Weekend in Tiburon

Ben and I just got back from Tiburon.  It was lovely weather, and though we didn’t plan our activities, everything just fell together nicely.

We were inspired to go up because our neighbor said he was throwing his wife a surprise birthday party at this particular hotel, and if we wanted we could stay one or both nights at a discounted rate. Ben and I looked at each other and said, “hell yeah!”  What a nice excuse to go on a little vacation.

We decided not to push ourselves too hard, so we went up late Friday, missed all the traffic, and took it easy.   Continue reading Weekend in Tiburon

Glorious day by the coast

I mean, uh, it’s horrible and cold and you wouldn’t like it.  Yeah.

Well, none of the tourists believe me, either, and all the attractions (Barbara’s Fish Trap, for example) are very crowded.

The sky is blue, the air is warm, I’m wearing a tank-top.  Ben and I went for a walk at the Point, and I took my fleecy off.  I *never* take my fleecy off while walking up there, it’s too cold.  So this, today, is one of the five beautiful days we get per year.  In a month it’ll be foggy and cold, but for now the flowers are amazing (we counted 30 different types of flower blooming in our backyard), the sun is warm, and it’s just like summer.

We had Ben’s family over for brunch today, and we had all different yummy food.  We decided to make all the food ourselves, not do a potluck, so we picked yummy simple things.  Homefries, a frittata* (gruyere, mushroom, and scallions), braised greens (chard** and kale), a fruit salad (strawberries, mango, orange, and grapefruit), a bean salad, and something Sunset Magazine calls an “apple oven cake”, which I’ve made several times now and is super yummy (butter and brown sugar, apples and a little cinnamon, with an egg/flour/milk mixture to hold it together).  It was all a big hit, but the apple stuff was the biggest hit, and was definitely the easiest to make.  :)  Oh yeah, and mimosas.  Except a bunch of us had orange juice-free mimosas, aka champagne.  Mmm, it was good.

We managed to prepare a lot of stuff last night, and get everything chopped and ready this morning, so we could just compile everything and cook it at the last minute when they were here.  The homefries took longer than we expected, and we were waiting for them to finish before starting everything else, but everything came together perfectly for us to sit down with all of the food ready (except the frittata, which was a little slow, so I guess it was only nearly-perfect).  It was so yummy.  And even though it seemed like a lot of food, everything was finished off except the homefries and bean salad. And the ingredients for a second apple oven cake.  So we’ll have those for breakfast tomorrow!

None of Ben’s family have been over since Ben finished my office, so I straightened it all up (no extra papers or boxes anywhere in sight!) and we showed it off.  It’s so nice and comfortable in there.  Everyone was very impressed with Ben’s handiwork.

Last night Ben and I thought to pull out the two of my mom’s paintings*** that I have, and we discovered that one of them looks wonderful in the room, so we’re going to hang it up.  The other is too dark (lots of black), so I think maybe I’ll trade it in for a different one, because there’s plenty of space for two on my wall.  And it’ll be nice to have Mommy art hanging in my office.  :)

Other than that… I started writing a vampire story the other day.  I don’t do vampires, but I had a title that included vampires, so it had to be about vampires.

Recently I’ve noticed that I have trouble distinguishing between “I must continue working on story x so that I’ll finish it some day” and “I must only work on story x, to the exclusion of all other stories or writing”–the latter of which is incredibly stifling to me.  And then I wonder why I don’t want to write.  So, I’m trying to ease up on myself and write whatever I want… while keeping in mind that I have Story X which I’d like to be working on if I’m so inspired.  In other words, I must write in order to write.  BIC.

* How do you spell that? Firefox doesn’t like fritata, frittata, or fritatta.  How about frittatta? No, that can’t be it.  Google + wikipedia tell me it’s frittata.

** I’ve discovered I really like braised chard, whereas kale tends to be more tough even when braised.

*** You can see her art at her website, but neither of the two I have are up there so I can’t show them to you specifically.  My mom is so prolific that the website doesn’t even contain a tenth of all of her art. If we included all of her drawings, it might not even be one percent.  So, the likelihood of me having one of those is pretty small.  :-/

† And with a new update, WordPress + LivePress will properly cross-post daggers (†) to LiveJournal, so my footnotes should go more smoothly.  Yay!

Things I want or need to do today

– Have my Muse show up with characters and a plot
– Sew Ben’s pj pants shut (long story…)
– add feedback comments to a friend’s manuscript
– blog about watching Star Wars
– go for a walk


I had something profound to say this morning.  Then I had a meeting to go to before I could even make a note of the thought… and pfft, it’s gone.  *sigh*

What could it have been?  :-/

To do today

Yesterday morning my mom called saying she was feeling dizzy and would I come over in case she needed to go to urgent care?  :(  So of course I did, and we didn’t go to urgent care, but I stayed to help make food and make sure I was around in case she needed me.  And we watched an episode each of Star Trek TOS, TNG, and Voyager.  It was great fun.  :)

But because of that, all the things I meant to do this weekend have to happen today.  And I need a list, or I won’t do anything*:

  • Call my Dad, my Aunt, and my Dad’s Second Cousin (left messages)
  • Do laundry
  • Write a post about the book I read yesterday.
  • Work on my story
  • Pick out at least one book** and one DVD about Archetypes to acquire – either library or Amazon (found several at the local library… now I just need to go get a library card.)
  • Plant the succulents Mommy gave me  -> Next week
  • Plant a few onions
  • Plant bulbs
  • Repot succulents into a strawberry pot  -> Next week
  • And apparently I was gonna write about going to see Avatar for my birthday a week ago, but never did.  Weird.

EtA: Alright, I’ve done a few things… and now we’re going to make risotto.  Yummy.

