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Happy (but also sad) Anniversary

Today would have been my parent's 54th wedding anniversary.  Even though my mom isn't here anymore I know that my father's heart is still very much with her and I'm sure this day isn't an easy one for him. The trouble is, should I wish him a Happy Anniversary or is it better that I just not bring it up?  I remember that last year I didn't say anything and since I'm not quite sure what to do today, I will wish them a Happy Anniversary from here. Here they are in all their cute, wonderful and together glory:

Mira and Aldo, July 2013


The Mission, Op. 1

The neighborhood of San Francisco I live in is known as The Mission. It's a great part of the city but unfortunately I know that we won't be here for that much longer. Dave and I would eventually like to buy something - we both really hate renting even though our landlords are fine and we like the apartment we're in. I find it's a completely different mindset towards your home when it's rented, it just feels unsettled to me. And after having owned our place in Montreal for seven years before moving here it's been an especially hard transition.

Unfortunately, real estate in San Francisco, and especially in The Mission, is ridiculous and we would never be able to afford to buy what we need which is a place where both Dave and I can work.  Meaning, I need to be able to make a lot a noise at any hour without worrying about pissing off neighbors and we need a room for Dave's painting studio. And this is on top of bedrooms and living rooms and all that usual space. So forget finding anything like that at a reasonable price in this part of the city.

Knowing that at some point in the future, be it in the next six months or the next year, I won't be living in this neighborhood, I've decided to start taking shots of stuff that I don't want to forget. It could be something that made me laugh or a house I particularly liked the color of or a favorite restaurant or a person (I like how person came last in that list...). 

So first up - if we didn't have laundry in our place I'd go to Mr. Burbujas on 24th and Florida just because I love the name and the sign. Look at the little waves underneath 'wash and dry' - subtle and effective don't you think? This sign makes me want to scream "MR. BURBUJAS!!!!!" at the top of my lungs every time I pass by.  But I contain myself even though I'm pretty sure no one would bat an eye.  I just wonder, who is this Mr. Burbujas?  Does he still own the store and if so, what's he like? Does he have a family? Is he kind or a crotchety jerk?  I guess I could go in and find out but honestly, I prefer the mystery and my own imagination.

I love you Mr. Burbujas!

Shirt with a bridge on it.

I haven't bought much since I arrived in San Francisco. I constantly spend money on food and wine but in terms of clothes or shoes....nah. I just can't care enough to take off what I'm wearing in order to try something on that I might never wear out of the house anyway. So I've been wearing the same things for years and this is not a new thing to San Francisco. Seriously, if I look at photos of myself on various trips in the last ten years I'm pretty much always wearing one of three shirts and a pair of jeans.

However, the other day I was in the Richmond and I walked by this little store called Covet and I actually bought something there. And funny thing is, it's an I love SF shirt - like the one thing some weird tourist would buy when they went on that lonely trip to Paris. I asked the owner of the store if it was strange that I was buying this shirt as a local and she said no, just as many locals as tourists snap them up. So I tried it on and loved it. I wear it down the street and love it.  People comment on it and I love that. So it seems I like San Francisco enough to wear a shirt that beams this vital information out to the world around me. I guess this is what civic pride feels like? What a novelty!

look at that cuteness!

A San Francisco year in the life recap

As of today, I've been in San Francisco for exactly one year.  And what has happened in this time?  Let's see - I've eaten a lot of good food, travelled to L.A. twice (never have to do that again thanks), Portland once, Iowa of all places, Castlegar, BC, countless times and also just hung around the city getting used to a new environment.  I got my O-1 visa, made a few new friends, met lots of musicians, played a number of concerts and learned a bunch of new repertoire.  I guess that's not so bad for a first year in a new city.

In the wake of this new year I received some exciting news - I got hired at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (pre-college level) to coach piano duos.  So that will keep me busy on Saturdays. Seriously!? A job......for real? Ok thanks, I'll take it. And, a tango group in town is losing their pianist to Taiwan in about two months so they've asked me to join them in her place.  Exciting - especially since I haven't played tango since 2007. I'm more than happy to get my tango-back-of-beat playing and glissando chops back in shape.  I'll post more about that when it actually starts happening.  Oh, and there's also this gonzo opera I'm doing called Too Much Coffee Man and then I've got the RossoRose Duo and my piano seems there's a lot to look forward to in the next year which is SUCH A RELIEF.

And coming up in September Dave and I will celebrate sixteen years together -  yes, we got married last year but I'm not starting over again, we started this thing in 1999 and no little wedding is getting in the way of that. I guess I bring this up because I wouldn't be here in this amazing city doing all this fun stuff if it wasn't for Dave and his creative and technical genius-ness. He has changed my life in so many incredible ways and nothing that I've accomplished here in San Francisco in the past year would mean anything without him cheering me on.  

This post was supposed to be about my year and it's ended up being about Dave and I guess that's because he has been the most important part every minute I've experienced in the last sixteen years. And this is especially true in regards to the whole Montréal uprooting and San Francisco replanting.  I was terrified about this move and having to start from zero all over again but it's now obvious that it was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. To put it simply, I am so grateful my life has brought me to this point in time and well, I love my man.

We don't normally look like this.

4th of July

Yesterday was the fourth of July, a first for this Canadian girl and all I can say is, it was LOUD. A family that lives across the street from us decided to make the most of the holiday and shot off fireworks for about four hours straight. And they weren't just little piddly fireworks like the kind I would shoot at passing cars when I was a teenager. No, these were big and blinding and right at our doorstep. Sometimes it sounded like Death was knocking at the door (no joke) and Roscoe of course was terrified but hey, happy belated 4th!

Yes, those are children playing amongst the fireworks....

one year.

Over the past weeks I've been trying not to think about June 15th too much but I've come to accept the fact that this day will forever arrive and it will always be the day that my mom died.  

It's been a year since I lost my mom to cancer and let me tell you - grief is not fun.  It doesn't help you get work done or meet people. It doesn't make you want to leap out of bed and face all the challenges of your day.  Food is suddenly boring, reading is a chore, movies are meaningless and even music can't clear your head. And that's the easy stuff. Nothing could have prepared me for the struggle to find myself again after losing someone so important to me. Or the anguish that grips my chest when I think about her.  

My mom was crazy. And good. And loving. And giving.  She couldn't sing in tune but she sang loudly anyway and she cooked a mean bunch of Italian food that my friends grew up coveting. She would have yelled and laughed about me posting this photo of her but it's the last one I ever took and it kind of encompasses her mild insanity and sweet humor.  That's bread that I had just baked and she wanted to bite it. Go figure.

My mom took a lot of me with her when she left but she gave me more than I could have ever hoped for while she was here. Love you mamma.

La Pevera at her finest.


What We Do in the Shadows...

I watched What We Do in the Shadows a few weeks ago on a Friday night and thoroughly enjoyed it.  And on this Friday evening I sit here and contemplate just what I'm might be doing by adding a blog to my website. Hmmmm. This is definitely not in the shadows. And this website is very new by the way.  I could only live in San Francisco for so long before having to add myself to the fray.  It was easy to avoid while I was in Montréal but it's an entirely different thing here.  So hello!  And welcome!  

I'll be writing about stuff from time to time. Not necessarily all about music but probably a lot about music.  But hopefully also about the people I'm meeting, the traveling I'll get to do, this amazing city I find myself living in and maybe food, yeah, there might be some stuff about food too.  À tantôt mes amis!