February- First Half

I am lucky that I am here to write about this month. Did you think I died? Well, this little bird almost gave me a heart attack. I woke up one morning and walked into the living room. Channeling my best “Miss Clavel turned on her light and said, ‘something is not right,'” I realized that my little Madeleine-bird was not in her cage. OMG. Where was her little corpse? I crept around trying to find her. Then there was a little shift of yellow in my peripheral vision, I gave a shriek, and we had a tearful reunion. Jk, she hates me. But I did get her back into her cage.

I have some books on my TBR list, thanks to a seemingly belated “Best books of 2022” list that I found. I was about to say I didn’t know where I found it, but looks like the screenshots say it’s elle.com. Such a sleuth.

SMS and I attended our apartment complex’s Super Bowl event, which was a lot of fun. The game was really good! It’s nice when it’s a game where both offenses shine because it’s pretty easy to follow. But, as they say, defense wins championships…

Thursday drinks in the grocery store continues with my favorite work friend. It’s not the fanciest place, but we call it home. Ha, ha, we definitely do not but it is fun. As well as weird. Also, they’re a little off on the pours. Since there was “only a little left” in the red, the guy poured it all out and said, “Ooops, that was a lot.”

We had a feast with long-time friends where we pigged out on chicken biryani and crab. Oh my gosh, it was so good. It was great to see them and tour their under-renovation house. I had fun with holding their baby daughter (~6 months) who has such a luxurious head of hair!

There is a robot “security guard” in the basement. It plays this weird, spacey sound as it rolls pretty slowly through the garage. Although it seems slightly silly, I bet it can speed to the scene of the crime and/or deploy multi-directional tasers. TBD.

Finally, I found some good visual jokes this month. I would put them in a gallery because they’re not that hilarious that they deserve their individual photos, but the Venn diagram is not behaving.

Weekend Review

Evening Smart!

After four weekends in a row away from Menlo Park, SMS finally got a break and I travelled North.  I took Valentine’s Day off not because it’s a holiday we go all out for (honestly, it feels like Christmas just happened and who wants back-to-back gift buying pressure?), but because Lucid was having a special reveal party for reservation holders.  That’s us!

The event was called, “Love is in the AIR.”  The attire was evening smart and it was an incredible party.  I would have loved to be there from the start, but I arrived 45 minutes into the party due to insane (but typical) traffic from the airport.  The showroom was open for the first time and the interior was exquisitely luxurious.  There was a craft cocktail bar, which was for the party only.  Lucid will not promote a drinking driving culture in everyday operations.  There were special cocktails named after the different interiors. I ordered a drink with whiskey, fig, and a sprig of burnt rosemary that they flamed then and there.  Impressive!

There were a lot of delicious hors d’oeuvres that were passed.  I tried most of them, but didn’t act disgracefully.  I always remember a party I went to where the poor server carrying the shrimp got mobbed by people who acted like they hadn’t eaten in days.  Who knows, maybe they hadn’t.  But it looked like a shark thrash zone with chum in the water.  So, yes, I had some food as it showed up in front of me but afterwards, SMS and I realized we hadn’t really had dinner so we split a kabab plate at Oren’s Hummus.

The car reveal was preceded by a 20 minute-ish talk by the CEO/CTO highlighting some specific advances/innovations/exclusives of the car.   Then, the garage door opened in a haze of fog-machine produced atmosphere and the car rolled in.  It is a beautiful car and everyone was very impressed.

We spent the rest of the party trying the VR car viewer followed by talking to several Lucid employees.  It was a great time and I’m so glad we went.

My favorite water tower in Palo Alto

Biscuits and Gravy- can you feel the romance?

The next day, SMS had to work and I hung out in Palo Alto.  I went to Rumble Boxing, Blue Bottle (twice!), the mall, and the grocery store.  I also did some laundry and cooked dinner for Valentine’s Day.  Forget “Engagement Chicken,” I made SMS some biscuits and gravy!  It turned out pretty well although I think the sausage we used the first time was better.  Then we had molten lava cakes for dessert, which were very tasty.  I know the menu is not pleasingly cohesive but, hey, it worked for us!

Avocado Toast: We’re such Wannabe Millennials

On Saturday, we had a Blue Bottle breakfast and shopped for veggies at the small farmer’s market. Then we headed up to Lafayette to hang out with Jyotsna and Akshay.  It was a fun afternoon of eating, drinking, and socializing.  We went to their friends’ house in Orinda for a bit.  It was nice to talk to them.  We had met once before and got along well.  We headed home for dinner.  I made a Zuppa Tuscana that was pretty tasty and a dupe for the Olive Garden soup for those in the know.

