Monday, July 30, 2012

the west coast weekend that was

We left San Francisco in a rental car. The helpful GPS took us out of town via Powell Street.
There is a stop sign at the very top of this hill, and we rolled back a few times.
I nearly shit twice and died.


Golden Gate Bridge vista point


Muir Woods - flipping amazing. It felt so quiet and old there.


We tried Carl's Junior on the drive from San Francisco to Truckee


Staying in Snow Dance Palace with my best friends 

The house
The view

Thursday night barbecue for the to-be-weds. Lots of wine, excellent food, lots of laughs. 
We also caught up with our junior high MG teacher. 
It's always awesome to do that with your teachers as an adult.


Red solo cup shenanigans


More wine.


Morning coffee


MFD left these for me


Inappropriate behavior at the Donner Party Memorial.
By the way, the height of the memorial is how high the snow was. Can you imagine?
It amazes me that people picked up, packed up, and headed west. On foot. Oh, pioneers.


Tacos Jaliscos.
Holy shit. So good. I had fish tacos and a carne asada quesadilla.
Thank you Shauni for the recommendation!

Whiling the afternoon away with a book in the sun


Cabs and road sodas to Lake Tahoe.


Happy hour cruise on the Tahoe Gal. Holy shit, Lake Tahoe is so gorgeous it actually looks fake.

Almost wed!

Us with the lovely bride-to-be
Lovely blue water, lovely rose wine


Drinks at Bar of America in Old town Truckee


Olympic opening ceremonies. I couldn't stay awake to see the U.S.
I  blame the wine.


Wedfest: an epic nine hour celebration of Christy & Al Reed tying the knot.
Against the beautiful backdrop of Donner Lake, we toasted a happy couple, drank a ton of booze, lounged in the sun, ate excellent food (including a taco bar and a PBJ bar), danced to three jam bands, played horse shoes and went paddle boarding (MFD, not me) and got into happy shenanigans.
Congrats Christy & Al and thank you for an awesome day and weekend. 

The Reeds

Steve did a back flip off this bridge, and MFD did a side slip. Fools. 

This is not Mick Jagger, but it looks like him.
My girls
PBJ bar

Driving back to San Francisco took forever. Traffic sucked and I was cranky and hungover.
We did stop at Dad's Kitchen in Sacramento, which we found via the TV Food Maps app.
A Triple D joint. We both got Dad's burgers and split the fried garbanzo beans and onion rings.
It was ok. It sat like a huge boulder in my stomach all day.
How does Guy Fieri eat all of this heavy shit?

Passing out at the airport Hyatt for less than five hours of sleep.
I'm totally kicking myself for not booking the red eye yesterday.
And I'm giving Air Tran the high kick for not allowing standby if it's not on the same DATE of travel.

Sorry for the quick sign off, but we're boarding. So if there are any typos, please forgive me. See you on the east coast.



Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Hello, San Francisco

Cheers, vacation
Yesterday was not bad for a Tuesday. Not bad at all. We left home at the asscrack of dawn, arrived in San Francisco via Atlanta at 1:15, checked into our hotel, and set out to see some sights. 

A guy dressed as Mario playing the accordian is a sight, right?
What a lovely city, really. Beautiful architecture, clean, lots of street musicians, easy public transportation system, very walkable. I can't wait to see more today. I never mind being a total tourist and seeing the sights a place is famous for - I don't live there, so if I look like I don't blend in, it's because I'm not trying to. I'm trying to be a tourist.

We hopped on MUNI and headed to the Haight. Walking down towards the infamous street, we saw gorgeous homes.

As we were about to turn onto Haight Street, we ran into a girl high on much more than life, laughing like Jack Nicholson in The Shining and waving the end of a cutoff broom at the air. Hello, Haight Street. We also encountered friendly folks. Yin and yang.

MFD saw these umbrellas and said "Like Lil's!"
We had a great time. It's a chill area. I got our requisite coffee mug - coffee mugs and magnets are what we buy when we travel. We had drinks at Magnolia Pub and Aub Zam Zam, a great dive with nice people and good looking dogs. AND the bartender was wearing a flipping hair mane - here I thought only my mother still wore those. Anyway, I love a good dive bar. Pubs not clubs, people. 

At the Magnolia Pub & Brewery

After freshening up at the hotel, we headed out to see the Chinatown gate and wandered around the Union Square area, stopping at King of Thai for some delicious egg rolls, fantastic duck fried rice and fried banana with thai tea ice cream. Unbelievable! Thank you Yuki for the recommendation.

Look how perfectly my nail polish matches the menu. Eating here was clearly kismet.
Yesterday I did one of my life list items: I saw the sun rise on the east coast and set on the west coast. By the end of the day, my ass was dragging, but it was worth it.

We can't get over how cool it is here - both temperature wise and otherwise.

Toodleoo, more sightseeing to do.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


I saw this pinned on pinterest a week or so ago (thanks Megan for pinning it!) and thought it would make a good blog topic. This quote is commonly attributed to the Bard, but it's not found in any of his writings. Regardless of who said it, it holds a lot of truth.

