I have a dream… that one day the obnoxious sounds of hoodlum children running rampant in the neighborhood streets will cease, and my fellow neighborhood man will put down his hammer and chainsaw and realize his house can be fixed no more. I have a dream that one day, I wont be wrenched from early morning sleep by the unholy neighborhood sounds of what-have-you. I say to you today my friends, let slumber reign. Let slumber reign so that I may dream at last..
(Repost from 2 years ago)
Thoughts of a 30 year old..
I used to laugh at people who made the transition from age 29 to age 30. What were they so afraid of? It’s just another year, there’s going to be plenty more. But now that I’ve turned 30, I repeatedly blink my eyes in hopes I’ll wake up and find I’m 29 again and this year never happened. I didn’t go thru all the stress and pain I went thru, I didn’t gain 15 pounds I can’t seem to shake, I didn’t nearly lose one of my parents, we didn’t elect Donald Trump as POTUS… But alas, here I am, 30, and here are my thoughts:
My body: They always told me I’d lose my metabolism by age 30. Having been someone who always ate whatever I wanted and never had to worry about a thing, it is actually quite devastating to find this permanent spare tire around my middle. No one wants to feel less than they are. But the lesson to learn here, is that you don’t have to keep trying to be more than you are. No one has ever complained, mocked, or had a problem with my imperfections. I’m no longer in my 20s and if I’m hanging out with someone who laughs at my chub, maybe I need to be rethinking the people I am hanging out with. Or I need to laugh louder about their bigger chub.
I can no longer eat extrordinarily spicy food without my stomach protesting later. And I find myself saying, “what?” far more than I ever have. I used to jokingly tell my parents that it was simply because they are old, well now it would seem the jokes on me. Our bodies truly do seem to go thru all those horrible changes as we get “older.”
My money: For the first time in my life, it is tight. I am at this strange point in my life where I am making enough to survive, but that’s all. Living alone is pretty damned expensive, and people looking for roommates are looking for college students in their 20s. So what do I do? How do I live? Carefully. For the first time in my life I understand the value of working hard, and the need to think about how I’m spending my money, and the reward in being able to treat yourself to something nice.
I used to chalk it all up to career choice. I simply didn’t make the right choices when I was in college. But the truth is, those things don’t matter as much now. 3 years of experience is equivalent to a 4 year degree in most places. If your 4 year degree is the same as your 3 years of experience, then you can’t say you made a wrong choice. You are doing what you want to be doing. I am doing what I want to be doing. It isn’t glamorous, or exciting, and it doesn’t necessarily pay well. But it is what I am good at, damned good at, and it is what makes me smile.
My family: In turning 30, I reached the cut off point to sell my eggs. Sounds strange, why would I care? Do I even want to sell my eggs? Not necessarily. But knowing a piece of you has reached its expiration date just makes you feel old period. How did I miss the step at which people have kids? The truth is, I didn’t. I chose not to hike up the mountain along the beaten track. I chose to claw, fight, and drag myself up the hard way, and if it put me on a slower path, then it put me on a slower path. I am not at a point in which I am ready for children. My own parents didn’t have my brother and I until they were in their mid thirties and there was nothing wrong with that. They lived their lives first, found each other and truly fell in love, and had kids when they were really ready for them.
As far as falling in love? I’ve felt love for someone else a couple of times. But I’ve never met someone I could see myself with for the rest of my life. Does that make me broken? I’m coming to terms with the fact that I Am A Virgo. I am thought full, particular, stubborn, and wont act unless I am sure of myself. I haven’t met my special person. I am not sad for it. I am in love with my own independence.
My future: When I turned 30, I had a midlife crisis. I lost people I cared about, and at some point, hit a bottom that created an outward ripple. I lost myself. I wasn’t in my 20s anymore and I wasn’t sure what to do. It was a long journey to try to rediscover myself. And the truth is, I’m no one different. I did not magically wake up and find I was an adult. The truth is, I’ll never be an adult, in that sense. I will always need my parent’s help and approval on the serious things. Maybe there is an added expectation on me, to be responsible and a role model and have experience. But I can only be me. Everyone has their own journey to go thru. It was my errs and experiences that made me who I am. I am finally old enough to look back and see that. I am not apologetic for being who I am.
