Thursday, October 18, 2007

autumn in santa cruz

This morning I was admiring the beautiful colored fall foliage of the tree outside my house, which seems so unexpected here. It's been rainier but still lovely and not much cooler than the summer so far. And then... a hummingbird flew over to admire the foliage as well. The second I've seen in as many days. So... all is well in California paradise after all.

No blogging lately,because a) i've been busy busy! and b) my computer is sad again... just dropped it off for $150 repair to make it happy, and so this post is being written at the library / on my rommmate's bootleg chinese laptop.

Due to the computer woes and my trip to portland , I'll be (gasp!) parted from the internet until Monday morning. Any pressing matters, give me a call on my cell.

Things that kept me busy this week.

Richard! Twas a good time, he said. Besides the farmers' market, we managed to squeeze in all kinds of things.
- I went outside! We did a nice hike up at Big Basin state park where we saw banana slugs, giant redwoods, madronas, and other pretty things. And R got to run along the ocean on west cliff, with a view of the latest surf contest.
- Of course we visited BOTH breweries in town.
- I didn't have to work while he was here, but we did hang out at the bookstore and mooch some food and drink. That's the way to do it.
- We dared to drive up to Berkeley in the rainy fri pm commute. 2.5 hours later (instead of 1.5) we were rewarded with awesome vegan sushi at Cha-Ya, and then Rebecca's wine and cheese party. I just wanted to hog her since it was the first time I'd seen her in a year, but everyone else was lovely too. Had forgotten how nice her beau is, probably because they weren't dating when I knew him there... had never chatted with him in English before, but he has a cute accent and was patient with my excessive Ecuadorian nostalgia. And met a super nice Mexican woman who works for a global anti-hunger group, and was heading down to Bolivia in a few days! No fair! It's bad enough that my dad's already there. Otherwise there were a mix of R's law school friends/roommates/associates... good lord, I haven't been around so many young people with things in common with me since forever, quite disconcerting. Seriously it seemed like EVERYONE we talked to overlapped with our lives to a crazy degree... Richard even ran into someone who was on his high school x-country team.
- And, the big event, the Richard's in Town First Annual Singing at My House was hugely successful!! Everything I'd hoped for. It was a gorgeous sunny day, everyone brought good food, was gracious and thanked me copiously for hosting. We had 30 people - from Berkeley, South Bay, plenty of local singers, and even some new converts who had been looking for a local group to sing with. Almost everybody lead a song with or without assistance, and somehow it worked out that we had exactly enough time for everyone to lead before the break and again after the break. Most importantly, it sounded GREAT, and my 2 schemes totally panned out. 1) Bay area sacred harp mixer - people were meeting/reacquainting/generally fellowshipping and saying "yeah, why DON'T we sing together more?" 2) Local singing resurrection - everyone was pumped for more singing and we have a tentative plan for 1st/3rd sundays, swapping between my house and whoever else wants to host.
Was such a good time I even chose to be entertained by the guy who got up and said, i quote: "I'm not a good leader and I don't really know this song, but let's do Rose of Sharon!" sigh.

- I shipped R off to the airport on Sunday, with minimal parting distress because I was going to be seeing him in another airport in 5 DAMN DAYS (man, I really just can never get sick of R and KT and am going to be saddddddd when our Special Marathon Fall Season of Travel and Quality Time ends).
- Monday it was back to the grindstone as I kicked off my first professional chefing gig! I haven't said much about it because it's really been a big hassle and lots of work for very little compensation, but I'm feeling more positive now that the first day was a lot of fun. One of my Bauman instructors had the idea to create a fitness/nutrition after-school program for kids in Santa Cruz, and so 3 of us have been putting that together from sratch. It's great experience and all but also a big pain. Anyway, we're pulling off a 4 class pilot program at a local elementary school with real grant funding, which means money for supplies and a small little paycheck for me. But a paycheck it is, and I got to show up and get called "Chef Rebecca"!! The kids were sooo excited about sampling foods and cooking with me, and think I'm all impressive in my white coat. Hee!!!! I'll share some pictures and recipes later on.
-Also put in a few shifts at the store. Count yourselves lucky that I can't remember any exciting periodical links this time. Ooooh wait, there was this gem in the economist:
Roberto Madrazo, the 55-year-old candidate of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) in last year's presidential election in Mexico, was disqualified from the Berlin marathon for cheating after recording an improbably fast time. The PRI has a notorious history of electoral fraud.
Snicker.

- Lack of internet has actually increased my productivity exponentially. In the last two days I've read three books, gone out to a movie (Darjeeling Limited... our unanimous review was: "pretty, but eh"), made applesauce, and accomplished all manner of household and professional tasks in a timely and efficient manner. Who knew.

Oooookay, speaking of timely and efficient, I'm off to do laundry and pack for my whirlwind trip to Portland. I'd better get some sleep, since apparently we're staying at some sort of rock and roll hotel? R swears it's a good deal, but mostly he just wants to be close to the local beer. I'm sure the singing will be great, but R and I most especially hope the food lives up to our memory from the 04 convention. Possibly the best singing food ever.

And... I'm out.

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