I see fire

It’s been a while since my last post. Truth be told, I haven’t wanted to write. I had some opportunities, but frankly didn’t see the point. I didn’t think anyone was listening. So much has happened. The flames burn higher into the night. My life completely changed this year, very much unexpectedly. Like what is now the largest fire in California history, the Thomas fire of Ventura seems a sufficient parallel to my life. Desolation everywhere.

2017 brought an unexpected change in my living situation – I started the year in a condo in Seattle, not expecting to leave anytime soon. I round out the year in my first house I’ve ever owned near LA. I started the year working in the asset management industry, an industry in which I’d focused my career up to that point. I end the year in a new industry for me, real estate. I bought a new car in June. Cheddar, my sweet cat, is still with me through it all. I’m closer to friends and family in LA, and the weather is much more mild and manageable. On the whole, it’s been a good change for me, but it hasn’t been without its stresses. It took me much longer to find a permanent home in the area, longer than any of my previous moves. As a result, I was commuting to work 1+ hours each way (over 2 hours each day). I now fucking hate driving in bumper to bumper traffic.

The fires in LA were also uncomfortably close. Heavy in the air. Looming. I see fire around me. I can smell it.

My mother’s health took a turn for the worse in December. She was hospitalized for mental health issues, and just released out three days before my flight home for the holidays. I fully expected to stay in an empty home and visit the psychiatric ward for Christmas. 6 loonies screaming, 5 personalities fighting, 4 medications in paper cups, 3 guests allowed to visit, 2 changes of underwear, and a roommate with unparalleled dementia. Old scars from a previous breakdown she had when I was in college resurfaced, fresh and vulnerable. Anger bubbled to the surface at not having my dad around to help deal with it this time around. I remain ill-equipped to handle the turns, yet I continue to do my best when it comes to her. I recall an old promise to my father before he passed, not to abandon her. To take care of her. Even when it hurts. It hurts.

I truly feel like 2016 was a rough year, and 2017 told 2016 to hold its beer. Watch this. I didn’t want to buy a 2016 model car, because it was such a shitty year. I didn’t want to remember that. I bought a 2017 model, and maybe I shouldn’t have done so. Fuck this year, too.

I once had a warm heart. It had been scarred. It was not gently used. It remains so.

A woman I once loved thought that by hurting the lover, she would kill the love. She was vain to believe such a stupid thing. Love is not to be commanded by mortals. That is but the freshest wound. My heart has known many battles. It is broken and imperfect. But it is mine. Love has yet to find me; but there is something out there. My turn will come one day… or it won’t. I no longer care, if I’m honest. I charge forward.

I would like to be better about writing this year. I am tentative; scared to share. I’m more scared to leave this earth with nothing behind to show for my time here.

Holding it all in has done nothing for me this year. Letting it go feels equally ineffective. Like an artist, anything I create feels undeserving of admiration. Insufficient. Yet, I will take one ugly step after another. Not for you. For me.

Florence & the Machine sang it best:
“I never minded being on my own
Then something broke in me and I wanted to go home
To be where you are
But even closer to you, you seem so very far
And now I’m reaching out with every note I sing
And I hope it gets to you on some pacific wind
Wraps itself around you and whispers in your ear
Tells you that I miss you and I wish that you were here.”


That Seattle feeling

Some days, San Francisco has that Seattle feeling.

I want to curl up, looking out my window, with a warm mug of coffee
A song by the Head and Heart playing in the background
Contemplating everyday people doing everyday things
With a backdrop of redwood trees, gray skies, heavy rain, brown bark, green leaves, steel blue
Flames burning in the fireplace, taking time to warm the space
Yet still feeling the icy gusts of crispness in the air
The smell of pine and evergreen and the holidays on each breeze.

On these days, I like to think in silence, just be wrapped in my own blanket of thoughts
How the sun still rises, even through the rain
How I have it all together even though the pieces don’t seem to fit
There are answers and questions but they’re mismatched across a table, painfully speed dating
Then a Tom Petty songs comes on, and the lyrics ring true, how

“Some doors are open
Some roads are blocked;
Sometimes you’re happy
Sometimes you cry
Half of me is ocean
Half of me is sky;
And some things are over
Some things go on
And part of me you carry
Part of me is gone.”

My glasses come off and I let the day blur, not caring to be seen, but no longer wanting to see
Suspended, comfortable, floating.

