July Wrap-Up

In an effort to post the most flattering pictures on the internet, here is me and a friend’s child taking our 4th of July corn-on-the-cob eating very seriously. So, yes, July started off right! We had a nice BBQ/pool day with friends from work and their two kids. It was a lot of fun. We haven’t been great at meeting up again since their 4 year old’s calendar is quite full of birthday parties but SMS and I will take what we can get!

Truly the dumbest thing I’ve done on a 4th of July but what can I say? I was surrounded by USMC.

The next weekend, we went to San Diego. I thought I had Reserves stuff but instead, I had mixed up the weekend dates. Ooops. So, we hung out with SMS’ family, including a trip to the Del’s “Taco Shack” where we hung out with his sister and BIL as well.

SMS and I went for a hike at Torrey Pines. We wanted to see the rockslide debris from the Spring, when we had seen pretty epic videos on YouTube. Some of it may have been cleared out, but it was still pretty impressive.

We walked down the beach to Flat Rock. SMS didn’t think the beach access was open, but it was as it was a little South of where the big rock slide had been. We walked up Broken Hill trial and took a left onto North Fork Trail. It was really beautiful and I’m glad we got out for the hike.

The next weekend was my trip to NYC, which I wrote about in a separate posts.

The following weekend, we went back to San Diego for another visit. We went for a really nice walk along the bay on Bessemer Path in Point Loma. It was really pretty on a cloudy day. It ends a Kellogg Beach, a quiet neighborhood beach with very calm water.

We wrapped July up with the Taylor Swift concert, which was definitely an experience. I’m glad we went! I feel like it was a defining event of Summer 2023.

June Wrap-Up

SMS and I in Tiburon at the Chiefs’ Roast

June was a great month! The absolute highlight was our 10th anniversary trip to Healdsburg with a big, splurgy stay at Singlethread. That will be in a separate post! We also had two work-related social events (mine), a weekend staycation in San Francisco, and dinner with friends.

The month started with a bagel breakfast trip to California Ave. An artist I follow on IG was selected for a mural installation. I saw her walking away as we approached so I didn’t get to fan girl. Oh well, it was cool to see a large project in progress

On California Ave, the Farmer’s Market is fun to walk through on Saturdays. Lots of booths, several musicians, and our favorite bagel place. On this particular Saturday, someone “busking for birds” captured our hearts!

We went to the chiefs’ roast dinner, which is hosted by one of my colleagues at his Tiberon home. He comes from wealth, which is slightly gauche to say but it’s true. There’s no way houses like that are bought on MD salaries in the Bay Area. The party was a lot of fun and very social. I was told it went pretty late, but we stayed until 10.

Later that weekend, we went on a hike at Windy Hill. I was on the lookout for the superbloom, which wasn’t quite happening but there were some pretty wildflowers.

We saw KT Tunstall at the Guild on 6/15, which was a great concert. She’s similar to Imogen Heap in that she does some mixing and looping throughout her show. It was excellent.

That weekend, we had a staycation in San Francisco. I used a combination of points, hotel credit, and some cash to stay two nights at the Fairmont. The black tie graduation event was on Friday. Mark and I stayed through Sunday morning and had a great weekend.

We walked a lot, which was a great way to become more familiar with the city. On Saturday, we walked towards Russian Hill with a downhill detour towards Washington Square in North Beach. Then we walked towards Ft. Mason and had lunch at Greens, which had a beautiful design and tasty food. By then, we were pretty pooped so we took a rideshare back to the hotel

The next day, we walked to Pac Heights/Fillmore Ave. We found the vertical garden on our way. We had a tasty Mediterranean lunch, although the place’s name is lost to me now.

That evening, we went to Zazie to use my gift card from Rip and Linda. It was a nice place and we had a delicious meal. It was a no-tip menu, which is fine.

I went to an Italian dessert cooking class that SMS had attended a few months back. I met a new friend and we’re going to start a book club together!

My longtime friend came up from San Diego with her husband, son, and her son’s waterpolo team. Waterpolo is a tough sport! The endurance and sprint mix is pretty insane. I endeared myself to the Del Mar team by yelling during a break that a certain numbered player on the LA team should stop punching opponents in the nuts. This apparently made the LA moms mad because apparently, they are nut-punching condoners. So weird. But guess what happened? The nut punching stopped. Win!

But seriously, the kid had done it to three Del Mar players which caused a lot of tears and one injury timeout. Like, wtf. It’s a 16 & under water polo game and the parents somehow think this ok because it helps their team win? Pardon the pun, but that seems pretty twisted.

SMS and I also saw Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit at Frost Amphitheater. We met up with a colleague of mine and her family. It was pretty funny b/c before the concert, she had said that her two boys loved Jason Isbell. So, I thought they were total concert savants and would be really into the music and pay attention throughout. Yeah right. They tore around like two tornados because they were little kids who were not, at all, interested in the concert. By the end of the night, it seemed like my colleague and her husband were wishing they had made it a date night. But who knows, maybe the kids will remember the concert for the rest of their lives.

