Friday, March 24, 2006

Just One More Day

I'd like to stay here in the desert. The sun is shining and I know at home it's still raining. And I'm not looking forward to going back to "real life," which includes chores, bills, and all the other things we have to do instead of kicking back & playing in the sunshine.

I want to stay where squirrels serve you a bounty of pancakes inside a warm, cozy diner while the sun is shining outside on fresh snow.

As the sign says, this is in Idyllwild, in the mountains west of Palm Desert. Adorable mountain town with very friendly, pancake-serving squirrels.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Cutest Cake in the World

Made by Jeff Gosche of Fabino. Isn't it the cutest thing you've ever seen? Only about 5" across. Adorable. And so tasty.

This was a tester for one of the flavors Jeff is making for the party. We're only doing this for the cake. And the booze. Booze and cake - breakfast of champions.

And now I think I know why women, before they get married, go on insane crash diets and lose their minds in the pursuit of losing a few pounds.

Regular, everyday clothes shopping generally doesn't require using a dressing room about the same size as your bathroom with a three-sided mirror covering an entire wall.

Most of us, when buying clothes for work or weekends, just grab what will likely fit - maybe do a rushed fitting in a tiny room with a standard door mirror and that's it - no big deal.

But to buy a nice dress, something you want to be sure will fit and look nice, you go to the nicer stores with the bigger dressing rooms and way too many mirror angles.

What you're able to see in those mirrors is a shock. How long has that been back there? Where did I pick that up? Why didn't anyone tell me my ass was getting wide? Is that really my ass? Did the last person in this fitting room leave some of their ass behind?

Sure, it happens as we get older. I know this. I've read about it many times. That doesn't really matter when you're looking at it square in front of you. Or behind you.

It's a bit too late to worry about all that now, but it does make me less inclined to throw down a Cinnabon.

Monday, March 13, 2006


Came home this afternoon after being out & about in drenching downpours and freezing temperatures to see momentary sunshine, the heat of which was steaming the saturated back fence.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Rhymes with Fart

Our sucky subway system messed up my whole day.

I headed into the office a bit later than the crush hour this morning, happy I'd been able to take care of a few things at home before going to work.

All seemed normal as I parked my car & headed towards the station. As I went through the gates, everything still seemed fine. I heard a train approaching & ran up the escalator hoping to catch it before the doors closed, which I did. Looked like my timing had been perfect - I'm so clever.

Once on the train, everyone was chattering - something was amiss. A woman next to me had heard about a fire on the tracks in the Embarcadero station and because of that, no trains were going into San Francisco. The SF train we were on was going only as far as MacArthur. Great.

Another woman was concerned about how she would get to SF, so she asked the train operator, who replied, "I have no idea." What a tool. The woman next to me who was doing a great job of communicating what she knew got up and asked the train operator to please announce what was happening & what they were planning to do about the situation. The delay in SF meant no trains were headed there for 30 minutes or so, which meant system-wide delays. It could mean an hour or more waiting for a SF train.

I jumped off the train at the next stop & headed back on another train, hoping I could drive to work & avoid the mess altogether. I called my boss to give her an update and from where she sits in the building, she could see that traffic was a snarled mess on the bridge, so I went back home.

By noontime, the trains were running on schedule again, so I headed back to the station. I drove up & down around the garage and surrounding parking areas for 20 minutes looking for somewhere to park. Nothing. I ended up borrowing one of the dedicated police spaces, frustrated at the prospect of driving all the way to SF only to circle every block looking for parking there.

I wrote a note to the Molicepan, asking him to please not ticket my car, that all I wanted to do was to finally get into work and that I wouldn't park in his spot again. I hoped for the best.

Once on the platform waiting for a train, I realized I'd worn the wrong coat. Instead of checking train status online, I should have been checking the weather. I was freezing. The radio folks mentioned chance of showers, but nothing about teeth-chattering wind chill. I was wearing a light button up shirt under a feather weight rain coat. Dammit. I was standing on the platform swearing out loud.

I finally got to work and thankfully, the afternoon was trouble free. By the time I left, it was raining - still cold - but at least I was headed home where hopefully my car was still parked in the garage.

