Monday, January 31, 2011

then fold thy wings and stay

11 minutes til February! Must... post... more than once this month...

So, January. This has been a month of staring at the wall interrupted by bursts of awesome california fun. So confusing.

Over MLK weekend, I made my first ever visit to LA, which might not actually count because I didn't set foot outside of San Pedro. The occasion was the All-Cal convention, and it turned into a veritable singing retreat. I drove down in a van with some other bay area singers and stayed in the hostel on site. And when I say hostel, I mean this:



It was rented out just for singers - the mattresses were wicked uncomfortable and as squeaky as they come, which was pretty much the best recipe for insomnia I can think of, but it was otherwise completely free of your regular hostel hassles. The convention was kind of a perfect storm of an amazing class, obscenely gorgeous weather in an obscenely gorgeous place, and low-key quality time with new and old singing friends from the west coast and beyond (notably - Texas invasion!) Good lord. If you haven't been to sing at Angel's Gate, I'm not sure what you're waiting for.

If this actually means anything to you, and you've somehow missed the all-cal spamming on the fasola list, youtube, etc, please enjoy the ultimate O'Leary experience:



As if that weren't enough, I got to catch up with freshly-moved other Rebecca on her birthday weekend. I totally owe her one for indulging me in the "I'm in town! By which I mean an hour away from you! With no transportation!" She came all the way to me, meeting me as the singing ended (Actually, it ran a bit late on Sunday, so juuuuuuuust in time for the announcements and the parting hand. You know, the best part of the weekend and the most fascinating for visitors! Yes.), armed with a file folder of local points of interest. I love all my lawyer friends.

Then it was back to real life, by which I mean back to being poor and unemployed. Cue watching Korean dramas on hulu and developing bedsores operation jobsearch!

Next up, my dad + bay area bee-yooty.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Five years ago this week...

...we moved to Texas! And the rest, as they say, is history. Who on earth would ever have guessed we'd end up here? Or that Rebecca would end up in California? How far we've come since college...

Friday, January 21, 2011

SMRT

So you know the kind of semi-hip food establishment where smug tattooed employees write obscure pop culture trivia questions on their chalkboard menu and if you answer it correctly you get some utterly insignificant discount on your order? I totally knew the answer to one of those yesterday! And its original title!!! Thanks, Wesleyan Film Festival. My college education finally paid off big time. Unfortunately, I only noticed the question after I had paid in full. I knew it was too good to be true.

But don't worry, I'm not the beret-wearing excellent rememberer I make myself out to be. Why, just last week I managed to drive straight through our car's 123456th mile without even noticing. Which wouldn't be at all sad or pathetic if I hadn't spent LITERALLY WEEKS in eager anticipation of this momentous event. (No, for real. Every time I got into the car I would look at the odometer in gleeful anticipation. It takes SO LITTLE to entertain me it's truly amazing.) This is really only my second car, and Briana and I have the blurry illegible photographs and the epic story to commemorate my first car's 123456 - it's a tradition! This time I didn't quite go the Peter Mulvey route of resetting the mileage counter 789 miles before 123456, but I did reset it 78.9 miles in advance and threatened Richard with everything from divorce to certain death if he so much as touched it. Then the big day came, except I didn't realize it was the big day, and didn't actually remember it again until it was 4 miles too late. FOUR MILES. FOUR. MILES. FOUR. I don't think anyone except Briana can fully understand the scope of this tragedy.

In conclusion, I mostly don't remember anything.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Another year, another book widget

This blog loves books! I figure before I go back to school and stop having any time to read ever (and Rebecca goes to clown college library school and gets to only talk about books), I'd better take up as much blog bandwidth as possible with pointless book rambling. Here are my 2010 reads, in descending order of quality, not necessarily proportional to the quality of the cover art. Oh man. So many bad half-dressed covers!



Kindred

People of the Book

In the Woods

The Stone of Laughter

Smile As They Bow

Annie on My Mind

Emma

غايب

Sunshine

Some Dream for Fools

Now Is the Hour

Southland

The Family Man

Kushiel's Avatar

The Swimming-Pool Library

Kushiel's Chosen

The Man Who Fell in Love with the Moon: A Novel

Kushiel's Dart

The Salt Roads

The Age of Dreaming




Saturday, January 08, 2011

A slow start

I have been laying looooow these past couple of weeks. Items of interest?

1) I promised a final report on Read Out 2010. I finished several straggler library books, enjoyed one recently gifted book, made some progress on the nonfiction tome, and started the ubiqitous Girl With a Dragon Tattoo. In fact, Inder and I LITERALLY read out the year, putting down our books as the fireworks went off in the neighborhood... the kitchen clock was a minute slow. Anyway, I only completed 4/7 books. I suppose that's a pretty respectable weekly bookcount, and it boosted my 2010 booklist by 10%! Further stats coming soon.

2) On Monday the holiday was over and I had to go back to work! Which is generally bad enough but, wait, didn't I quit????? Sadly I had agreed to come in and clean my stuff out and chat with the new teacher. Actually it was great... it was therepeutic to throw out reams of old papers, I had all the time in the world to properly sort through the fun projects we'd completed and put them in the kids folders for posterity, and the new teacher gets my stamp of approval. Best of all I was able to spend AN UNINTERRUPTED HALF HOUR drilling multiplication with one student! Actually helping kids, how I've missed you! I've said I'll continue to come in and help out once a week, schedule permitting, so we'll see how that goes.

3) I've somehow made a habit of catsitting for Natalia and then not having been organized enough to have vacated her apartment before her return. Fortunately, she doesn't seem to mind the welcoming committee. In fact, fresh from an overnight flight from chile, she jumped on her bike and joined me on my errands! Would you believe this was actually the first joint ride I'd been on since getting old blue*! Not that N and I are strangers to riding together, we used to ride to CAST camp together every day. In fact we spent that heat wave summer of 1995 pretty much glued to our bikes.
*I have a dilemma here, in that I shudder when people name their bicycle friends, but I do feel the need to find some synonyms to shake up the bike blogging. I'll work on it.

Anyway, the mission was to deliver jam to friend of the blog Alex, who it turns out lives essentially in the shadow of AT&T park.



Then from there I went straight to the embarcadero bart to head home. Wow, I was just not prepared for this routine commute turning into a stunning sight seeing jaunt along the water, under the bay bridge and past the ferry building. On a gorgeous, sunny afternoon. How easy it would have been to just keep riding all the way along the bay trail and across the golden gate bridge! This is not an ugly place I live in.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Holiday bam!

Happy 2011, loyal readers! Let's close out 2010 with some final holiday cheer and then good riddance.

My brother masterminded a Secret Santa exchange this year for all of his disparate friends and acquaintances (see, this is what you missed by not participating), and Richard's Secret Santa somehow knew to get him an electronic puzzle game whose sound effects will haunt my waking and dreaming moments until he stops obsessively playing and/or I make it disappear and then gaslight him until he believes he never received a Secret Santa present.


And a couple of highlights from last night, including new year's biscuits and our perennial NYE companions K&L being meta with a photo of themselves on our loveseat last December 31.


And lastly, a ghost of Christmas past: my brother went home for the holidays and sent me this photo of one of our favorite holiday traditions: the matching hollow fabric Santas that our grandparents gave us one year with clear plastic stomachs so you could see the bounty (I'm pretty sure it was just cheap candy, but I don't actually recall) within. If you grew up in a house like ours, there was only one possible way these Santas were going to end up.


Survival of the fittest, folks. Survival of the fittest.

Now, let's bring on 2011!