I am a Korean-American woman, I don’t know who my birth mother is, but I know who my parents are, an American woman and an English man. I grew up in small town Alaska and got my degree in Idaho, but spent most of my college years in Oregon. I have two cats and two tortoises. I like icecream, and I like beer, and I love icecream in my beer. I play videogames, speak fluent sarcasm, and watch documentaries for fun. I hide myself deep inside the enigma, buried in the pages of an open book. I am who I am, and I am not apologetic. I am me. I am 30, and in a month, I’ll be 31.
I don’t mean it to sound like I really hated my childhood.. Honestly, the older I get, the more I realize it’s the opposite.
This town sheltered my childhood. I grew up around complete families. I grew up surrounded by culture, and diversity. I grew up in a community of adopted children, and through that, my eyes were opened to the huge world outside my little island. I grew up enmeshed in the local Native culture, and through that understood the concept of respect. And I grew up in a town that is probably 75% wild nature, and through that I developed knowledge of more than just human culture. I watched our beloved Glacier slowly melt away, and understood that what we do really does matter. Climate Change is real. I remember the Exxon Valdez oil spill in ’89, and understood that life is more than just we see on land. I saw a wolf on the ice, I watched from a distance as it tipped its head back and howled, and I realized some things TV and Photos just can’t capture. That there is a real world out there, and first hand is sometimes the only way to really experience it.
It took me years to realize. But it all soaked into my development as I lived and grew. No one had to teach it to me. Like my mother never tought me her Spaghetti recipe, but I know it. Like my father never tought me how to shell fresh shrimp, but I know how.
I ran away from my childhood once I finished High School. I washed away the memories and never wanted to go back.
Juneau, Alaska was where I spent 20 years of my life. It is my childhood. I knew culture, I knew nature, I knew Love.
I simply mean to say, that through this return, I have realized that it is no longer my home. All things continue to move, and I had moved on. It wasn’t for me to stay there.
(Photo credits from 11 years ago.)
The entire city of Juneau, Alaska is covered in a thick haze. Smoke from wild fires up north. It distorted a lot of the views. The mountains in the distance, standing like sentinel ghosts. And the heat was record breaking. These aren’t the way things are supposed to be there..
And maybe it was fitting for my return. All of my memories got distorted and turned on their head..
The truth is, Juneau is no longer my home. I don’t know it anymore. Everything is different. The shops, the people, the Glacier, the trees! Some things are the same. The beaches.. But none of it felt like “home.”
We spent so much time playing tourist, and seeing as much as we could see.. It wasn’t like I was returning to my home.
I’ve lately spent so much time confused about who I am and what I should be doing. The two people I reunited with, so head strong and assured in what they are doing. Why couldn’t I find that?
I don’t really know what I had been expecting. Some grand revelatory moment? Some golden answer to all my quiries?
Instead, it was like opening a box, to find it’s empty inside..
I had never believed or felt that I was really an Alaskan. Not the way some people do. But I suppose this trip confirmed it for me. Alaska is not my “Home.”
“Home” is still a place I’m searching for..
The Case of the Murdered Raven..
In the wee hours of the morning, a raven was murdered on the grounds of the Sacred Shrine of St. Theresa.
All the other ravens were up in arms. Squaking and crowing at any who passed by.
Crime scene photos were taken.
But no trace was left behind. It seemed the culprit had made a clean get away.
Was it Great Bald Eagle? Known for laying the smack down on smaller birds getting in his way?
Was it Big G Bear? Who possibly happened upon this straggling raven and had him for a snack?
Or was it possibly Mr. Wolf? Not typically know to these parts. A traveler. Passing thru. Murder and mayhem left in his wake.
Who could know? But the ravens demanded answers.
The heat was on, and the tide was rising..
Who would solve the crime.. of the Murdered Raven..
(You’re not going crazy. There is no Chapter 3.)
The Day After..
I don’t know about you, but 16,000 steps sounds like loneliness to me.. 16, 192 right now, as I type, sitting, perched in the window..
Yesterday, the world came together to celebrate the Birth of our nation.
