California Adventure

I bought a friggin annual pass to Disneyland!! My people and I went last week, and it was awesome. It turns out the Tower of Terror is too short of a ride for me to get motion sickness on. Star Tours, not so much. But since I have a pass, I might just do another visit after taking some of my prescription strength motion-sickness meds. I will be listless and apathetic, but I at least I will not barf on anyone.
It was crazy overcast yesterday when we got there, and I took this pic of the submarine ride which I think aptly conveys the gloomy weather.

It was way too gloomy for D-Land, so I fixed it on my Photoshop app. I’m recalibrating my memory to match the updated version:

This is my favorite sign in a long time:

Speaking of children at the happiest place on earth, we passed a guy who was screaming at his little girl from a distance of about two inches from her face. I can only guess her age, but she was in a stroller. She was either four or a small five, and she was already crying. The dad was pushing her stroller on its two back wheels, and just as we were passing them, he dropped the stroller, causing her crying to get louder, and he came around and screamed at her in a barking style, I guess trying to shock her into shutting up. We were all too surprised to stop or say anything. This is what cell phones and threats of putting people on YouTube are for. For the rest of the day, I appreciated the parents who were showing patience and maturity while their little ones had tear-soaked meltdowns. Because, what else can you do? Join in?
It really was a good day to be there. Summer’s over, and the marine layer let up after a few hours giving us a few good hot hours to ride the wet rides and then dry off. I don’t remember anything being such a foodfest. We ate our way across the park. I mean, part of it is the constant presence of vendors, but I’m sure we were burning calories at a faster rate that we could consume them. I can see why they make it so easy to get a passport, because they make plenty of money off of people just being inside the park and having their wallets with them. I bought a little Mad Hatter hat, too, which I think in some schools of thought (mine) obligates me to throw a tea party.
California Adventure Park is pretty cool. It’s got little nods to California everywhere, like vineyards, the Grizzly river run (The Sierras?) some bay area references, an amazing IMAX-style airplane ride, Hollywood Tower of Terror which, pleasantly, is an homage to old Hollywood and not today’s. My friend said there used to be a Golden Gate Bridge when you first walk in, and I don’t know why you’d want to take that away. They are replacing it with Missions, which I guess means exploiting the natives, so I can see why it fits. It’s a rich, proud history.
Real California, fake California, I love California. I love Disneyland too, and I love spending time with my family.

Engaged!

So, I’ve been living in Playa for 10 months now. I’m loving it, and Tim and I got engaged back in May. I dove deeply into Bikram Yoga, starting with the 30 day challenge in January. I did the challenge again in April and July. Sweating for 90 minutes eats up most of my evening time that I used to spend blogging. That, and we both like to do a lot of cooking.

It’s a beautiful art deco ring with a miner’s cut stone. The ring is from around 1910, from Tim’s mom’s aunt.
It was a nice overcast day, with blue sky peeking at us in places. This was what the beginning of our hike looked like:


But in my memory, it looks like this, because that was the day we got engaged, and I’m a gooey, fluffy romantic at heart:

Here are some other pictures from our engagement in Sycamore Canyon, just north of Malibu.

I’m not easily confused or anything

I was leaving the grocery store in Playa last week and while waiting for the light, I realized I was staring at this bench. It’s down the street from the airport. One of my friends guessed that it was maybe somebody’s version of graffiti. I mean, if you have money to burn, and if you want to mess with people’s heads, and you can do so by renting out a bench and writing whatever you feel like on it, then hey. And sure enough, there I am, scratching my head, staring at this bench.
Robot bench
It turns out it’s for a movie.

What is this “stealth” you speak of?

Point and shoots have come a long way since the first one I got in 2000 or so, when we were happy just to be able to look at the pic after it was taken.  Even thought I have a good digital SLR camera with a zoom lens, it’s still wonderful to have a good point and shoot that I can carry around everywhere with me.  I even got a purse that has a pouch on the side that’s just for my little camera, a holster if you will, so I can just whip it out and shoot at a moment’s notice.

The other night I was leaving work and noticed this car with an interesting plate, especially interesting in combination with the make and model.  Either he’s an obsessed James Bond fan, or an actor with a strong desire to have people ask him what he’s done, or he’s James Bond.  For a few seconds  I found myself SO wishing I had a camera, and then I remembered my trusty new sidekick, so I whipped it out.   I turned off the flash and got a pic, and then decided to try the “image stabilize” feature, since the car’s vibration was causing motion blur.  Unfortunately this feature causes the flash to go off automatically, which I only discovered after taking the pic.  And it was night.  And the pic was no good, since the flash lit up my windshield.   I glanced at the motorcyclist next to me, embarrassed, and he just stared back at me.  Then I looked at the driver in front of me, and he was staring intently at me in the rear view mirror.  Knowing my face was lit by the light of the signal that we were at, I couldn’t do anything but try to casually stare at anything but him.

So much for spontaneity.

p1060126

Ich ging zum Lebensmittelgeschäftspeicher heute

Which very loosely translates to: “I don’t have to wait until Oktoberfest to get German food!!”

