February 2019 Favorites

February Favorites

This is a thing bloggers do, right? I’ve thought about doing a monthly post like this for awhile, but I worried about buying too much into the culture of consumerism and overconsumption. “Buy these things and be happy!” is not how I live and not what I want to promote on my little corner of the internet.

On the other hand, I want to write about people, places, and things that make me happy. Maybe someday that means a sponsorship or some kind of compensation, but for now, this is just me and the nouns that made my month special.

People

Nope, it’s not my fiancé. Proposing this month is too much to compete against — he’s my favorite person of all the time. This space is reserved for my favorites for this month.

California Dobbys

California Dobbys WRC2019
My East Bay quidditch baes.

Everyone who was at West Regionals this year can agree that the weather was absolutely miserable. On top of the physical discomfort of being cold and wet in spite of all your attempts to layer, imagine that your car’s front window won’t roll up, it’s still raining sideways, and you don’t have a covered place to park your car back at the hotel.

I don’t have to imagine it because that was why I was a miserable mess for most of Saturday. Luckily, I was able to cover my car with a tarp (bless Forrest Stone, who is not a Dobby but is a goddamn delight) during the day, but it didn’t solve the problem of keeping my car safe overnight.

Enter my East Bay quidditch baes. While some of them were Argonauts and some are SJSU alums, the Dobbys aren’t really what I’d call my team. They’re a team I’ve always liked, but that’s not the same. And yet, kept my poor car stay safe in the garage of their AirBnB, let me warm up in their hot tub, found me my own bed, and treated me like one of their own. I got to benefit from someone else being a Team Mom, something I don’t think has happened to me in the sport? (10/10 would be team mothered by McKayla again.)

And then the Dobbys followed it up by being extremely patient and flexible later on in February as I oversaw my first remotely run tournament (with help from my assistant Maddie and their boyfriend Michael, without whom I could not have pulled that off) with them and SJSU as guinea pigs. Fields changed, teams changed, staffing changed, but they were understanding throughout.

Even though they just missed out on an at large bid, I’m glad I did it. They deserved the chance to make it to Texas. Having spent a season trying to snag an at large bid, I know how stressful that wait is. It worked out for me, but I’m so crushed that they didn’t make it.

But they’ll be okay. Why? They’re a group of friends that likes playing quidditch together no matter what the outcome. They put the community in community team (a term that is on it’s way out, but still) and I’m so glad to call them my friends.

Places

Bellingham

Cherry Point Beach
Cherry Point Beach. (With a guest appearance by Siri, my lovely tour guide.)

I adore the Pacific Northwest in general, but last month’s visit to Bellingham was extra special. I was already looking forward to it because so many of my USQ Northwest friends are Western Washington University alumni, but I also have a personal connection there.

Jim’s mom Norma grew up in Bellingham, so when I was invited to come up and run Subdued Excitement 4, I was interested in seeing where she spent some of her childhood. By the time I made my way there, it was the place where my future mother-in-law is from. My family. For 30-something years, the places that mean family to me have been limited to my favorite rock in the middle of the Atlantic, a city that shares my name, and where I grew up in East San Jose.

Now my family is growing, and with that, the list of places I’m connected to. Jim would go up to Bellingham with his family for summer vacation the way that my family and I would go to the Azores. This is a place I’ll be taking my kids someday. Wandering around with Siri to find the beach where Norma spent her summer while her mother was getting her teaching credential at WWU, was an excellent adventure.

Speaking of Siri, it was great to kick back and let someone else show me around. We grabbed coffees at Avellino Coffeehouse (their house-made caramel sauce made for an excellent oat milk latte), grabbed breakfast at Avenue Bread, got lost looking for Cherry Point Beach, and then did a mini brewery crawl by visiting Wander Brewing (expect a Barcelos Brews post later this month) and Aslan Brewing.

I couldn’t have asked for a better tour guide. Seeing a place through the eyes of a friend is always a treat. Thanks for a wonderful Friday, Siri.

Things

Wanderlust Passport + Instax Mini 9

Instax Mini 9 + Wanderlust Passport
My latest travel companions.

These two are a combo because I bought one to go with the other. This year, I will travel more than I ever have in my life. I have at least one out of town trip planned or tentatively planned for almost every month of 2019.

While I will be writing about some of what I see and do here, I wanted something for me. I wanted something that didn’t have to be polished and perfected for public consumption. I wanted something physical that I can show my children someday. So when bobo design studio, one of my favorite local makers, dropped a travel journal back in January, I knew it was what I was looking for.

However, I’m not exactly what I’d call artistic. Creative, yes. I like writing. I like creating graphics for my blog and other projects. But if we’re talking about art, the sorts of things you draw/paint/create with your pencils/pens/brushes/hands, that’s not something I’ve felt comfortable with.

Wanderlust Passport: February Seattle
A day in Seattle.

So instead of drawing where I go inside my journal, I decided to start taking pictures. My iPhone and DSLR are wonderful tools, but they don’t create something concrete. Since I don’t feel comfortable drawing in my journal, I decided to use instant photos instead. I had a $50 Amazon gift card, so I spent it on my Instax Mini 9. Getting used to an instant camera has been an adjustment (no filters or Lightroom to save my poorly lit shots!), but it’s also brought back the joy of taking pictures again.

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