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,

Thursday, November 6, 2014

getting back to town


At the entrance to the Botanic Garden where we were basking in the unrewarding glory of an 11 mile hike, we saw another couple waiting.

Guy: I have no phone reception so we can't contact [other party they are apparently waiting for].
Girl: Should we just start walking then?
Guy: (angrily) No, No, we are not walking anywhere.

We scoff as we begin our 2 mile trek into town after already walking for 11 miles. Luckily for us, the rest of the way is a slow downhill. We don't see many other folks walking, we see a lot of tubby people in golf carts and this reminds us of Wall-E. Granted, it is pretty much vacation on this island, but we still find it funny as we count the tubby people driving by. We witness another young couple struggle up the hill on bikes. They ask us how much farther to the garden and if it's worth it. I don't know what to say because to me, I don't think my 11 mile hike was worth it, but cheers to them for trying anyway. I see them going back downhill 5 minutes later. They did not make it. We stop for a giant cup of horchata, and to gawk at a deer startlingly close to some golfers. Does he not know it is hunting season?

Finally back to civilization, we sit down at a restaurant that practically hangs over the water. We order too much pizza, but the view is marvelous and the water looks so magically crisp, clear, and cool I could jump right in from our table. Our next order of business is to get in the water. I had thought all along we were coming for the water activities. Little did I know we would be embarking on a serious hike of a greater magnitude. Here I thought we were trying to get away from the heat back on the mainland, just to be entrenched in it at the top of a mountain. But alas, I would finally get in the water. My time had come!

We rented a double kayak for I think 2 hours? It was terribly sunny on the water as the sun was settling just over the mountainline. The water was so refreshing, crisp and absolutely perfect. I kept insisting we stop just so I could dip my toes. We docked our kayak on a beach and lounged around for a bit before awkwardly trying to get back out on the water past the waves crashing on the shore. Grace is a quality that is totally out the porthole when you are dealing with the ocean.

Back on land, we did not make it very far before setting up shop on the lawn to dry off and doze. We had done a lot and decided to get some ice cream before heading back home. Catalina is such a strange place. The island/tropical life is so close to the city, and yet so far removed from daily comings and goings of a city.

dreamily islandic.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Beethoven & his piano


Halloween was fairly uneventful aside from the rain. We had a dress rehearsal of sorts in our costumes and walked around the neighborhood. You know your neighborhood is up and coming when it becomes the destination for trick-or-treaters. I had also stumbled across the set of Fresh Off the Boat that was filming just down the street from us so we graced them with our presence.  

I made my dress, and compiled the pieces for A's costume. The pants just needed modifications, and I made extra ruffles. He has a conductor's wand (AKA chopstick). We went to a birthday party the following night. We would have won the costume contest had there been one.

musically inclined,

Thursday, October 30, 2014

sunny daze


In an effort to do things before he has to start school (his last quarter!), we made a quick and last minute decision to make it out to Catalina. I had been wanting to go, and he had been wanting to take me.

We booked an early ticket, I think the 7:15am, but we arrived so early that they just let us onto the 6:15am. I had originally considered the 6:15am, but then the ticket lady told me we have to arrive an hour prior to departure (5:15am). I ate my words and went with the 7:15, but it turned out well for us because we got on with an hour more sleep (not like we slept that much the evening before). First stop when we arrived was pancakes at the first place we spotted. I figure it had business because it's one of the only breakfast restaurants. Service was absurdly slow.

We headed off to the Conservancy to get a hiking permit. The lady gave us a few options for hikes ranging from 1-6 miles. After this list, I believe our mistake was pausing too long, because then she told us about the 11 mile hike, and our next mistake was accepting the challenge. I will not let him make decisions so early in the morning from now on. The trail we picked was Renton's Mine to Avalon for those of you who dare. It begins on an uphill for about 2 miles to get to the trailhead. The trail continues going uphill for most of it. Just when you think you're at the top, you round the corner and your heart drops because you realize it is not the top. You will never be at the top. It is excessively sunny for all of the parts that are dreadful (most of it). There is no shade, not much of a breeze. We ran out of water just at the point when you need water the most (we'll never learn). The RRS and I both contemplated our demise on this trail. We saw no people, no signs, no maps, no wildlife on this trail. After the constant uphill came a series of gradual up and downs which were both heartbreaking and torturous.