Sunday was our more active day.  We ate breakfast at home and then went for a hike on Windy Hill.  It was a gorgeous day.  I feel so lucky to be able to go on such great hikes!  I also made a veggie lasagna that was pretty good.  Thanks Smitten Kitchen!

This is pretty delicious

Monday was another work day for SMS/holiday for me.  I went to Rumble and Blue Bottle.  I was going to go to the museum but Jyotsna invited me to a farm tour!

Wine, my favorite farm product!

We went to the Nest Box farm and it was a delight!  We fed cows, chickens, goats, and sheep.  We collected eggs.  There was a small picnic that we supplemented with more food and (surprise!) wine.  We looked at the barn, garden areas, and pet rescue rabbit area.  It was a beautiful day to be outside and a really cool experience.  I want to go back with SMS and stay overnight, which will allow us to do more on the farm like milk a cow!

SMS came home a little after 6.  We had some dinner and after that, it was time to go to the airport since I needed to head back so I could be on time for my Tuesday clinic.  It was such a great weekend!

Highlights: November 2019

Another month mash-up!  At the beginning of the month, SMS and I took a walk over to the Cantor Arts Center.  We enjoyed the temporary exhibit West x Southwest: Edward Weston and Ansel Adams.  We also looked at the objects in the “Melancholy Museum,” an organized presentation of many items collected by Leland Stanford the III, the only child of Leland Stanford, Jr. and who died at the age of 16 from typhoid.  The pictures above are the death masks of the three Stanfords (macabre!) and on the left, an Ansel Adams picture.  Mrs. Stanford’s death story is especially interesting since she was poisoned twice and the second time, died.  She was murdered and it is an unsolved crime!!!


I went to UCSD for Grand Rounds during the week and decided to document this statue’s ignominy of getting constantly crapped on by birds.


SMS gave me this cool mug!  Thank you!!!

Haha, the perils of taking your questions to the internet!

SMS and I spent the weekend in Newport.  I got a breakfast-in-a-glass Bloody Mary and had SMS take a picture in front of Birdie to show to the paraquitos!


Newport Beach, CA


The next weekend, I took a few days off of work for a family vacation.  First, I stayed with my grandfather in Stuart, FL for  a few days which was really relaxing and fun.  My grandfather just became a Bridge Master, so I took a picture of his trophy glass.  I also took a picture of the many panic button lanyards at the gym…hazards of working out when older but hey, it’s good to be alive and kicking, just not on the floor unable to get up.

Then I drove down to Bay Harbour/North Miami for a family wedding, Dad’s side.  On the way, I stopped for lunch and a quick walk at the Morikami Museum.  The Japanese gardens were gorgeous.  I enjoyed lunch on an outdoor deck and during that time, I decided I really liked Southern Florida in November!

I was the only one of my immediate family who could make it and since my cousins had been great in coming to our weddings, I wanted to show up for theirs.  It was absolutely beautiful with a ceremony on the beach and the reception indoors at the Four Seasons.


Selfie with my aunt and uncle who still tell me stories about when I would sleep over at their apartment in NYC, circa 1985.

On the way back, I connected through Chicago which meant I could get a margarita roadie to go while making my way across the airport.  Yeah, I really needed that!  *Eyeroll*  But how can I stay away from Rick Bayless?!?!  I also met a woman who has a “real” company and a “fun” company.  We talked about her “fun” company, which specializes in cashmere onesies.  She was rocking one herself and both the flight attendant and I thought it was wonderful.  It’s pricy but so tempting!  Don’t worry, have still resisted temptation…so far!

I arrived home to a full apartment since our friends were visiting.  The A family had a crazy-busy San Diego itinerary- they went to the Zoo, Safari Park, Legoland, AND SeaWorld!  I worked during the week, but we would meet up afterwards for dinner.  On Wednesday, I watched Ishaan while the parents had a date night.  Even though Ishaan and I had fun, I am no match in the popularity contest once SMS arrives!

Yes, Ishaan made SMS a poster and we picked him up from the airport.  On the way back, we stopped at the Spruce St suspension bridge, which made Ishaan a little nervous.


The next day, we all went to La Jolla for lunch at the Taco Stand (so good!), followed by a trip down to the Cove and the Children’s Beach, now overrun by sunbathing seals.

Drinks in La Jolla!

Afterwards, we went to Cabrillo National Monument and walked around the tide pools at sunset.  It was beautiful!


Dos amigos!

We went to the top to overlook San Diego and saw a really cool focal rain storm.  It was hard to capture on camera, but we did our best!


We met up with John at Craft & Commerce, which everyone enjoyed.  Jyotsna ranked their cocktails slightly higher than Herb & Wood, but thought both places were amazing.


