Levi's New Ad Campaign

I have some real opinions on this. I have debated whether or not  I should go into it because I feel I often times give too much of an annoyed point of view on things. BUT... I can't help myself today. I will, in the future, choose my battles. But even if this were the future, this would be one battle I would definitely choose. My reason for weighing in on this one: This ad campaign uses the words of Charles Bukowski, who is in my opinion,one of the all time greats. And although this commercial is beautiful to listen to (Thanks to Bukowski, not Levi's)  I find it undermines everything he stood for. And frankly, I think it's an insult.

Some of the YouTube comments were great on this topic.  I found this one by FreddiPhillips. I couldn't have said it better myself.

"Conflicting piece of art. Alone it would work for me, but this way it really just confuses me. It's an anarchistic piece that stands behind a huge greedy Corp. that has been funding heavy pockets for the longest time. Also, This is directed at the western world it seems....What are these good looking brats complaining about then? Have these people traveled to the rest of the world? Protest for what? better Internet speed? Please clarify....

PS. Beautiful song and images."

Don't get me wrong, I really like Levi's. I like their brand, I like their designs, I like their quality. In fact, I love Levi's... as far as jeans go. But did they really need to take it upon themselves to sell all of the freedom and hope that Bukowski wrote about? That stuff is free.

Honestly, I don't know why I care so much. It just bothers me. As another YouTube commenter said,
"You can do all of these things in crusty, thrifted, brandless jeans. Remember."

The Laughing heart
By Charles Bukowski

your life is your life
don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission.
be on the watch.
there are ways out.
there is a light somewhere.
it may not be much light but
it beats the darkness.
be on the watch.
the gods will offer you chances.
know them.
take them.
you can’t beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.
and the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.
your life is your life.
know it while you have it.
you are marvelous
the gods wait to delight
in you.


I miss going for half off appetizers with you guys  :(


The Little Things I Love...

When peaches are in season
Expensive toilet paper
Exfoliating shower gloves
Old Jeans
The perfect pair of sunglasses
Getting my hair washed at the salon
A good Mosquito bite
Worn leather boots
A steak grilled to perfection
Luxurious bath milks and lotions
A smart come back
French toast and hot syrup with cold milk
Thick towels
The night air
In 2003

As I was taking a walk down memory lane tonight, I came across some pictures from the house we built in 2003. It was such a nice home for us. Coming in at just under four thousand square feet, it fit us just perfectly. In fact, it was the first official floor plan that I designed and had the opportunity to live inside of. Looking at the pictures, clearly my tastes have evolved (thank heavens) but I wouldn't mind going back in and remodeling it just a little. Although I do have to admit, those hand scraped wood and travertine floors(which I am so so over) were the easiest floors I have ever taken care of. And the stained moulding and doors? They didn't show a thing. Not to mention they were antiqued, so any dings or marks they did show only improved the look. Also... I can't help but notice how clean and organized I was back then. Hmm, if only I had a little bit of that still in me...


Back in School

(And I hate it more now than I ever did when I was in school.)

 I may have mentioned in past posts how much more I prefer keeping the children home with me, rather than sending them to that cold, sordid and contemptible place we call "school". I will resist the temptation to beat a dead horse and just say, I so loved going to school when I was young. But my mom always wished summer would last forever...She dreaded when back to school season came. I always thought she was crazy. Now I can see she totally was. And clearly,I am too. 

Nadia started fourth grade and Liam started first grade.
Nadia loves her teacher. Liam says his teacher doesn't have any manners. Garrett (not shown) started tenth grade. He really likes all of his teachers, too... Well all but the English teacher who he refers to as "The English Nazi". I can't think of a more suitable teacher to instruct something so important. I can't wait to meet her!

So here they are. Well, two out of the four. My oldest ducked out before I had a chance to snap his picture. As for my baby, Vivi gets to stay home with me for one more year. For the record, all of my children were so excited to start school. They didn't get why I was the one crying... They must think I'm crazy.



 Back To School Shopping For Mommy!


Garrett's End of Summer Video

He put it to "Rosie" by The Mighty Narwhale.
(One of my favorite songs... I couldn't be happier!)

I am so proud of Garrett. Not only for his ability to be a great skater, but the dedication he has for something he loves so much is awesome to me.  He also does such a great job on the filming and editing side. I have said it before and I will say it again... I am proud to be his mom.


Today is Sunday

My Knee is terribly infected, I managed to split my stitches and spent yesterday at the doctor where I found out my future scar will be double in size. There is major weather on the East Coast and Hurricane Irene is killing all flights from The Dominican and Puerto Rico leaving me with less than thrilled people to deal with. I have a bad headache and a lot of work ahead of me. With that being said, I think I will blog about my trip to The South. 