Most of us have expectations for the people in our lives, and we expect life events to go a certain way, especially if we've planned them. Having some expectations is a good thing - you don't want to be living with a vagabond fool spouse or endure crappy working conditions because you didn't strive for better - but getting too caught up in expectations is setting yourself up for disappointment. Having a baseline of how you should be treated is good - going off the rails based on unrealistic expectations is not.

To avoid disappointment and heartache in almost any situation, examine and adjust your expectations.

When things don't go how we think they should, we say "Why me?" or "It's not fair!"To the first point, why not you? To the second, it's my contention that nothing in life is fair - we all have a different concept of what fair is, and 99.9% of the time the universe does not provide a fair that two of us can agree on. We're not always going to get what we expect, or what we think we deserve. That's just a fact of life.

There's a quote by Jack London that says, "Life is not a matter of holding good cards, but sometimes in playing a poor hand well." Focusing on what we should have prohibits us from maximizing what we do have.


It sucks to feel let down by someone important to you. How much of that is them actually sucking at life versus you not being clear about what you need from them? People are not mind readers, and even though we think they should know what we need or want because they know us so well/long/etc, the fact is that sometimes we have to tell them. Now, if you tell them and they STILL suck, give them the boot. On the double.

Consider having zero expectations...

"If you expect nothing from anybody, you're never disappointed." - Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

“If you expect nothing, you can never be disappointed. Apart from a few starry-eyed poets or monks living on a mountaintop somewhere, however, we all have expectations. We not only have them, we need them. They fuel our dreams, our hopes, and our lives like some super-caffeinated energy drink.” 
― Tonya Hurley, Homecoming

That would be nice, right? But we all know that it's unrealistic to go through life with NO expectations. They sneak in the sides of our mind and whisper to us, beckoning us to believe and hope and expect good things. Being conscious of them and managing them is what's important, along with always knowing that you are the captain of your own ship. You can't expect others to fix things for you - that's your job. It's nice when they do, but don't depend on others to improve your universe. You are in charge of your life.

The sooner we learn that life isn't fair and things aren't always going to go our way, the happier we'll be. Going into something with little expectation is very freeing. You can be pleasantly surprised with a good outcome, and at the very least you'll appreciate the small things you miss when you're busy thinking about how things should be going differently. Managing expectations means less time wasted waiting for our desired outcome and more time being present and living.

The only person on this earth who is responsible for your happiness is you.  The moral of the story is that managing your expectations will increase your overall happiness.

When I say I'm going to my happy place, I mean here. Thanks for the pic Carol.  
The other moral of the story: eat your Wheaties. The Summer Olympics are coming.


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

I'm a yankee doodle dandy

It's easy to point out many things that are wrong in this country, and what our government is or isn't doing that makes us angry. I'm sure many of us could gripe until the cows come home. 

Tomorrow isn't the day for that. July 4 is a day to appreciate what we have here, to celebrate the courage of our forefathers for securing our independence, to go swimming, to have a beer, to eat a hotdog, to wave a flag, and to watch some fireworks. 

Here are just a few of the things I love about my country and being an American. I hope you take some time over the Fourth to reflect on the things you love about America.

1. The Star Spangled Banner, America the Beautiful, God Bless America, Yankee Doodle - I am a true sucker for the patriotic songs. I will tear up without fail.

2. We're the home of the free because of the brave - the American armed forces have long been a source of pride for this country, heroes who provide defense and order and hope not only to us, but to people around the world.

3. Thanksgiving.

4. The hamburger. Cherry pie. Ice cream. Cobb Salad. Buffalo wings. Cheesesteaks. The almighty hotdog.

 "You look like the Fourth of July! Makes me want a hotdog real bad." 
                                                                           ~Legally Blonde II

5. That unique aura of Americanism. That pride. That America, FUCK YEAH attitude.

6. Disney World.

7. Nathaniel Hawthorne, Walt Whitman, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald.

8. The Bill of Rights.

9. Baseball.

10. Our politicians may or may not be crooks who may or may not give a shit about us, that's always up for debate. Regardless of where you stand on that issue, we vote without fear of oppression or death. Many people on this planet are not so lucky.

11. Revolutionary War history. I love walking the streets in Philadelphia where so much risk was taken, so much put on the line for liberty. You can still feel the hope and fear of the founding fathers as they worked to declare our independence...and the strength of the women who were holding it together on their end.

12. College football on Saturdays. The Notre Dame Fight Song.

13.  The Brooklyn Bridge. The Golden Gate Bridge (which I will see in person for the first time in just a few short weeks). The Seven Mile Bridge. Magnificent.

14. Our national motto - E Pluribus Unum - out of many; one.

15. When there is trouble, Americans come together. It doesn't matter what political table we sit at, we put it aside and take care of business. If there is an OH SHIT problem, you want Americans around.

16. In this country, what you make of your life is up to you. No one is stopping you but yourself.

17. Lady Liberty.

18. The Rule of Law.

19. Bruce Springsteen. Rock-n-roll.


20. Our indomitable spirit and belief that our way of life should and will prevail. We may fall down seven times, but we will stand up eight.


There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America.
                                  ~William Jefferson Clinton

Happy Fourth of July! Don't lose a finger setting off your fireworks. 

From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

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