We're still waiting on Ireland (July 2004) but the pictures from our recent trip to San Francisco are up and waiting for you! Visit the picture page here.
A few teasers...
The wine tasting (me and Wendy):
And the reason for the trip (Wendy and Dr. Marc):
Another trip to Disneyland last night took us on Buzz Lightyear again. While boarding Buzz, we witnessed the biggest amount of Jerkitude I've seen in a long time.
First of all, young children are not allowed to ride alone. A good rule, I think. Each car is supposed to hold three people. Three adults would be a tight squeeze (not to mention there are only 2 laser blasters per car), but a kid and two adults or two kids and one adult--no problem.
Then we witnessed this poor woman struggling to board the car. She had a child who looked to be 3 or 4, herself, a small baby on her lap, and a child who looked to be 2 or 3 years old. As this woman crams herself and her 3 children into the car, they have to stop the ride (which runs continuously--you board the car on a moving platform so the ride doesn't have to stop, exactly like The Haunted Mansion). Then, after squeezing herself in and stopping the ride for all of the other guests, her husband boards the car behind her by himself to ride alone, with no children.
What The Fuck?! (pardon my potty mouth)
We could not believe this guy. And it was past 11:00 at night--had he been doing this all day? His wife certainly looked haggard enough to indicate that he had. You just had to wonder what their day-to-day life was like.
I know, I'm just as surprised as you are.
Are still waiting on Kevin. I know my recap below of our SF weekend was bone dry (some might say it had the 'illusion' of entertaining) but I need the piccies to get going. No pressure, honey.
In case you're interested...
1. My uncle once: owned a window washing business.
2. Never in my life: have I been bungee jumping.
3. When I was five: my parents bought The Desert House.
4. High School was: something I couldn't wait to leave behind.
5. I will never forget: being on the heart transplant list.
6. I once met: an amazing poet named Li Young Lee.
7. There’s this girl I know: who is moving to Fresno.
8. Once, at a bar: I shot darts so well that the bartender asked me to tone it down, lest the local competitive team get very angry with me (I found that I shoot darts much better the more I drink).
9. By noon I’m usually: awake.
10. Last night: I watched the second half of Pirates of the Carribean.
11. If I only had: a publishing contract.
12. Next time I go to church: It will be a new one that Kevin and I are checking out in our search for a home church.
13. Terry Schiavo: was used way too much as a political pawn.
14. What worries me most: is losing people I love.
15. When I turn my head left, I see: Scout's crate.
16. When I turn my head right, I see: ugly green curtains.
17. You know I’m lying when: you realize much later that my story didn't actually make sense after all.
18. What I miss most about the eighties: is the music.
19. If I was a character written by Shakespeare, I’d be: married (comedy) or dead (tragedy). Those are pretty much all your options for female characters.
20. By this time next year: I will have finished my novel.
21. A better name for me would be: Comedienne
22. I have a hard time understanding: Right wing Christian conservatives.
23. If I ever go back to school I’ll: get a doctorate.
24. You know I like you if: I start teasing you.
25. If I won an award, the first person I’d thank would be: Kevin.
26. Darwin, Mozart, Slim Pickens & Geraldine Ferraro: are names that never should be uttered together in a sentence.
27. Take my advice: I'm not using it!
28. My ideal breakfast is: Bacon, with a side of bacon.
29. A song I love, but do not have is: "Living in Oblivion" by Anything Box (it's not on itunes, I checked).
30. If you visit my hometown, I suggest: you go to Disneyland.
31. Tulips, character flaws, microchips & track stars: this is one of those analogy questions on the GRE, isn't it?.
32. Why won’t people: read more books?
33. If you spend the night at my house: you would, at some point, be cuddled by Digory.
34. I’d stop my wedding for: well I got married and didn't stop it for anything.
35. The world could do without: people who drive up the onramp or closing lane on a freeway until the very end when they force themselves into traffic. Puh-lease, you had plenty of warning and getting 3 cars ahead of me is not going to get you there that much faster
36. I’d rather lick the belly of a cockroach than: depends. Is the roach alive or dead?
37. My favorite blonde is: moi, when I dye it that way.
38. Paper clips are more useful than: the Segway.
39. If I do anything well, it’s: write.
40. And by the way: I'm extremely impressed if you read this far.
Thursday afternoon we flew into Oakland and proceeded to wait nearly an hour and a half to get our rental car from Thrifty. Don't recommend renting through them. We made our way to Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco to our hotel, then left to pick up Marc and Wendy from SFO.
