Saturday, July 26, 2008


Summer is great! Here is why:

1) It is not winter. That is a big reason. Yes, sometimes it's too hot, but I refuse to complain because the alternative is worse! In the summer you don't have to drive 25 on the interstate because you fear sliding off the road, and leafy trees are a lot prettier than unleafy ones. Also, flip flops are better than boots.

2) Everyone sleeps in and stays up late. Except me. And I don't really know why that is great except that it just is. Everything is later in the summer. Dinner, grocery shopping, all of it. I wish work was later too but oh well.

3) It stays warm till bedtime, then it cools down and you can sleep with your bedroom window open and it's SO nice!

4) Flowers!

5) Funny summer TV shows. My current faves are "Wipeout" and "I Survived A Japanese Game Show". Also we have been watching a lot of "I Love Lucy" lately which is hilarious no matter the season.

6) The Farmers Markets. Fresh peaches, mmmmmmmm... Not to mention fresh everything else.

7) Midnight movies at the Garland. Tonight it's Pulp Fiction. Next week: The Goonies!

8) Barbeques! With potato salad and Mojitos...

We still have five weeks left, people. Make them fun ones!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Enhancements For Life

So today Leo and I went to the DOL (that's the DMV for all you California people) to get our enhanced driver's licenses. Leo got an ID since he is only 14. An enhanced drivers license is special because it works like a passport when you go to Canada or Mexico. And seeing how the 2010 Winter Olympics are in Canada, I thought we should be prepared. Because I have goals. Here is the list that I can remember right now.

1) Go see Curling at the Olympics. Now I know that Canadians love their curling so tickets might be hard to get. But even if I have to watch Zimbabwe play Argentina, (probably neither one of those countries have a curling team, I'm just trying to make a point) I will, just so I can see Curling at the Olympics.

2) To catch a fish. I have been fishing several times in my life and have never caught a fish. I would be happy catching a rubber boot or a tire even. So if you read this and live around here and go fishing, take me with you. Because I didn't say I wanted to buy all the fishing supplies, I just want to catch a fish.

3) To walk Bloomsday. I know that I will have to be in a lot better shape than I am in right now. My stupid hamstring has healed to the point that I can resume normal activity, so workouts will be resuming directly. I don't even really like to walk, but I love this town and this town loves Bloomsday, so I want to be a part of it. I got to be in the St. Patrick's Day parade, so I can be in Bloomsday too. Right?

4) To get on Highway 2 going east and stay on it until it ends. Which is Chicago I think. I love the road less traveled.

5) To not spend every penny I make. How nice would it be to have money left over at the end of the month? As long as I am feeding 2 teenage boys, I may never find out.

6) Also I would like to see Led Zeppelin if they reunite and tour, but I would not say that is a goal really, because it is not something I can work towards, I just have to be lucky I guess.

That is it for now. I'm sure I have other goals, but this is a good start.

Sunday, July 13, 2008


So yesterday I went to Canada with Faythe and Jen O. It was a really long day but a really great day. We left at 8am to do the Selkirk Loop. Faythe was the photographer as usual and her flickr set of our day is here. Here are my thoughts and observations:

1) First of all, Canada is great! Even though it is so close to the US, it is a totally different place, and you get that sense immediately. I got to use the little kilometer part of my car's speedometer for the first time. I like that the speed limit is 100 even though really you're only going 65. Also, the words ending in "er" down here end in "re" up there, so I had fun going to the town centre or the visitor's centre. Which I pronounced "centray" all day even though that was wrong.

2) I was amazed that in a place with such outstanding natural beauty, that there were so few cars on the road. It is really unspoiled up there, which was great, but I don't know why more people don't go, it is so awesome.

3) The ferry ride! You are just driving along and all of a sudden you are stopped at the lake and you drive your car onto a boat and take this really beautiful and relaxing half hour boat ride and then you get back in your car and drive off the boat and you are on your way again. That does not happen every day. Unless you live up there, then I guess it does.

4) I had to find a bathroom so we pulled into this campground to use the washroom at the vistors centre (I sound so Canadian!). This campground was so beautiful that it make me want to start collecting camping stuff from garage sales and become a camper again. This was the campground. Garage sales here I come.

5) Nelson, BC is the coolest town! I could so see myself spending a few days up there. It reminded me of Santa Cruz, totally laid back. I guess smoking pot is legal there, that might explain the laid back-ness. And the wide variety of potato chips at the Safeway.

5) The Safeway! We ended up eating lunch from there because there was a power outage downtown and all the restaurants were closed. This ended up being a great thing. Canada Safeway looks exactly like our Safeway until you look closer. All the labels on every item in the store are in English AND in French! You could totally learn French just from shopping. And the other thing is that they have flavors of foods that we don't have here. Like Ketchup flavored potato chips. And lots of other great flavored chips, I know they are great because we bought them all. In fact, I am eating the Vintage Cheddar & Red Onion / Cheddar Fort et Oignon Rouge flavor right now. For breakfast. Thanks, Canada!