There’s a German market down the street from my work, and I stop there occasionally, including this past Christmas when I was getting stocking stuffers for my nieces and wanted to fill their stockings with as much variety as I could find. I got them each a frosted gingerbread man there. I love that about the areas I live and work in. I was craving Korean food yesterday, and I had Bibimbap for lunch. It was so delicious, I could have sung while I was eating it. It was even better reheated, later on.
Today I was craving sausage and sauerkraut after work, so I stopped at the German store, the Alpine Village Market. But you know what? I spent so much of my life as a vegetarian that I don’t know how to pick out sausage, if there are choices. I went to the deli counter and there were miles of sausage varieties, plus more along the wall and behind me. Remember in ‘Airplane’ when he went into the cockpit to fly the plane, and there were acres of instruments, gages and panels? It was like that except that nobody’s life was on the line, but like it in that I was all alone and had nobody to help me. Aww. There were, however, samples on the counter. I tried a few, and then when I finally got help, I pointed at the one I liked. This sweet-faced, stout woman said, phonetically, “Oh! Das is Kakawerhgenhk”.
“What?”
“I will get you some.”
She brought me back a piece of sausage, and I said, “What is that called again? Kakaweghen?”
“Yes, Kakawerghenk” and pointed to the far end of the counter, where she’d retrieved my order.
I went looking for it, so I could learn a new word.
I found the sausage identical to what I had ordered, and it said, “Krakauer”. My favorite author. I’ll always be able to remember that. But I swear, she hit every consonant in that word with guttural sounds, and some of the vowels, too.
Incidentally, the phrase up top was what I got back from the English-German translator after I typed in, “I went to the Grocery Store today”. I typed that into the German-English translator, and got back, “Today I went to the food store memory”. I typed that back into the English-German translator, and got back “Heute ging ich zum Lebensmittelgeschäft-Gedächtnis”. I tried to keep going, but it started translating the same thing back. Maybe because English is Germanic. Maybe if you played with it in a more distant language, you’d get more and more scrambled each time. If I was interpreting German phrases, I would have said, “Today I went to the food store, and I don’t like you!!!!” But that’s just how German sounds to me.

Spirits

I love L.A. Not enough that I’d write a song about it, but still, I love it here. The weekend was hot, but the skies were lovely and full of wispy little non-clouds. It was overly hot at my house, but at my boyfriend’s house, we sat out by the pool and it’s surrounded by tall trees, so the breeze coming through the buildings and the trees is nice and cool. We will probably be in the pool a lot this summer. It’s almost tempting to order takeout and just stay there, full time.
I’ve been spending about half of my weekends in Playa with Tim, or sometimes more. I always tended to flake on my journalling when I was in a relationship, so it comes naturally that I would do that with my blog. Plus I really don’t want to blog about my relationship AS it’s starting. But we’ve been dating for several months now, and so I guess I can yip yap about it. He’s crazy fun, and so are his friends. On any given weekend you can watch them go down the list of the seven deadly sins and tick several of them off, one by one. I pointed that out and they said they hadn’t noticed. I kept up with the drinking for several weekends but was coming home so tired by Sunday afternoon that I finally decided I can’t keep up.  Yesterday I was at a party with Tim and his friends and I decided to focus my energy on photographing the event instead of focusing my energy on my beverage, and I promptly lost my glass of wine as quickly as I lose my cup of coffee in the morning via forgetting where I put it.

Anyway, that’s all that’s going on with me.  I’ve also turned into a big flake about returning e-mails.  I have never done that in the entire time since e-mail was invented, and suddenly I’m terrible about getting back to people.  I don’t know what prompted that, other than the list of e-mails I needed to get back to got too long, and I don’t spend any long chunks of time in front of the computer lately.  I’m sure I’ll get back to normal at some point.  I am sure enjoying my apartment, and I’m spending a lot of time at home to despite all of the activity.

I’m going to go to sleep now.  You should check out the “It Puts the Lotion In The Basket” song by Greenskeeper.   Unless the Silence of the Lambs was too upsetting for you.  Then don’t.   I’ve had that song in my head all weekend.   I want someone to sing that to someone on their first date.  Just start serenading them with their guitar: “…And then I’ll bury you un-der-neath a log”.

Something I ate?

Last night as I was sleeping in my apartment I woke up to gentle and inconsistent shaking of my bed. I don’t even know if it would have woken me up; I may have already been awake. As my shoulders ever so slightly continued being jarred, I started wondering if we were having an earthquake, and as it continued, I felt even more sure that the earth was, in fact, shaking. The big one, that we’ve all been hearing about for years and grows even more imminent every year, is finally upon us and we’re getting hit right as the economy is plummeting. My apartment building will be rendered uninhabitable along with many homes in the southland, and the main routes to work will take forever just like after the Northridge quake, and even if I could get to work, the further crippling of the economy will send the company I work for into a nosedive. We will all have to rethink the meaning of “status quo” and living off the land without dependence on gasoline will be far more appealing and necessary than ever before. I will move out to my parents’ property, and we will all pour our energy into gardening and trying to avoid the Mad Max world out there, and hopefully, the rest of the siblings will join us so we can all be together.
Then I realized the cat was just bathing itself rather energetically on my bed and that was what was making it shake.