Today, life goes on. The sun comes up. Stores open as usual. Crew ships dock. Life goes on..
Candy wrappers litter the streets. Orange cones still linger from blocking off streets. A woman in a police car drives block by block, stopping each time to pack up the “No Parking” signs..
I walk the streets, and I don’t recognize anyone. I don’t recognize the stores. I don’t recognize much at all. It’s like a dream you’re trying to remember, but can’t quite pull it out of the fog. My heart feels confused..
I reunited with a childhood friend, and I didn’t know him anymore. He looked different, but the same. He knew me, and I knew him, and I smiled… but I didn’t have the energy to meet a stranger..
Even the trees are strangers. The freakin’ trees!
How can a place be so familiar, yet so different? Was it like this for my father? Who moved from his home across the world to be with the woman he loved.. was it like this when he came back to his childhood home?
A teacher once told me that “Nostalgia,” is the longing for a time, not a place. Places change. This place has changed..
And 9 stories in the air, I watch a small tour ship, docked away from the other massive crew ships. I watch as it toots its horn and pulls away from port. I watch it disappear behind a building for a while, a long while.. I watch it reappear, turn right.. turn right again. I watch it go around it unsure circles, before finally finding its way and heading off, and I feel a profound sense of… loneliness…
When she was younger, she’d been a little in love with him.. But then, what young girl isn’t a little in love? Something about him drunk dialing her and serenading her a song by Poison. Or maybe it was something else.
On this night, the docks were crowded with people. Drunk, and rowdy, and jostling everywhere. Everyone shuffling around, looking for someone else..
And then BOOM!!
And the sky sparks to life. Everyone stops, turns, and looks skyward. The night fills with colourful explosions. One after another. The next bigger than the last. It is the event of the night. 4th of July Fireworks show.
And yet something pulls her attention to the left. And there he is, standing alone, head tilted up in awe. The sparks of light illuminating his most likely drunk, and relaxed features. The slightly amused twitch in his lip.
The show was in front of her, but the heart stopping sight was to her left..
And then someone says his name, pulling him from his revery, and he is engulfed into the crowd..
I never liked loud sounds. Booms of explosions, banging of drums. It always hurt my chest. The deep sound bouncing around my empty rib cage..
I always avoided parades because of it. And thunder would cause me to cry. I couldn’t handle the echoing in my chest..
Tonight, the explosions are loud. They are numerous. Sky explosion after sky explosion. People cheer and clap. The sounds carry and bounce off the mountains.
BOOM! ..boom! ..boom… BANG! ..bang! ..bang…
It is a trick. It makes the night full of flashes and rumblings.
And I wonder if it also makes Juneau cry. The sound echoing around her rib cage..
Or if she feels happy. Because tonight, her chest is full with the people who love her..
George A. Romero was called the Godfather of the Dead. He wrote and directed the classic Night of the Living Dead.
He had this idea, in one of his films, that one could distract a hoard of zombies by lighting off fireworks into the sky.
(I think, another nod to what Romero thought of society..)
In the movie Land of the Dead, you hear the boom, then see the masses of zombies all stop, turn, and stare skyward. Awe-struck by the sparkly sky flowers..
At which point, the group of survivors either make a run to safety, or bash the zombies in the brains..
Today we played Tourist..
I’m trying to remember my childhood. How we’d walk our dogs all around the Mendehall Glacier. I see the old grainy pictures of them in my mind, but the glacier today is not that place..
It is verdant green and lush. Even the water from the falls and the glacier seem a tint of green. At first, what hits you, is the smell of exhaust. There are some 5 buses when we arrive, and more coming and going. We take the standard photos. I squint, and I’m not sure if it’s because my contacts are dry, or if I’m trying to see the glacier. My heart breaks a little over how far back it’s melted over the years. But hey, “Global Warming is fake news,” right?
There is about a mile walk out to the epic waterfall. We fall into the stream of traffic and are whisked off, like spawning salmon. And no matter how many waterfalls you’ve seen, this one still takes your breath away..