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Of ice and fire

“On Comet, on Cupid, on Donner and Blitzen…” It’s not just a Christmas song anymore. A Song of Ice and Fire is no longer just a famous fantasy book series by George R. R. Martin. This week, humankind landed vicariously on a comet, via a space probe, launched 10 years ago. I heart science.

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Nothing to this extent, in my opinion, has happened since man landed on the moon. It seems like NASA and the space program have been reprioritized behind everything since the 60’s. At least in the US. The ESA (European Space Agency) is responsible for Rosetta, the operation to get this probe on the comet. Go Europe. NASA’s all but died to me… why is that?

Comets themselves are really interesting. One theory holds that comets were responsible for delivering water to Earth, helping to kick-start biology – they “seeded” the Earth with the H2O chemistry – needed to add that “elixir of life”. Maybe comets played a part in what ultimately led to the creation of humans.

There is this whole concept of the Oort cloud that has tons of dust and rock and stuff in it, sitting just outside of our solar system, about ¼ of the way to the nearest star to the sun. The gravity between a binary star system creates a gravitational force that stabilizes somewhere between the two masses, keeping the Oort cloud intact in this location. Comets shoot off into our solar system, ice and frozen rock moving so fast, it creates fire. Forces occasionally dislodge some of this planetary material and set the comets to shooting off in orbit. Other comets are more well-known and maintain their orbits – you may know one of them by name.

Halley’s Comet last came around in 1986 – it’s a shame I was only 5 and I couldn’t fully appreciate it so early in life. I didn’t get to see it even. So if I really want to see that comet and appreciate it for what I know of it, I will have to live to be at least 81 years old. No pressure. By then I may be senile, in the grips of dementia, or even deep in the throes of Alzheimer’s.

We can get a space probe to land on a comet. But we can’t cure world hunger? We can find the one mad cow in Canada that sparked an epidemic, we can find Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden, but we can’t make significant strides in climate change to save our planet? Sometimes I wonder about our priorities, as a human race. Take for example this tidbit of knowledge I’m about to drop.

I’m a big fan of conspiracy theories. I was watching a TV show recently, Unsealed: Conspiracy Files. No government will go on record to admit aliens exist, but we don’t know if they are trying to avoid mass panic. The episode focused on the global threat of an alien attack. In 2012, US and Chinese naval forces launched a counterattack under code name Valiant Shield, to a deemed hostile threat off the California coast, and spanning up to the Alaska coast. What would unite both countries to defend themselves? The US navy denies the battle and called it a “training exercise”. A leaked memorandum said opposition was “extraterrestrial” and it posed a “clear and present danger”.

Further, in the 1980’s, President Reagan was briefed by the CIA about the Roswell incident, presenting a case that the UFO’s were very real and we are not alone. Corpses of 9 dead aliens and 1 lone survivor in the 40’s were found as a result of that crash, and Area 51 is still off limits and guarded very heavily to this day. Supposedly, the 1 sole survivor worked with the CIA and military for 5 years. Holy crap.

Could it be coincidence that every time there is a major leap in technology, there are sightings of UFO’s? I spoke about game changers and advances in technology in this post. It really gets me going, how these could not just be coincidence.

Is the CIA covering its interactions with aliens? In 1954, something called the Greada Treaty was signed. A summit was called under President Eisenhower to form a UFO investigation committee in February of that year. A message in binary code was launched into space and received by a race of aliens known as the Greys in the Zeta Reticuli star system, 39 light years from earth. Evidence has been obtained which is kept in the Library of Congress proving the meeting with aliens happened – physically, in person – but documentation of the treaty signed by Eisenhower is still “many levels above top secret”. According to the testimonies examined so far, the first 1954 meeting was not successful, and the extraterrestrials were rejected due to their refusal to enter into technology exchanges with humans. They insisted on nuclear disarmament by the US, and presumably other major world powers. But in a second meeting, some agreement was formed and signed. Humans could be taken for experimentation, and the Greys would provide technology.

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As a result of the Greada Treaty, the US would have gained technology – smart bombs, stealth technology, bioweapons, and so on. Coincidentally, there were 2 immediate jumps in technology after Roswell – the patent of the transistor (i.e. transistor radio) and development of metal called titanium (virtually indestructible…) Defense spending tripled in the time since Roswell, and allocation of defense spending budgets is highly classified information. We went from horses and muskets to fighter jets in a relatively short amount of time. And now we’re landing on comets… Crazy.

