Tuesday, January 27, 2015

half day


We had to stay home for a brunch thing, but K got to catch up on sports. We jetted to go pick up A's friend and wander around their old haunts when they were young and reckless. I convinced them to take me to the creative reuse store in Oakland. I'm sure it's a junk store, but somebody's junk is someone else's treasure. I got a super cheap puzzle and postcards. I love this store because it's great for crafting finds. I haven't been able to find something similar that is close to where I am now. While waiting for dinner at "one of the best sushi places in the Bay," I dragged the boys to Berkeley Bowl, again. I probably couldn't count all the times I made someone go during this trip. It's my favorite grocery store on the West Coast. You have to go.

The following day we got an early start out to Santa Cruz to go see the monarch butterflies migrating. They stop at the Natural Bridges State Beach and clump up in the eucalyptus trees. I think we got there later in the season so we only saw a few clumps. At the peak, the butterflies cover the entire tree. We'll have to try again next year. We drove back up on the PCH and landed in San Francisco to see my family.

majestically blown,

Thursday, January 22, 2015

we're off


My brother is an excellent shotgun rider for car rides because he is nothing like me. He sat still the whole time and buckled his seat belt. He was a dream passenger. Meanwhile, I had a grand time riding in the back. I had so much room to move around and snack. I'm so very grateful our friend let us borrow her car. A was incredibly pleased with K in the front especially given it was his first time riding in the car for such a long time.

We made a stop at In n' Out because people will be upset with you if you go to CA and don't get In n' Out. And arrived shortly after at the Sunnyvale Planet Granite. My brother and I opted to top rope, which A was very glad for so he could boulder to his heart's content. We got to spend a bunch of time there before heading out to SF to have dinner with A's friend at a bougie Vietnamese place in a sketchy neighborhood.

K got to cross the new Bay Bridge, I think he was only a little awed by it. A can't get over it because hometown pride. The next day was Christmas eve, so we couldn't really get out to do stuff. K got to watch a ton of basketball. We likely got out to make emergency grocery runs, but that's neither here nor there.

Even the day after Christmas was only mildly interesting because A really wanted to go shopping and buy things. So we went into the city to shop and climb. Finally made it to Dogpatch, which in my opinion is way dustier than La.B.

dustily sniffed,

Tuesday, January 20, 2015



This was our first day of adventure in the Bay and I was dying to get out and do things and not do the obligatory family things anymore, which was mostly sitting at a table for a long time.

We packed the car and loaded up on snacks to head up to Santa Rosa to check out the Charles Schulz Museum. He spent most of his adult life in Santa Rosa and became a big part of the community. There's a Snoopy ice skating arena that was the first to have some official ice hockey league for 70+ and he played on it! The cartoons were cute and funny. And K is totally like Charlie Brown.

We went a little farther from town to check out Armstrong State Park. We got in on just the last hours of daylight. A had a cup of coffee and I was carrying hummus and bread. Clearly, we had decided this would not be a serious hike. It's only after we are in the woods that we think we should be more prepared. We stepped out of the woods just as daylight was closing in on us. It was a lot of fun nonetheless, and we don't regret it because we wanted to be able to see the Museum without the pressure of closing time.

Our final stop in Santa Rosa was dinner and drinks with the Russian River Brewing Company. A is a fanatic. He bought 2 cases of beer from them because he could, but mostly because we would never have the trunk space to spare again. I don't care much for hops so the glory of the brew is totally lost on me. However, the beers on tap there are super cheap and strong, and food was decent/typical bar food. Apparently, the beer is in such high demand that they have to limit how many customers can get in stores, and they don't mark the trucks because folks will follow and buy out every store. What a phenomenon! He might be rationing his beers until the next time he can go.

mossily informed,

backseat riding


These are the things we did while K was here in LA:

There was an Annenberg Space for Photography exhibit about water levels rising, and natural disasters and how to plan for the changes ahead. I dragged along an old college friend. One of those people I keep missing when I'm in the bay or she is down here. It was great to see her again. The museum is free every day, so I highly recommend it.

We finally went to see an Upright Citizens Brigade show. I only have heard of them because Amy Poehlor, and she is fabulous. Tickets are only $5 and so worth it. The actress who plays Brita from Community was one of the cast members. A got a thai tea and subsequently a cup of coffee right before the show. He was double fisting his caffeine intake. We will definitely go back.

My brother loves noodles, so we took him to get ramen downtown. We also made a trip to the Evolv outlet. K got a whopping 3 pairs of shoes- more shoes than he's ever bought his whole life. I got 1, and A got 1. So I think the trip was worth it. I took him on a bicycle adventure to the comic book store, animal shelter, and ice cream. As we approached the comic book store he said to me,"I can't guarantee how long I'll take in here."

The next day we left for the Bay. It would be K's longest car ride to date, surpassing the 2.5 hour drives he made between Madison & Chicago. He's nothing like me, so he would do well.

carpingly adroit,

Thursday, January 8, 2015

happy new year!


Holy moly! It's been so long since I've been on here, I don't even remember what my life has been. Moments like this when I notice that I haven't been documenting my life reminds me of the fact that I haven't been activating my brain to remember things. And also I use this blog to braindump things so I don't have to activate my brain to remember things.

Memory is such a tricky concept/feat. I find that writing things down, and writing about what I've done is a way of preserving memories. However, once it's been written - it's as if I've been given permission to forget. Something about giving life to words on a page is to take life from the words in my memories. If I were to preserve the life of my memories simply in my brain - the memory would change over time, possibly become more detailed, less detailed, possibly mix with other memories. What a trip!

deviantly anew,

Friday, December 19, 2014



Yesterday was the 2nd Annual Clearance Turkey Dinner we hosted. This year sponsored by our friend J who so kindly took me seriously when I requested she pick me up a turkey on clearance from Target. The menu featured a spatchcocked turkey, truffled couscous, green beans, roasted brussels sprouts, potatoes hasselback, buttermilk biscuits, roasted veggies from under the turkey, and rice (obviously, even though I was the only one to eat rice).