From a distance it seems standard. Meh.. But as you get closer, you hear it before you can see it. A distant, tickle of laughter in the air, followed by a cooling in temperature. And then when you break through the trees and are finally upon it, it towers above you like a God, laughing its great, crashing laughter. Your feet sink into the dry sand as you approach its base. Like a traveler reaching an oasis, you reach the fall. You are met with the cool, spray of water. And words escape you..
It is a very touristy thing to do. What was once a peaceful, leisurely place to go, now a place people from around the world flock to see. After all, perhaps one day, there wont be much to see anymore..
In keeping in the spirit, we go to the local fish hatchery. Not some place locals would go to for fun, but somewhere your second grade class might take you during Ocean Week. Inside, one giant cylander with warped glass the induces a sense of dizziness, is full of huge fish you’d never just see. Giant, lazy rock fish. Huge, spiney king crabs. Anemonies that could suck your face off. Barnacles the size of walnuts.. And of course, to one side is the touch tanks, where kids can poke starfish and sea cucumbers.. And for a good 10 minutes, I stared at a hermit crab as he contemplated moving to a new shell. I had my camera poised, ready to snap a shot of his naked body as he made the half a second change. But also felt a little bit like a peeper, looking thru the window of a stranger, and eventually left to reunite with my party..
And finally, dockside, the oddly ellusive, bronze whale sculpture. Nothing quite so awe inspiring while I was living here. Huge, with fountains and spraying water shooting up. Really, it was pretty fantastic (if a little oddly located..) Humpback Whales, such amazing and magestic creatures. They’ve always struck me as so Alaskan. The way Rhubarb feels Alaskan. Yes, you can grow and buy Rhubarb anywhere. But Rhubarb in Alaska is like palm trees in California..
…I’m not really sure where that analogy came from. It’s coming on 10PM on July 3rd (11PM down south time.) And I am contemplating the feasability of going to bed and skipping the festivities tonight at midnight. But, you see… it is a big thing here. Cars are already lining up along the main road, finishing boats are clogging the channel up, and with the fire warning pretty high up here and a possible water rationing soon, it is a really big deal that the city has even allowed fireworks at all tonight..
And so it is..
The midnight streets of downtown..
I still sometimes dream of Juneau. It’s always downtown Juneau though. I suppose there are the random dreams about the old houses, but usually it’s downtown. At night. I’m walking, and it’s empty, but all lit up. It’s almost like the scene at the beginning of Spirited Away, where there’s no people, but everything is open..
Maybe it has something to do with the night my brother and his friends were throwing a Christmas party. He was living downtown, in an apartment above one of the tourist shops. I honestly, don’t really recall the party, but I remember, as I was getting ready to go home, looking out the window over the downtown streets..
Snow covered the streets and buildings, cuz in Alaska, that’s what happens in the winter. All the shops were long since closed. But all up and down the streets, it seemed the entire high school senior class had decided to have a giant snowball fight..
Imagine streets, usually crowded with tourists all bouncing from shop to shop. Now suddenly empty. Bright, and beautifully blanketed in virgin, fluffy white. The streets aren’t large, but all along them, the largest, organized, bloodless war I’d ever seen..
I don’t really know why these two memories pop into my head… We used to joke that Juneau had 2 seasons, the Rainy Season, and Tourist Season. “Going Downtown,” mean’t you were taking your life into your own hands by jumping in with the non-locals..
I suppose I’m probably being dramatic. But I was always very small and easy to step on. I also, never knew what downtown was like after it all shut down for the night..
Now here I am, head hanging out a 9 story window, breathing in the fresh, sea air and embracing the silence. It is profound. It has taken me 3 decades to realize, underneath it all, Juneau is beautiful…
And here we are..
I remember the first time I’d spent an extended time away from here, Juneau, the town I grew up in. It was my first year away at college. I’d gone to Idaho. I went for the writing program. And had followed a boy. It was yellow. Fields and fields of yellow. Wide, open fields..
I came home my first summer. I landed in the small airport and was picked up my my parents. Unsurprisingly, it was a grey and drizzly day. I hit the ground running, we immediately drove to a friend’s house for dinner or some such gathering. I remember the sudden claustrophobia, fighting back tears in the back seat. Juneau is surrounded by mountains, like a giant, green fishbowl. And on overcast days, of which I had grown up with frequently, I had forgotten how thick and low the clouds sit. Right on top of the mountains. I felt immediately closed in..
