Thursday, July 24, 2008

Please sir... we'd like some more.

Originally uploaded by Kimberly Jennery

Meet Oliver.

Formerly known as Zang, he will be making his home with us upon our return to LA. Because... how can you resist that face???

We are quite ready to be heading out on our road trip. Just getting a last few things done here and there, washed, sorted, packed... Trying to decide which yarns and patterns to take which is always difficult. I want to pack a million things, but honestly how much knitting time will I have?

The plan is to leave early tomorrow and get as far as Healdsburg. It used to be that when you saw the sign for Healdsburg, it meant that Santa Rosa was coming up soon and that meant Denny's, a burger, and a chance to pee. Now apparently Healdsburg is synonymous with wine, Michelin starred restaurants, and is sort of a fantastic Wine Country destination type place.

Who knew?

There is also a yarn store in Healdsburg, according to the internet. I am ridiculously excited. I have this feeling that the entire drive will reveal a very changed Hwy 101.

See you in a week!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Where The Wild Things Are. And I ain't talkin' a Lisa Souza colorway, either.

Day before yesterday, my daughter was sitting on her porch (she has a small porch and backdoor) and walked back into her room to grab something. She noticed a small face peering in her door and then a raccoon walked into the room. They stared at one another for a brief moment, while the penny dropped that OMG a raccoon was standing. in. her. bedroom. and then they both took off in opposite directions (fortunately that meant outside for Mr. Raccoon.) Also, I got in rather late the other night and as I pulled into my driveway, I noticed a rather fat skunk waddling across the lawn. It walked under my car and I had a rather bad moment of, "What to do???" but fortunately Mr. Skunkersons eventually waddled out the other side and disappeared into the neighbor's yard. I also saw a bat.

Then I read this and this and this [contains dead Mrs. Deer picture] and holy shit, THISI realize that, um... We Are Not In Kansas Anymore.

Or rather, We Are Not Alone.

Whatever movie tag you want to use, the fact remains that it is somewhat exciting up here. But in a kind of in a "Gosh I hope it remains exciting in other neighborhoods and not actually in mine or in my yard or anywhere near where my kids walk home from the bus." kind of way. Because I am really not all that Back To Nature.

All we ever saw in West LA was the occasional possum.

The kitties will, of course, be remaining Indoor Only Kitties.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

nos·tal·gi·a [ no stáljə, nə stáljə ]

1. sentimental recollection: a mixed feeling of happiness, sadness, and longing when recalling a person, place, or event from the past, or the past in general

2. things that arouse nostalgia: something, or things, intended to arouse a feeling of nostalgia or to evoke the past in a way that arouses nostalgia

3. homesickness: a longing for home or family when away from either ( dated )

[Late 18th century. < modern Latin, "homesickness" < Greek nostos "homecoming" + algos "pain"]

There are times when I miss the Humboldt Bay area so much it hurts. So much that it is like a fist in my stomach, tears well up and I have to take a deep breath, just stop in my tracks for a minute and wait for it to pass. I haven't been home since 2002 which seems like such a long time. I have lived in other places longer than I ever lived there, but it is still my home in a way that no other place on earth will ever be.

The air smells right there, in a way that no where else on earth smells. Mingled scents of forest and ocean, the cool grey fog and occasionally the funk of pulp mill coming from the bay. The streets and the structures there are imprinted in my cells. I don't need a map to find my way about town. I have an internal compass, always orienting me towards home, never letting me lose my way entirely.

I'm desperately homesick. Nostalgic. I can't wait to go home. And I am going home, finally, for a week at the end of this month.

The funny thing is? Part of me is really dreading the drive up there and I am dreading being away for so long. I will miss my little house in the San Gabriel foothills, I will miss my kitties and my dog. The idea of 2 days on the road with nobody else to share the driving does not charm and excite me the way it did when I was twenty and loved nothing better than the battle cry of "Dude! Road Trip!"

I think that's just a matter of sucking it up and getting my head around enjoying the drive. I'm going to make it a slow 2 days, stay in a hotel and take the scenic routes (mental note: bring dramamine for the kids.) I will be driving up with the youngest, and the oldest will fly in about midway through the visit. I will take them to my favorite beaches, redwood groves, and marshes. We'll walk on shady trails of russet and emerald and I'll bitch that the blackberry vines are not ripe yet. Maybe we'll see some elk.

There will be pictures.

I don't actually have any good pictures of home myself right now. But I thought I'd link to some flickr streams from people I like who were recently up there. I don't have permission to put the pictures directly in this post, but I do recommend that you take a look at them. They're amazing.

Nisaa's pictures are lovely. And so are Klwaltons. And then of course, Joe Decker's work is beyond compare.

This is where I came from. This is what made me. What I'm missing so hard today that I can barely breathe. It's at times like this I think to myself that I want to just rent a moving van, throw us all into boxes and flee to the north. Then sanity prevails and I remember that the kids love LA, their dad is here, our lives are here, I love Pasadena and my little cottage in the hills, there's no work in Eureka and also no pho.

Nostalgia sometimes just trumps sanity is all. I am glad I am going home this month. Not a moment too soon.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

A pet peeve

You know what bugs the shit out of me?

People styling themselves "Lord" this or "Lady" that in everyday life, when they aren't actually some kind of peer.

It never fails to put my teeth on edge.

About the only exception to this rule for me is if someone is playing Faire or SCA and the title is a matter of the character they are playing. And then it only doesn't bug me as long as we're at an event, IN costume, in character. Once the closing bell rings, I ain't playing no more.