My brother will fly in tomorrow. We will spend a lot of time watching things on a screen. I will make him play bananagrams with me because that's what little brothers are for. To play with me. We will continue our holiday season together up north to the Bay Area to see family, which I'm apprehensive about. But I'm just so happy to have my favorite boys together.

guiltily hiatus'd,

Thursday, November 20, 2014

far away places in a car


Bishop was more than a month ago now. The occasion was a birthday, and we took the opportunity because it would be the last time the RRS could have fun until 2015. He leads a very indulgent life. It was super duper exciting this time for me because our friend J was going too and I would have someone to play with besides other peoples' dogs. We arrived late on a Friday, and prepared to be up bright-eyed and bushy tailed for the next morning. Temperatures were not predicted to be favorable.

Turns out we could only really be out there until the early afternoon because it got so devastatingly hot mid-day. Everybody flooded back into town for food. A few of us retreated to climate controlled hotel rooms. Everyone else around me napped while I watched tv. It was not a bad day. Nightfall came and we retreated back into the desert to climb in the dark.

That same weekend was also some sort of classic car show in Bishop. The whole place was filled with old people and their respective old cars. It was a major thing. Small towns are such contained bubbles of civilization. It is all at once really strange and fascinating to me. I could never live someplace so remote, but I can see how the quaintness may be attractive to others.

The next day was a repeat of the morning schedule of climbing. After lunch in town, everybody scattered back to their respective abodes. Things to live by: bubbles and snacks are essentials for every climbing trip.

explicably dried,

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

simple things with an old friend


"I regret not hanging out with him more when he was in LA." says the RRS about his bestie Jewish, Seattleite, computer guy. I always relish our time with O. He's the nicest guy in the whole wide world. There's not enough said of easy-going friends. It is rare to find the qualities of a guest that are patient, flexible, easily pleased, enthusiastic, and so much more. He hauled a whole monitor on an airplane down to us! The praises could go on never-ending, but perhaps I shouldn't embarrass him to such great lengths.

All in all, we as hosts had a fantastic weekend with O. And if you think about it, we really didn't do too much. The stand-bys of a great weekend remain food aplenty and nice views. Maybe that should also be the mantra of life. We picked up a feast of sorts from a Japanese market and took it out to eat dockside. One of my favorite places to hang out is the MAC. I actually prefer this over the beach. (And all the citizens of SoCal gasped as I proclaim my wariness of the beach.) After an early morning for all, we loafed around back at home base before going out to Muji, kbbq, and a housewarming. After I had a super social night of hanging out with just the people I came with, we made our way home.

Also, let me espouse the great and beautiful wonders of Muji, a Japanese home goods/everything store that I wish would be my home. Something about the lines, the textures, the colors - just makes me want to buy everything. You will be entranced as well.  

After a late start at the climbing gym, we went to Marukai to spoil our appetites for a dinner of ramen. At a dive bar, I got stuck in a game of shuffleboard with people I did not know and did not want to know. It was not the worst, but definitely not desirable. The evening ended with video games. Maybe I should not be so encouraging of video games. I can see my future.

The next day we started off for the Hollywood sign, but the trailhead was closed. Another touristy dream dashed in the city of angels. We took an alternate route to the Batcave! It was a super duper short walk, and opted to get into downtown earlier than scheduled for food. Eggslut captured O's heart, like it does to all of us. A quick walk around Grand Central and we came out with ice cream and caffeine. I wanted to see the Bradbury building and promptly dragged my cohorts along. They seemed to not have a terrible time. Back at home base, the RRS commenced what he does best, and I went with O to the kitchen store.

dastardly amiss,

Thursday, November 13, 2014

is this supposed to be romantic?


"Sometimes I think about the impracticality, but then I get in it and I realize it's exactly where I'm supposed to be." The RRS about his car and our relationship. He just compared us to his car. This is the analogy to end all analogies.

fleetingly spun,

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

fairly uneventful


October was fairly uneventful because the RRS was back to school, thus putting him on a strict no-fun policy. We managed to get in a few stops despite the obstacles.

We got to the JPL open house this year. I had heard about it before, but he had never really asked me to go so I made the grand gesture of suggesting we feed his nerdy impulses with some other rocket scientists. He had a great time reading every informational placard. I browsed/skimmed through everything because I literally did not understand anything. Rocket science is on such a whole 'nother level of nerd-dom I had never comprehended. I did get away with a bunch of stickers. I'm a sucker for stickers.

I embarked on the red line ghost tour put on by GHOULA. It was super-duper fascinating. This guy just goes through life collecting ghost stories and they are so great. It was just enough spooky for me, and a lot of historical. History class would probably be a lot more tolerable if it had some of these stories. The tour was on a Sunday evening, which reminded fondly of riding the NYC subway on weekends when there were construction delays or track changes. It is so much less grand than it sounds.

It's been a month of floundering as we try to adjust to a schedule  that now includes class for A at inconvenient times twice a week. I'm also dying for fall. What I wouldn't give for colorful, fiery leaves to fall at my doorstep. I dream wistfully of days long ago when seasons were part of my life. What have I done to be relegated to endless sunny days of temperate mercurial digits? I will go out of my way to step on crunchy things on the ground, even if they aren't leaves.

climatically pleading,