Ladies and gentlemen, we are very proud to present our very own Miss March, Marya Figueroa… the effervescent heart and soul of the interweb, known to bajillions as Emdot. She’s the kind of gal who makes you want to make virtual friends because behind the fiber optics is someone very real and very true who sends you real mail to your real mailbox. We love her and we adore this love letter to her beloved SLO.

The Scent of SLO
San Luis Obispo County is like its own bag of potpourri. You’d be hard pressed to find a better smelling place. Now, I understand that that might sound like the strangest thing, “You love the way your town smells?” Indeed I do.

oranges and orange blossoms

It smells like orange blossoms and jasmine and eucalyptus – everywhere you go. Fresh spice from the pepper trees; salty ocean, bay leaves, and sage. And always orange blossoms, jasmine, and euc. Heaven.

501s
Are you there God? It’s me, Marya. I just want to say God, thank you. Thank you.

Thank you for providing a job and a community that thinks that jeans are perfectly good clothes to wear to work, out at night, and anywhere else I happen to go. In addition, thank you for the Levi company and their stroke of blue-collar genius, the 501 jean.

501s

The 501 jean is like the denim equivalent of comfort food for the body. No, no. More than that. It’s like the denim equivalent of a security blanket. Forgiving. Comfortable. Excellent when frayed.

Living within walking distance
I’ve lived within five blocks of downtown San Luis Obispo for the last fourteen years. And I have kissed my lucky stars every damn day of them. I get to walk to where I need to go.

walking downtown

How much do I love that? It’s hard to express, really. But love it I do. Go get a beer with friends? Walk there. Want to go shopping at whatever boutique? Walk there. Farmer’s market? Local band? Get a bite to eat? Walk there, walk there, walk there.

Pen to Paper
Give me a fine-tip, black-ink pen with perfect ink flow and I am your woman for life. I don’t know what it is. I spend most of my life in front of a computer screen and, truth be told, I’m a pretty good typist and love tap dancing my fingers across a keyboard. But pen and paper are my first loves and no amount of easy delete, cut and paste, or spell check is going to change that.

ink on paper

I love the way ink sits, soaks, or spreads out as it hits the paper. I love making the shapes of letters, strings of words, or ever evolving and growing doodles. Sure, the computer is great, but when I need to figure something out, get to the nitty gritty or really spill my heart, you’ll see me with pen in hand while the computer sits idle.

KCBX, our local NPR affiliate
I’m a bonafide NPR junkie. I’m pretty sure this means that I have officially turned into my mother. The advent of streaming audio on the web means that I could listen to NPR straight from the NPR-horse’s mouth or from any of the stand-out stations in the bigger metropolitan areas – LA, Philly, San Francisco, Chicago. But I gotta tell you: nine times out of ten, I’m turning on the radio so I can hear it SLO-town way.

i-heart-kcbx

The DJs live, love, breathe music. And they bring it. Jazz to classical. Blues to world. Early swing to best of bebop. And they live, love, breathe community. And they bring it. From knowing the names of people who subscribe during pledge drive (“oh Joe! Great to hear from you again.”) to putting on the area’s best music festivals, wine festivals, and Mama’s Day celebrations. KCBX: I love you.

Sharing meals at Big Sky Café with Sevens
I’m not sure if this entry is about loving to share meals with my boyfriend or if it is about loving to share meals with my boyfriend at Big Sky Café. But since we eat there more often then any other restaurant and since I love, love, love to split meals with him there, I guess it is the latter. Currently: breakfast. I get a Turkey Joe Scramble and he gets the Pancake of the Day (we both cross fingers that it is the Pumpkin Journeycakes or the Sweet Potato Journeycakes) and we eat half of each.

the breakfast 4

Maybe it sounds too simple. Too ridiculous. But it warms me to my very toes and starts a Sunday in the most deliciously perfect way.

Highway 1
I’m from California, so highways are important. And none says California more than Highway 1. It runs from San Diego well past San Francisco. In Southern California they call it the PCH (Pacific Coast Highway). In northern California they call it Cabrillo Highway. Where I live, we just call it Highway 1 and most people probably take it for granted. Not me.

hwy 1

Highway 1 takes me on those day trips I love: scenic to Santa Barbara or scenic to Big Sur. Scenery so beautiful that people will travel just to see it. And me? I get to travel it regularly; it takes me where I want to go, from visiting my mom for dinner, to getting to work, to most anywhere I need to go that requires a car. And what do I see? Ocean. Sand dunes. Sunsets. Pelicans. Wineries. And more ocean. More ocean. More ocean.

Cream in my coffee

i love cream

Pour it in. No really. More please. Yes. Perfect. Delicious. Thank you.

Barefeet
First thing that happens when I get home? Those shoes get kicked off. At work? Kicked off (don’t tell my boss). In the car? Kicked off.

the bare feet

The Perfect Keychain
I could only wish that the letter M would make such a mighty fine keychain. One, I love the loop. And though there is only one key here, you can easily see how it could comfortably hold a pocketful of important door openers. Two, it is the perfect size. Three, it is the perfect weight. Four, it just looks cool.

the key ring

So, as a person who does not have a K to my name, why do I have a K keychain? It holds the key for the kitchen at work. And not everyone gets a key to the kitchen at work. Problem is, everyone needs the key to the kitchen at work. So I share my kitchen key. And my very cute K keychain.

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