Thursday, April 17, 2014

sappy things

Ahoy,

On our way home from a party one evening we stopped to get a movie from a redbox. It was on the way and easy since we were on bikes. We picked a super sappy movie, About Time. This was a mutual decision, mind you. In fact, he suggested it. Moments like this make me happy because he is just as sappy as me. Despite mixed reviews from critics, we both loved it! We couldn't stop bringing it up for days. We should probably just buy the DVD and soundtrack. It's just one of those movies that make you feel good about life.

There are certain qualities in a mate I don't need. I'm sure you can agree- there are deal-breakers and then there's whatever the opposite of deal-breakers is. A need for speed, expensive watches, coffee connoisseur - these things are neither here nor there. Just like a taste for sappy movies, but I'm really glad to have someone who can watch and appreciate sappy movies with me. It's like a bonus.

dressedly shifted,
jt

Thursday, April 10, 2014

summer welcome grill time

Ahoy,

Having learned our lesson last year, we opted to get to Ciclavia early this year. Since the route didn't come to our doorstep this time we had to make our way to Wilshire & Fairfax. We departed at much too early an hour for a Sunday morning. Getting the RRS out of bed is like pulling teeth. The route is only 6 miles, plus 3 miles to get to it. Getting to downtown was not very crowded, but coming back had more traffic. I wore my Supergirl uniform again and only had one cape-tastrophe. There was a sudden whirl of wind that pulled my cape over my eyes. It was both disastrous and hilarious.

With the coming of summer and Ciclavia, we felt it appropriate to throw another patio barbecue. We gathered provisions the day before of ribs, chicken, asparagus and mushrooms. It was his most successful attempt yet at lighting the coals. He and I are both very glad; our friends might not have been fed had his previous foibles continued. The ribs were a big hit and went on first because the RRS just was too excited to not put them all on at once. It was a delightful evening of food and friends. We ended up with more food than we knew what to do, which is always a better problem than the other way around. Whenever I have guests or cook for other people I have this great, foreboding fear that they will not be full. Perhaps your Chinese grandmother can understand. With the RRS, this feeling is perpetual because he is just so skinny I'm afraid if I don't feed him enough he'll just dissolve into dust in the wind.

A thousand thank yous to everyone who came to our party! We had lots of fun and hope you did too!

summerily scorched,
jt

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

tide pooling finally!

Ahoy,

I've only been asking for forever to go tide pooling. We all know how annoying I can be. It's best for everybody that we finally made the trip. We went to Palos Verdes, over some super windy roads through what I'm told is a super swanky neighborhood, flanked by a Trump golf course. The road emerged onto a cliff overlooking the beach, look for the sign for Abalone Cove Shoreline Park. The hike down is pretty easy, and we went exploring upstream a dry riverbed. You should too, but don't try to climb up the canyons because the substrate is super crumbly.


There was tons of wildlife that day. Urchins and anemones everywhere, a few stars, a bunch of  crabs. It's important to be careful where you step because a) it may be slippery, and b) you might be stepping on an organism. I've also learned that you can look but shouldn't touch. This is a real life habitat and home for all these creatures and I wouldn't like people coming to bother me at my home. Living in an intertidal zone is stressful enough without humans messing everything up. We even saw a baby seal that approached the shore. It probably got lost/separated from his family. 

Low tide was around 3pm, and we arrived a little before so the tide started to come up halfway through our session. No one got dunked that day. We walked back to dry land to check out this cove at the bottom of the cliff. People had been going back and forth across, but it looked like the tide had come up so you were more than likely to get splashed had you made the trip across again.

This is a super fun place to tide pool. A says the last place he went to had fewer specimens to look at. Also, he likes to drive fast on the windy roads next to the ocean. Afterwards we went to 85 degrees bakery and totally spoiled our dinner without any thought to the matter. We are just such good adults.

middingly toiled,
jt



Thursday, April 3, 2014

at jo-ann's

Ahoy,

A brand new massive Jo-ann's opened up on Cienega near us. I made him go after his final the other day. My hours long search for shark bag material in the fashion district proved unfruitful. We parked in a 20 minute zone and threw caution to the wind. I ran off because he started counting me down as soon as I opened the car door. So he was quite a bit behind me as I dashed through the entry, thus giving the indication that he, a single male, had arrived of his own, sole accord to Jo-ann's. He tells me they greeted him warmly, as you typically do to single males arriving at female-centric establishments.

After a few minutes inside, he recalled his childhood having been dragged to Jo-ann's by his godmothers. "There is no place more boring than this place," his thoughts as a child. Apparently he wasn't the most creative child.

tridently fixated,
jt

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

on the fly

Ahoy,

I would say it was not ideal to go to bed at 3am after a liquor filled night and then head out to Bishop in the morning. There are certain preparations that have to happen before a climbing trip, I'm sure you can agree. I would say a late bedtime is not ideal. But it was an opportunity that does not come by very often. If there's anything I learned in these few years on Earth, when opportunity strikes - you have to seize it!

A massive load of gratitude to our perpetually stoked friends to get on real rocks. A climbing trip is always a great excuse to get outdoors, but what I'm really in it for is Schat's Bakery. Let's just be honest here, folks.

tantalizingly aligned,
jt





Thursday, March 27, 2014

in my humble opinion

Ahoy,

In my humble opinion, I think you should bring a flashlight for a night hike. Even if the moon is full. 


