The GGA Project -- Day #73 "Doomer Dodged"

There's a word we use in my family for things that are kind of lame.  Well, it used to be that the word applied exclusively to lame jokes.  The word is "doomer," as in "it was a rough date...all my jokes doomed."  But it can also be used to describe people who are always making lame jokes, i.e. "he's kind of a doomer," events that didn't live up to expectations: "uhh, the garlic festival was a total doomer!," and now, as of today, entire towns.

Today's New Activity: Visiting Downtown Doomerville, er, Danville

Since my folks only moved here a year and a half ago, there are tons of places they still want to explore, and Danville was on my Mom's list to check out.  I was totally down for this, since I'd driven through the downtown once and had seen what looked like potentially cute shops.

Like this kids consignment shop:

Or this store full of beautiful antique girlie stuff at surprisingly good prices

And then the Mother of All Candy Shops, The Sweet Street.

Gummy Stuff

And hard candy

And Jelly Bellies

And taffy

And M & M's

And this amazing St, Patrick's Day candy display

Monkey got his first kazoo out of the deal, which wasn't annoying at all, of course :P

The Sweet Street alone would make a repeat visit worth it.  But why am I being so harsh to Danville?  Here's the thing: I really don't like homogeneity.  And to me, Danville and its neighboring towns of Pleasanton, Livermore and Dublin are the epitome of boring sameness.  I think it's even a selling point for their residents.  All four of these towns remind me of that fake world from the movie The Truman Show.  It seems to me that the most identifiable traits of these cities is the complete absence of any genuine brown folks and ubiquitous presence of fake tans.  And both are pretty strange to find in the Bay Area of Northern California.  It makes me feel really uncomfortable actually.

But anyway, there was one really cool thing that came from our visit to Doomerville (aside from the simple joy of spending the day with my Ma, and aside from the candy haul).  We stopped into one shop where I saw for sale prints by an artist--Kelly Rae Roberts--whose work I really love.  Most all her paintings feature female figures depicted in her trademark style, along with encouraging phrases about living your dreams and believing in yourself, and all those wonderful messages.  I bought this one today:

The words read:

My wish for you
is that you
always know

That it be the answer
to your deepest

That you dare to dream big
and take risks

That you leap and dance
and reach for the best parts
of yourself...always

That you find your way
with kindness and faith

Pretty much all my wishes for myself these days, too.  It's nice to have reminders from like-minded others.  My gal Nicole first told me about this artist and gave me some of the background to her story.  If there is anybody qualified to dare others to dream, it is her.  She had always been interested in art, but she'd decided to go the practical route and become a social worker.  Eventually, she took the ballsy step of making a go at creating art for a living.  And now her stuff is everywhere!  Just imagine waking up and doing exactly what your soul's desire tells you to do every single day.  And then getting paid for it!  Here are her own words:
"To me, art has been the unexpected & life-changing discovery of finding my passion. It was a dream I neglected until I was 30 years old, a whisper in my life yearning to be heard. When I finally began to put paint onto paper, my heart and life exploded with a joy I hadn’t known before."
THAT is what dreaming is for...for the realizing of the dream, and for hearing your heart's song sung from the rooftops when that moment arrives.  I feel like this reminder alone was the best possible takeaway Danville could offer today.  Nothing to sneeze at. 


  1. I had a moment like what you talked about when I was in high school. We visited my cousins in Placerville and went to the public pool, and it took me awhile to figure out why I was kind of uncomfortable. There were ONLY white people, and I had this vague sense of guilt by association. :-/

    Also, The Sweet Street looks AWESOME. :-)

  2. i've been to danville before and i've been to that little antique shop, too! if you're ever in dublin and wonderin' what to do (or what you're doing there..j/k) look up the store TANGERINE. it is a cute artsy shop with all kinds of cool things. they have workshops there, too, sometimes.

  3. Kelly Rae Roberts for President! Brilliant wishes...Awesome passion.