* Yesterday morning Ben and I had a conversation about all the things we wanted to do this weekend.  And at the end of it I said, “Alright, on that note, I’m gonna read a book.”  This is how I deal with having things to do.  :-/  It was a fun book.  :)  So really, having the list may not make me any more likely to do things.  But when I do, I can cross them off!

** this is homework, so it doesn’t break my no-new-books rule

Happy New Year, Happy Birthday, Yay Writing, Cramps Suck

Happy New Year!

I had a wonderful New Year’s Eve with my favorite [ljuser]purpleleopard[/ljuser], my mom, my boyfriend, and mojitos, at my house.  I don’t have cable (or an antenna), and we couldn’t convince the Internets to give us the ball dropping at the appropriate (west coast) time.  :(  I like watching the ball drop.  But with nice champagne, homemade pizzas, and good company, it was wonderful.

My bday is on Monday, which I’m planning on celebrating by staying home all day and not going anywhere.  (I took an extra day off for it.)

I’ve managed to *write* a bit this vacation.  Only a bit of actual story (just shy of 1500 words, which feels really pathetic), but also brainstorming and other bits of writing happened.  I’m trying out Scrivener, which is a (mac-only) text editing program for writing fiction.  So far I like it, but I’m worried that creating so much structure for myself will set myself up with too many expectations and I’ll stop wanting to use it.  So I’m trying it, and I like it, but I’m gonna wait 30 days before giving them money for it.  So far it has a lot of similar features as CopyWrite, which is the program I’ve been using, but it has more ways of looking at the same info.  This may or may not be helpful for me… we’ll see.

And my period started yesterday.  No cramps, no obvious mood-swings… it was a bit weird.  Today the cramps started.  I could feel them starting, and decided to take painkillers, which usually makes me feel better until next month.  And then Ben and I went for a nice long walk on the bluffs (the ocean was beautiful, it wasn’t too cold or too hot…), and I noticed that the cramps weren’t going away.  They still haven’t.  So now I’m home on the couch with hot tea, wishing I felt better.  :(  I think TV (hulu–I’ve already mentioned my lack of cable) will have to be my solace.

Scary lady yelling at me

Gah, what a weird thing.

So, I’m in my car on my way out of work, talking to Ben on my cell (wearing my ear snigget). I pull out of the parking lot and up to the red light. I notice in the lane-going-straight there’s a car pulled up beyond the stop-line. That’s a little odd, but since the light rail goes through this intersection, the civil engineers left plenty of extra room, so it’s not actually dangerous. Then I notice that the dome light is on in the car. Hmm, not usually safe while driving. So, I pull up in the lane-turning-right (because I’m turning right), whose stop-line is lined up with where the car is stopped, even tho the car is beyond its own line, and I peer in the window. Just quickly, just long enough to notice there’s a woman driver, and she’s leaning over something. I assume she’s digging in her purse. And then I look forward again, and the light turns green. Still talking to Ben, I start going. And suddenly she honks, for no apparent reason, and I’m just like… wha…? And I keep turning, because she can’t have been honking at me, I wasn’t anywhere near her… and from the lane-going-straight, she turns right, following me. I wonder if she’s honking because she didn’t realize that I was in the right turning lane, and that there *is* a right turning lane, and she really meant to be going right and was mad that I was rude? I dunno.

But she pulls up next to me on my right (I had turned into the left lane, because I was going to go left onto the on-ramp onto 280), and starts yelling at me through her open window as we’re driving. I’m thinking WTF? (I probably even said WTF to Ben.) I can’t hear or understand most of what she’s saying, except that she’s calling me a bitch, and something about me looking at her. Seriously?

So, now that she’s next to me, I notice that she’s a black woman, seeming really big and definitely loud. And that’s all I notice, before facing forward again, figuring that ignoring her is the best option. As I pull up to the red light at the next intersection, I think about how to get out of this situation. How bad would it be to drive through the red light? Bad, don’t do that. How likely is she to get out and attack me? Well, I’m sure I can step on the gas faster than she can get out of her car and break my window. So I just stop at the light, facing forward, trying to stay out of it.

She’s still yelling, I can’t hear everything she says through the window, but really pissed, and “bitch” a few more times. And she says, “Oh yeah, now you can’t look at me”, so I look at her. And I give her the nicest smile I can muster, and I shout “Have a nice day” through my still-closed window. Niceness doesn’t seem to faze her.

And then she shouts at me to pull over–I’m still not clear if she meant to fight me or what–and I say no. I really don’t want to react, I’m trying to think how to respond without escalating the problem, how to not get involved. I’m thinking … dude, you’re big and scary, and I’m this skinny little white girl. I know who’s gonna win this fight, and it’s not me. And seriously, pulling over? What?

She keeps shouting, I dunno what, probably calling me bitch again, because* when light turns green I give her the finger as I start moving. I pull onto the freeway, and she doesn’t follow.

At about that time, Ben chimes in again. He says he could hear some of her shouts through the window, and says something like, “Well, don’t get any on you”. I’m pretty shaken, adrenaline pumping and that fear-feeling tingling through my back.

It took about half the drive for that feeling to subside.

And I’m thinking, is there really an expectation of privacy in one’s car in the middle of a public road? I mean… you’ve got these 360° windows at the same height as everyone else’s 360° windows. I was just idly glancing in, apparently peering a little more interestedly than I intended, because I was mostly paying attention to what Ben was saying, not what my eyes were looking at.  And really–pull over?  What on Earth for?

Gah.  Most people think I’m nice.

* Causality here because I must’ve been reacting to something she said if I finally decided to flip her off, and not any time before then.  I remember I didn’t just feel safer because I was driving–though that was true, too–but I was reacting to something specific.  I just don’t remember what.