I hope all those people dashing down the dusty, uneven, riddled with trip-points stairs made it out alive. My thoughts are with you. 

casually reflective,
jt

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

first real earthquake

Ahoy,

We awoke from the earthquake. I've been in CA for earthquakes before, but they were small. In one instance, we thought the boys upstairs were playing basketball, again. The boys upstairs played basketball in their quad room, so this is not an unreasonable assumption. In a second instance, I was in the shower and did not feel anything. So this was the first time it quaked long enough for me to realize it was an earthquake and enjoy the "ride." We both woke up, but neither of us moved. I didn't have earthquake drills in grade school, so I really can't be faulted for my inaction. The RRS just moved over me. We were watching the bookcase. He was ready to deflect it had it fallen on me. But I think we were supposed to be not near the fall zone of the bookcase.

incorrectly lowered,
jt

Thursday, March 20, 2014

heat wave?

Ahoy,

The heat wave last weekend was hot for this time of year. But in the grand scheme of things I've experienced much worse. It is March. In Chicago the mercury would just be crawling above freezing. Everyone is rejoicing the coming of spring. In LA it seems summer came without spring. There are a lot of things out of whack about the weather here. When I think of heat waves, though, I think of the summer of 1995 in Chicago. That was a heat wave. And it always brings me back back to earth when I'm anticipating a "heat wave."

I biked on the Ballona Creek bike trail out to the ocean on Saturday. I probably left smack at high noon, but I wasn't about to wait for the sun to cool down to start my adventures. I stopped first at the MAC because my friend was teaching there that day, but mostly because there is a really sharp turn I'm too pansy to take on my bike right now so I went straight instead to the MAC. They had these 2 corgis there that day I think could be their new mascot given how much attention they received. I stopped by and went on to go check out the Marina Dey Rey library. I'll tell you right now it is really cool and overlooks the dock and boats. They also have a nautical wing full of books, model ships, and maps. All the things nautical you could want in your house. Who doesn't want a drawer full of sailing charts? I've been taking decorating ideas for my future home. I hope the RRS gets the hint that I want a library nautical wing in our house.

I returned to the MAC and my friend brought me out on the motorboat with her while her class did capsize drills. It was a lot of fun to watch and not participate, but I think I know how to upright a boat from a turtled position now. She also had me join her paddle-boarding with her at the end of the day. I fell in, which was refreshing.

Lucky for me my friend J disregarded the weather just as much as I did when she agreed to go on a bike ride Sunday. As I left Culver City, it felt like a max powered hair dryer was blowing on my face. I probably left at the worst time of day, again. I slathered on the sunblock, which I've found is a habit that is more than necessary to adopt daily.  Due to faulty instructions on my part, J biked right past the ice cream shop and had to turn around at the end. If the Ballona Creek Bike Path is missing anything - it's signage, and also a lot of other things, but that's a battle for another day. As we made our way closer to the ocean, the air got cooler. One could even ponder, "What heat wave?"

We spent the rest of the day at the farmer's market at the Grove because all the regular farmers' markets were closed by the time we got to Del Rey. It was a great (crowded) day of eating and shopping. Sunday is probably the worst day to go to the Grove. You have been warned.

pleadingly quaked,
jt

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

bicycle timeline

Ahoy,

Approx.

Before I met the RRS
First bike wheel gets stolen on campus. Second bike wheel gets stolen at apartment.

Summer 2011
The idea springs of reviving the lonely bike frame.

May 2013
Upon my nagging, we make a trip to the bikerowave to query how to make a bike. Order miscellaneous parts.

June 2013
Recruit our friend so we can get schooled on how to build a bike. Take apart, re-lube parts, also converted from a multi-speed to single speed. Build a bike. Notice wheels are not according to specifications (mine). Take apart bike.

July-September 2013
Pursue a seemingly endless search for THE bike wheels.

October 2013 - March 2014
Store bike wheels at home, collecting dust.

March 1, 2014
Take out spare tire in dinky car to fit in 2 bike wheels. Return to the bikerowave. Put together a complete set of wheels, popping a hole in only one tube.

March 2, 2014
Return to bikerowave to change the gear on the rear wheel because the number of teeth don't match. Futz with brakes for probably 3+ hours. Also the cable came out of the handle, so we know how that works now.

March 4, 2014
Ride bike for the first time. Didn't die. I'm as shocked as you.

deceivingly erect,
jt



Thursday, March 13, 2014

bus the PCH

Ahoy,

We made a trip to the Getty Villa, and I learned that the bike racks on the front of the bus are not as sketchy as they seem. They are also a little narrow for the wide cruiser wheels; they are really snug in there. We made it to the Villa and back down to Santa Monica with the bikes on the bus rack. I'm as shocked as you. Every bump I'm sure is the one that my bike will bounce out and get run over.

We spent the day at the Villa, and I packed lunch to have up there. I didn't really care for the art, so mostly steered us around the gardens and ocean views.

We hopped back on the bus with our bikes because I could see myself falling on the side of the PCH and promptly getting run over by all the million dollar speed racers on the road. We continued along the ocean bike path a little closer to Santa Monica, stopping along the way for slack-lining, snack-eating, and skate-boarding.

We raced against the ever beating clock of sunset and for once, weather, looking for the Ballona Creek Bike Trail. Getting to the actual trail involves a winding series of paths, roads, parking lots, sharp turns, etc. It's not so intuitive and you definitely have to pay attention to the signs. I can't say I'm always attentive, but we made it back. I'm as shocked as you. It started raining just as we rolled into home base.

successfully snacked,
jt