Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Northward Bound

This morning, I head to North Dakota to see if the fantasy I have about living there for a summer and learning a thing or two about farming is viable. Where would I sleep? Where would I poop? And, most importantly, how would I access the Internet?

A girl still has to make a living, after all.

I come with a long list of questions and this trip is just about getting some answers. I'm sure the locals, most of whom I am related to, will have some questions of their own.

Friday, April 13, 2012

A Bay Area Visit

People frequently comment on my penchant for travel. One friend flat out asked me on Facebook, "Do you EVER stay home?"

It's true. I get on planes a lot. Always have. Not very green of me, really, but I've got a restless soul.

Sometime after I returned from LA in March, I drove to New Mexico (another post entirely) but once I got back, I made a long overdue visit to San Francisco, one of my home cities. It'd been a year and a half and I always pang for it.  

I stayed with Ryan, my cousin/little brother, and his wonderful partner, Kealoha, in their beautiful new Bayview home. As one can imagine, buying a home in San Francisco in a mighty big financial achievement and their real estate timing was just about perfect. The area is currently going through a major overhaul - new restaurants, home makeovers and a shiny new UCSF campus down the street.

Easter brunch at The Ramp.
So, when one does look at the world in terms of airports, it's important to have 'outposts' in the world. These are places that feel like home because the people that live there and how they make you feel. R and K's home is one of these places for me. 

While there, I managed to see some key folks, such as (Grown -Up) Grasshopper, Maria Cubeta. She - my former sidekick - is now a fancy PR exec at Intel, our former stomping grounds. So, where I used to use my security clearance to check her in to the shiny blue building, she now had to do the same for me. Oh, the poetry of passing that torch! I was bursting with pride and choked up in full vaklempt

They grow up so fast, don't they? 
I also got to visit with my former cube-mate, Jody Fox, one of the few colleagues who, like me, could pass for normal but, like me, is most assuredly not. When we united in our very real physical rejection of fluorescent lighting, they brought in the building super to disconnect those evil bulbs above our heads. There, happily, in 'Vampire Corner' we chatted away about pop culture as perky co-workers eyed us warily. We were so content there in the darkness, as much as one can be in the corporate salt mines. 

The Brides of Darkness.
Anyhoo, she's just taken a new job and it was the perfect crossroads opportunity to drop in to her penthouse pad in West Oakland. Triple bonus, I got to see her delightful husband, Hugh, as well as her neighbor, Anne Stone, a modern-day Dorothy Parker if ever there was one. 

I also drove down to Watsonville (!) to see my pal, Mark Dowdy, although I lack photographic evidence. Great to see him, although we definitely need to stop meeting up in the married-suburban homes of other people. Not conducive to volume or frivolity, our favorites. 

On the way back up the peninsula, I dropped in on Valerie Liberty, one of my favorite souvenirs from the Dot Com Madness of the early century. We still laugh about the days when our company sent me, Val and Laura to LA for a week so we could investigate bars and restaurants for a $100K party we were planning in Hollywood. We rented a red Mustang convertible, they gave Val and Laura cell phones and me, a fashion account. Ah, those were the days! 

We played gobs of ukelele together and had a smashing time. She even popped some bubbly! Happily, I recorded it all on my Flip but sadly, I left it behind. Happily, she met me at SFO the following day to deliver it back. (Sheer moments after handing over my suitcase to the Southwest skycap, Val pulls up in some fancy black car and says, "Hop in!" She then places a box of smokey treats on my lap and we leave the airport behind.)

Anyway, though I have the camera, all the videos are now on Val's computer and not mine so I am missing a video in this post.

The morning of my last day, was sheer perfection. I got up early to get some work done so I could go with Kealoha to teach a yoga class at the Integral Yoga Center on Delores. It's in one of those giant Victorian homes with flourishes in every direction. The class took place in the top floor temple and man-o-man, it was one of the best starts to any week I've ever had.

K is a very special person, one of my earthly spirit guides, in fact. If ever you can fit in a totally relaxing and centering activity (such as meditational yoga) before boarding a plane, I HIGHLY recommend it. I felt so very lucky to be there

I feel lucky a lot these days.