Marc and Wendy are key players here--the whole reason we were in town was because of Marc's doctoral graduation. Thursday night we ate at a pizza place that had a restaurant in San Jose for old time's sake. Friday we picked up Marc's cap and gown and then wandered through the Mission district of San Francisco, visiting shops and eating at Marc's favorite burrito shop.
Friday night Kevin and I headed over to our friends Hai-Nhu and John's for some pizza and game playing with them, our friend Sandy, and a couple other friends. That was a blast and despite my anal retentive competitiveness my team actually lost the game (Cranium).
Saturday morning we met up with Marc's sister Katrina and the 5 of us headed up to Sonoma for some wine tasting. We hit a variety of different wineries. We started at an open house in a giant industrial storage warehouse, Siduri . We had a great time with two French coopers (barrel makers), but more about that later once Kevin gets the pictures up. We then moved to Ridge at Lytton Springs. The wine was good (we belong to their wine club) but the woman at the tasting counter was snooty. Marc, Wendy, and Katrina are novice wine tasters but were really trying to learn about wine and tasting, so one of them (I don't remember who) said, "It's sweet" after tasting a wine. The snooty lady said, "it's actually bone dry. It just has the illusion of sweetness." We were like the illusion of sweetness? Oh come ON! Can you see me rolling my eyes? That became our joke the entire rest of the vacation. Are we having fun? No, we're just having the illusion of fun. It turned out to be really funny.
We then had lunch at the general store that was, according to my dad, "Somewhere near Teldeschi" (a direct quote). Teldeschi was on our map, but the general store was not. Fortuntately we had no problems finding it. Then we were off for our private tasting at Gopfrich, a small winery with no full-time tasting room. The winemaker Ray, a very sweet guy, kept apologizing profusely for his wine-stained jeans (as if we expected anything less from an actual winemaker and not just a tasting room clerk). Marc found out he was a dentist in the bay area for several years before opening his winery. It was fun to see a small winery in action and to have a private tasting.
From there we headed down to Nalle. Excellent wine, as always, but as we're big Nalle fans we didn't have to buy anything because we owned all of the 5 wines on the tasting table. From the 100 barrel a year Nalle we headed up to the REAL mucky-mucks, the folks at Ferrari-Carrano. Ferrari-Carrano is a sight to behold. Their grounds are an immaculate garden and their tasting room--well, several rooms--are very impressive. Their barrel cave is very nice, as are their wines. But by that time there were at least 30 people (no joke) jockeying for position at the tasting counters (the $3.00 "classic" counter and the $10 "reserve" counter) and we were kind of wined out so we said forget it. Not without buying a bottle of their dessert wine, however. Kevin's always on the lookout for a good dessert wine.
Saturday night we met up with Marc's parents and had a nice little dinner in a cafe on Fisherman's Wharf. Sunday was Marc's Big Day--the graduation. The poor guy was plagued by nightmares that the Graduation Police were going to come at the last minute and tell him he couldn't graduate after all, but he did actually end up graduating. The ceremony was...interesting and unique. Definitely fodder for another blog entry.
Sunday night was a big celebration dinner with a bunch of Marc and Wendy's bay area friends, who convinced them to come live in the bay area again. We tried desperately to extol the virtues of lovely Orange County (say, Anaheim for example) but they didn't seem to be buying it.
Monday we had a nice morning exploring the Ferry Building, a collection of stores that looked remarkably like a German Hauptbanhof (main train station) except the stores were of higher quality. Then we returned the car and hopped on our plane and came home nice and late. Kevin took today and tomorrow off so we're just fooling around here. I spent a good part of the day getting caught up on the messages from my online writing group.
