Monday, March 30, 2009

In San Francisco

I drove down early this morning with a work friend, and am ensconced at the W, a very pleasant, modern hotel (I guess it has to be, since it's right next door to the SF MOMA). I wanted a change of pace, and it is one. It's going to be a long week locked mostly in the bowels of the convention center, but I'm very glad to be getting this show underway. I hope to get a little walk in this evening before turning in early. Maybe a jaunt down towards the Ferry building.

I spent a good portion of this weekend working, but M and I did take a nice Sunday drive (I'm liking this new weekend tradition). We headed over the hill for lunch in Calistoga, then up to scenic Pope Valley and down through the even-more-scenic-if-you-can-believe -it Napa Valley. Not too many other tourists crowding the wine roads. The hills are still so green, the mustard still blooming yellow, the purple lupines and orange poppies integrating their colors into the landscape scheme. We did have a lot of real estate envy--so many beautiful homes with so many incredible views--all very far out of our financial reach. One sight I was sorry I didn't have my camera ready for: up near Lake county, we passed a home that uses hubcaps in quantity I had never before seen, not even in junk yards. They were strung several rows high along *all* of the fencing, along the road and the drive leading up to the home and along the back fences, especially thick by the entrance, and affixed to the walls of the barn. They were quite a sight, glinting in the sun. I wanted to look for matches for the Monster Mobile, but M would have none of it.
Time to head out...

Saturday, March 28, 2009

If You Had Ten Points, What Would They Be?

I was teasing my husband about being complicated and here's what he sent me in response (I'm working on mine, really):

Me: a description.

1.) I'm hungry
2.) Now, I'm tired.
3.) Now, I want my paw.
4.) What's in the news?
5.) Can I sleep now?
6.) I don't want to get up.
7.) Dog is cute.
8.) Love you paw.
9.) OK lets go to sleep now.
10.) I'm hungry.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Of Hikes and Hotrods

A lovely weekend to report, in long sentence form.

Friday evening I left my office a little early to meet M at his new office at a modest gathering his new employers were throwing. I tried my best to make a good impression with his colleagues. They seem very nice. A couple of gals he knew from school were there, representing the poles of where he could be in a different universe: one who failed the Bar exam last summer and had just taken it again, projecting a very positive attitude…but, not yet an attorney; the other had passed with him and was working at the public defenders office, empanelling juries and rushing to court every day in her dowdy heels and appropriate jacket. I could see it in his face, before M even confessed it to us as we stood together in a little group around the enormous conference table: He so wanted to do what she was doing! I hope he will, one day soon.

Originally uploaded by suzipaw

Saturday morning I hit the highway early and met two dear friends in Marin county ahead of the storm and we walked out to Tennessee Valley beach amongst the runners on some sort of race with their high-tech backpacks and water bottles slung at their hips like six-shooters, the fathers with their gaggle of daughters racing ahead down the path to giggle in packs in peace away from prying ears, the nature paparazzi flashing away at the fine looking blue busted tom turkey strutting for the hens down the slope, the nearly patient trail bike instructor bellowing at his flock of young multihued charges to "Get to the right get to the right get to the right let these ladies pass!"

We made it to the beach and paused for a moment before hot footing and girl talking it back before the rain fell, heading to the vaunted Dipsea Café for brunch for more talking punctuated by eating. I stopped at a very intense yarn shop in Petaluma on the way home to get a little border yarn for my shrug and thought how nice it would be to work in a place that submerged me in yarn of every color and texture, high water marks of shelves along walls stuffed with sleek cotton and wool, eddies of radiant silk and intensely hued local fibers soft as kittens draped on tables in the middle of the room, sparkly beaded yarn balls piled in bowls, fuzzy hanks hanging from wire screens, women talking patterns in low voices among sample socks, hoods, shawls artfully arranged here and there. Sigh. I was lucky to walk out leaving just a sawbuck behind.

The rain came that afternoon thank goodness. We made a Costco run after it subsided, emerging relatively unscathed in the wallet department. We also picked up some legal office items for M at Office Depot, a satisfying shopping experience. Do you know that paper shredders are very expensive?

M and I watched "Say Anything" on the computer in bed that night. I can't believe I've never seen it before. Or that I didn't fall asleep halfway through. I think I always thought I'd seen it before. I enjoyed it. I don't think it gets any better than a 20 year old John Cusack. Unless it's a 20 year old Clint Eastwood ("Coogan's Bluff" anyone?).