It’s also no coincidence that the rise of Hollywood and films, and especially horror films depicting aliens in the way the Greys may have looked, started making this idea of extraterrestrial life forms more conceivable. It may have been the intent to use TV and movies to market and publicize the idea of alien life forms while all this was happening.

This is the stuff of science fiction. Armageddon, the Ben Affleck movie of the 90’s with the great Aerosmith soundtrack song, “I Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing”. Steven Tyler’s big lips and the tear shed for Bruce Willis when he does what he must do on the surface of the asteroid with Earth’s name on it. That Jodie Foster film, Contact, and her character being the one to work with another scientist to interpret the blue prints from the coded message, the blue prints being a piece of technology that would allow humans to travel through space and time into the space between. Her character interacts with the alien life forms, and she sees her dad again. It’s not so farfetched and fictional anymore all of a sudden, when you piece together the bits of information available out there. There are more films – Gravity, Signs, ET, and so on. There’s even a theory the surviving alien life form and 9 dead aliens found in Roswell were the basis for the depiction of the aliens the way they look in movies.

A comet is just the start of the space age revival, so I hope. The news this week has inspired my imagination and refreshed my belief in the amazing and wonderful, and made me question our government and its space agency strategy going forward.

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Leo’s den

I’ve written posts about environments in which I feel completely at home – The room maker, Night blooming jasmine, and The gardens of Kensington Palace. The room maker spoke to locations – a tree house, namely. The other two spoke to dream gardens and outdoor spaces that make me comfortable and at home.

Being in New York this weekend, visiting family, and not having much to do otherwise, has left me with lots of time to watch one of my favorite TV channels, HGTV. I could watch home and garden television all day long. I am not interested in cooking shows or talk shows at all, but give me HGTV and I could easily binge watch all day long.

However, it always leaves me inspired to take on my own projects, and I’m left mentally designing the interior of my dream home as well. I love the various finishes. I’d like to think I’d be a general contractor’s dream. I have a realistic view of renovations, the disaster area that ensues, especially if you live in your home while renovating. I don’t see it as stressful at all. I know very much what I want in my home, and would not have any problem being decisive. I also would pay money for good quality materials and labor.

I’ve been saving money for my dream home, investing in the stock market, and being relatively frugal. Ideally, I’d like to build my own home, and work with an architect to design it to my own specifications, however, I know realistically I would need to buy a fixer upper and renovate to my liking. I’m an elemental person, in that I like using earth, air, fire, water, wood, stone, and metal to create a balanced environment. Even in my apartment now, I have pot plants with earth for plants to grow – plants all over my home are essential. See those other blog posts for plants I like. The view, fans, and the open windows create the sensation of moving air with space and freedom. Candles provide the fire, as well as the obvious fireplace feature. Copper water features would incorporate both water and metal. I also wouldn’t mind an aquarium, or pool, for water, but I know I have to have a hot tub with fairy lights in the backyard. Wood would be present throughout, as I also seem to like a rustic, natural style. Stone would make an appearance wherever possible – geodes, crystals, salt lamps, slate, or other rocks, since I’m a self-identified rock and mineral nerd.

Here’s my ultimate wish list of what my dream home needs to have. It wouldn’t be your typical things like open floor plan, high end finishes, huge rooms, or anything like that. I’m about to be very specific. I’m painting you a picture, dear reader, of the space I’d like to one day invite you into for a glass of wine and a chat. Walk with me…

In the entryway to my home, there would be a modest foyer. Ideally, I’d love a home with stairs and multiple floors. The home I grew up in was only 1 story, and I loved stairs even as a kid. In my foyer, I’d love a nice glossy sealed slate tile floor, with lots of variation and color, giving it a rustic look and being very durable for whatever you may bring into the house on your feet. That slate tile could also be used for any fireplace finishes or kitchen floors, possibly even bathroom floors. I love the look and vibe slate tile provides.

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I also love hardwood floors – I don’t want a speck of carpet in my home. Wood is natural, elemental, and easy to clean. I’m not a fan of bamboo flooring, so I’d have to hand over my greenie card because I’d probably want some kind of wood that isn’t from such an easily renewable source. Being a northern California girl, I’d love beautiful redwood floors, but perhaps Brazilian redwood, rather than harvesting locally. If I can’t get a whole floor of that, then I’d love to work redwood into my design another way. Redwood is beautiful for decks, which is also something I’d love to have.