I spent the summer with my dog, driving to the ends of each road.. then turning back, and heading home..
Juneau is essentially an island. Travel only happens via plane or boat. I had had a taste of freedom, and the small island was too small for me..
Flying back in today, I didn’t feel homesick, or welcomed. In fact, I really couldn’t see much at all. The wildfires up North had created a thick smog, Juneau’s beautiful mountains, smudged out of view by Climate Change.
And I’m not sure what I had expected, I walked out of the bathroom and down to baggage claim and I had no idea where I was. It definitely was no longer the airport of my childhood. Where was the giant, stuffed grizzly? And the standard cafe style restaurant we’d always eat breakfast at? I felt like a stranger in a strange land..
We drove down the familiar streets I used to stomp on. The bones felt the same. The street names were the same. I think I remember that house..
We passed by my two childhood homes. One was exactly the same. Same green shutters, same fence, same vent in the attic I had butchered to help vent my clubhouse… The other house looked dramatically different. The paint seemed dark, and since when did they need that fence?
It was all alot to take in. To slam your brain with memories. Memories of a childhood, you never really bothered to hang on to. It was just Juneau. It was the bosom that nurtured me while I grew. I was a fierce grizzly growing up, and an Eagle. I needed to fly.
I am sad by how weird it feels to be here. It’s like a fuzzy dream I’m trying to remember.. but I’m not remembering it quite right. I’m not supposed to be here in a rented car. I’m not supposed to be sleeping in a hotel on a couch. And it is definitely not supposed to be 80°! People laugh at me when I cry over 70° down south, and I justify my precious tears with the explanation that, “I grew up in Alaska!”
WHAT THE FUCKOCALYPSE?! Is no place sacred anymore?..
The light goes on at zero dark thirty and I moan. I’d forgotten how much hotels suck. It may be a fairly quiet hotel, no wooshing of the tram-line, and the rumble of passing jets, like the distant sounds of an eager neighbor wheeling their garbage can down the driveway… over and over…
The hotel room, for all its wonderful design, its light blocking curtains and its hip, raised sink… it is not designed for comfort and relaxation!
One light switch, that illuminates the entire world! A thermostat that has to be operated by the greatest bomb defuser in the nation. The bathroom door that is a little too oiled on its tracks and slams shut. The shower door that isn’t oiled enough and groans terribly when opened or closed. The toilet that acts like this is its first job, so eager to please, and almost seems to flush itself before you can even push the button with the most extrordinary WHOOOOOSH!!! The coffee maker, brewing away, until, like a washed up stage actor taking his dying breaths, puff… puff….. puuuff….. PUUUUUUUUFF! And don’t even get me started on the pillows, so puffy and inviting, until one’s head approaches, and they immediately deflate to sad pancake pillows…
I hadn’t been able to sleep anyway. I eventually tried thinking about sheep. Then began thinking about a story about sheep. Then couldn’t stop.
I put in my headphones and cued up a monotone voiced crime reporter podcast, and did, eventually, somehow, fall asleep…
The View From Here…
After a night waking up with some sort of strange full neck/throat muscle spasms, in which I could barely move my head or swallow (I took a sleep aide, and magically woke up semi-cured…), I journeyd down to town for a quad shot latte at my favorite coffee shop. Sadly, my barista boy was not working today. I watched as the patrons all seemed to know each other. This table jumping up to say hi to this table. That person walking in and saying hi to that table. Not me. I sit alone in the corner, but the sweet sounds of Edith Piaff and Pink Martini, and an old school English crime novel kept me company.
Afterwards, it was alot of hustle and bustle. The last minute sort of stuff you do before a trip away. My fur sister looked dejected, someone had said the word, “walk” and possibly the word, “beach?” hours ago… My big cat naps. It’s one of the many perks of being a cat, naps, whenever. I try to feed the small tortoise a fresh raspberry from down the way, envisioning the memes of the small tortoise, face covered in murdered raspberry gore. I have my camera at the ready, but his head just bobs up and down dubiously. So I take him outside in the sun. He opens his mouth, then bobs his head up and down dubiously..