More exciting stories to come when Kevin produces the photos!
Just returned from a trip to San Francisco. Will blog later. Good night.
Our very good friend Marc Komori Stager is graduating with his doctorate degree this weekend. I've been working with him for 4 years (editing and providing writing assistance) and am so proud of him! Congratulations Dr. Marc!
Also, I've been told that Mrs. Stager, Marc's mom, is a big fan of mine and Kevin's blogs and is looking forward to meeting us. I'm looking forward to meeting her too! I'll be sure to sign an autograph for her so she can frame it when she gets home--hee hee. Hi Mrs. Stager!
Dave Qui-Gon Jinn!
(you gotta temporarily disable your pop-up blocker to play this one)
Kevin has posted some pictures of recent renovations to the house. Since the house didn't need any renovations, they're mostly pictures of fixtures. Be sure to go over there and check them out.
A little preview--the roses in our front yard (mind you, we've done nothing to these things aside from watering them and look what happened):
And remember that lighting fixture I talked about? Well here's the old one (actually this is it upside down on the porch. It hung bulbs down in the dining room) Edited to add that Kevin has reminded me that this picture is actually the right side up. Clearly I've already blocked this horrifying fixture from my mind and don't remember which way it actually hung:
Go check out Kevin's blog for the new fixture and the rest of our details.
Yes, that's right. After 7 months of home ownership we have finally cleaned out and filled the jacuzzi. Just in time for our 85 degree + weather. A little hot tubbin' anyone?
I would read this book solely based on the title of the review: A Compelling Literary and Historical Mystery/Thriller Not Written by Dan Brown. But seriously, it sounds really good.
Finally--Shelby as a brand name! Hit refresh to see a different slogan of Shelby.
Click the pic to get your own slogan.
So I mistakenly went to my primary care doctor thinking that I needed a referral to an orthopedic surgeon when it turns out that I don't need a referral at all and I could have just gone for it. Oops.
The doctor visit was uninspiring. I explained the injury and he said, "Did it hurt?" and I said, "Uh, YEAH! And still does." He took one look at the swelling and decided that he basically was going to leave it alone and let the ortho. treat it. Oh, and I can take 4 advil instead of 2 for the pain. That should help, since 2 wasn't cutting it.
Alas, I'll keep you updated on the latest. I know you're all at the edge of your seats waiting for it.
Really. Sorry for the lack of blogging. Been a little busy and stuff and it just hasn't happened. Last week Digory took me out and I jacked up my knee (yes Dad, the one I had surgery on 13 years ago). It hasn't gotten any better so I'm off to the doctor tomorrow. I don't claim to be psychic but I think I see physical therapy in my future.
Today was productive. I dropped off 8 padded envelopes at the post office and we finally concluded our search for The Perfect Dining Room Lighting Fixturetm. We'd seen the Perfect fixture once in Berkeley but of course failed to buy it. After a while we went back and saw it again--perhaps not as perfect as it seemed the first time, but we still really liked it. Of course they didn't have it in stock--wouldn't come in for 3 weeks or so, and when were we going to be in town with our car again (hint: more than 3 weeks from now). So we passed.
Today we went to our local lighting store and wondered how many people bump into each other accidentally while they walk around looking up at all of the ceiling fixtures. We narrowed down a few and avoided the salesperson. There were dozens, and I mean dozens of cut glass/crystal/whatever chandeliers that were so elaborate I had to wonder 1) is there really such a big market for these things? and 2) who puts all the glass things together anyway? I guess if you're buying one of those and have a place to hang it, you have your houseboy to assemble it. Anyway, we found a fixture we both loved and it was on sale for such a good price that if we get sick of it we can buy 2 more before we equal the price of the Berkeley fixture. And it's actually made of glass too! No pictures yet--none available online and it's sitting in a box here.
Finally we went on a search for a dog calming serum. We bought one from PetSmart called "Calm Down" that seemed to work a little bit (???) probably due to the 13% alcohol. I'd heard good things about Bach's Rescue Remedy, a herbal/flower/homeopathic/blah blah blah natural stress reliever for use in adults, dogs and children.