On our way to the airport. Leaving the children is always hard for me.

First stop... Daytona Beach. We were just planning on driving through, but that beach was too beautiful not to stop and play on. Because my travel companions are also "fly by the seat of their pants" type of people, we ditched our plans of getting to Jacksonville early and instead hung out in Daytona late into the night. We saw a great live band, played in the water and got our only shoes stolen. All and all, a lovely night.

Excuse our attire. We hadn't changed from our travel apparel yet.

That night we also visited St. Augustine, which was absolutely stunning. I can finally check that off the old bucket list. We drove to Jacksonville afterwards and finally slept a bit. Before meeting up with my dad in Atlanta the next day, we stopped by Savannah. Another check off the bucket list for me. It was, as expected, gorgeous. I will spare you all the three hundred and forty seven pictures I took of those places, and at the end of my post, I'll put up a few from my very favorite place we visited.

 Finally arriving in Atlanta, we made it to a dinner at my beautiful Auntie Linda's house, where I was able to visit with all my dad's side of the family, The only other Valerga's I have here in the USA. All a bunch of crazy, loud Italians, who love their wine. I couldn't have been happier that night. The love that side of my family has is felt stronger than anything.  

We were able to revisit the street sign we claimed from San Francisco years ago. (The street my dad grew up on) My uncle kept it hanging in his basement.

The Morning of the funeral we had a delicious breakfast at our hotel. Best continental breakfast ever. We dined with Sis and Mike,  Nick and Sheryl, (Sheryl is the blond who my dad said was the most wanted babe at his high school... Lucky Nick.)They are all family from San Francisco. 

 The Funeral
Uncle Tom's funeral was a heartbreaking yet completely beautiful and sincere service. It was conducted by a pastor who was quite inspiring to listen to... I take great comfort in knowing my uncle was a good man that loved the lord and I know he will be received as such. After the pastor welcomed us to the service, my dad, one of Uncle Tom's two siblings, gave one of two eulogy's... His would cover the first half of his brother's life. That was hands down, my favorite part of the entire trip. My dad doesn't talk too much about his childhood to us, he never has, I believe it had a lot to do with him thinking we wouldn't understand that he wasn't raised with the gospel and therefore was involved with too much "sex, drugs and rock n' roll"... What he doesn't know is my Uncle Tom and Auntie Barbie filled us in completely on just how wild and reckless they were. During my dad's emotional recap of their childhood, I got to hear those stories directly from him. Turns out they really did drag race brand new cars, crash them and get their dad to buy them new ones the next week... Which I now understand why my dad kept secret from us...We were lucky to borrow five dollars from him. Clearly, he didn't want us to know he was a bit "spoiled". It was true, they did have more than one brush with the law... But due to the fact that they were "Tom Valerga's kids", they got out of everything. (A courtesy my own father did not extend to me when I grew older.) They had a great childhood and were very close. Although it was very hard to see my dad cry, it was also wonderful to see him light up as he talked about his childhood.

Next, was the other eulogy, this one would recap of the other half of his life, told by uncle Tom's best friend.

We know him as this guy...

You may know him as this guy...
Irrelevant side story:
 One night Jacks and I were up late in the lobby of our hotel. The general was just getting in and he recognized us from earlier at Auntie Linda's house. He approached us to tell us how much he loved our Uncle... He visited with us for a while and the rest of the vacation Jackie and I joked about feeling obligated to hang out and entertain our new best friend... I am so happy I have blood relatives that have my sense of humor, otherwise it would be a cold, dark world for me. 

Then we went to the cemetery where they did a Twenty One Gun Salute And presented Auntie Linda with a flag. By that point, there wasn't a dry eye in the place.  As my cousin Christy said..."That was off the hook!" and it was.

After the Funeral
After the service we changed and headed to downtown Atlanta where we saw the city and enjoyed a great baseball game. My family's team, The San Francisco Giants were playing the Atlanta Braves.  My dad and Brother had to go... They said it was Uncle Tom's last gift to them to have the Giants playing in the same city, the same night we would be there. I went on one condition, we could sight see and get a really great steak before. We did and everyone was happy.
 (Nadia's two little fingers popping up behind my head, not my dad's.)

And now for my favorite place we visited. And I can't remember the name of it... All I know is while looking online in preparation for this trip, everyone said this cemetery in Savannah, Georgia was their favorite place, and I concur. It was unbelievably stunning.

Side note:
My little princess was the best travel mate.

...And I won't go into the humidity and my hair issues... My skin never felt so good, my hair however... Oh well, you can't have it all.

We Love You Uncle Tom!!! We will be seeing you again!