Dinner of Safeway Chinese take-out. A total guilty pleasure (don’t judge me…). Dad chokes near to death, mom continues to hustle and bustle..
At some point, our chariot for the 70 some odd mile ride arrives. It’s gonna be long, smashed in the middle seat. I put my head phones in and the noise drowns out, like those movie scenes where the music turns up loud and all the outside noise goes away. I see lips moving, and hands bouncing up and down, occassionally a laugh breaks thru, but it’s just me..
Our hotel feels confused. It’s retro, with loud music, and at any moment you expect strobe lights to start flashing. Outside our window is a building under construction. We close the curtains. Though, it’s surprisingly quiet, for being right on the tram-line and close to the airport. It’s only one night though..
We get drinks at the bar. At the next table over is a small party of an older man, and a couple Jack the Lads. They are loud, excited. Apparently, of all the million destinations in the entire world, they are destined for the same, small town as us..
I spent 2 decades of my childhood growing up in Alaska, calling it home, not really knowing anything else. Apparently, 11 years ago, we up and emigrated to the lower 48. 11 years ago was the last time I set foot in the motherland..
Tomorrow, I board a plane to return..
PS. She totally made it to the beach..
Hashtag: Happy Mermaid Dog
If I ever had any doubts of my feelings towards babies, airplane rides confirm to me why I don’t like them…
The plane was small to begin with, the aisle barely large enough to walk down without turning sideways. Wailing baby infront of us, wailing baby somewhere behind us, and the stereo typical movie brat directly behind me kicking my seat.
I am exhausted. I have barely slept all weekend and the 2 hour plane ride was mean’t to be a chance for some sleep. But that didn’t seem would be the case with junior soccer star behind me.
And if I thought trying to fall asleep with the five nursing babies and toddler from hell was bad, I was not expecting the 20 minutes of violent, stomach dropping, head thrashing turbulence. Later spoken of as “the worst turbulence I’ve ever experienced,” by other passengers.
And it was bad. The last time I’d experienced turbulence like that, I was barely just a teenager. It was a band trip to another small city in Southeast Alaska, though I can’t recall exactly which. I remember the plane dropping violently, my stomach leaping into my throat, and grabbing onto my best friend. He laughed at me, always the rational one. But I was the one with the wild imagination. Years later, I would follow him to college. He stuck with band, I would simply flounder. Like a fish out of water. An Alaskan, finding herself in Idaho…
I feel the plane turning figure eights as the pilot tries to navigate the turbulence. Ironically, the brat behind me is silent. But each time I close my eyes, the plane jerks sideways knocking my head about, and I see William Shatner’s monkey on the wing. I see the cast of Lost, just trying to survive. I see snow capped mountains, with nothing around for miles…
We land safely, obviously.
I am awash with more relief than I realize. Not just to be back on solid ground, but because in a matter of hours, I’ll be back in my bed. I’ll be in my pajamas, surrounded by my pets, and no agenda. Just back home.
We stand at baggage claim, joking about their promise to provide discounts on your next flight if your bag arrives 20 minutes late. We watch our watches. 18… 19… 20… and then the conveyor belt stops… There is a moment of confusion, where are our bags?
…We received the discount on our next flight, and the promise that when our bags returned from their wayward trip to Portland, they would be delivered back to us at home… Pajamas and all…
It rained the whole 2 hour drive home. But some 10 hours after waking up that morning, we made it home. And some 108 hours after starting the most arduous graduation weekend, it ended…
Small consolation: Unpacking was easy…
To wait, or not to wait…
Today we got to sleep in. No graduation ceremonies to go to, no fireworks, just a leisurely day. Which was fine, cuz it rained…
And it was an oddly timed day. In that, we drove to a lovely breakfast place, The Broken Yolk (known for their Man vs, Food food challenge of a 12 egg veggie omlette, side of hashbrowns, and 2 biscuits in under an hour.) And there were people out the door waiting. We were told we’d have about a 30 minute wait, so we went outside to wait… and were seated 10 minutes later…
Where as, the wait for 4 coffees…
We went to the well talked up Urth Cafe. A place that touted its fair trade and heirloom product. Matcha Lattes, Boba Teas, and Italian Style Coffees. And some pretty delicious looking food. There was a line out the door. When we finally were granted admission we ordered our drinks. And 30 minutes later, we walked out with them.