Keep reading about Rescue Remedy below.
The Rescue Remedy site says:
Rescue Remedy & Rescue Remedy Cream is a combination of Bach Flower Essences that is specially beneficial when you find yourself in traumatic situations, such as, stress, emergencies, after getting bad news, before an exam or job interview and all other kind of situations where we suddenly loose balance mentally. The Essences quickly get us back in our normal balance so that we calmly can deal with any situation.
And, I assume, traumatic situations such as overuse of commas and loosing balance.
Unsure of when to use Rescue Remedy?
Rescue Remedy has been used successfully on stressful days where we suffer from impatience, tension and pressure. It has also been used successfully with children to stop a tantrum, before a speech or job interview. Rescue Remedy helps us relax, get focused and get the needed calmness.
Pregnant women in labor have made the experience easier and less traumatic by taking Rescue Remedy.
(as opposed to non-pregnant women in labor?)
How is this magic achieved? Through these 5 all-natural ingredients:
Star of Bethlehem: For trauma and shock.Clematis: For the tendency to "pass out", and unconsciousness, being ‘far away’ and not present mentally.Cherry Plum: Fear of mind giving way, verge of breakdown, anger.Impatiens: For irritability, tension and fidgety. Rock Rose: For frozen terror and panic.
Oh yeah, and 27% alcohol.
Listed as an "Inactive Ingredient."
So did we buy it anyway? Hell yeah! If it stops Scout from barking at 3 am we'll try anything.
Well Kevin has become a full-fledged member of the Rosiak family. He's apparently gotten lost in two of my dad's three favorite stores: Costco and the Wine Exchange. Big Lots would make the triumvirate complete.
My favorite blogger doesn't post as often as I would like him to, but he writes really good blog entries! Go check out his last two--Improv Everywhere (hilarious!) and his trip to Disneyland's 50th birthday opening celebration. I can't wait to go see the fireworks. Kevin said they were the best fireworks he's ever seen, and the ones we can see from our window (the higher ones, we can't see the low ones) are really cool. Go check out his pictures of the crowd. In fact, just check out his blog in general!
Monday we went up to San Jose to meet with our book club. This month's book, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time went over smashingly well. In fact, it was the first book that I remember as one that the entire book club liked. We're pretty diverse and there's usually one or two dissenting voices. We've also had a couple of books that were unanimously hated--giving the person who suggested it the Mantle of Shame until the next awful book comes along (poor Kevin wore the Mantle for this book for a while). We've had a couple of extremely popular books that we've unanimously hated. But I honestly can't remember a book that everyone liked--and I've been in the club for 5 years.
I won't rehash Curious Incident--you can go read the description on Amazon--but I have been recommending it right and left and it's such a short, easy book to read it shouldn't take a reasonable reader more than a few hours. Our conversation was lively and stayed on topic for much longer than usual. Our host's twin sons (Jack and Chase, aged 2.5ish) were very cute. Overall it was an extremely satisfying club meeting and the drive up there paid off.
Book club was Tuesday, so Wednesday we headed up to Berkeley. The last time we were there we found this lighting fixture for our dining room that was aboslutely perfect. Then we promptly forgot all of the deails of it. So we went back up there to check it out again. It didn't seem quite-so-perfect the second time around, but we both liked it a lot, so we decided to go for it. Unfortunately they didn't have it in stock. So we wrote down the information to look for the manufacturer. It had a really unique name, "Trend" which made it impossible to find on the web. Once Kevin reached a site we thought was it, you couldn't get into the site without a password, presumably so that the only place you could buy them was through dealers. This was an incredibly stupid move on their part because you couldn't even see their catalog online (so we didn't know if it was the right "Trend" or not!). Even if you're selling exclusively through dealers, you really should have your catalog on the web so that people can look up styles and go seek them out at their local independent lighting place. The whole process was very disappointing, and I'm not sure what we're going to do. Probably keep looking down here in SoCal. Oh well, their loss.