birthday, part deux

These photos were taken in Tiburon, where my Aunt Faye is working as a private nurse. It is so, so beautiful up there, I couldn't help but do a silly little dance in this red coat that I bought myself for my birthday. Life is wonderful indeed.

Hope you are all having a great holiday too! xoxo, odessa

"i wish i had a river i could skate away on"

Yesterday was my 29th birthday! It wasn't what I had planned it to be, but it turned out just perfect. I was overjoyed by it all - the presents, the birthday greetings, all the serendipitous surprises. I feel so blessed. And so, so loved.

Here are photos from last night's dinner. I'm showing off some of my gifts - a set of Tibetan prayer flags and a handmade sweater. My cousin dared me to wear a pair of sunglasses and I happily obliged, after two glasses of sangria. Hee.

Also, I started this blog on the eve of my 26th birthday, so that means this blog is now 3 years old! Wow! It is without a doubt, one of the best things that I ever did for myself and for my writing. Thank you, thank you all for coming to visit and for being a part of my little site. And all the best for 2009!

Title taken from the song River by Joni Mitchell

a year ago today

Saavedra, 12.21.07

You came back where it all started
and thought, you were once happy here.

Here, where the ocean carried
your dreams toward distant shores.

Shores you traced longingly on maps.
Maps you folded in neat little squares
and kept hidden in your heart.

Heart now exploding in waves
at the sight of you

(found from my Blogger drafts)

time magazine's man of the year

No surprise here. But these pictures from Obama's college years at Occidental College is such a wonderful revelation of the young man that he was. Its good to see the playful side of Mr. President-Elect. I especially love the picture above and this one of him smiling for the camera. Beautiful.

Photo by Lisa Jack via Time Magazine

always in december

1. The Dream

that now long lost night
in December, beside you, I saw
that the leaves had returned
to the branches
outside my window. Now
that is all that it was: leaves, blowing
in the windy sunlight: somehow,
in spite of the chances against it
occuring, in spite of the critic's wan sneer,
I dreamed this gorgeous thing.

-Franz Wright, 'Four Poems of Youth'

* * *
The photo is from Thomas C. Chung's installation called "Do You See What I See?", taken by Camilla Engman. Last night, I found this poem that I copied in my journal some months ago. I love this poem for so many reasons and thought that poem and photo make a perfect pair. Together, they make my heart ache, in a very good way.

Hope you all have a lovely and inspiring weekend wherever you are.


Or alternatively titled, "Because I'm too tired but I can't sleep after eating too much at my work's holiday party".

Yes, we had our holiday party tonight. Small and intimate, it was held at a co-worker's home which happens to be one of the most charming homes I've ever been to. I think if Amelie had house of her own, I can definitely see her there. I had to restrain myself from taking pictures of all the pretty vintage pieces inside. Plus, my co-worker has a small wine business, so there was drinks galore. All that + good food makes for such a lovely night.

* * *
Words/poems/images are very much floating in my head but I can't quiet reach them. Not yet. I'm a kaleidoscope of emotions; a swirling, shifting space these days. One moment I am in such a quiet, peaceful state, seeing words and poised to claim them on a page, the next I'm so scattered and restless that I can't even sit still, let alone listen to my thoughts. I'd like to think that its the holidays. But I have a feeling that it also has a lot to do with the fact that my birthday is fast-approaching (I'm turning 29!) and for the second time in my life, I am spending Christmas and my birthday away from my family and my country. Christmas in the Philippines is really, really special and I will miss it so. much.

* * *
Here is a glimpse of my text-scapades with my out-of-state friends today (we're not Twittering yet and I'm afraid to start because I know for sure I'll be hooked):

Odessa: There's a substitute drama teacher here in my school that I'm probably gonna start to stalk. Haha. He is sooooo my type.

Yed: please Lord let the man be straight.

(Clearly, my dear friends know the dating hazards of living in this city. Teehee.)

variations of a sunset

Sweet, sweet San Diego. You make me want what I cannot have.