Friday, August 22, 2008


We are losing our minds a little bit. So in order to give myself an "aaahhhhhhh" moment, and regain perspective, I thought I'd post the gorgeous sunsets we had the privilege of witnessing up in the mountains. Scott took the time every evening to catch the sunset, with the enthusiasm of a boy before Christmas.

Aren't we lucky to live in a such a (potentially) beautiful world?


Thursday, August 21, 2008

Do Not Delay!

I have been listening to this song for the past few days, everytime I need a little extra help. It's called "Our Friends Appear Like the Dawn", by Bodies of Water. It came out years ago, and we even saw them in concert, but the song only just sunk in now.

To hear it, click here and then click on the play button.

And in case you are like me and can't make out the lyrics, here they are!

Our friends appear like the dawn
A flock of sheep and a flock of boars
And though I slept my heart lay awake
And cried out "Oh Lord, don't delay!"

Then He spoke and the locusts came
Water gushed out from the the rock
He breathed and the face of the earth was renewed
The depths of the oceans convulsed

You do not need to own guitars
You do not need a set of drums
All you need is your throat and mind
To lift noise up to God

Oh, please do not forsake me
Where is your finger upon my lips?
And though I sleep in the dirt and the leaves
Please touch my heart with your tongue

You do not need to own guitars
You do not need a set of drums
All you need is your throat and mind
To lift noise up to God
Lord, remember my song in the night
And remember my outstretched hands
And the way that I wanted to groan
How I did all these things

All the world is ridiculous
What I see burdens my heart
There's a wreath made of hands
And the porch where we spent our time
Lies in ruins and our house is burned
Our friends necks, they are outstretched
And our neighbors plot against us
I can not understand all this
Please take us to glory, Lord, do not delay

Now he appears like the dawn
Shoulders all blazing with light
And though I slept my heart lay awake
And cried out "Oh Lord, don't delay"

He spoke and the locusts came out of the sky
Water gushed out from the rock

He breathed and the face of the earth was renewed
The depths of the oceans convulsed


Feeling Blue

Bren just left. He's on his way to pick up Garland, his driving buddy, and then the two of them will climb into the cab of the 24' truck and begin the arduous drive to Sacramento, where they are picking up another guy and his stuff. Then, hopefully it's at least part of night's sleep, then onto Reno, then another 5 hours to Black Rock City, the temporary city erected in just a few days for the purpose of Burning Man (did you know that once established, Black Rock City is the fourth-largest city in Nevada, population wise, for that week? CRAZY).

They were both up working at 8am yesterday, and didn't go to bed until about 3am. Bren woke up this morning at about 8:30am, and I think Garland woke up even earlier.

Every year, they try to plan against driving in this fashion. Every year something backfires and I wonder why in the world they go through all this trouble. Every year they tell me that Burning Man is worth it.

This year, I get to find out for myself.

I'm over the nervousness part. The idea of really roughing it, of experiencing what Burners call "radical self-reliance" for 7 days in the stark desert was daunting enough. Then the idea that you hang out with people you have never met before, people you would likely never meet except for in this place. Then the even scarier idea that, (gasp!), you'll probably be exploring on your own for a good amount of time, which even though you're surrounded by caring people (and Burning Man's hospitable and caring atmosphere is legendary) brings up a fair bit of fear in my little yellow heart.

Now, with days-long fatigue (physical, mental, emotional) setting in, the nervousness has given way to impatience -- I just want to get there already.

I took this photo when I still had a bit of a sense of humour about the whole thing. I thought to myself, only in a Burning Man kitchen would you find old glow stick necklace thingies along with organic carrot skins in the trash. (I was cooking a soup which I froze so that the guys could defrost and eat in the desert without having to cook anything).

Sigh. Tired. Frustrated. Hopeful. Concerned for Bren's safety. Say a prayer wouldja?


p.s. holy crap I turned 30 this week! I haven't even had time to fully process that. Which is probably a blessing. Here's a photo of one of the things I did on my birthday: get a pedicure. I picked a colour I would never ever choose. I believe that my pedicurist got a little too enthusiastic with trying to figure out whether I had an ingrown toenail though... my right big toe is now kinda inflamed. Sigh.


it's 3 in the morning. just finished packing up the 24' truck that's taking all our stuff to Burning Man later this morning. and bren is driving it (alongside our friend Garland). and he just fell asleep. pray for a restful sleep and a very very safe and smooth journey.


Sunday, August 17, 2008

Secretly-Talented Friends

Don't you hate it when a friend of yours is enormously talented at something, but it takes you years to find out?

My friend Anne Suckow (who is dating my other wonderfully-talented friend, Russ, yippee!) is a brilliant photographer, and what's more, she manages to get the most gorgeous images out of a humble Polaroid camera.

And I only figured it out about a month ago when I started looking at her and Russ' Flickr pages. Russ is mighty talented with that thing too.

Her photos make me want to live right next to her and see things the way she does, because life is so pretty through her eyes.

A blogger, unrulythings spotlighted Anne... take a look.


Saturday, August 16, 2008


There are some joys that the urban generation may, sadly, never discover.

Whilst in North Carolina, we had the privilege of indulging in one of them -- and I got sad thinking about how this is probably old hat to people who either live in the country (or not in smoggy LA) or who grew up with more natural wildlife in their backyard, that wasn't the Arabian desert. But for us, this is a luxury.

