made: ocean and laundry, which can be experienced any time my neighbors wash their clothes (so bi-weekly).  I feel lucky to have a roof over my head and strong water pressure because those are the things that matter in life.

I do love this little quarter of a trailer (oh, did I forget to mention it’s not an entire trailer), and I love that it has become my little home, the first of my own, really.  Not a bad place to begin, I think.

love letter to my dog

dear estelle getty,

Here are 10 things I hate about you. <— because I know how much you love 90s teen movies and modern Shakespeare.

1. You get hair everywhere, and I have sympathy for this.  I really do.  I’m a girl.  I used to have hair long hair.  I get it.  But you don’t clean up your hair from the bathroom floor… Okay, I never did either, but still.

2. You make me get up early every morning.  Don’t think I don’t know what you’re doing, all of the sudden having an ear itch that must be scratched as soon as the sun appears in the sky, or even a little before.  But you’re stealthy, I’ll give you that.  While other dogs hop on their owners’ beds and lick faces, you stay on your doggie bed, and make your collar jingle like it’s the most accidental sound in the world.  Well played.

3. Last winter you chewed up my favorite pair of heels.  No, I’m not over it.  And the worst part was that you didn’t even chew them completely, making me keep a pair of chewed heels for two months wondering if they were salvageable.  And then you found them again and made sure they weren’t.  Thanks for that.

4. You do that thing at the dog park when you get excited, where you roll around in the dirt.  Listen, I barely want to give myself a shower most days.

5. Sometimes I walk to the store with you and tie you up outside while I run in, and it literally makes me run through the store because I’m so worried someone’s going to steal you.

6. When people avoid you, in a way that’s very “I hate dogs,” it makes me not trust them… actually, thanks.

7. I know I mentioned the shoes, but let’s be honest, last week’s classy job to the crotch of my newest jeans was really your pièce de résistance.

8. Do you know how expensive your dog food is?  So it’s not as expensive as human food, but couldn’t you just eat the neighbor’s cat or something? I want to buy new shoes and jeans.

9. You name is ridiculous.  I realize this could be considered my fault, but you’re the one that looks like an “Estelle Getty.

10. You really stink at posing for pictures, no matter how many vogue poses I show you.

Now, I know you probably expected a Julia Stiles turn here at the end.  I would suddenly tell you that I love that you get me outside everyday, give me kisses each day, and are so excited to see me when I get home.  Maybe I’d go on to say that this whole living by myself would be a great disaster without you, that you are more precious to me now than when I first carried you home inside my sweatshirt, that we can listen to Michael Bolton and have a connection deeper than woman and dog.  But I won’t, partly because that last one was weird and also because, Estelle Getty, you’re a dog, and it’s really freaking me out that you’re reading.  So stop.

cheers (barks),




satisfaction, pt. 2

A few more small things that bring me satisfaction.

EG and her cousin

6. BRUSHING MY DOG.  I know what you’re thinking, “I know!  I love brushing my dog, too!”  Calm down, okay? I don’t really like brushing my dog’s hair.  It’s annoying.  She flips around for the first five minutes, and I will inevitably be covered in hair afterwards.  But, my puppy, Estelle Getty, truly enjoys this, and I enjoy not having black lab hair everywhere.  Sometimes (lots of times) satisfaction blossoms out of things I have to choose to enjoy.

7. GOOD WORDS.  This could be the writer in me, but I love saying words that pop out of your mouth.  They don’t have to be fancy or remarkable in any way other than the way they sound.  Words like punctual, crisp, garbanzo, pustule, persnickety, or waffle are a few of my favorites.  In my defense, if I’m talking to you about a timely, stubborn pimple or eating bean waffles, it’s probably an excuse to use those words.

Arizona’s dog (the food, you jerks)

8. EATING.  This could probably be the list.  Food is good and makes life good, too.  One spectacular food venture I engulfed recently was the Sonoran hot dog, or Arizona’s all-out attempt at a heart attack:  a hot dog covered in bacon with beans, onions, tomatoes, some sort of jalepeño sauce, and some sort of white sauce in a delicious bun.  LOTS of satisfaction with that one.

9. BEING OUTSIDE.  Man oh man.  Sometimes I think I (and everyone) forgets what gifts the great outdoors have to offer.  Whether I’m running, planking (that’s a joke), lazily biking, walking my dog, standing on the sidewalk (wish this were a joke), or soaking up the sun, the fresh air and calm sounds of being outside can instantly make the day better.  Not to mention, moving around always seems to make the day better.  No, that’s not me dancing in my room when it’s raining out. No…

10. PEOPLE.  Let’s be honest, sometimes people are jerks.  Sometimes I am one of those jerks.  But most of the time, with one-on-one interactions when you are positive, people are so cool.  From crazies who invite me to their 34th birthday party with a handwritten invitation after just meeting me (true story) to a best friend who makes you belly laugh, people are simply incredible.  I like to be alone, but I also love people!  And interacting with them, even the “crazies,” makes the day seem real and worth it and satisfying.


Well, here’s to the start of something… blig.  (Note: blog and big do NOT combine well.  FYI, I wouldn’t ever try to get away with using the word “blig,” especially in something as classy as your personal blog.)

My kids have hounded me about starting this blog and sharing with the world the delights of my days, like the time I spent a month crocheting non-stop or the giant burrito I ate last week.  So for the happiness of my children, here’s to blogging.  (cue glass clinking or High School Musical or both).  Oh, and by kids, I mean my dog, Estelle Getty.