Exciting New Toy

There’s a method to MK’s madness more often than not. He researches and shops online and gets us great deals. And I can’t stand it. There’s nothing worse than waiting for a big deal gift and losing that instant gratification – that’s totally my vice. I love seeing it, wanting it, getting it. So what if I forget what it is in a few weeks.

I didn’t even tell anyone about this one – it was on back order and I never thought we’d get to see it. MK got us a new Nikon D90 – a really amazing camera. We’re still waiting on one more lens but have already taken some really amazing photos. I can’t wait to share quality photos instead of links and low quality images. Yay!

Goof things to come

Good things to come

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So Sous Me

We have some friends here that don’t cook. At all. So of course when I invited one of them over to see the new place I opted to grace them with a home-cooked meal. There are a few things that I cook very well. They are usually dishes that are hard to mess up, staples that I put my own personal touch on by making slight changes. But who feels like boring same old same old, right?

I learned to cook sort of through the restaurants. I liked the guys that created the evening special out of whatever there was too much of, but made it delicious. What I never was good at was following a recipe. But I tried the other night, and made a Balsamic Vinegar Chicken recipe I found online. I followed it very closely.

I stir fried veggies according to their stir fry directions. The chicken marinated well and was super moist, but the recipe was put online by a lady who admitted she was sick of eating “chicken that didn’t taste like anything”. Well, lady, your chicken didn’t taste like much either. We decided a sauce of some sort would have helped. My stir fry veggies got wimpy instead of crispy. I don’t know what I did wrong. Of course I didn’t take a picture, there wasn’t much to see. Here’s hoping my friends aren’t all “No thanks!” the next time I invite them over!

In case the title confused you...

In case the title confused you...

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Road Trippers

When you drive off into the sunset and start a big journey you experience a different sort of driving. You’re in the car for a long time. You snack, you sleep, you get crabby. Even if it’s a fun road trip you have to deal with a road full of truckers and other travelers, especially at night. We kept seeing the same cars stop, then pass us, then be at the next stop. I always forget the serious stuff, like having to stop for gas and trying to pick the least sketchy exit. The well lit gas station. And the bathrooms. Ugh.

There should be a rating system and a book of where not to stop. I for one will never be seen in an am/pm again. There are not words to describe the sheer will it takes to wipe the seat, put four or five of those protective covers down (OVER the swear words thoughtfully etched on to the seat), and then still crouch/hover on one leg to relieve yourself. Then MK’s wondering what took so long, well, I wash my hands in boiling water for 3 minutes, then having to find a way to open the door without actually touching it with anything but the bottom of my shoe.

It got to the point where I stopped drinking water. I figured I’d rather end up in a hospital with an IV than at another rest stop. At least the bathroom would be sanitary.

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Going Back to Cali, Cali, Cali

It wasn’t easy to get in the car and go. We had to wait for the property manager and say tear filled goodbyes. We finally got on the road at about 6pm. Utah was mad at us for leaving, so it rained most of the way through the state. You can only go about 55-60mph with a giant U-Haul trailer behind you, so it was slow going. MK drove the first three hours, then slept while I took over, back and forth until he woke me up and the sun was shining over Pacific Beach at around 9am.

There aren’t any exciting road trip pictures, we’ve made that drive so much it felt like a commute. The traffic at 2am on Friday in Vegas was crazy, but I survived it. Other than that and a little wind, it was an easy drive. We had breakfast and got our keys.

Immediately walking in the front door of our complex, you need a key to a gate. Then you need a fob to the elevator. Then another key. And there are stairs, so we couldn’t go in and out the front to unload our things. So we had to park the U-Haul out front, unpack the car in the garage, then bring those things up the elevator to the condo. Then you go take the car out and reload it. It was a rather inefficient system, since someone had to guard the U-Haul. We finished at around 2. We ran some errands and took a nap, since neither of us really slept that much on the drive.

I got to go see KE – which was awesome Number One because she’s doing well and Number Two, seriously our house is close enough to Garnet (where the bars are) that once I get my bike we won’t have to drive! Or we can take a cheap cab. Score.

I’m not taking pictures of the condo, it’s not that exciting. It’s a 2BR/2BA with a huge kitchen and dining room so it doesn’t feel as small as I was afraid it would. Plenty of room for company!

Sunday morning we went to the La Jolla Farmer’s Market. That might be my favorite thing on the planet – this time we even got a ton of fruit and veggies:

Delicious!

Delicious!

After the obligatory stocking up trip to Costco, we met some friends for drinks at San Diego’s first bar, The Waterfront – which is not on the water front. We watched the the Sea World fireworks from our pool last night. We got a great night’s rest and MK got his computers up and running in time for work. He’s unpacking his things now, I’m already done. I win.