I have never picked fruit off the bush and then, eaten it (except for the first tomato). What joy! Especially when you don't have to PAY to pick 'em.

Granted, it would have been more joyful if the berries weren't so tart. But I had no idea that trees and bushes give off so much fruit. They certainly are generous (unlike the supermarkets who charge $5 for a punnet).

This particular blackberry bush had fallen prey to the aggressive (and beautiful in its own way I suppose) kudzu, which is so prickly that we had to hack our way through it to get to the precious bounty. The silver lining is that the kudzu had kept the critters away from the berries, so there were more for us!

Since they were so tart, Patte made these into a compote which we spooned over our pancakes the next morning.

Later that week, we spied an apple tree on a piece of property that Patte is pining away for.

Bren couldn't eat the apple without looking just a little bit like a goat.

Love you baba!

I suppose it's the realization that we are living further and further away from the source of all our food that has spurred so many people to plant vegetable gardens this year. Today on the radio, I heard about a woman who will take $1500 of your hard-earned cash, per season, to grow fruits and veggies on your lawn, so that you can eat them. Ha!

Speaking of which, our tomatoes are not doing that well at the moment -- I suppose you really can't ever leave home, nor should you grow stuff in pots. The leaves have turned dry and brown, and whilst some people have told me that's just what tomatoes do, I can't help but feel that I've let my little tomato saplings down.

However, I spied a community garden down the road that has got me fantasizing about autumn harvests: beets and squash! And figs maybe! Planted in the ground!


Friday, August 15, 2008

Interesting Reading

In case you hadn't heard (and I'm not sure how you haven't!), Ric Warren is "interviewing" both of the main presidential candidates tomorrow, 'round these parts at his Saddleback Church. (Warren is the author of the highly-successful "The Purpose Driven Life".)

I read this article about Warren and what he's been up to since the "Life" series made headlines five years ago. I am intrigued by Warren's focus on an updated "agenda" for Christian voters, expanding to issues of poverty, AIDS etc.

What do you think about the article? Have you ever read Purpose Driven Life? What did you think? I started it, I confess, and then... I stopped. Ugh! Discipline!


AT&T Technician: Hooray! AT&T: Boooooo

The headline speaks for itself I think.

Now that our internet is back (wheeeee!), I thought I'd post some pics from our unbelievably magnificent trip to North Carolina. Oh man oh man, I wish everyone could have experienced the peace up there. Patte and Scott have a gorgeous place at the top of a hill that is the closest to paradise I've ever been: I always feel at peace there, in awe of God's great earth, whether in the magnificence of the mountains or the balls-out beauty of the sunsets or the impossible aviation of a bumble bee (photos of those to come!).

We landed in Atlanta, and waited for the train to take us out of the city so that Patte and Scott could pick us up. Bren spotted this sign that just aggravated his don't-tell-me-what-to-do nerve:

Once Patte and Scott had picked us up (in a moment of unabashed cuteness, Patte actually RAN across the manicured flowers to give Bren the first of many hugs), we marked the beginning of our time together as we usually do: at Cracker Barrel!! I forgot to snap photos, darn it all, but then we were off to the cabin, where the hummingbirds were waiting to dazzle us.

Patte is such an animated conversationalist:

Scott, a little less so. :)

Great photo of Patte:

After lunch, we went for a swim at one of the many freshwater lakes we'd dip into over the course of the week. I can't remember what this one is called. I can still feel that cool water now! I had just gone to the beach here in LA the day before, and the difference in the water quality made me so sad -- THIS is what water is supposed to taste, feel, look like.

Patte had just bought a rubber kayak thingy, the butt of many jokes, sadly. Bren and Patte managed to take it out pretty far, and from the shore, I could hear them cackling as they tried to figure out why this particular kayak only liked to travel in circles. You can actually see them in this photo: they're the little dot on the right.


Sigh. Bliss.


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Adventures in hotspotting

I am grimacing right now.

Our internet access bit it last Friday. AT&T said it was a server-wide issue, which would be fixed in an hour. It has now been more than a week and it's still not working, and everytime we call, they say it's for a different reason. They are sending someone to our house on Friday. I hope they can fix it, because for now, Bren and I are driving around, laptop in hand, looking for the bars to light up. Well, it's not that bad -- usually we go to a coffee shop, but all that caffiene (or decaf-caffiene) can't be good for me.

In the meantime, take a look at the video my friend Jamie and her husband Brian made, under the direction and camera-shooting of Brendan McNamara! It's designed to encourage more people to donate to Jamie's marathon pledge drive!

Super cool!


Sunday, August 3, 2008

Leaving Town!

Hey guys -- Bren and I are off to beautiful North Carolina for a week, to visit his mum and Scott. We are both beside ourselves with excitement! We expect lots of hiking and lake-swimming and lazing around. Thank Goodness we can go.

Anyway, I'll post once I get back on Sunday 10th.

Before I go, Bren snapped this photo of this enormous beauty on our tomato plant this afternoon. He's huge -- as long as my hand I think. And while he was gorgeous, Bren soon shoo'd him away from our tomato pretties.

Love you all!

all text and photographs on aartilla the fun © 2005-2009 Aarti Sequeira unless otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.