Finally, SMS and I found a new-to-us restaurant, A Taste of Denmark.  Their smørrebrøds, with homemade multigrain bread, were on point!  The herring was my favorite.

To end the month, SMS and I took a walk through the Hotel Del to look at the Christmas decorations.  We also caught a beautiful sunset from the beach.

Highlights: July 2019 (Part 1)

July was a busy month where I stuffed as much as I could into my last month on the East Coast.  SMS came out for the 4th of July, which is a VA Beach tradition down at the waterfront.  The year was toned down since Marc’s absence was strongly felt, but it was really nice to hang out with family and enjoy the gorgeous day.  There were more babies this year.  SMS met my cousin’s child Q and longtime beach friends brought their twins who were distraught at being isolated from the action in their little baby pool.

Real Dad with the Boys!

And look who else was here!?  Dad!  Sorry for the bad picture Dad!  Tit for tat, get rid of some of the horrible candids in your possession and then we’ll talk, hahaha.  Yes, Dad was in town for my promotion ceremony since I finally put on Commander, yay!

Dad administering the oath of office!

I held my Wetting Down on 5 July.  It was in the event space of my apartment building and I basically re-did the party I hosted for two colleagues in January.  The catering was from Handsome Biscuit and there was plenty of wine and craft beer.  I mention the craft beer not to sound super bougie but to set up the contrast against my previous two wetting down which were slightly less classy/more wild.  Don’t get me wrong, I loved my wetting down this time.  I was Commander, how could I not?  A lot of awesome colleagues were there and it also served as an almost-Farewell party as well since I was moving in August.

Picture from some point that weekend!

It is funny, though, to compare this affair with appropriate volume music, relatively low alcohol consumption (so much left over and one week before my move, ugh), early ending with almost everyone gone by 9:30p, classy and mature conversations to the other parties I’ve had in the past.  O-3 coincided with med school graduation so I co-hosted three parties with assorted friends.  One was at the Army-Navy Club in DC so that was quite nice although, don’t get me wrong, everyone was shit-faced except for pregnant Rose.  But the other party that was a lot of fun was the pigroast where Pete burned the pig to ash in an attempt to avoid Trichinosis.  No matter, that is what pizza delivery is for, plus there was a lot of beer (craft!) being drunk so no one really cared.  O-4 was on the rooftop of the apartment I lived in at the time overlooking downtown San Diego.  It was gorgeous.  It also featured a lot of alcohol on a rooftop with a slightly precarious railing and a Frenchman who sabor’d the Champagne open to everyone’s delight although the residency program director came perilously close to losing an eye.

ANYWAY!  I am only on July 5th.  Sheesh.  This is going to be a long one.  The weekend was a lot of fun.  SMS and Dad were both in town.  SMS left Sunday and Dad left for his high school reunion on Monday.  On 10 July, it was my pack-out date!  The move was very smooth, although I gave the packers a heart attack at the end when I said that they missed the second bedroom.  Ha, ha I am such a joker.  There is no second bedroom.  And then they broke all my stuff.  (Kidding!)

Once I moved out, I was off to California!  Not for the real move but for ten glorious days of house-hunting leave.  This is my sixth move with the Navy and first house-hunting leave ever.  It’s ten days to find a house and does not count against my normal vacation time.  Yes, please!


However, we did sort of house-hunt for two of our friends!  Jyotsna and Akshay’s lease was ending and they decided it was time to buy!  They were between two houses so we toured the two.  One was a little out of the way and farther from the school so it seemed fairly easy to rule out, although it was very pretty.  The second house was in the neighborhood they wanted and another fantastic house.  SMS and I liked it and thought it would work well for them but it wasn’t our $$$$$ to spend!

Two sporty guys!

Things were moving fast in the real estate world so we decided to put off our original plans of going to Pt. Reyes where cell signal is spotty.  Instead, we had a picnic by the Lafayette Reservoir with great food and yummy wine.  At one point, Jyotsna and Akshay went for a walk with a bottle (hey!) and upon return, had decided to put an offer in on the house. Hooray!  As an added bonus, we decided that we would go out next weekend to Pt Reyes to celebrate.

Screen Shot 2019-12-17 at 8.52.41 PM.png
Start-Up Snacks

That next week, I did my best “Real Housewives of Silicon Valley” impression.  I went to Soul Cycle, read books, worked on a paper, and overall had a great time.  On Wednesday, I went into the city to meet Jyotsna for lunch and a tour of her workplace at a cool, successful (post-IPO) start-up company.  I didn’t want to act like a tourist with lots of photo taking but I did take a picture of my start-up snacks.  Gummy bears- yum!

Ok, ok, too much happened in July.  I’m going to divide the posts to prevent a novel-length post so July, part two coming up!