Tuesday, August 25, 2015

news in mobility

Ahoy,

So we completed our motorcycle class at the beginning of August. We both passed. It was shocking! I was shocked. I was so nervous and terrified on that piece of machinery. I still can't believe I passed. We still need to make DMV appointments to get our motorcycle license, but the RRS has been researching motorcycles nonstop since. I'm sure he dreams about them now too.

The class ate up time over the course of 3 days, so he owes me so much ballet, and shows and stuff he didn't think he would have to do to placate me. I cannot remember how many times I stalled, but I definitely dropped the moto exactly 2 times. It is so scary to try to control a 300 lb machine that is out of control. I did not ever think this would be my life.

bogedly aghast!
jt

Thursday, August 20, 2015

a video I watched on the plane

Ahoy,

I watched this video on the airplane ride from Seattle back to LA. 


Something I took away was when Joseph talks about what he wants to do with his life. It was very well put: I don't want to spend my life making my life better; I want to spend my life improving others' lives. Something to think about.

furtively contemplative,
jt

Thursday, August 6, 2015

risky maneuvers

Ahoy,

On our latest trip to Home Depot we bought a plank of wood 12"x48"x1". It didn't fit in the trunk, so I had to ride with it in my lap with one of the ends at my feet and the other end near my neck. I'm sure you can imagine the worst case scenario might be something out of Final Destination.

So practical, his car is. Really. And his next toy will be a motorcycle. Just increasingly practical.

decidedly opposed,
jt

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

sea caves!

Ahoy,

Channel Islands! I made reservations a while ago for Channel Islands National Park and the buildup was mounting. We went with our friend J who would be departing shortly for the other side of the country so this was a sort of last hurrah to trap spend time with her. The day started off incredibly early out to Ventura for our ferry boat ride. On the boat we saw some whales, dolphins and seals. We started preparing for the kayaking to look at sea caves and set off. The caves were really cool. Some were smaller, some bigger and a lot were like tunnels you could go in one side and out another. The day was perfect as far as island weather goes. It was as warm, clear and calm as we could've hoped for.

We munched immediately after because we were starving. And there's the 45 minute rule, but we threw caution to the wind and geared up and went in for snorkeling without waiting. It was definitely one of the highlights for the RRS. I had a lot of fun too, but I had only ever snorkeled in the Bahamas so that was where my expectations were. We saw stingrays, sea slugs, garibaldis and a bunch of other things. The island doesn't allow fires so we just brought our stovetops and dinner happened much faster than usual. We had some time to kill while we waited for nightfall so we could go look at the bioluminescence. It was the RRS's first time. Bioluminescence is amazing every time.

The next day was our hiking day. We woke up to begin the trail to Smuggler's Cove. The RRS started the pace too fast and I got hot and whiny. J saved the day. She soaked this towel that stayed cool and put it on my neck. I was much less whiny after that. There was a pretty steep downhill we enjoyed down to the cove, but we would also have to go back up. What a drag. Smuggler's Cove is on another side the island that receives a lot more wind, resulting in bigger waves and choppier water. It was a nice lunch spot overlooking the ocean. We ate a packed up back up the hill. More folks were on the trail by now and I was glad to knock it out before it would get much hotter/sunnier.

We lingered in the ranch houses and beachside before we boarded our ferry back. This ride back we saw more whales and hundreds of dolphins, seals too. It was amazing! What a lovely farewell to a fun filled excursion. We zipped up to Santa Barbara for dinner and ice cream. In Cheryl Strayed's book Wild, she eats a burger at every rest stop she makes. So I think it's very fitting whenever we get a burger first thing back from camping.

happily munching,
jt

Thursday, July 30, 2015

stateside birthday

Ahoy,

This venue provides a really good place for me to keep track of the events of my days, but in order for that to work - I need to type it up.

I'll mention our 4th of July weekend first. It was a kind of last minute, split second decision to go somewhere that weekend. A wanted to take advantage of his long weekend, but any flight out was completely overpriced. And I feel like a sucker when we make last minute flight decisions that are overpriced.

We ended up heading out to the Palomar Observatory to camp for 2 nights. The Thursday we departed happened to be the premiere of the minions at McDonald's, so I made sure to remind the RRS frequently on our way to the campsite. Traffic is bonkers towards Long Beach from probably 2pm-7pm and we had the opportunity to experience that. We made it to the campsite around 8pm and set up and cooked mostly in the dark. The fire-making was much more successful than usual, to our surprise.

The following morning we rose to hike to the Observatory. It was relatively early for a family campsite I guess because we didn't see too many others on the trail that morning. The Observatory had a separate museum to inform us of the facility and history of stargazing, etc. Definitely interesting, but we were pretty sleepy in there. We picnicked outside atop a rock and the RRS slept.

