Monthly Archives: October 2012

a walk in the woods

Oh, the camping outing this past weekend was wonderful!

We went to Big Basin last year, and loved it so much, I suggested we make reservations again this year and call it a birthday outing for David (whose birthday is tomorrow).  It’s definitely a cozy thing to do as a couple, but the idea of having a group around the fire also seemed really fun.  So we booked 2 cabins and The David invited some folks and it all panned out pretty wonderfully.

There’s a 12 mile hike out to the beach that we had wanted to do last year and which, surprisingly, pretty much everyone was game to do.  Only Steph and Mike stayed behind, worried that their woofer, Coco, wouldn’t make it the whole way.

The park is home to the largest continuous old growth redwoods south of San Francisco, which is my kind of park.  Redwood forests are so shady and cool, with a refreshing, slightly damp, kind of air.  Occasionally, you get dapple-y bits of sunlight or beams shining through the trees.

Almond butter and jelly sandwiches and jerky and carrots in the woods are fantastic.  Also, sitting on a log, after you’ve hoofed it for a gabillion miles is pretty excellent.

We saw a bunch of deer in the woods.  Also, banana slugs.  I will not out the person who screamed like a girl in horror each time I pointed out one of those yellow monster-creatures.
There wasn’t much uphill slogging, so although it was long, it wasn’t as arduous of a trek as we might have feared, and definitely a really lovely way to have spent the day.
And then drinking wine and beers around a fire, bundled up against the cold, cooking sausages and hamburgers, making s’mores, and laughing into the night… it’s definitely the right kind of way to spend some days.

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Filed under Family, Friends and other Humans, Up to Stuff

fur babies

The kittens are not kittens anymore; they are small cats.

Small, mostly horrible, cats.

I have time-for-love with Rocket, every morning around 4 am. Love makes him drool, and he dabs his saliva snoot all over my sleeping face.
Luna hollers at me until I pick her up and carry her around. Many mornings, I am putting on mascara while holding a cat on my shoulder.
They fight in the bathtub and try to climb up the shower curtains. They jump on the counters and knock things off onto the floor. All of the houseplants have been exiled to the outside world, in order to save them from untimely cat-induced deaths. One of them likes to hold her ass over the edge and poop outside of the litter box.

But I love them like crazy. Leaving them every morning to go to work is gut wrenching. I leaked a few tears when I had to say goodbye to them when we left for vacation. It is a love bigger than previous cat-loves.

I have a hypothesis that the cats are playing the role of “baby” that is ubiquitous in my social set these days, and that may have something to do with the extra love. They’re making me feel like I might not be as ambivalent about babies as I might have thought. The crazy-love is rather fun.

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Filed under Cat lady

out of towners

It’s amazing, but wonderful, the way that internet friends sometimes turn into regular world friends. And then it seems sort of funny to think back on the origins of your knowing one another.

Such is the way of Margot.  Although, Margot and I weren’t even especial internet friends… we just agreed to be stranger roommates at ALT Summit.

And that almost seems funnier to me than just knowing her online, that we actually met at a cacophony of girly top knots and colored jeans.  I guess I wouldn’t call either of us poster girls for the event.

Which is maybe why it makes sense that we’ve kept in touch after the fact.

Anyway, Margot and her fellow, Chad, were in town from Chicago for a wedding.  They stayed in our living room and didn’t cram either of the cats in a stew pot, so they totally deserve a prize.

We took them to Homeroom, the land of a thousand macaroni and cheeses.  And they came with us to a see Andrew Sean Greer and Daniel Handler be funny.  They were easy and amenable and made me feel happy about knowing people out there who are smart and interesting and talented and artistic.

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The artisticness was like magnets, drawing them the incredible, neon-imbued, Lisa Congdon.  I interloped on their lunching (and took a photo with my fisheye lens.)
20121015-144529.jpgAnd then they flew away back home to Chicago, where they will continue to be amazing.   I will follow along on the interwebs, waving my little admiration flag.

Thanks for including us in your visit to San Francisco, guys!  We really loved having you.

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Filed under Family, Friends and other Humans

ruby heists, parmesan rinds, and book titles

San Francisco has this annual bonanza of bookishness called LitQuake. It’s a 9 day series of readings and signings and workshops and literary shenanigans jam packed into a week.

Because I have the stamina of a couch oriented granny, I can usually only make it to one or two things, even though there’s something fantistic every evening and all throughout the weekend times.
Last year, we made it to only one, an outdoor Midsummer Night’s Dream-themed reading of The Great Night.

The novel sounded interesting, but I never read it.

Possibly because I fell hopelessly in love with the comedic stylings of Andrew Sean Greer and Daniel Handler, who took the stage after the reading.

They played an accordian and a ukelele and sang a song, full of double entendres, about the fairies in Buena Vista park.

I am delighted and smitten. A year passes and I get distracted by other sundries.

And then!

What to my wondering eyes should appear?

They were teaming up at LitQuake again this year!

Inside, this time, they sat in a little living room vignette and asked one another questions drawn from a fishbowl.

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And man, those are some funny guys. I ha-ha’ed with gusto and wished ferverently to make them my friends.

Somehow, I failed to achieve this goal later when I was getting some books signed, but I am confident that my adoration and charm will eventually win them (or at least one of them) over.

This other guy did a lovely job of telling about the evening and got some great pictures, so if you’d like to get a better idea, read his blog. But better if you can see either of these guys in person to experience the crushing for yourself.

And or! Read their books!

Daniel Handler (or sometimes Lemony Snicket)
Andrew Sean Greer

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Filed under Book crave

and then there was half marathon again

This was half marathon #6, which seems like frequently enough now that I shouldn’t even bother writing about them anymore.

But if my mission is just to blog about my cats and my running, then by all means, Margaret!  Tell us about the running!

Despite a lot of moaning and groaning about it, I did complete a 10 mile run with no walking the weekend prior.

This was the San Jose Rock n Roll, known for being particular flat.  Hoot.

The universe bestowed a heaping of awesome on me when I met Michelle on the other side of the country last month.
She:
a)  lives in my neck of the woods
b)  was also signed up for San Jose
c)  runs just a little bit faster than me
d)  has fun levels comparable to puppies on a trampoline

In short, I was going into this run prepared, flat, and partnered up.

I really really wanted to break a 2 hour 30 minute time.

And lo, so I did!

Of all the pictures that were taken on the course, this is the only one that actually has both of us in it.
At least that girl in the middle back there is in focus.

And here’s one that shows me with both feet not touching the ground!  Did you know that running is technically defined as a gait in which both feet are off the ground at regular intervals?  A speedwalker (or any sort of walker) always has one foot touching at all times.  I don’t think I’ve seen a picture of myself  with no feet touching before, so I feel rather peachy about this, even if it is out of focus.

This was somewhere in the half way vicinity.  Some lady with a boom box was playing Living on a Prayer (we’re half way there.)  Clever.

More both-feet-off-the-ground!  Now with sunglasses!

I confess:  almost as soon as it was over, I was conniving that I could have been faster and plotting for how long it would take me to break through the next milestone.

But am trying to give myself a bit of credit for doing it and doing it better than I ever have before.  I do love that I did it.  2:26:34, 11:11 min/mile pace.

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Filed under Running, the bitch goddess