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Now, I’m a creature of comfort, yet I also know what I find beautiful. I don’t want to waste time describing furniture to you. But, ideally I’d like a comfortable sofa, a fireplace, and big windows with beautiful views (I’m more of a mountain/trees/lake/city view person, than an ocean view person). I love Victorian and craftsman architecture, so wainscoting painted glossy bright white is definitely on order for me. It lightens a room, and the chair rail makes for a wonderful ledge for my thousands of tea lights. My fireplace would ideally be gas, not wood burning. Can I have my greenie card back now, please? The finish on the fireplace could be just about anything – if I find a home with an original stone, or original tile fireplace, I will do my best to restore that. I wouldn’t tear it down just to modernize it. Part of my dream home is being true to the home’s original character. I’ve seen giant stone fireplaces I loved, and fireplaces finished with glass tile… it just depends. I could even bring the slate tile to the fireplace too. But my fireplace would be a focal point of the room, for sure. The coffee table wouldn’t be perfect; it would be one you could set your coffee mug on, or put your feet on, without batting an eye. Therefore, rustic would probably be the way to go there, as well. Nothing with hard edges like glass.

On top of the wainscoting, I love color on the walls. I grew up in a home where my father only wanted institution-white walls, I called them. Or straitjacket white, as you like. When I owned a condo in San Francisco in 2008-9, I painted every single room. I loved it. Bright lemon yellow hallways, to open up the darkness of having a bottom floor railroad flat without a lot of windows. I painted the guest room a soft, slight light blue. I love the light yellow and light blue combos. I’m not much of a warm color person. I actually find cool colors to be warm for me. I’d love for the living room walls of my dream home to be a light steel gray, especially to make the reddish wood floors and slate tile floors stand out even more. I love dark gray and charcoal too, therefore that could easily play into the design as well. There would absolutely have to be a bay window though, with storage inside, and a cozy seat on which I can perch myself to look outside when it rains. Love.

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I also love pieces of art. I have a piece now, done by a local artist in the San Francisco bay area. The story behind that piece was that an artist had his work on show at a restaurant in the mission district called Andalu, which has since closed. Andalu always showcased local artists’ work. I had had two glasses of champagne too many with my dinner for 1 at the bar, and asked the bartender about a piece I liked. He said that one had already been purchased, but he gave me the business card/contact info for the artist in case I liked another piece. I found a second one I liked, and agreed to purchase it. $2400 later, that 6’x6′ piece travelled with me to Sydney, and now is back as a feature in my studio apartment in San Francisco again. This would be in my living room as well. He used only 5 colors of paint, and the canvas is really just plywood. He used water on the plywood before setting a blowtorch to it, which preserved the wood grain in spots, but charred the rest. The blowtorch also caused the paint to bubble, which leads to a lot of texture in the piece as well. I love it.

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So you’ve hung your coat in my foyer, and I’ve walked you through the living room. Now, come to the kitchen. Kitchens aren’t usually my favorite place in any home. I’m not a huge chef. However, I know exactly what I want in there. I need an under-mount double sink with room for a drying rack, nice range stove with a sleek and easy to clean hood vent, a French-door style refrigerator, with the freezer on the bottom, a wine fridge, and dishwasher. Stainless steel would be ideal for the aesthetic for all appliances and faucet finishes. As I previously mentioned, I’m not one for warm colors. My kitchen countertop, and island or peninsula, would be blue pearl granite. I just find it absolutely stunning.

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I love sparkly things, and that counter would make me want to cook things. All the things. I’d love a mosaic glass tile backsplash above that as well, in a fleet blue iridescent color. All the sparkles.

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With all the trim throughout the house painted a glossy white, and with the blue countertops and backsplash, I actually don’t care what color the cabinets are. White would probably go well with the blue, but I could just as easily go for a wood finish as well. Depending on whether the flooring in kitchen was conducive to carrying the redwood floors through, or slate tile, I’d see what went well. I love under-cabinet lighting to light up the work surface, and make the sparklies that much sparklier.