I managed to get a seat on the train, which almost never happens, but that didn't mean everything was going to go my way. Lo and behold, after running through the chilly rain from the station to the garage, there was my car - and no ticket on it.

It wouldn't have been such a hassle this morning if the stupid transit system had a communication method that informed you of problems before you get into the station or before you're already on a train.

The fire hadn't just happened - they knew about it as people were filing into the station. The station agent was talking to people as they came up to the booth & asked her what was going on. But there was no public announcement.

Yet, they've gone to the trouble of installing flat panel TV screens outside the station that show pretty photos of buses and when the next one will come.

Those TV screens are positioned where you can see all the buses, and every bus has its own stop with a published schedule on it. But nothing about what's going on with the trains that are upstairs & out of sight. Nice work people. Nice work.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Serenity Now!

Monday was a fluke - hardly anyone was in the office and somehow I ended up with only one half-hour meeting. Realizing such days are rare, I decided it would be a good day to visit the counter at Sear's.

Running out to wait in long lines to grab food to-go from places where you rarely get a seat during the short lunch hour is a drag.

I love a nice little coffee shop where I can sit at the counter & read the paper and leave all that mess behind.

And lately, maybe because of the crappy weather and stress, I'm seeking out all sorts of starchy goodness. Pancakes. Pancakes and a cup of coffee, and someone to bring it to me without me having to stand in line to order it.

I'm ready for my vacation. I'm ready to stop staying late at the office. I'm ready to get back to projects I've had to set aside to focus on not so fun things. I'm ready for all the hub bub of what was supposed to be a quiet wedding to be behind me. I'm ready for my mother to stop flipping out about people who haven't sent in their RSVP cards - the nerve of those people!

Saturday, March 04, 2006

San Hosed

West San Jose is hosed. What a crowded traffic jam of bad manners and crappy service.

Growing up there, it was a quiet place full of people who cared about the neighborhood and their neighbors. It wasn't an overcrowded pit of consumerism.

Since they loaded that square mile with 3 times as many stores as it used to have and a 14-screen theater, it's little more than a traffic jam with nearby shopping.

Cars shoe-horned into tiny spaces take up as much space as the stores and the design of the parking lot creates congestion at every turn. Clusterfrak.

I stopped into El Paseo to grab a cup of coffee at the usually reliable Peet's. The coffee was fine, but the service sucked ass.

Just as I was about to order my drip coffee, the punk at the register walked away. Then a nice, but clueless bird opened another register and started helping whoever was closest to her, disregarding the obvious line that was formed in front of the now-closed register.

What is so difficult about communicating to the customers that you need to leave your register and go flibbety flabble with something elsewhere?

And if you're the one opening up the other register, be aware of the line and respect the system you've set up. No one will be frustrated when they see the system working as it was designed.

There were a few high points of the afternoon... like seeing snow still on the hills. Hard to see in this pic, but if you look closely to the right of the power pole, that white spec on the green hill is snow.

And after struggling through traffic in West San Ho, we took a drive to Willow Glen trying to find a florist. We didn't find the florist, but I found another Meredith street sign:

That was my afternoon. Now I understand why a lot of kids I grew up with moved out of the area in search of a place more like what we knew as kids. I'm a fogey, eh?

Friday, March 03, 2006

Snow in Milpenis

Took a drive down to Milpenis (Milpitas) this morning to Henry's vet. As I got closer to the foothills, just below the mist of the clouds, the tops of the hills were covered in snow.

I'd have liked to have gone exploring with my camera, but I needed to get the Bird Boy home to let him relax. Poor kid got a toenail clipped that kept bleeding - had to take him back inside for more styptic powder before heading home.

I promise I wasn't driving when I snapped that - we were stopped at a light.

Years ago I used to take Henry to work with me a few days a week & he'd hang out with my coworkers all day. I could try to take him with me to work now but I think it would be way too boring for him.

Yesterday while getting a quick chair massage I had a random thought - What if I just left - took off & left the building, like when 415 shut down and the few of us at the bitter end went packing...

That feeling like I was finally free and could go anywhere and do anything. It was a great rush. Why not just do that? The thought was very appealing.