Certain Wicca groups also use titles as a matter of degree, and IN ritual space, IN that context, it doesn't bug me quite as much (though I've never been a fan of degrees) as it does when some random schmoe goes around calling themselves "Lord or Lady So and So."

I don't know why this makes me want to throw cake at them, but it does. It makes me want to yell, 'Look, the internet is NOT a magical fairy land of golden make believe!' very loudly, and that's not nice, and it also takes their fun aw
ay. And why do I care? Why would I want to do that? It is a classic example of "whatever floats your boat" and really, if Mary Sue Pootieschmidt from Topeka wants to style herself "Lady so and so" on teh intarwebs, I really should not care. But it never fails. Teeth, gritted, eyes, rolling so hard they could be marbles.

We all want to be the pretty, pretty Princess. We all want the fluffy dress. Maybe it's that? And hey, that's ok.

This is a very small concern, in the face of rising oil prices, cost of living, elections in Zimbabwe, and the fact that I need at least another plastic tub to get my yarn unpacked and there's honestly no place in my new house for another plastic tub to reside.

It just itches me and I'm not sure why I care. I can't solve it. But I think I just thought of where another plastic yarn tube might be hiding.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

I am piggybacking off of a post from Faith which answered the question, "Okay LA folk... time to tell me... what are your favorite things about/in Los Angeles? Especially your favorite hidden secret stuff that maybe only locals know of. Or super good deals or scenes that make you happy. Stuff that actually makes you stop for a second and think, "Man, I love this place" whether you want to or not."

Oh man, there is so, so, so much that I LOVE about Los Angeles. I love this town so much. Actually, I historically have had sort of a love/hate relationship with Los Angeles, but ever since I moved to Pasadena it has turned into pure love. Sure, I wish there was more choice in the way of easily accessible tribal bellydance classes (unlike the Bay Area, tribal capital of teh world) but it's a small complaint when stacked up against the bounty that is spread out before me on any given day.

I love The Hollywood Bowl. I've seen many shows there, but the best was when I took my mom to see Willie Nelson two years ago.
A Mano Yarn Center
The Original Farmer's Market
All the other farmer's markets!
Mr. Marcel at The Original Farmer's Market (they get their own line, the cheese counter alone is worthy of high praise!)
Landmark theatres!
Cafe Brasil, on Venice Blvd.
Cafe Buna, on Washington Blvd two blocks west of Lincoln.
Hiking in Solstice Canyon
Griffith Park, specifically Fern Dell
The Huntington Library
The Tudor House
Craftsman homes in Pasadena.
Olveras Street
Philippes french dip sandwiches.
Dim sum in Chinatown
Wacko Soap Plant in Silverlake.
Pho in the San Gabriel Valley.
The Shack in Playa del Rey for burgers.
The beach.
Westminster Dog Park.
Little India crawls in Artesia.
Dodger Stadium
and all my friends who live here and make it home.

These are just a few of the things that make Los Angeles/Southern California wonderful, to me. There's so much more to do and see.

Like Randy Newman says... we love it!!

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Pasadena stories

Took a bit of a walking tour around parts of Pasadena today, culminating in this nifty Yucatan style Mexican restaurant called El Portal. Very delicious eats. They had cochinita pibil.

Yes, the chef is still alive.

Yes, I will marry you if you know what movie I'm talking about.

yucatan sampler hot day hot salsa

After some hot salsa, cool margaritas and a split Yucatan sampler platter, we decided to walk around a little bit more. This place reminded me a lot of Diagon Alley, done California style and I think when referring to it as a place to go, that's what we are going to call it.

nifty place books too? yes, please!

Oh yes, these are a few of my favorite things. And how delighted I was when I walked out the other side onto Colorado Blvd and discovered a few more of my favorite things...

best books tea shop tea shop window

The little tea shop wasn't serving hot tea, but they had a huge selection of loose leaf teas and all manner of teaware.

Something tells me we'll be heading back to that stretch of Colorado Blvd pretty soon.

Friday, July 04, 2008

A quiet and crafty Fourth of July

I woke up this morning with the sensation that someone was driving Mr. Pointy right into my skull by way of my right eye socket. As a result, I did not much feel like driving down to the Westside for The Handsome Cabin Boy's block party. No fireworks, pour moi.

I've been a little at a loss, all up here in the hills in mi Casa and today was no exception. I haven't been really sure what to do with myself, with one kid at camp and the other out being a social butterfly. It occurred to me that a time will come in the not too distant future, when I live alone and quiet will be the default setting. And I will have to eat balanced meals and go to bed at a normal time and deal, anyway, without the children to keep me on track. Perhaps this is what they refer to as "empty nest" syndrome. If so, I'm here to say, it is a weird adjustment.

I suppose there is no time like the present to adjust, however.

My friend K posted a link to a recipe for brown sugar glazed ribs recently, and I decided to give them a try. Had to alter the recipe slightly as I started them late and lacked some of the ingredients, but even altered, I gotta say that these were some of the best ribs I have ever made. You should try them if you are of the meat eating persuasion.

I should have taken some pictures. But. Um. I ate them. The ribs, I mean, not the pictures.

There is also a peach/blackberry cobbler

blackberry peach cobbler

which came from this recent Kitchn post. The plan is to eat that with some ice cream, but I'm so full of ribs and my Grandma's potato salad that I may have to wait and have it for breakfast.

No knitting. But a little crafting did occur while I watched me some Harrison Ford in Patriot Games.

subversive cs

So yeah, it's been an all American Fourth Of July here at Casa Faaabulous, with BBQ, cross stitch and action movies. Who says you need a crowd to have a party?

couch testing