When it comes to significant life events, the birth of a child and the purchase of a first house rank at the top of the list. So it’s fair to say 2007 was a significant year for me and my wife, Nikki. We bought our dream house in a semi-rural, unincorporated nook of Ventura, near Lake Casitas. And that other thing? Well, Nikki’s bulging and it’s kicking and the house is filling up with baby hand-me-downs. We didn’t actually experience a birth in ’07, but we did conceive, which is pretty exciting in its own right.
The first ultrasound was probably the high point of my year. There it was—a “yolk sack,” the doctor called it, a bagel-shaped thing with a cloud attached to it. The bagel, he explained, was the yolk sack, and the cloud… Well, the cloud was the great whatever: some life form without a beating heart or working brain. I tend to think it was a mass of innate characteristics at that point. Perhaps more like a plant—simply feeding and living, just kind of blowing around in the womb. Who knows? But I do believe there was something—some “nature”—in that cloud that will never change, regardless of how it’s nurtured. Pretty cool. We’re due in June.
June of 2007 was the first I heard about our cover girl, Colbie Caillat—a local singer-songwriter riding Internet popularity out of the cyberworld and into real fame on planet earth. To be honest, my inner skeptic saw pictures of the attractive 22-year-old daughter of a music producer and scoffed. But Caillat’s sound is clean and soulful, and she’s anything but a “diva with a sense of entitlement,” as writer Matthew Singer puts it in his article on page 38. Regardless of whether or not appearance or pulled strings have anything to do with her success, Colbie Caillat represents a major change in the music industry: the ability to become famous without ever producing an album. Which changes everything. She is the face of the future—and she’s from right here in Thousand Oaks.
Another local girl, DeNai Jones from Ventura, paired her design skills with an irresistibly cute name and struck a chord as well. She’s the mommy mastermind behind Petunia Pickle Bottom—an ultra-chic line of goods for mothers and babies. But what most appealed to me about this story (pg. 18) was DeNai’s natural evolution from a child who’d while away the hours with a pile of fabrics, paper, glue, and scissors to a successful businesswoman—essentially that same child, now all grown up and running a company with her husband and her best friend. Doing what comes naturally.
I was leaning toward articles with some sort of futuristic or next generation angle for this, our first issue of 2008. Maxine Hurt’s Nesting article (pg. 27) focuses on a Ventura property that epitomizes forward thinking: Michael Faulconer’s contemporary eco-house. And DeWitt Smith’s story about Richard Diaz (pg. 35) was actually in the works months ago, but given his cutting edge techniques it seemed fitting to wait until New Year’s. Hope you enjoy the issue. A very healthy and safe 2008 to you and your family, and thanks as always for your readership.