That makes me crazy in the head

I had such a wonderful weekend. Though not wonderful enough to fully take the sting of knowing I have to spend a couple hundred bucks on brakes for Shoeless Joe. At least it’s for both the front and rear brakes and not just one set. But still. Sigh.

But it’s okay. It will all come back to me anyhow. I’m claiming that.

Anywho, I’ve got a couple days to prep and get my business straight for my weekend trip to L.A. to visit Lindsey. I need to pack and just get my plans in order. No big deal. It’s not like I can pack in a million and a half things into two days. But you know I’m gonna try though.

Oh, so the weekend. I made my way up to Sacramento to check out Legally Blonde the Musical with Jacki and have dinner at The Melting Pot afterwards. This was my birthday gift and can I say that it was wonderful? I had already seen the Broadway version they aired on MTV long ago but I still immensely enjoyed myself this time around. It was even better since I could lean over and discuss things with her. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mILEnI5cZmw

We ended up singing “Omigod!” for a while afterwards, which is a sign of a pretty successful catchy song. It’s so cute! Though not so cute [at least not the 100th time we saw it] were the throngs of girls wearing pink or pink shoes. I mean, it’s just a play folks. No reason to get all wardrobe crazy. It’s like those girls in junior high/high school who used to wear the coordinated outfits to Six Flags Great America.

You know who you are.

After the show, we made our way to The Melting Pot for dinner and oh my goodness, I am more in love with fondue than ever before. We started off with a yummy spinach and artichoke cheese fondue that was so delicious and cheesy and we literally could not wait to dive into that sucker. Kind of helped that we were both starved at that point. We didn’t bother with the bowl of veggies that accompanied the apple pieces, bread and tortilla chips. Why eat filler?

We then shared an order of their Pacific Rim platter: shrimp, duck, chicken, beef, pork and potstickers. Sure the entrees are meant for one person but after eating the cheese fondue and salad, I was getting a little towards the full side and there was no way I’d be able to eat everything on that plate. Between the two of us though, we cleared it, along with the side of potatoes, broccoli and mushroom caps that came along with it.

I really want to go back and hopefully I’ll be able to bring the bf along as a double date with Jacki and her husband. I just love me some cheese fondue. It’s two of my favorite things really: cheese and bread. Tell me, how can you go wrong?

I’ll tell you: you can’t.

The Internet isn’t the only thing you can surf

It feels so good to be done with classes. Ahh. Granted, it’s only for a week but still. That’s seven days without worrying about going to class, hoping I’m not called on because I haven’t thought about opening the book, trying to motivate myself to do homework [or quarter-long research papers in the last three weeks of class] and no more worrying about hustling out of work soon enough to get to campus before all the good parking spots are already taken.

Being a grad student is EXHAUSTING.

I’ll discuss my thoughts about the quarter some other day. I mean, I just submitted my final exam yesterday! I need some time to decompress. So let’s talk about something fun.

Oh, I don’t know, how about something like surfing!

Yes, because this time it was awesome. Serious.

Unfortunately we were down a person as Helen had some pressing issues come up at the last minute, but it worked out for the best since Trace and I ended up on the water for a lot longer than usual. We were there for just about the entire 3-hour rental time because the waves, oh the waves were glorious.

Granted, that also meant we had a lot of water to battle against just to get a good distance away from the shore but it was worth it although tiring [but let me tell you, it’s a good idea to get a good distance away from the shore, lest you fall off your board and hit a rock. That hurts like a mofo!]. There was a point that I had turned around and told Tracey that I felt like I hadn’t moved at all!  The sets were really good. It’d be calm for about five minutes or so, which left plenty of time to get to where we needed to be and then for the next few minutes, ride-able waves came through and while there were some that knocked me clean off the board or came too quickly that all I could do was ride it on my stomach, I did manage to actually stand up and ride a wave in.

I don’t think you complete understand the weight of that: I stood up on my board.

I SURFED!

This is a huge deal for me since just moments before I stood up for the first time, I was trying to pep myself up. I mean, I had been surfing off and on for a good two years now and not once was I able to replicate the success I had during that first lesson with Nick and I desperately wanted to do that. So yes, I talked to myself and then something just clicked and next thing I knew, I was standing up on the board! And riding the wave in! And easily bailing out at the end of the ride! And you know what’s even better?

