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!!!

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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.

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

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Drinks in La Jolla!

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

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Gorgeous!
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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!

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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.

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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: October 2019

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Wrapping up October with a quick fly-by!  I have to be done by the New Year- new resolution, more frequent blogging.  This has only been made and broken many times!

So, first things first.  The above picture is from a dresser I have from my parents.  It dates back to childhood and I just recently noticed by sister’s long-ago vandalism.  When I texted her on WhatsApp (would we ever have thought?!) she said, “That’s me!!”

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I finally got my own office and moved out of my temporary digs.  As a present, I left a few Milk Duds in the toilet bowl (see an earlier post entitled, Office Prankster).  I think it’s funny and I’m fairly certain was never seen by anyone other than me and the janitor.

I found Sidecar Doughnuts in Del Mar Heights.  This was a delicious, although unnecessary, discovery.

SMS and I took a hike at Huddart Park after the Wunderlich parking lot was full.  It ended up being a stroke of good luck because now we know of two cool parks to hike in, both with second-growth redwoods.  From the sign, it would be safer to have a child with us that we can hold in front of us should a mountain lion stalk us.

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We also went to the Blue Angels show during Fleet Week, San Francisco.  I tried very hard to picture myself as a sailor.  Hmmmm….  The Blue Angels were pretty spectacular and we had a great spot on a gorgeous day!

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I got tickets to the SLAC Community Open House and surprised SMS with a fun date night.  I feel this date night disappointed my sister-in-law, whom I had told we had a cool date night and the next day, when I told her where it was, I could feel the palpable “You guys are such dorks” waves come through the phone lines.

We managed to get some limited tickets to see the actual linear accelerator.  It was very cool so I took a few photos.  I think I need a klystron, with accompanying warning sign, in my own workspace.

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I found a cool outdoor/indoor coffee bar in Little Italy, Lofty!

Jenny invited me to Lizzo!  It was an excellent concert!

SMS and I had San Diego’s best!breakfast! at Hob Nob Hill restaurant.

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New wall art!

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Pretty flower shop in at the North Park/South Park junction!

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Hanging out in San Diego, not sure where?  Wait!  We are at Cabrillo National Monument.  Looking cute, might delete later!

And finally, Halloween.  The department secretary organized everyone (read: six fools) to buy Waldo costumes, which was a lot of fun.  I made a layered chocolate cake from Martha Stewart, which was delicious.  I did have a Martha fail while making it (see rightmost photo), where I learned that you can over whip Whipped Cream!

Highlights: July 2019 (Part 2)

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Aaaand…we’re back!  Second half of July!  On Saturday, I decided to treat ourselves by booking tickets to Hamilton!  I have wanted to see the show for a really long time.  I was excited to take SMS to a show since it isn’t something we have really done together before.  Actually, we had seen Wicked and that was pretty awesome but that was six years ago!

In the spirit of a decadent night out, we went to Rich Table in San Francisco for an early dinner. Jyotsna raved about the place and she was right- it was exceptional!  The menu changes often but there are a few regulars.  We ordered two: the dried porcini doughnuts, raclette and the sardine potato chip with horseradish.  The former was sublime and the latter was interesting but not worth ordering again.  As I type this, I’m getting a case of serious deja vu…wait!  I wrote about this in June!  But we went in July!  Oh, the perils and trials of writing too late.  But this was definitely Rich Table.  June was State Bird Provisions, now that I think about it.  I am writing this correction here because who knows if I’ll get to it in the actual post.  I can’t even blog on time!  Anyway, between the two restaurants, I would go to Rich Table any day but both are gustatory treats!

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Hamilton was awesome.  Wow, such an original opinion and so cutting-edge!  I had listened to the soundtrack prior to the show, but the experience was elevated by the incredible staging.  My favorite aspect was the rotating stage that was particularly effective during a slightly dream-like, time-and-perspective shifting scene during the song “Satisfied.”  I also liked seeing King George III on the sides of different scenes with his snarky expressions and body language even when his songs weren’t featured.

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Guess who Ishann loves the best?  Ok, ok, it’s probably his parents but it’s hard to tell when SMS is around!

The next day, we met up with Jyotsna and Akshay for our long-planned Pt. Reyes picnic and outing.  We went to Tomales Bay Oyster Co for several dozen oysters.  Unfortunately, they no longer have picnic facilities there so we went to Pt. Reyes Station and ate in the small garden/picnic area of Cowgirl Creamery.  There, we supplemented our picnic with cheese, bread, and a few other delicious things like…wine!

After our picnic, we decided to go to Heidrun Meadery, a favorite of A&J.  We had gotten a late-ish start so we didn’t have it in us to head out to the lighthouse, although it is a great place.  It just adds a fair bit of car time to take the backroads to the farthest parts of Point Reyes National Seashore.

