Feb. 20 – Sacramento for the 14th annual Ocean Day, my 10th time attending, my third year helping to organize. Biggest and best ever. Highlight: Majority Leader Ian Calderon energizing the people at the breakfast kickoff. Good problem: Because so many people attended, we ran out of time at the breakfast kickoff to do all the advance organizing I’d’ve preferred.
Feb. 23 – San Francisco, spontaneously at Message in a Bottle. Highlight: Wasn’t sure what I was getting into, had my mind blown. Also caught up a much-missed friend with whom I’ve closed down bars and scandalized Uber drivers. You know, the sort of person who skips the small talk and goes straight to the soul. Related advice: Seek out the people who energize rather than deplete you.
Feb. 27 – Oakland for the State Lands Commission meeting. Bonus: Lunch with my dear friend Lila beforehand, at her house, under the 100-foot grapefruit trees, and being reminded of the time I used those grapefruits to make greyhounds all day while the kids were over at Outside Lands one year, of how these very trees inspired one of my favorite songs of Lila’s, of the gift her friendship and her music has been for years and years.
Feb. 28 – Sacramento for the GreenCA conference. I facilitated a panel about “intangible barriers” to California’s coast featuring Marley Reynosa from Brown Girl Surf, Dionne Ybarra from The Wahine Project and Olivia Van Damme from City Surf Project, plus Krista Comer from the Institute for Women Surfers. Highlight: Listening to women I admire share how their own experiences of racism at the beach has propelled them to bring kids to the beach and not only teach them to surf, but to teach them that the beach belongs to them as much as anyone else. Unexpected low moment: Being unprepared for the wounds the lunchtime #MeToo panel would reopen. Culturally awkward situation: Responding to the question, “What type of music do you listen to?” when driving the two 20-something women of color back to the Bay Area and feeling extremely 40-something and white and cringing at all my answers.
March 1 – Back in San Francisco, I find myself in the parking lot of a scuzzy Travelodge off Mission, desperately trying to find Nick, whose blood sugar, the app on my phone tells me, has dropped “LOW” for hours. I know he’s here somewhere, but he’s not answering any of the 89 calls I’ve made over the night and into the early morning. And then the data cuts out and for 20 minutes I think he has died because I did not get out and pound on all the hotel room doors in time. The rain pours down and I cry in my car and I keep calling and suddenly he answers and is alive after all. Highlight? He is not dead. Also because now that I am here, I go to UCSF with him and we talk to the doctors together and I am hopeful that the prescribed changes to his insulin dosage will slow down these terrifying nights.
March 3 – San Francisco, Jesse Wiedel’s art show, Candyland Noir. Bonus: Bobby came down with Jesse so I was able to spend some time with my husband!
March 4-6 – Santa Cruz for the Global Wave Conference, where I participated on a panel about how the renewed call for new offshore oil drilling threatens California’s protected areas, got a few laughs (despite the subject matter) and reminded people that, “As hope is to despair, so inspiration is to action.” Highlight: Surfrider CEO Chad Nelsen, who was moderating the panel, jumping up to take my picture and tweet it and the quote out in the moment. Also sharing the moment with my daughter Kaylee. Bummer: Having to leave before the conference was over and missing Greg Long’s speech as a result!
March 7-9 – Port Hueneme for the Coastal Commission meeting. I spoke on sea walls, offshore oil drilling, the need to adequately plan for sea level rise. Highlight: Being back in action after three months of not attending Coastal Commission meetings. I feel very strongly about coastal armoring and beach access! Disappointing moment: Despite mental prepping ahead of time, I did not react as gracefully as I’d intended when addressed by a member of the opposition outside the meeting room.
March 10 – Hollywood for the Museum of Failure with my friend-from-Humboldt Tibora and my-friend-from-El-Lay Tina. Highlight: Running into the museum’s founder, whom Tibora interviewed at the original MoF in Sweden and being treated to Swedish licorice. Thematic epiphany: Contributing to the “confessional” and realizing I could spend hours filing out Post-It Notes with all my failures.
March 11 – San Francisco, babysitting. I have the brilliant idea to conduct a scavenger hunt through the Outer Sunset. Things we have to find: all the letters of the alphabet; a cat; two pieces of trash on the beach; a colorful wetsuit; a black house; a house with open blinds; someone taking a selfie. The hardest? Anyone wearing a wetsuit with any color other than black, that damn cat.
March 12 – San Francisco for the Marine Protected Area rally. A coalition of NGO partners and state agency staff discussed how to enforce our MPAs, as well as all the great studies and outreach being done in this network of MPAs I helped create. Highlight: Being reminded I helped create this! Weird moment: Hearing someone from San Diego report on what’s happening on the North Coast and realizing she knows that better than I do these days.
March 14 – San Francisco, walking over to the ice cream shop to surprise the ever-adorable Isla and Felix, who had no idea I was going to show up! Bonus: Taking their surfer-woodworker dad to check out Danny Hess’ wood shop. “Oh, yeah” moment: Remembering, after telling Ian, “The shop’s just a few blocks away!,” that “a few blocks” in kid-distance is quite different, as the children need to scamper up every driveway, poke every flower and otherwise gallop about inefficiently.
March 16-18 – Sonoma Sea Ranch getaway with girlfriends. Highlight: Whales for days. So many whales. All the whales. Spouts, spouts, spouts. Also how having successful, supportive, fabulous friends can make a person feel like she’s doing okay at life. Regretful moment: Debating my friend – who loves music very, very much – about music without any real reason for doing so and carelessly hurting her feelings in the process.
March 19-22 – San Clemente for Surfrider’s all-staff meeting. In addition to the many hours of (interesting) PowerPoint presentations, we played “Survivor” games on the beach and otherwise embraced the “enjoyment” part of our mission statement. Highlight: Standing on the beach at SanO surrounded by laughing, chatting coworkers, next to a taco buffet and a bonfire, reflecting on all the past several weeks, several years have brought and being amazed at how this life has turned out. Also: SanO waves without a leash. Lowlights: None.
Throughout – Time with my nephew! He’s brilliant. I’m thrilled my brother and sister-in-law moved back to SF from New York! It’s good to have family.
It will also be good to get back home. I departed Humboldt in the winter and am returning in the spring. I expect I shall plant some flowers.