It was an incredibly slow camping day, not a ton of excitement as far as our typical camping regimen goes. We took our time hanging around the Observatory and getting back. I have to say it's a nice contrast to our other trips. It was refreshing to be outside and not feel like we have to rush from trail to trail hoping to get a parking spot in order to pack in all the park attractions we can.

We departed on Saturday pretty early. One of the traditions we have been trying to squeeze in is a stop at a fruit stand, and it's one of the highlights for me. Also, it's always quite the challenge fitting in more stuff on our way home. We made a quick stop in Carlsbad to visit some friends and a brewery. Houses there are huge!

It wouldn't be right to conclude 4th of July without a barbeque. And we are so fortunate to have friends that tolerate us and feed us. It is increasingly apparent to me how fortunate I am to so many options for exploration in CA. Camping has opened up a whole new world of adventures.

fascinatingly aslumber,
jt

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

minion mania!

Ahoy,

As you all well know, I have a bit of an obsession. We went to the drive-in to watch the Minions and Inside Out back to back. Double feature, folks, is very worth it. I was so excited to collect all 12 minions from McDonald's. Probably the highlight of my year. Poor A indulges my childish discretions. I'm so fortunate to have someone to minion hunt with me.

hastily cornered,
jt

Thursday, July 9, 2015

graduation, again

Ahoy,

Three years after I received my masters, the Resident Rocket Scientist has finally received his! Although I will admit he is a much more productive member of society than I. His family rolled into town, and per usual, A got home too late to have dinner. We spent the night packing for what we now know was a logistically unrealistic plan of action. We thought it would be fun to go camping after his graduation.

His ceremony began at half past noon and didn't finish until almost 5pm. There are so many engineers at UCLA! We ate an late lunch/ early dinner immediately after and made our way to Las Vegas where his sister was house-sitting for a family with a pool (!!!). Somehow I contained my excitement. I approach pools with the same zest and enthusiasm as when I was a kid, but more responsibly conscious of my spf.

We spent a little over half a day walking through the hotels in Vegas. It is such a strange land of excess and consumerism. All things bad are somehow encouraged here. Such a strange land of surreality. We made it back to LA at about 1am, which was not my preference. I think A and his family had a good time together. I look forward to the rain check on that camping trip with his family.

fiercely aflame,

jt

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

perfection

Ahoy,

I made it out to Chinatown one day to meet my best friend. I joined her daily ritual of yoga during a late lunch break at the park by the river. Everything about that experience was perfect. The way the breeze was coming through. The shaded spot for me and sunny spot for her. The seemingly private corner we had because there just weren't a lot of people out. The way the grass tickled my toes. Everything was perfect. I thought to myself, "I could do this every day. With you." I could have this lifestyle and be happy. I could live close enough to see you frequently enough to the point where you become sick of me. And it breaks my heart that that lifestyle is not within my grasp at this point in my life. It tears me apart, yet fills me with joy to revel in these moments.


"I sing it because my best friend lives far away."
- Marcel the Shell

delightfully tragic,
jt

Thursday, July 2, 2015

birthday workout

Ahoy,

On K's birthday, he so graciously used a personal day so we could go kayaking. It was a super hot day, the first of the year to hit 90 and then keep getting hotter. We also enlisted our cousin to go with us. I have to say I was impressed to decided to join because of the times we've invited her to do things involving physical activity- she typically declines. Hooray for a double birthday celebration!

The location was amongst an industrial district in the North Ave area. I was not impressed with the facilities. They also stressed to us that the area and city is dangerous and we should not leave things in our cars leading me to believe they are from the suburbs. Automatically I distrust your advice. They proceeded to give us an orientation on how to kayak while we were standing on land. You can't expect me to take you seriously at this point in the game. The stretch of river from North Ave to downtown is mostly industrial and probably boring if you're on your own. I had a fun time with C & K, but I think we could have had a better time with a different company and location. We used vouchers that were discounted, but I wouldn't pay full price.

Chicago is incredibly picturesque to see from the river, but I don't think this took full advantage of the beauty of the skyline. We made my 2nd trip to Maxwell's of the week and called it a day. I was really happy to be able to spend some time with C. She is always so busy. And super stoked to make K go on an adventure on his birthday. That is the nature of our relationship.

stiflingly afloat,
jt

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

level of supervision

Ahoy,

We have long been discussing the need to repaint our garage. Over the years, there has been a bunch of graffiti painted on and painted over on the wall, but the color was mismatching and you could tell only the graffiti parts had been painted over. So this project has been a long time coming. I put on my bossypants (did I ever take them off?) and commissioned the siblings Tam to get this done! It faces the street so you too can spot our house as you stroll the residences of the Bridgeport neighborhood.

My mom walked outside to find us in the middle of painting our Batman mural. She asks, "What are you guys doing?"

This, my reader(s), is the level of supervision my brother and I have had our whole life.

judiciously accomplished,
jt