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The Unfinished Novel(s)

Most of you have been able to remind me of my constant failures (ha!) when you remember to ask “How’s your book going?”. What you may not all know is that I finished it. And wrote another one. Here’s something I’ve never shared en masse:

The first novel is the story of a woman who was raised by her grandparents. When they both pass she’s confronted with the life she ran away from and the true identity they kept from her. And she falls in love. It’s that kind of a book.

The second novel is a woman who witnesses a near-murder and comes to term with her demons through interaction with the person she rescues who turns out to be a big deal kind of a person. It’s that kind of a book.

The problem is that I think they’re good books. Well, the first one I stopped thinking that about after I lost my grandmother. I realized that I felt more than I made the reader feel. I need to work on that. The second one I haven’t edited since I wrote the full first draft. So in my head it’s a masterpiece.

So I need to hire an editor. Still. Which is something I didn’t learn in college. So I have no idea what to do. When I have no idea, it doesn’t get done.

That’s where we are with that. I’m thinking of taking up knitting…

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Non Sporting Sports Injury

The first time I hurt my knee was in high school. In the marching band. Which is not a sport. It’d be cool to be on crutches if you were the quarterback of the football team, but not if you’re the worst girl that was demoted from flute to I’m not even telling you what it’s that bad. There were many “she can’t even walk right” comments in my family.

I sucked at every sport I ever tried, so I gave them up as fast as I could. Then, in college I blew my knee out twice more – once on a sticky bar floor and once at an uneven outdoor concert venue. I shouldn’t even HAVE pride left. At the bar, the owner was a friend of mine, and was nice enough to give me a shot of tequila after I successfully popped my kneecap back into the socket it is supposed to stay in. At the concert, I was having trouble doing it myself but no man I was with would hit it in for me as I kept instructing. All three times I’ve gone to the doctor they’ve put me in a giant immobilizer, that goes from your ankle to your hip. Again, glamorous only after saving babies from burning buildings, not in college hopping around campus after a night at a bar.

So of course I took up skiing. And the point of this story is that although my knee hurt from time to time, it barely would pop, not the full on dislocation I’ve come to expect. And I made it through ski season – the toughest sport I’ve ever attempted, still walking on both legs.

Until last week, when no, not skiing, but standing up from sitting down and turning to reach and get something…did I pop my knee out of joint. My knee is a dork.

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The Unopened Letter

You might remember that my Grandmother passed away the week after my birthday. It wasn’t until the day after I got home that my aunt arrived and we were talking about things that my birthday even came up. She said I must be glad I’d gotten my cards – she’d been with my grandmother and they’d sent them together. Only the mail lady here might be the  least concerned mail lady on the planet, and it hadn’t arrived yet.

A week later I returned home and MK had found it and saved it for me. It was so surreal seeing Gram’s squiggly cursive addressed to me. It was enough. I shoved the card in a drawer and held out a day or two before telling friends I even had it. It is so stupid, honestly, that I can’t open the thing. It’s going to say “Happy Birthday, Love, Grandma”. And wasn’t the whole lesson about how unsure life can be? It’d be pretty ironic for me to wait and then for it to be too late, if you catch my meaning. Because it’s not in my immediate plans. At first I was thinking my next birthday, then I though when I was 30, then 50. There’s no good time to get the last note from someone.  

We have so little of our sentimental things with us I just needed something to hold on to. For a while I brought a little bookmark that she’d given me everywhere- it said “I love you” on it, until I almost lost it on a plane flight and almost broke my neck crawling under the seat while people stared at me. So you can’t go running around with something like that if it is all you have.

The seal of the card is starting to come loose, so I packed it very carefully. And I’ll try to open it- some day.

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Delicious Humble Pie

I keep thinking that I’m running a great website. That I spend time on it, and create content that keeps you coming back for more. Yesterday, computer running all fast and new, I reread my entire blog back to front.

I’m sorry.

If you’ve been here since then, my bad. I got a little too worried about finding you pictures. I should write you stories. It’s nice to know exactly where I hit my stride -about 20 pages ago. Too bad there are 150 pages. I’m a slow learner. There’s a little bit of funny mixed up in there, but there’s a lot of trial and error internet junk. I’m going to work on that.

I am so glad I do have this space to log our journeys and adventures – rereading all about my New Zealand trip brought back a ton of great memories. I tend to forget all the little things very easily these days, which has me all the more determined to do a better job of storytelling here.  I also get a little sick and tired of packing and moving, but was reminded yesterday that there is no reason I shouldn’t feel like the luckiest chick in the world to have such a fun if at times tumultuous life.

I’m pretty excited about the new header RD made just for me- surely you’ve noticed it by now. I’m going to think of robot fighting chickens every time I write, and that should spice this place up a little bit.

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😉