Just when we saw the first clear view of Avalon, a large safari-esque truck came rumbling down behind us. We were both flabbergasted that the Conservancy lady suggested this hike for us, and quickly concluded that she had never completed it herself. A much steeper and short lived downhill stretch dropped us into the back of the Botanic Gardens where we made quick time in drinking all the water on the island before commencing the 2 mile walk back into town. be continued,

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

some things new


The weekend I'm about to detail was a pretty chill weekend as far as our weekends go. After a bit of traveling, this was the perfect weekend mix of fun and stocking our provisions. We began with a yoga class early Saturday morning and we both ended up really liking the instructor. He is probably our favorite of the varieties we've experienced at this studio. We went home so the RRS could do car stuff and I could make our place look less like a disaster zone.

We discovered a new sandwich place that is thoroughly mind-blowing, but totally simple. A got a giant cookie and proceeded to scarf most of it down. At Target, we did what people usually do and came out with way more than we intended to.

What I had been looking forward to that week was Shakespeare in the Park at Griffith Park. I had got wind of this event earlier in the summer, but we never got a chance to go so I put on my best bossypants and got us to the very last show and finagled some friends along too. The last show turned out to be a collaboration with an orchestra, and they paired selected works from various plays to the sounds of a symphony. As far as boring old people events go, I've always been a fan of the symphony.

The RRS went to Shakespeare in the Park events as a child in the Bay Area and he does not have fond memories. He described the agony of being at the park but not being able to play and having to sit (usually in the back) and stare at the stage, during the day when it was sunny. I contested for seats as close as possible and made sure to pack snacks and libations. The show starts at sunset and ends when it is dark. It was a warm day so the temps were perfect. He had a great time, and we will be back next summer.

desperately regular,

Thursday, October 23, 2014

driving cars


Our first day back and being reunited with his other gf, he requested we go on a drive with the s2000 club. I rolled, he leapt out of bed excessively early for a holiday and drove us out to a parking lot to meet his soon to be car friends and their cars. We started off with more than a dozen s2ks going from almost Redondo to Malibu to meet some more cars and their humans. There were probably more than 30. They drove through a bunch of canyons. There was so much driving.

We trailed off before the final canyon drive because I was hungry and hot and on the verge of changing into crankypants. He has seen that monster plenty of times to know the proper protocol. We went to one of our lunch favorites and sat outside in the shade. Emphasis on shade because we had been driving with the top off and that is far less pleasant in the sun than media suggests.

Our final adventure was visiting a kosher market in Santa Monica. I consider new grocery stores adventures and you should too. It was great. I love wandering new places and looking at all the things that are not readily available elsewhere. And also, the wine was delicious.

delectably veered,

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

to the suburbs


The RRS had been abed for several days during his vacation. We had not been climbing since leaving LA, so we were both pretty (READ: excessively) excited to go climbing. The night before we started looking at the online media for this place and bugged out. He even started hyperventilating. I'm pretty sure he did not go to sleep. We went to a new Vertical Endeavors location that had opened that month and proclaimed itself the largest in the nation (don't they always say this?). Also, we went right when the doors opened. 
It's a strange gym because they don't let you get on anything unless you go on an orientation tour thing which is annoying because you have to wait around and just gawk at everything until another tour starts. I've never had this happen at any other gym. They have a ton of auto belays, about 30. It's a really big gym and they have everything - bouldering, trad, sport, top rope. Enough for any type of climber to be satisfied, probably. The flooring is weird tire rubber pieces, which I've decided is not preferable and probably worse because it never gets cleaned. We spent more time than we were intending to there, but it was a lot of fun and the RRS slept really well that evening. 

coincidentally aloft,