A dining room is a dining room, and I’m not too fussed. You know I like rustic, and comfortable, so I’d be fine with a repurposed wood table, long, or round, and plenty of seating. I’m not one for clutter, so I don’t need tchotchkes, and décor would be minimalistic. Lighting would be good – you need to see what you’re eating, after all.

Moving quickly through the dining room, I’d give you a peek of my master suite. I really only need a queen size bed – a king size bed just for myself would be overkill, and the bedding is that much more expensive. I’d consider a king bed, if I had a partner, to ensure there was plenty of room though. I love down duvets and a few throw pillows, but not overkill on the pillows. I don’t want to spend a lot time pulling them off and putting them back on again everyday. I’d love a bench or trunk to sit on to tie my shoes across from the foot of my bed, but not right at the foot of the bed. No need for a dresser since I’d have a separate closet, which means a minimal bedroom, just how I like it. I’d like matching bedside tables. Ideally, they’d have drawers, so they wouldn’t be cluttered on the surface with books, earplugs, mouth guard, or water bottles. I love my Himalayan rock salt lamp, and I would probably have one of those on each bedside. Lighting in a bedroom should be minimal and soft, and light through the windows should be minimized at night, to allow for a dark sleeping environment.

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After living in so many San Francisco apartments without modern conveniences like dishwashers and laundry, I absolutely need a washer and dryer combo in my home. The closer the closet, the better. In fact, why don’t I just create a custom walk-in closet off the master bedroom, with a center island for folding, cabinets, and shelving? Sounds great. The less carrying around of laundry baskets I have to do, the better.

The ensuite bathroom would also be a key part of the master suite. I’d love a separate tub and glass shower, side by side. Beautiful tile, be it slate, blue pearl granite, or glass mosaic, similar to the other parts of the house featuring those, would make another appearance. A bowl sink resting on a flat surface with a unique water spout faucet would be amazing. The unique the bowl and water spout, the better.

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There would be guest bedrooms and other bathrooms as well. And of course, the outdoor space would be a dream spot too. I don’t think about the rest of the details, partially because those part of my dreams have not yet been realized, but also because they are simply not as important to me. I would definitely want a library as well, for all my books. While I have a Kindle and a growing collection of electronic books, I’ll always want my home to have a library for real books. A quiet place to be alone with my thoughts, cozy up in a comfy chair or sofa, and read to my little heart’s content. Much like a secret garden, I’d love a secret library, where even the door into it is disguised as a bookcase. It would have a beautiful desk and a comfortable chair, and I would also write in there. It would have to have an ergonomic set up to take care of my aching back, and a laptop should not look out of place in it. These are good representations of what I want, minus the tiger rug in front of the 2nd library’s fireplace. Two stories with a whimsical staircase would be ideal, as would be beautiful wood finishes.

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A Leo’s home is her castle – a humble, yet luxurious abode fit for a queen and her subjects (pets). I love being home, and with a bad case of joy-of-missing-out, it has to be the ultimate retreat for me.

I hope you enjoyed your virtual tour through my dream home, but really, I honestly don’t care if you liked it or not. I love it, and that’s all that matters. Come in for some wine, and maybe tell me about your dream home. I might pick up a thing or two I actually didn’t know I’d want either. But sorry, you will eventually have to go home, so I can roll around like a big kitty cat in my Leo’s den.

Yosemite: parched and scorched

I’ve heard so many good things about Yosemite National Park from friends, I decided to have my first visit in early September, after Labor Day weekend. It was timed well, as the peak season officially ends on Labor Day, and I chose to make it a 4-day trip. That is key to avoiding the weekend masses checking out by 11am Sunday and congesting the winding road to get out of the park.

Unfortunately, after the steady stream of tourists left, just when my travel companion and I thought we had the spotty and unreliable wifi all to ourselves, a very disappointing event occurred.

A fire has been burning in Yosemite for weeks now, but that Sunday, after we finished our first of what would be two bike rides around the park, and a dip in our new favorite swimming hole, the fire consumed something immensely flammable and raged hard that day. The employees of Curry Village speculated the fire, which had previously been under control, hit a patch of dry trees, and really took off.

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Clouds of smoke, first white, then brown, and then morphing into the colors of a sunset, served as a frightening but beautiful backdrop to the world-famous view of Half Dome. This is one of the major attractions here for rock climbers, photographers, and adrenaline junkies of all sorts.

I had been looking forward to getting out of San Francisco for months on this trip, and breathing the fresh air, of all things. For that, I was sorely disappointed, indeed.