The one time sensitive item of the day, the appointment to pick up the graduation cake. We got to the shop maybe 20 minutes past the hour. The shop was bustling with customers coming and going, with their custom made graduation cakes. But ours wasn’t ready yet..
The town of Orange seemed almost confused as what to do, with all the extra people around for graduation weekend. We popped into the soda fountain shop for a milkshake, and they seated us in a booth and then ignored us. When we finally got someone’s attention they were super apologetic and then we had about 4 people waiting on us. For a milkshake. One.
The biggest worry of the day was dinner. Sunday night, post graduation weekend dinner. Everywhere was going to be jammed. We’d popped into a little Italian place in the afternoon, wanting to put in a reservation, but they didn’t accept reservations. We’d have to try our luck at dinnertime like everyone else. It didn’t look promising, as the restaurant was hardly larger than a downtown clothing shop, and had few enough tables to count on 2 hands.
But we tried anyway, we weren’t in a hurry. There were people outside the restaurant when we walked up. We went to put our name down on the list… and they told us they had a table…
It was a strange sort of day. A day we had given ourselves to take our time and not rush, but the fates had other plans for us. Perhaps it was all so we could really enjoy ourselves. See and do everything we wanted. Or perhaps everything was just turned on its head this weekend. Either way, after the hustle and bustle of the last couple days, it was a nice change.
Slow down and enjoy your coffee. Come right in and eat some food. Spend more time with your family…
Are we done yet?
Another early morning. Another stupid, early morning. And it still wasn’t early enough. It was floor seating for graduation attendees, and for short people, that meant prime view of the backs of people’s heads.
Ceremony began with a video with students thanking their families, and then a brief run down of the rules. No food or drink, no standing and blocking people’s views, no going into the aisles to take pictures, etc. The music began, the graduates began their walk, and everyone jumped up and ran into the aisles to take pictures…
This is the part of the graduation that is the most important, and yet, the most boring. A total of 10 seconds from the moment they announce a student’s name (with the most epic, sports announcer voice ever!), to walking over to accept the diploma, get a picture taken with the dean, and vanish off stage. 10 seconds, and a hundred other students to go.
Needless to say, it was boring. The sun was beating down (between the clouds) and one woman ahead of us kept standing up. Not to take pictures, simply to stand. I might have yelled at her to, “sit the fuck down!” at some point. I had yet to have a cup of coffee…
It was stupid early…
At some point, we resorted to mid-ceremony selfie taking. At some point, we went over to the table with water coolers. At some point, we left and got coffee. When we had coffee in hand, some 20 minutes later, the epic, sports announcer was still announcing names…
It ended, eventually. More pictures were taken. And then it was lunch time.
Margaritas and molé, valet parking, and twelve dollar guacamole (that we did not get.) And a gigantic scoop of fried icecream.
Afterwards, the sun was finally shining in earnest, the jacaranda trees were blooming, and all of Southern California was headed to the beach. So we did too. It took us about 10 minutes to drive there, and about 10 minutes waiting behind cars sitting around blocking traffic to get that spot when that family has finished packing up and leaves…
But the sand was warm, and the sky was blue. It smelled like dead fish, but hey, it’s the beach. Families fishing off the pier, and it must have been good fishing, cuz a pod of porpoises were boppin’ about, and a lone sealion swam about near the pier.
Dinner was a casual affair. All the celebration and energy expended. But the restaurant we found, we discovered we quite liked. The Lazy Dog brewery that touted itself as dog friendly, even going so far as to have menu for dogs. The food was delicious, though no one could manage to eat very much.
Back to the hotel for a blessed early night. We all settled into bed, before the sounds of banging started. As much as I tried to ignore it, I could not and only grew more irritated with each bang and pop. Until it finally dawned on me. The Los Angeles Angels had won their game, and the stadium was letting off fireworks.
We went to the window and watched. And oddly enough, it was a pretty spectacular end to another long day.