It was a fun day spent in a fun place with fun people, and really you can't ask for more than that. Before the summer is out, I will be going back. Canada is really close but you feel so far away when you are there. And that is a wonderful thing!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Current Events

1) I played bunco last night in the valley, and the fire evecuation boundary was three houses down from where we were playing. It made for a bit of a nerve-wracking evening and we ended up not playing the last round and going home early. Since the fires in Big Sur I have had a hyper awareness of fire and the destruction it leaves in its wake. So last night being so close to the fire, it was almost more than I could take. I came home pretty agitated. I feel terrible for the people who have lost their homes.

2) In better news, after being a sub in the bunco group for a year, I am now a permanent member, taking the place of someone who dropped out. It feels great to be one of the actual twelve and not just a sub.

3) Tomorrow I am going to Canada! Some friends and I are going to drive the Selkirk Loop. This is exciting because I haven't been to Canada since I was twelve. I hear it is beautiful, can't wait!

4) My stupid hurt leg is almost better. They work the crap out of it in physical therapy. I can really tell the difference the next day. I am now walking up stairs like a normal person, that is real progress. One of these days I will be able to bend over to weed the yard, that will be the real turning point, for me and for my neighbors!

5) That's it. Go out and have a fun weekend, eh?

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Happy Birthday Susan Lynn

Today is my sister's birthday. She was twelve years old when I was born, which makes her, well, twelve years older than me. She has been an outstanding sister my whole life. Here are a few things that stand out for me.

1) She was a teenager when I was little. She often did the clothes shopping for me because our mom was busy at our store. This resulted in many many cool sixties outfits complete with go-go boots. White ones. Awesome.

2) When I was twelve, she took me on a month long car camping trip across the western US. Now if I were a young adult going on a trip, the last person I would want to drag along would be my little sister. But she took me. In retrospect, I think it was so I could do all the camping dishes every night. But even so, that was a great trip which instilled in me a love of the open road and where it leads.

3) She is great to go to a store with. We make fun of all kinds of stuff. And we laugh a whole lot.

4) She is the best cook. She just whips stuff up! I miss Thanksgiving dinners and Christmas dinners and Fourth of July barbecues.

5) When I suddenly found myself single with two small kids, she paid my mortgage for six months until I found a job. I will never ever be able to repay her kindness and generosity which meant so much to me then and still does today.

I called her early this morning and I figured she would be up since old people wake up early and she was. We talked for a few minutes and while we agreed that she is older than me, there was some debate as to whether she was wiser, so we just decided that she is older and taller than me. I could not ask for a better sister. Happy Birthday Susan Lynn!!


Friday, July 04, 2008

Today I Miss My Home

It is not often that I get homesick for the town I grew up in, Monterey, California. But this time of year there are things going on that I miss. The big one is the Feast of Lanterns, which is in the next town over, Pacific Grove. It is a hard thing to explain to someone who doesn't know about it. You sit packed in on the beach at Lovers Point all day watching bands and other entertainment on the pier, then as it gets dark they start the pageant. Oh I forgot to say that everyone on the beach has paper lanterns which they light once it gets dark. The sight of that is amazing. The pageant is about two star-crossed lovers, Koong-see who is a princess, and the poor scholar Chang. Everyone on the beach cheers when Chang appears and boos when Koong-see's father the Emperor tries to split apart the young lovers. In the end, the pair get away and turn into Monarch butterflies, and there's fireworks and Kate Smith sings God Bless America. I have been going to the Feast of Lanterns since I was a kid. Everyone has. I really miss it.
But the real reason that home has been on my mind a lot lately is that Big Sur is burning. Big Sur is a beautiful stretch of coastline about 25 miles south of Monterey. When I was a teenager, many days were spent in Big Sur playing in the river and smoking pot like the rest of the hippies that lived down there. It is a beautiful place. My sister in law Cesca owns a shop in Big Sur called Local Color. She had two hours to move all the art and stuff out of the store on Wednesday before they had to evacuate. I hope when this is all over that she has a store to come back to. The fire is also close to a place called Cachagua. I know a few people who live up there. Many of my brother's biker buddies live up there, they may have to evacuate soon. And even though I am way up in Washington now, this hits me where I live. The fire is 5% contained, and full containment is not expected until the end of July. So if you are the praying type, please pray for my little hometown and the safety of everyone in it. Thanks.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Gas Issues

Here are some things that the price of gas has changed for me.

1) I now carpool to work 2-4 days a week. This has turned out to be a very good thing for a number of reasons. The best one is that my carpool buddy and I have a great time talking and laughing (a lot) in the car. Yesterday's topic was school bus memories. Hilarious!

2) Being in the passenger seat when it's Heather's turn to drive has made for some great I-90 people watching. I saw a fabulous mullet blowing in the wind yesterday. It seems that the people who have mullets are also the people who have no A/C in their car and drive with all the windows down on hot days. Just an observation.

3) I am noticing a LOT of bicycles on the road these days. Not just the spandex sport riders, but a lot of regular people too. Even on really hot days there are a ton of them. Last week one of my co-workers got hit by a car while riding her bike home from work. So to all five of you who read this, please be extra careful and watch for cyclists when you are on the road.

4) What was formerly called "running errands" has now become "taking a road trip", because a five mile drive to the Target at the Y is now an event since I no longer go up there on a whim.

5) Here is a question. How long would it take for a scooter or a little car to pay for itself in gas price savings? Would it ever pay for itself? I know that the answer is different for everyone, but I don't think it would ever pay off for me.

OK, gotta leave for the Park & Ride now, have a great day!