I did it a total of 5 times! I know! That’s a lot of exclamation points! But really, that was the first time I stood up since my last lesson so I felt very extremely accomplished. So accomplished I might even buy a wetsuit.

Okay, so maybe not yet, but I did want to buy something to commemorate the day so I bought a new pair of Reefs sandals and oh my sweet butter those things are awesome. They make me want to wear them everywhere.

Anywho, the adrenaline that rushed through me after I rode that first wave was intense. Then I thought, hey, let’s make it two. And then it turned to three and then four and the fifth was my last one before calling it a day. I really hope I’m able to replicate the feat the next time I go surfing.

I really want to get my own wetsuit. Once I get that, the next stop is my very own board!

Okay, maybe I should get practice on a fiberglass board first. Then I get my own board. First things first.

Now where are my Reef sandals?

A Saturday in September

surfers

This weekend I had the chance to go surfing. We somehow managed to arrive within 20 minutes of each other, which rarely happens considering I was an hour late last time because I forgot what time we were supposed to meet up!

The fog was heavy in the hills on the way down Highway 1 getting into Stinson but thankfully it steered clear of Bolinas. Nature was definitely putting on a show for us this weekend, as I had the chance of seeing deer crossing the road and a plethora of pelicans and seals hanging out near the beach thanks to the fishermen that were trolling the area.

Unfortunately it wasn’t as generous when it came to waves as there weren’t that many but there were plenty of strong currents. Trace and I spent a good portion of the day trying to paddle back towards where the waves were! Eventually I just gave up and let myself drift back to the shore and started over. It was the only way we would make it out of the channel.

Evenutally we had to abandon our attempt at surfing and call it a day, ready to get our lunch on at the town’s cafe. While none of us would ever consider ourselves real deal surfers, we very much enjoy getting together and attempting to stand up on the board, because that’s really all we’re doing. But the best thing is that there is no pressure for a good day. If we get waves, awesome. If we don’t, then it’s slightly disappointing but being out on the water in the warm weather is always a good thing.

Especially when you end your day chatting and laughing over lunch.

Oh mulligans, jukeboxes and s’mores

I can’t believe the weekend is over. Sigh, I guess I was just having way too much fun.

So the birthday weekend can be classified as a success. Good times all around. Sure I was a little late getting to my own party [by like 5 minutes] but that’s just because I took a little bit longer than I had originally anticipated shopping at Old Navy.

I had a 30% coupon that was begging to be used. And used it was.

Anywho, the group met up at Scandia for my 28th Birthday Mini Golf Invitational and after joking about wagering a buck a hole, everyone got down to business once it was revealed that there would be a prize for the first place winner. There were was some good-matured jawing going on and even though I had removed myself from contention for the prize I was still getting accused of sneaking in before the party to practice, especially once everyone got a look at my newly gifted putter I was carting around. Oh the jokes. The jokes.

I started off really hot and then had a really bad hole and I just couldn’t recover from there. But no worries, I ended up about 6th out of 15 people so hey, not too bad. Though there were some hilariously errant hit golf balls and plenty of laughs. We ended up having a tie for first place so we trekked across the street to the batting cages where Mike and Pat had at it for the win.

And Mike emerged the victor:

the mini golf champion

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Pickier than Goldilocks

So I had plans this weekend. Plans I say, to drive around and do some location scouting for the future apartment [this time for real]. And I was excited. So excited that I mapped out my destinations.

I made it to Shoeless Joe Jackson [my car] and turned it on to hear clicking. Trust me, you DON’T want to hear clicking. Turns out my battery up and died. Great way to start the weekend huh? I popped open the hood and then went to grab the jumper cables from my trunk only to find out they weren’t there [found them later in the garage. The garage! What the meck?!]. Ugh. I was more upset about the missing cables than anything else. Especially since a couple people offered to help but they didn’t have cables. Figures.