Having been in Australia the last 3 years, in bright, green, muggy Sydney with all it’s beautiful torrential downpours and thunderstorms, it was quite an adjustment returning to drought-ridden California. Apparently rainfall for the past three rainy seasons has been below average, while the drain on California’s water resources hasn’t decreased correspondingly.

In my mind, I immediately think of the movie Tank Girl, with the quirky Lori Petty as the protagonist in a world where water is controlled by a megacorporation. At one point in the movie, someone sticks a water bottle in a man’s back to suck the water content out of his body because it’s such a precious resource.

In my line of work, I’ve done some mildly interesting things, one of which was learning how to value a couple almond farms in the middle if nowhere, Australia. Did you know that farmers in those areas actually have to buy water credits in the event the water table gets below a certain level, to ensure their farm has adequate access to water to ensure a successful crop? It’s basically like insurance, and the water credits are like commodities or derivatives whose price fluctuates based on supply and demand.

This drought in California is real, and perhaps Tank Girl was not just a fictional view of how the world may end up when fresh water resources are used up and not adequately replenished. It’s enough to make a girl want to learn the science of water purification and find my own fresh water source. After all, I do enjoy my showers…

In Tulare County, California, approximately 15,552 1-gallon bottles of water were handed out recently to residents who had no running water in their homes (see article here). Only residents who reported dry wells got the water, and authorities hypothesized that several thousand more hadn’t reported the faucets in their home ran dry.

Can you imagine? No toilets that flush. No showers that work. No way to water plants, lawns, or quench the thirst of your family and pets. I don’t think I can drive home enough what life without water is like.

This raging fire in Yosemite is only the most recent instance of the impacts of this latest drought. The grasses and trees are extremely dry; the water in reservoirs and water towers is low or non-existent.

Mirror Lake, another of Yosemite’s beautiful scenic retreats is usually filled with clear water that reflects the blue sky and green trees at nearly every time of day, was bone-dry when my companion and I biked and hiked there. We stood in the middle of a dry lake bed, where the mirror-like water should be, and got some once in a lifetime photographs. I made horrible jokes about changing the name from Mirror Lake to Dust Lake or Rock Lake.

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Unfortunately, the Smoky the Bear sign on the drive into the park indicating the fire threat level as “extreme” and the unusually active fire season this year have become commonplace and quite banal to the staff. That should not be the case.

The grand, powerful falls are reduced to trickles, and the Merced River bears the dry water lines high above where the water level currently is. Granted, this is September, and the end of the third summer of this drought. Falls are usually stronger in spring once the snow melts and after a good rainy season, which is also when rivers and reservoirs are higher.

How much more will it take for us to realize the impact we are having on the earth and its precious resources??? How many more fires have to burn, how many more families have to drive to a family member’s house in another county or state, just to clean themselves?

I’m terrified if the conditions in Tank Girl come to fruition in real life. Beyond our water consumption habits bypassing unsustainable, the damage may indeed be irreparable, as well.

The most immediate answer, at least for some residents of Southern California, is a highly controversial water desalinization plant (see article here). Environmental advocates including the Surf Rider Foundation, have filed lawsuits and expressed very valid concerns for the ocean wildlife and environment. The more pressing worry in my mind, is what will we do once we have removed saline from the world’s oceans, then where will we turn for seafood? For nature preserves? To what lengths will humans remain a cancer which is destroying the earth, rather than finding a better, longer lasting solution?

If you own a home, get a tank for gray water, and don’t install a green lawn in a desert climate which requires extra water. Even if you can’t afford a real tank, do what my dad did. He bought plastic barrels that went under the gutters of the house when it did rain. We then used the water in that barrel to water our plants, our garden, and our lawn during the drought in California during the 1980’s. I was just a kid, and the drought was over after California got a few good rainy seasons under its belt. Or, even better, instead opt for landscape which is indigenous to the region, and maybe utilize rocks, succulents, and grasses for your “lawn”.

As I mentioned above, I’m a girl who loves my showers when it’s hot, or I’ve been working out. Even I have to cut down. That’s not pretty. We all have to do our part.

So do your rain dance, make a wish on a falling star, or say a little prayer for rain.


(Author’s note: Our last day in Yosemite, it finally did rain in the morning. That was just a drop in the bucket, though.)