All is quiet on New Year's Day (unless you're in my car)

Wow, it’s been a blazillion days since I wrote something on here. Feels good to be back! And if you’re reading this, Happy New Year!! Let’s all try not to fuck it up, cuz it could be a really good one.

So I got my Master’s degree a few weeks ago, packed up, and moved back to California. I have not started working yet, so I’ve been spending my time trying to wrap my head around the reality of actually living in my home state. For the last 20+ times I’ve come here, I left again within a week or two, so my brain keeps waiting for the trip to the airport that isn’t coming. Nothing seems real. I’m in a nice condo, fully unpacked and set up, and yet it has seemed like an Air BNB or something. Temporary.

Today seemed to change that. As cliche as it sounds, it being New Year’s Day and all, something transformed in me today. It’s super hard to explain or describe, but I knew it the minute it happened. And it felt absolutely incredible, y’all. My heart surged up and my brain followed, and I laughed out loud like a total idiot, with happy tears brimming my eyes.

But let’s not go there yet, I wanna tell you about my beautiful morning.

I managed to stay up until midnight last night so I could say Happy New Year to my cats. Yeah, I didn’t go anywhere, I rarely do on amateur night. Had a fun day with my brothers and soon-to-be sister-in-law, so I was good. Woke up ridiculously early, and unlike most mornings lately, where I stay in bed hoping beyond all hope to go back to sleep, I popped right up and got dressed. It was gonna be clear and sunny, and I was heading to the beach to wake up with the sun.

There was no traffic at all, I had a nice mix of 80s punk and power pop on the stereo, I paid the brand-spanking new $7 Bay Bridge toll (barf), and was absolutely thrilled with how crystal clear and shiny the city and the bridge looked as the rising sun hit all of its steel and glass perfectly, making it look like it wasn’t even real. I arrived to the beach just as the sun had risen high enough to let me follow my shadow down to the water.

The Pacific Ocean has always given me life. I’ve seen a lot of oceans, and it’s still my favorite. I went to Stinson earlier this week, which is a good beach, but something about Ocean Beach in the city has always gotten me in the feels. It never fails to put my senses in a good place, to allow me to focus on nothing but the rolling waves, the exquisite smell of the water, and the sound the tide makes as it chases me up the beach. I love watching the little fat sandpipers running around like lost children, hearing surfers waxing the crap outta their boards, trying to figure out what or whom has made some of the bizarre prints in the sand, and like when I was a kid, still can’t resist looking for a perfect sand dollar.

An absolutely perfect San Francisco morning on the beach

An absolutely perfect San Francisco morning on the beach

After much roaming and gazing, I headed north on the Great Highway and went to the next beach on my list, a Bayside beach. Again, easy parking, no traffic through the city, it was magical. Holidays rule! When I got to Crissy Field, I sat on a bench for a while, just watching doggies play in the bay waves and looking at my favorite ginger bridge.

I love this old broad so much

I love this old broad so much

As I was about to mosey down the beach toward the bridge, an old Chinese man came over to the bench I was on and straight BEAMED at me. He had some big shiny white choppers, too. He said, “Good morning to you! Happy New Year to you!” and it was so cute and ridiculous, I almost died. I said “Happy New Year to you, too!” and tried to beam back with equal sparkle, but there was no way. I smiled all the way down to the bridge and back, thanks to that little old man.

Even a crusty old prison on a rock looks pretty on a day like today

Even a crusty old prison on a rock looks pretty on a day like today

I finally decided I needed to head home because I had been out for hours and hadn’t eaten a thing. As I turned on Battery off of the Embarcadero, Jock-O-Rama by the Dead Kennedys came on. I was flying through downtown San Francisco with no other cars, listening to one of my favorite SF bands, everything was perfect and beautiful, and BLAM. Like, buh-BLAM. I started laughing. My heart and head were spinning with the happy. My eyes welled up because of it. I WAS HOME AGAIN.

And all is right with my world.

Happy New Year, you beautiful things.