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Last Sunday's day trip was to Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.  (^not my photograph)  Such a long day! But I didn't mind; this place holds a special place in my heart. Groom and I went camping on our honeymoon near here, long ago, and one day he and I took time out of our, erm, busy schedule, to play at the park.

Traffic was horrific due to a) Father's Day, b) the weekend, and c) very poor urban planning on the part of the City of Santa Cruz. Honestly, this amusement park must make a killing--would it hurt to install a parking structure? If they're worried about disrupting the skyline, well, even a two-story structure would double the capacity for the pitiful couple of blocks that are allocated for boardwalk parking.

Because here's the essential hypocracy of Santa Cruz: On one hand, it cherishes an old-fashioned hippie, Surf City U.S.A. vibe that embraces a low-carbon-footprint, environmentally-friendly lifestyle. But at the same time, it blithely allows thousands of tourists to come to town every day and spew carbon monoxide for an hour apiece as they crawl down narrow streets in underdeveloped neighborhoods, searching in vain for street parking.

I think I'll write a letter. Santa Cruz's irresponsible attitude toward traffic flow has awoken my inner Leslie Knope.

Anyway! We had to drive down in two cars. We lost my uncle twice along the way and once on the way back. We had to split up in the course of finding parking, ("Every Van For Himself"), and for a while I really believed Uncle Don would be lost to us forever. I mean, he was alone in a strange town with no cell phone and no way to call any of us. But in retrospect, I believe it was the nicest part of his day, being away from all our yammering.

Once I knew we were all parked and accounted for, the day improved for me. I ate ice cream and rode the sky tram, teased my cousins and got too much sun. Also visited a psychic, but that's a story for another entry!

Go Nuts

Jun. 21st, 2015 08:20 am
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Groom and I treated the whole crew to a minor-league baseball game last night.

Our team lost, unfortunately, but not because of the way they grouped themselves at second base like this.

Read more... )
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Our San Francisco day trip was so much fun!

My midwest relatives got to check a few things off their vacation to do lists. They saw the ocean--in fact, the teenage girls were fairly boisterous at their first sight. They took loads of selfies in front of the Golden Gate Bridge, and later had their first taste of sauteed calamari, fresh off the pier.

Also, we saw a whale underneath the bridge! It was my first real live whale, so that's a thing that got checked off my own list.

Ushering them around reminded me of my first time there. That's why I really like taking relatives on tours: for the nostalgia factor. Also, I love them and want them to be happy, of course.

My weekend

Jun. 13th, 2015 11:44 am
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My brother-in-law's memorial service yesterday was as low-key and nonreligious as possible: friends and family gathered at an ampitheatre on a college campus. We wore summer casual and grouped together on the shady side to protect from the heat. Then everyone took turns sharing stories from his life. We sang Amazing Grace to start and The Parting Glass to close. A heartfelt service made more beautiful by natural surroundings.

Next on our plate is a weeklong visit from my relatives. My mother is trying to guilt me into putting them all up at my house on their first night, but honestly, they'd be miserable. There would be eight of them in this little place. Where would they sleep, the bathtub? Besides, they will only be in my town for one night. They'll be based at my mom's house and my brother's apartment for the rest of the time, presumably sleeping in their bathtubs.

In fact, my mom texted yesterday and asked if I could provide the guests with towels and as many sleeping bags as possible. Is this the first time it occurred to them these things would be a good idea? Families, man.

Today: grocery shopping and house cleaning. Also, I'd better check the condition of our sleeping bags. Tomorrow, the carpets need a very deep cleaning.
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Saw this meme on [ profile] akatnamedeaster's blog this afternoon and I thought it looked cool. So here's what's going on with me:

What I'm reading:
The Killing Moon, a Nebula-nominated fantasy fic by N.K. Jemisin. This is my sci-fi/fantasy book club's next pick, and so far I am digging it. I have a few weeks before our next meeting, so I have time to read as slowly as I want, enjoying the way this author can turn a phrase.

What I'm modding:
I've never modded a comm, and I wouldn't know the first thing about it. For those of you who have, what's the toughest thing?

What I'm thinking about:
Summer vacation with my husband's family, and how bad blood has really crept into our fun. In years past, we used to rent this one great big cabin and just pile in. But in the last few years, resentments have begun to creep into our relationships. They can be put aside for a while, but not forgotten. Meanwhile, the cabin has been sold and is not available to rent anymore. So my family and my SIL's family are trying to look for cheap digs. Other families will stay in other cabins. And then we will meet at the beach, designated neutral territory. Fun will be had, I guess, but that old easy informality is gone, and I'm sad about it.

What I'm creating:
Nothing right now. I see [ profile] het_bigbang is gearing up for another summer run, which puts me in mind to write again with [ profile] teddyradiator. We've procrastinated on our next project so much! Maybe what we need is a deadline...

What I'm watching:
Mostly Giants baseball! I keep up with a couple of network television shows: Elementary and The Flash. Elementary turned out to be surprisingly low-key and sophisticated. The Flash, I started out being very disdainful of, and later grew to like for the interweaving story lines.


Apr. 21st, 2015 07:46 am
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Thanks, everyone, for the birthday wishes, especially [ profile] teddyradiator! And thanks to [ profile] delphipsmith for the v-gift. It's a silly thing, but the attention gave me a little grin when I woke up and logged on.

Birthday whinging results in a spiritual decision )

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Please don't take offense - it's all i can think to call them. must be punchy.


today is the harry potter birthday party! i made these horcruxes out of thrift store finds.


what they lack in class, they'd make up for in good humor.

Posted via LiveJournal app for Android.

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It's my little brother's birthday. Facebook said so; it must be true. Though, to be fair to my amazing cognitive functions, I've remembered the date quite easily my whole life, even before the machines took over in 1996 and became our silicon minders.

Where was I? Oh, yes, Facebook. Facebook invited me to comment on my brother's "wall," so I wrote,

"Whoa, whoa, wait - did MOM authorize you to have this birthday? Better check."

Because when we were very young, our mother had the POWER* to withhold the privilege of turning one year older, if we were not very good on or near our birthdays. If we misbehaved, she was known to point a crooked finger and declare, "That's it - you're not turning ten on Tuesday. You have to stay nine for another year. Now off to bed."

Then the trick was to try and make her change her mind before the next Tuesday, and let her deviant child turn another year older.

When we were very young, this was a serious threat.

When we turned, oh, ten? we felt we knew how things stood.

Now that I'm older than dirt, I wish I had that power myself!

*She is clearly imbued with this amazing POWER. In the whole time I've known her, she's never copped to being older than 39. Q.E.D.


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