Thankfully I have emergency roadside service with my car insurance so I gave them a called and waited for the tow truck to show up by talking to Jacki. Once I was up and running, and under the orders to keep the engine running for at least 30 minutes, I decided that a drive home or to church, both of which I can make in under 20 minutes, wasn’t going to happen so I decided to roll through town checking out some of the apartments on my list.

Which made for the most efficient use of my time. I’m glad I was still able to ride around and check out some neighborhoods. I still have half of my list to check up on but I’m starting to piece together my top contender for possible roosting purposes. Up next will be showing them to the bf for his opinion.

Saturday rolled around and I spent most of the day wandering around sans car as it was having it’s battery tested and then replaced [to the tune of $100! There goes my airfare to go to L.A. next month] so I wasn’t able to check out anything else. Oh wells. With my birthday party planned for this Saturday [wheeeeee!] I won’t be able to get back to scouting until the following weekend.

But my birthday is coming up. Eight days and a wake up! Wow, part of me can’t believe I’m going to be 28 this year. Yikes. I’m way past due to be getting out of my parents’ house. Ha. I’ve been saying that for a few years now but haven’t made a move. Guess I was much too comfortable. Naturally it was obvious this would come to an end and I just about reached it. Finally, in an eye-rolling induced realization.

Parents. What can you say when all you can do is shake your head? Exactly.

No one says ‘cowabunga’ anymore…

For the first time this year, I was able to get back on the surf board…to comical results.

The day was almost doomed from the start. Even though I knew we had changed the time to meet up by an hour, I had failed to reset that internal clock and it wasn’t until I had just started to get ready that I realized that I should have been leaving. So I ended up being almost an hour late. Fail.

Thank goodness for understanding friends, though I still felt horrible and was pretty upset at myself. But what can you do really? Besides work on NOT being late next time.

Anywho, the weather was a little foggy but the water was warm and the waves pretty good. There were several “party waves” even though we both failed to capitalize on them. There were several times where I actually fell off the board while trying to stand up! I know, how pathetic.

The only downside of the day was the insane amount of algae and seaweed just floating around. Several strands wrapped around my board, leash and leg. It really felt like an octopus’ tentacle was grabbing me. Not cool in my book.

I’m contemplating taking another lesson, or at least getting out there more regularly, possibly even on my own. I need more practice getting used to pushing myself up so I can at least stand. I take way too long figuring out how to get up as is. I am starting to get good at picking out waves though. And that should complete the compliment sandwich.

At least I have a good sense of humor about things as I spent a lot of time making fun of myself.

I’m just so glad I was able to make it out there though. I’ve said it a few times already but I really love just hanging out on the board and enjoying the scenery. It’s kind of weird how shallow the water is where we surf; you can essentially walk out to wherever you want to sit and wait for the waves to break. Yet you don’t worry about hitting the bottom when you fall. Thank goodness for being buoyant.

We’ve made plans to head back out next month. Here’s hoping things go better on the actual surfing part!

They call me Goldilocks

I had a fabulously awesome weekend at my JCCAM retreat with my church. I’ll write a bit up more but I think a post with pictures will be even better as a recap.

On my way up to the Sausalito, I drove by both Fort Mason and the Presidio and got a little nostalgic for my old stomping grounds. I have a gigantic soft spot for the military, seeing that I am a former Army brat. I do get a little sad when I drive by Fort Mason now, seeing how rapidly it’s declined since the military left the base. It used to be well kept, but now that maintenance is up to the individual homeowners and well, it’s definitely not the same. I used to run all over Fort Mason getting into all kinds of scrapes and troubles and near-death/injury experiences.

Le sigh.

It got me thinking though, how, as much as I enjoy living in San Francisco, I just don’t see myself moving back now. Sure, when I was fresh out of college I would have JUMPED at the chance of living in the city but now I just want more space. I’d love to eventually buy a house with a yard and with some defensible space, both of which are kind of hard to come by in the city. Even though rents have dropped a lot as of late, everything else is still expensive and I don’t want to have to worry about hoping to find parking near the house/apartment.

Sure, it would be nice to live in the city I work in but depending on where in the city we end up finding a place, it can still take just as long for me to make it home as it does now. I actually don’t mind making the trip across the bridge; it’s just the extra 20-30 minutes it takes from the Bart station to my house now that sometimes hurts.

