I find Joanna Newsom almost endlessly make-fun-of-able for her singing. I recall mornings cleaning up after big parties cleaning up with the girlfriends and wailing frustratedly back at Joanna about how she was exacerbating my hangover. But even I have to admit there are moments when the girl just gets the job done. One such example being rainy mornings in a wooden house on a tree-blanketed hillside with a bowl of cranberry and toasted-pecan oatmeal, a cup of dandelion tea and a small, sympathetic dog in your lap. I am a modern-day lady of the canyon and Newsom is my indie Joni Mitchell. It's been such a rare feeling lately that I'm caught off guard by my own contentment.
Posted at 01:14 PM in Travel, Wut I Think About When I Spend Too Much Time By Myself | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)
There's a bee's nest under the eucalyptus in the yard at Grace's and Malcolm was stung twice in two days while playing fetch with a tennis ball. Twice by two bees, in case you were wondering. They die afterward because the act of stinging also squishes their guts out. This was no consolation to George, who, in the fear and frenzy after the initial stinging incident ("Get the baking soda! Is his face swelling? What's his breathing like? Check his gums for pinkness!") first and foremost wanted to know what happened to that bee motherfucker, asking me, "Did you kill it?"
"Well, they die after stinging anyway so I just brushed it off and then I-"
"But did you kill it?"
Nope. Oops. Wherever that bee is now I hope it gets what it's got coming to it for stinging our little Malcolm.
Anyway twice the yelping/twice the discomfort/twice the trauma has turned into a makeover of routine as I try to keep the little guy exercised and having fun, while not letting on that intentional fun is in the making, as intentional fun leads to bee stings, obviously. Outdoor fetch is off the table- my least attempt has been shunned mightily. Thus we resort to fetch in the house, with the regulations being that I remain seated for the duration of the interaction and that I do not express enthusiasm for the endeavor. In fact it's best if I pretend we're not playing at all, that I turn my attention to other things, stopping at frequent intervals to toss away this pesky ball that somehow keeps making it's way back into my lap again- I declare! How mysterious!
We're endeavoring to make up the hard-running deficit with extra long walks in their stead. Yesterday after we picked up my other boyfriend, Stan (Malcolm loves him- I'm so happy), in San Jose we headed for Santa Cruz's Twin Lakes State Beach where we tore around along the shore and chased crows until we got a bit of the shivers in the foggy weather.
Happily, the sun came out just in time for us to settle in on the patio at Aldo's for lunch, where Malcolm made the most of the warmth by spreading out in the sunshine right on top of our table.
I was enjoying the sun & warmth, too. So much so that I neglected to recall that my fair skin hasn't seen daylight since August and scorched a tidy red square on my back where the neckline of my cut shirt ended. It's all about aloe and serious sunscreen from here on out.
After lunch we walked all the way up the harbor and into Arana Gulch, where we watched Bank Swallows feasting on bugs over the open fields. (We have also seen several types of Junco, Jays, Black Phoebes, hummingbirds and numerous species we've not yet been able to identify. The birding has been spectacular.) By the time we headed back to Grace's all three of us were totally beat and settled in for a delicious afternoon of this:
This afternoon= more sun and MORE SUNSCREEN. We're off!
I rode on a plane! The moon was out and we passed over Nevada!
When I got off the plane in San Jose, I was overjoyed to see this awaiting me:
Grace popped me in the car and whisked me off for a surprise reunion dinner in Los Gatos with these lovely ladies:
Could they get any more righteous? It was wonderful catching up with them. Jen had her appendix out, like, two days ago and Elke has a new job and a new major project and everybody's traveling and writing in their various capacities and being generally stellar and estimable. It was great seeing them and so fun and easy to be with a group where Web 2.0 is the common language and you never have to preface any statement with the obligatory exposition, "You see, I have this website... where I write, um... about things, and it connects me to a community..." These women are at the core of my web-based community and it was wonderful to see their beautiful real selves and hear the sound of their voices and come to admire them that much more by meeting them again in person. (Of course it was also righteous catching up on some community gossip.) Thanks for hanging, women!
I've come to Santa Cruz to stay at the lovely home of the lovely Grace to look after my other boyfriend, Malcolm, while Grace and her husband are in the UK this week. It was a tricky time for me to get away from work but I've been desperately overdue for some time off so I made it happen somehow and have been looking eagerly forward to reuniting with the sea and the trees and the company of the sweet little fifteen-pound companion who is sound asleep across my ankles as I type this. Both Santa Cruz and Malcolm recognized me right away and have made me feel welcome and we've all been having a wonderful time getting reacquainted with one another over the past couple of days.
The only thing missing is Stan, who arrives tomorrow morning. I can hardly wait to see him. Malcolm and I are off to bed so we can get up and do the airport retrieval thing. I'll leave you with a preview of what our drive over the hill will look like:
P.S. I've enjoyed your Tweets from London, Grace! Have a wonderful time over there!
Dude- would you mind laying off on the snow for a second? I mean, we understand this is peak season for extreme Northmidwestern weather or whatever, but don't you realize there are visiting scholars in you trying to get the lay of your land? And though one particular visiting scholar may be an intrepid explorer (indeed even if such a scholar may be classified as something of an extreme sportsman and is known to be mostly impervious to weather of any type), if your snowfall is such that your major University is completely SHUT DOWN due to white-out conditions then how is a scholar expected to be able to explore campus, check out the facilities and do the whole requisite meet n' greet that was the reason the graduate program invited him to visit you in the first place? Can you answer me THAT, Minneapolis?
What I'm trying to say here is how are we supposed to know whether we want to live in you? Could you please just tidy it up for a day (make that Friday, March 2, if you would) so that the intrepid, scholarly half of this team can do what he came to you to get done?
That'd be terrif.
Thanks in advance,
P.S. He says he had a pretty rad time there today, by the way. Could be he felt a little isolated as apparently he was the only guy walking around out of doors in this weather, but so far as I can tell from him it sounds like you could be a pretty okay city...
Remember last weekend? I do, the shock of it ending has resonated with me the rest of the week long. To honor our presidents past (and only past), we did a quick winter desert trip to camp in Escalante, Utah around a place they call Egypt, in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (featured in the March edition of National Geographic mag). We were six folks and a dog, I took bunches of not-good photos, and we had a hell of a time. I've been wishing I were still there since the moment we got home. Pics are on Flickr.
Good morning. What are you doing? I'm drinking Lady Grey tea and eating Eggs Athwart Toast in the kitchen of our beautiful house while watching birds visit the feeder right outside the window (amateur birding being my new consuming passion with which I am boring everyone I know nearly half to death). The other thing I am doing, with deep and abiding pleasure, is typing here at my computer which (after many woes involving bad service and being in an unincorporated area and much other stupidity) is FINALLY, gladly, set up and running and connected to this new-fangled technology I hear they're calling "Internet." This brings us out of the stone ages and back into the world of modern conveniences such as Listening to Music and Being in Touch with People. It's very novel and already I find myself wondering, "Whatever did we do before music and people became a part of our lives?* Good question.
This final convenience means all is just about perfect in my world, then. This, and the fact that tonight after work the two of us are hopping on a red-eye because Stan is taking me on my first ever trip to NYC. We're taking a quick weekend to explore the phylogenetic organization** of the top floor of the Natural History museum, eat, wander and spend a little time with a couple of very good friends who we don't see often enough. Most of all I am looking forward to being on vacation with my own loving cup.
* Before= prior to yesterday
** Stan's current consuming passion with which he is politely NOT boring anyone nearly half to death
The end. Really.
* I assume Bill also made it home- utterly, utterly alone.