I wasted most of Sunday morning on the internets. M suggested lunch in Healdsburg, so off we went, and had a fine meal in an unprepossessing spot right on the Square. It was a very windy day, stripping the trees of both their dead winter leaves and tender spring blossoms. We wandered shivering around the Square after our lunch, then headed up to a Goodwill store that was so filled with items that I had shopping overload--how often does that happen? But not before snagging a nice Nine West totebag in my favorite pattern and a brand new bathrobe for M.

In exchange for M consenting patiently to the clothes shopping, I had to go car shopping. This is a simultaneously fun and horrifying experience for me. So much money! But the cars are so pretty! We took a black 2006, V8 Mustang out for a test drive. We slipped along the backroads to the freeway, and just as we were getting ready to board the onramp, a CHP officer pulled us over! My first time ever! The salesman had forgotten to put a dealer plate on the car and the registration had expired. The Man threatened to, but did not in fact, impound the vehicle. We let him get a ways down the road before hitting the highway and I can attest that indeed the Mustang has a great deal of pickup. M officially wants one. Before leaving the dealership, the salesman had to show me a phat Lincoln they had taken in trade (he saw us getting out of the Monster Mobile)--it was of similar land yacht proportions, had an easy ten years or so stabled in a garage, and was outfitted with satellite radio, GPS, and--vibrating massagers in every seat. I've never had such a soothing yet stimulating few moments in a vehicle.

In other weekend news, I worked a few more inches on my mohair shrug, did a little office stuff, finished the seventh Sookie Stackhouse novel, started a blog post about Facebook and forgiveness. Thought a great deal about the romance novel but did not put fingers to keyboard, so have no new numbers to report.

A busy week of work is ahead, and next week I'm in the City for our fourth show of the season. Nine more to go after that!

Monday, March 23, 2009

"Lead with your Heart"

Good advice from the gym teacher I've nicknamed Skipper during class this morning. The context was sit-ups, but still...

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Brink of Spring

I want more rain, oh how I want more. But I won't let that inclement desire stop me from enjoying the weather all around me. M and I had our burgers out on the deck yesterday evening for the first time this year. We were treated to one of the best incidents of Rex hunting wasps ever--he hates them and vigorously pursues them with a particularly loud snapping action every chance he gets. Work has been overwhelming this week so I haven't been outside much in daytime hours of late, but I finally noticed that it looks like we'll have a bumper crop of acorns this year and the yellow rose bush is already beginning to unfurl a few blossoms. This morning I slipped on my disco sandals, a fashion first for this year. I also arrived at work with fingers stained green with the sweet blood of aphids--those little bastards are hot after my Queen of the Night tulips this year, not just my roses, and I indulged in a bit of bug squishing this morning before heading to work.

Looking forward to this weekend. I'm leaving work a scoche early tomorrow to attend a cocktail party at M's new office (what shall I wear?). On Saturday morning, I'm meeting Liz, Katch, and hopefully Rachel too to hike to a beach in Marin and then lunch together. It's been awhile since I've see those gals, so really looking forward to it. Not sure what's up for Sunday, but M has promised that he won't work over the weekend, so maybe more home projects. He did a great job installing new outdoor lights last Sunday.

What are your weekend plans?

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Recovering from San Jose

It was a good show, but a taxing one. I don't usually attend the evening events since that makes for very long days, but did on Wednesday night, a high tech cello performance:

Yes, that's glimpses of me, interpretive dancing (the cellist, Zoe Keating, actually encouraged us to come up to the front using that phrase, which I think was pretty funny--sort of gave us license to be goofy) with a gal who in her day job is a venture capitalist. The other part that was nice about attending this performance was I brought the baby blanket knitting project and actually found a gal in the audience who was crocheting and we sat together, working our yarn, sipping horribly overpriced hotel wine, and listening to the wonderful music. Here's another song during the performance that shows the screen--there was an amazing laser-thing set up in the room (you can see it at about 45 seconds into the embedded video) that captured the whole room in 3D.

I also went out to a swanky-ish mall with a work friend one night for some recreational shopping. We spent a couple of hours fondling the new spring styles, which seemed to consist mostly of tops made of thin tshirt material with clever tucks and decoration around the neckline. I observed a phenomenon alien to my day-to-day life--husbands shopping with their wives. Not just standing around looking bored holding on to her handbag--they were actually flipping through the racks, picking out clothes, bringing them to the dressing room. Very odd.