That said the most important factor for me is proximity to church and grad school. At the moment, living somewhere in the East Bay is the best idea as it’s literally in the middle of the places I need to be at [work, church, and school].

Naturally, this will all need to be worked out with the bf. Hopefully we can hammer out a compromise on a suitable location for all involved parties. Guess we’ll have to wait and see what place we both end up falling for.

Of love and flying elbows…

It’s been such a week. Even though I took off work to help out with some family stuff, I still feel like I did a lot, even though I didn’t. Funny how that works out huh?

Maybe it’s because my Friday and Saturday were just busy. Since I was spending the night at Jacki’s house so I wouldn’t have to worry about getting up early to drive all the way to Galt for Akilah’s wedding that Saturday, I left my house Friday afternoon only to get stuck in traffic. Like serious traffic. So serious that it took an hour to get from my house to the mall. A drive that usually takes no more than 20 minutes. It takes me just under an hour to drive to Sacramento!

Of course, I had to stop in Vacaville for a quick trip to the outlets to find some shoes for my dad for Father’s Day. I was successful [thank goodness] and it didn’t take as long as I had thought it would. Of course I ran into more traffic getting into Davis but whatever. I eventually arrived; sure a little frazzled and moist from the constant sun but I made it.

We got together with Akilah for a little break before all the wedding madness began at her maid of honor’s house for dessert and it was so much fun. Akilah was so excited about the next day [obviously] and we had fun talking and laughing and of course eating. Though that was only half of it.

We ended up playing Outburst and Jacki and Akilah both jumped on me about being uber-competitive and kept accusing me of giving them the hard topics when I wasn’t even me. Yes I’m uber-competitive but it was my teammates’ decision on some of the topics. Of course with them double teaming me, it left my teammates free to do whatever. Ha. Shows them right. Though we did end up winning anyway. Of course we did. I rock at pulling out random things, like knowing Nick Cage was in “Moonstruck.”

Thank you “I Love the 80s.”

But the best part was seeing Akilah and her bridesmaids practice the special surprise she had cooked up for her husband to be.

The wedding took place in Galt at Grace Vineyards. It was only the second wedding they held there but it’s a beautiful place. There’s a pool with a fountain in the back of the house, the vineyard to the left and a golf course behind it.

Unfortunately for us, there was a bit of a scandal with a late bridesmaid so we ended up having to wait an hour for the wedding to start. But once it did it was such a beautiful ceremony. Akilah couldn’t stop smiling and she let her inner goof run free as she giggled her way through the ceremony and made faces at her new husband.

And then they were married and we partied hard, well until 4 pm that is. But we packed as much as we could into the day. We laughed with the new friends we made, danced our hearts out on the dance floor, ate some really good food [they had a breakfast/brunch themed menu!], wondered where our water pitcher went, and enjoyed some delicious cake.

Well, I didn’t enjoy the cake. I think this was the first time I actually turned down cake but I wasn’t so much interested in the fruit tarts and other cakes available at the dessert buffet and unfortunately for me, I had decided that I had grown tired of red velvet cake the night before. Even though I knew she was serving red velvet cupcakes. But I did have a bite of Jacki’s cupcake so it wasn’t like I didn’t have anything.

So the special surprise was an acoustic performance of “A Natural Woman.” Akilah had found pink feather boas for the bridesmaids and pink gloves for herself and she sung for her new husband. Of course she laughed her way through it because she’s just that silly but it was awesome.

But I guess one of the highlights of the day was how I got elbowed out of the way for the bouquet by the groom’s mother. Yup. I know the bf breathed a sigh of relief but man, that sucked! That was probably my best chance at getting the bouquet. I know I’m already getting married and all but it’s not about that for me. I just always wanted to catch the bouquet and win. Yeah, it’s about winning.

That and I know it will kind of freak the bf out.

But mostly it’s about winning. I mean, I was in the front and everything. I hardly ever stand in the front. Figures I get edged out but by his mom? Really? Couldn’t it have been someone else? Anyone?

Oh well. I have two weddings to go to next year. Maybe I’ll get lucky there.