Finally, we had our longtime friends over for lunch. In contrast, their son is probably the most mature of the five of use. He’s been our sommelier for years and now, he’s graduated to grill master. It was such a fun pool and grill day.

May Wrap-Up: Concerts and More!

Human Disco Balls, aka Lucius!

After a fun Chicago trip, there were still a lot of fun things that happened during May. Although we haven’t been to BottleRock, we took advantage of a local show that was billed as “BottleRock After Dark.” It was our first show at The Guild, a local venue that is really, really nice. They had a COVID reno and the sound system is amazing in a really intimate venue. There is some tie-in with the Grateful Dead and they must have strong ties to the music industry because they punch above their weight class in bringing in amazing artists. SMS and I felt a little silly that we hadn’t yet been but the Lucius show was a great intro.

They were so good! I had heard of them and listened to a few songs in the preceding days but I now have a new top band! They’re great and excellent musicians. The live show was wonderful. They played several tracks off their newest album “Second Nature.” It features really upbeat-sounding songs about really sad source material (relationship falling apart). This might not sound like the catchiest tagline but really, it’s great music and I recommend!

Purchases this month included a tire after a nail embedded in the sidewall which required replacement instead of patching (boo hoo). I also bought the popcorn above as a joke but it ended up being deelicious! CoCo floss, which is excellent and although a dentist recommended Dr Tung’s SmartFloss as a cheaper alternative, it is not equivalent and CoCo’s wins as a slightly fiber-y floss that really gets the job done. It’s a substitute to a J&J floss they discontinued (boo) that we liked. Wait, wait, come back dear reader! I will stop talking about dental floss and onto more exciting things like…

This dress. I was searching for a dress for an upcoming formal event and I am still kicking myself for not getting it. And it was on sale!!!!

Even my work bestie thought it was a great idea!

SMS and I went to Frost Amphitheater and saw James Taylor. It was another fantastic show. Nothing could beat seeing him at Tanglewood in 2001, but it’s not always fair to compare one experience to another. Tanglewood was the concert where I was with great friends in cheap-o lawn seats. During the encore of “Fire and Rain” with Yo-Yo Ma playing in a guest appearance, the skies opened up in a thunderstorm. I am not even kidding. I felt like I was in a movie, like “The Notebook” without a Ryan Gosling in sight.

The internet continues to offer treasures: Truthiest meme of the month
SMS photo of Andytown Coffee on the first day of their Menlo Park outpost opening! Hooray! Snowy Plovers for all!

January 2023 Wrap-Up

Well, to wrap up this month, I’ve decided to change my website’s theme which may have been a bit of mistake but I’ll make the needed edits soon.

Visit from Friends: A Study in Empties

Since the month had two federal holidays, it was already primed to be a pretty good month. We also saw two friends of ours that we hadn’t seen in a few months. I finished a paper that had been a real albatross over my head (I think that’s a mixed metaphor), so it’s nice that it is done. Until I get the requested edits but hey, that can be a February thing.

SMS and I made a few furniture decisions. We decided we both disliked our couch. Honestly, I have used the word “hated” which a little strong, but I am really happy that we are couch upgrading. The arrival will be another February thing so it looks like January functioned to tee up the blog content for the next month.

IKEA furniture: the best value purchase of my life

I also learned that you can order spare Ikea parts for free! I had placed the screws for the guest bed in a very secure spot and absolutely could not find them. I morosely Googled “What to do when YOU ARE A TOTAL IDIOT and lose your Ikea parts” (or something to that effect) and, lo and behold, it seems other people have done a similar thing so after a little research into the furniture instruction pdf to get the part number, I ordered the parts which arrived 2 weeks later from Sweden. Yes, complete with the customs label! Total value: €8.56!

By the way, I found the screws while waiting for the new one. They were in the Peloton parts/tools bag because of course that makes total sense.

Photo documentation of the broken zipper

But, another bargain of the month was when I wrote to the company that made my jacket. The right pocket zipper split without any real reason. I’d only owned the jacket for a month so I wrote in. I fully expected to be given a pre-paid label to send it in for repair. Instead, they gave me another jacket. That’s crazy! So, now I have two jackets because you better believe I’ll just take the broken one to the dry cleaner to have the zipper replaced. And when I say that, I mean in roughly 6-7 months from now by the time I finally get around to it.

Big family events included the birth of my newest nephew. He is so cute. I think the cutest video I’ve seen so far is when he’s napping, his Mom strokes his head with her finger, and he smiles in his sleep!!! So adorable! It was also my sister’s birthday and, gotta be honest, she’s starting to be the age that I want to lie and say is my age. My Mom kept it simple with 21+, but I’m a fan of the late 30s sweet spot!

I made some resolutions for the year which I just reviewed and…good thing there are 12 months in the year! But I’m making good progress. I have my trip to Hawaii planned out for the conference + a few extra days. SMS is going to pass but I think I’ve planted the seeds for a European Fall vacation for us. That would be awesome.