I came home Thursday night and was back in the office on Friday. I left at lunchtime, however, and met M downtown to see his new office digs. The office space is indeed very lawyerly, all wood paneling, leather chairs, and a library chockablock with thick tomes--even the cubicles are polished wood and glass rather that the usual fabric. We went out to lunch and I envied his two-minute commute from our house that takes him to a place where he can do business, run errands, and grab meals within a short walking distance. He had a good first week. We're both really glad he's shifting into fulltime attorney work. I didn't get to meet many of his co-workers (which is good, I wasn't happy with my attire), but there's a little mixer next Friday, so I'll have the chance to hopefully make a favorable impression then.

I've spent the rest of the weekend doing chores and relaxing, working on the blanket, reading the new Martha Stewart and yet another in the Sookie Stackhouse book series. I also started a new knitting project last night--a "moebius" strip scarf/shrug that I think will be nice during transition weather. It's just garter stitch. so a good mindless project while watching TV. I'm making it out of ocean-colored mohair that I picked up ages ago at a thrift store, and am proud of myself for continuing on "stash busting" projects rather than buying more yarn--though I'd probably be able to wear it more if were black.

Not sure what today holds. It rained a little last night (though we also got the water rationing notification in the mail yesterday, that won't be fun this summer) and hopefully will again today, so maybe a matinee at our local indie movie house. Maybe errands--we need a paper shredder and to get M's diploma and Bar certificate framed to hang in his new office. How I love the quiet Sunday!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Photo "booth" at work

Having fun with my work pals.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Daylight Savings

…is here, and I'm so glad.

I arrived in San Jose bright and early this morning for our second event of the year. It's going to be a good show, one that I look forward to every year. I'm now holed up in the hotel room with bad TV after an evening walk with a friend, stuffed to the esophagus with take-out North Indian food. Spicy. I may regret it tomorrow. It's going to be a long week, so hoping to get a good night's sleep. I'll try to work in as much of the Sookie Stackhouse book and baby blanket project as I can, but there's a lot going on.

It's hard being away this week. M is starting his new, real lawyer life tomorrow. It's not a permanent position, but another new attorney has so much loan restructuring work that he's rented offices for himself and M and says he'll keep him busy. It's in a nice building in downtown Santa Rosa with a number of other attorneys. I'm sure he'll find a way to meet every single one of them. And hopefully get more contract work from them. So no more being a receptionist for him, and he'll teach just one more five-week course. The Small Claims clinic duty is also something he'll leave behind soon. I know he's nervous, and that's why I wish I could be home with him. But I know he'll be fine. It's what he's wanted for a while, been studying and sacrificing for. And frankly, it's what I've wanted too.

Not much to report lately--life has been relatively uneventful for me. Which maybe is a good thing, given the generally unstable state of the nation. Lot's of rain, which has been great for the roses and tulips. The frogs in the unfinished housing development where I walk Rex have also enjoyed it. Their croaking song trickles down to silence when I walk by, and I wonder how they know I'm there. Can they see me? Hear me? Feel my footsteps on the walkway up the slope from their little pond? One evening they weren't croaking at all, and when I got to the pond, I saw why--a sizable great blue heron was towering motionless above them, eyeing me as I walked by. What would a frog's perception of a heron look like, I wonder?

Speaking of frogs: In anticipation of our separation, on Sunday we hurried through our chores in the morning and left the house just after lunch, taking the Cadillac out for a cruise to the Marin Headlands overlooking the Golden Gate bridge. There was no fog and hardly any wind--a beautiful day. We drove through the Headlands from the aptly named Hawk Hill down to the beach and Point Bonita lighthouse, then through a disconcerting tunnel neither of us ever knew existed under the coastal hills to Sausalito. What a cute little town that is! But the tourists were out with the sunshine--including us, of course--so fighting our way along the crowded sidewalks just to ogle the odd art galleries and yogurt shops and views of the hills to the north and the City to the south tempered the quaintness a bit. So we headed north then west through San Rafael and out to Pt. Reyes for dinner. It was nice driving through the beautiful green countryside, unplugged from TV, computer, cell phone service. Even the radio was just so much mumbling static.Oh, and the frog reference for the Headlands visit? On the road down to the Headlands there was a classic sign that I wished I had snapped, something along the lines of "slippery when wet--beware of frogs." Eew.