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Sitting on the kid’s chair outside the “secret door” to the picnic area underneath the tree canopy.  Pro tip: don’t cut to the right because there is a branch that will try to impale itself into your head.  Trust me.  It doesn’t tickle.
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Ishaan takes half the tree home to plant as a sapling.  Don’t worry- this sapling harvest was supervised and approved by a meadery worker!

After an awesome house-hunting leave (and I did find an apartment on Craigslist for Coronado!), I went back to work.  I really worked until the very end, seeing clinic and even operating on my very last day (31 July) because a patient really wanted me to do her tracheostomy.  She said I “didn’t bullshit her” when talking about medical care so chalk that up to good bedside manner (I think!).

Before that last day, however, I spent the last weekend of July in Belmar, NJ where I got together with my college friends whom I’ve kept in touch with for the last 18 years and known for the last 21!  Ooo, I just noticed those years are very college-age lengths of time.  I drove from Norfolk to NJ via Philadelphia to pick up Gisele and her sons.  My brain was a little fried from PA traffic and the stress of being late, but once we arrived in NJ, things were pret-ty perfect!  The six of us hung out all weekend long and were fairly mellow.  I had the best time and feel so lucky to know these wonderful women.  We were missing one of our “group,” who’s on the West Coast and recently-ish had a baby but six out of seven isn’t bad.  Keeping in touch doesn’t seem to be anyone’s strong suit in the group but we write and get together just enough that I feel we are still in each other’s lives.  Four of the seven live in the NYC area so they’re in more frequent contact (lucky!) but there’s still room for the three of us who aren’t local!

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Argh, I hate being on the end for photos!  But I’m glad we got an adult group shot!

Finally, after a month of highlight upon highlight, it was time to leave Norfolk.  SMS flew in on the 31st in preparation for leaving 1 Aug.  Our trip will be featured in next month’s highlights but a teaser photo is below.

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Time to keep the birds alive in the Summer heat of the Southern Interstate cross-country route!  The little birds did not do their fair share of driving, spoiler alert!

That Belongs in a Museum!

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Oh, Indiana Jones.  You are so noble in making sure that worldly treasures are accessible to all. SMS and I decided to take advantage of a nearby museum by taking the train into SF and visiting SFMOMA.

After a breakfast at home, we took the “bullet” train into the city.  While nowhere near as fast a Shinkansen, it is definitely on par time-wise with driving into the city since there is usually traffic.  We took a wrong turn or two and ended up seeing a police footchase, with rapid backup support from four police cars that were driving crazily.  We eventually made it back to the downtown but that experience, combined with the rest of SF we saw that day, made us feel that San Francisco has become really gritty.  While there are plenty of nice places a person can visit, the overall feel for me is a city with a lot of people in hard circumstances that are out in the street, disconnected from the massive wealth that’s flooded the city over the last 15 years.

So, one of the nice places is SFMOMA.  We walked in and since it’s a Blue Star museum, we got in for free.  Yeah!  We walked through all 7 floors.  There were some really nice works and some that made me think the classic modern art grinch thought, “I could have done that.”

image of Abstraktes Bild (Abstract Picture)My favorite painting was in the German Art after 1960 exhibit- Gerhard Richter’s Abstraktes Bild (Abstract Picture), 1987.  The picture doesn’t do it justice.  Up close, the curves and transitions into completely different color palates were really amazing.

BUT, I will let SMS take you on an art tour- a carefully curated collection by SMS.

Continue reading “That Belongs in a Museum!”

San Francisco Sunday

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On Sunday, SMS and I headed up to San Francisco after sleeping in.  Our main event was going to Beowulf, an immersive theater performance by the We Players, who strive to connect “people with place through site-integrated theatre.”  I was so impressed and excited that SMS had bought tickets to the show.  I had only just heard about immersive theater experiences the weekend before in Charleston when we talked about the NYC show Sleep No More.  So I was really excited to see a new-to-me type of performance that night.

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We decided to make a day of it and headed up a little after lunch and headed to Andytown Coffee, home of my favorite coffee drink, the Snowy Plover!  It is an amazing concoction of espresso, bubble water and decadent whipped cream.  I think it’s delicious, SMS thinks it’s a little less so but we went and I was very happy!

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Then we headed over to the Presidio for a Picnic at the Presidio food truck event.  We weren’t super hungry, but it was fun to walk around.  Then we walked to the waterfront where the show would start.  We went to Buena Vista where I got an Irish Coffee, then we went to In & Out to get a burger for an early dinner before the show.  It wasn’t the most glamorous choice but hey, people are always craving In & Out when they go to California.  Plus, the wharf area is so touristy that we would have otherwise paid a fair bit of money for so-so food so fast food it was! Continue reading “San Francisco Sunday”