Archive for the ‘Girls' Night Out’ Category

No one expects the Spanish Inquisition

This has been a completely unexpected weekend. I might just need a vacation from it, but I’m out of vacation days. I did say a little while ago that I miss my crazy life. Well, it is back with a vengeance.

Friday night after work, I met up with some former coworkers for a little ego boost. I completely miscalculated and kept up with them on drinks. Three very strong gin and tonics later, I stood up and realized my mistake. I immediately got a ride home.

I ate leftover pizza, drank water, made myself some popcorn on the stove (with Greek olive oil and Hawaiian sea salt)” and watched tv in a desperate attempt to sober up before sleeping. I also drunk texted, which was not in the plan. None of it was in the plan. Last week, I had nothing scheduled from Wednesday-Sunday. Oh how that changes.

Saturday morning, I woke around 5 am and laid in bed pretending to sleep until 6 am. Five hours of sleep was not enough. I finally got up, walked the dog in the cold, cloudy, silent morning, showered and hailed a cab so I could retrieve my abandoned car. I felt like an idiot. I’m only telling you so you will learn from my mistakes. Of course, if I had been my grandfather, The Grump, I would have forgotten where the car was and sent one or a few of my six children to walk down the streets until they found it. Luckily, I am not The Grump.

I drove my car to my 9 am hair appointment. Wilson has been bored with my long haircut and normal color, required for wedding photos, so today I let him color outside the lines to his heart’s content. Two dying sessions, two shampoos, a cut and style later, my hair is so red, I think it glows in the dark. No fewer than three strangers approached me in the farmer’s market to tell me how much they loved it. That is why I let Wilson do it.

I am dog sitting this weekend, so I showed up to pick up Pascal and was greeted with two Jell-O shots. Hair of the dog, be damned. The pink was better than the blue. I haven’t had a Jell-O shot since either the afternoon I spent in the gay district in Dallas, Texas in 2010, or a 4th of July BBQ with a pink Jell-O shot mold of Darth Vader. Either way, I wasn’t sure if I was winning or losing.

I took Pascal home and he and I and Perl went for a walk. Doesn’t matter because he still pooed on my freshly shampooed carpet. My dog dug holes in their backyard, so all is fair in love and war.

I took out my contacts and put on my silk pajamas at 1 pm and took a nap. I was exhausted. I’m getting too old for my own life. At 4 pm, I threw on some clothes, tussled my glowing locks and went down to my favorite pub, Lily Macs, for a ladies’ afternoon beer pong game.

In an effort to ward off {^+~€~*} breast cancer, we drank the afternoon away. My partner and I won and then whooped the other team at a round of flip cup. We are amazing.

I told them about how, at the age of four, my father recognized my beer pong skills. By age six, I was training competitively. My first international competition was at age 13. I got my balls handed to me by a couple of Germans. I was not prepared to play with Bavarian stout. By age 18, I was ranked in the top ten in the world, however, because of drinking age laws, I was never allowed to play in the United States. My skills at swiping the ball away after a bounce were cat like and I became known as The Pussy. I was feared and revered far and wide. Two days before my 21st birthday, I was playing against the Russians since the Cold War was over. You don’t know beer pong skills until you see me sink a ping pong ball into a shot glass of vodka from twenty paces. Just as I threw the winning ball, I screamed in sheer agony as I threw out my shooting arm. The doctor said I had the worst case of beer pong elbow he’d ever seen and I would never play professionally again. The Pussy was no more. She now plays in seedy bars and hustles the college crowd, scowling at the Coors Light on the table and reliving her glory days through tales the kids don’t believe. What a waste.

Next, back in reality, we went to our favorite Mexican restaurant, Roberto’s, for a little tequila and fajitas. I always forget that Saturday evenings in the summer on Murphy Street is a jazz festival. We enjoyed the music and some of my table danced with Das Deutschman.

I begged out as soon as the sun was setting, so I could go walk the dogs. I laid in the backyard in the hammock as they ran around the yard. Then I went to bed early. I’m talking 9:30. I slept until 6 am. It was glorious.

This morning, I walked the dogs and returned the little one to his house. He is a snuggler and Pablo, who is about the same size, was jealous. I got some laundry done while waiting for a text about hiking.

At 11 am, The Lawyer and I headed off for a hike at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park in Felton. We did not buy a map, instead, we went to look at the ridiculously old redwoods and then picked a random trail. We hiked for two and a half hours without getting lost. We did make one half-hearted attempt at crossing the river where there was no bridge, but eventually, after a couple prickly bushes, gave up on the idea.

Six and a half miles later, we went to Santa Cruz for a late lunch at 99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall. After burning 800 calories, we figured that burgers, fries and a beer were in order. I was good and left some burger and fries on the plate. I still can’t manage to leave beer. I blame The Lawyer for us being carded, although the woman next to us claimed everyone is carded. She was soon replaced by three people and a big, white, fluffy, year-and-a-half old, friendly golden retriever. Adorable!

Before going back to the car, The Lawyer came up with the Evil Detour Plan which took us to The Penny Ice Creamery. How have I never found this place before? I tried the fennel ice cream, but couldn’t quite convince myself to get a cone of it, so I went with the chocolate and salted caramel. I didn’t need the ice cream, but since when has anything I’ve really wanted been good for me?

Back on the other side of the hill, I headed home to quickly walk the dog and shower before heading up to SFO. There, I picked up TOK and Cabana Boy. I was so excited to see them! I don’t think I’ve seen them since their wedding in 2010.

We went into Burlingame where the street we tried to visit was under construction and they wondered what kind of place I was taking them to. We chose to eat at Olea Mediterranean Cuisine, which I swear was a different name and decor the last time I was there. The food was good and the company was even better. I miss hanging out with TOK and Cabana Boy in upstate NY. Well, I don’t miss upstate NY, but I do miss them.

Everything was closed on the street, including the street, when we finished dinner, so we went back to the hotel lounge for coffee and dessert. The mini desserts were just the right size. We had, as the menu pointed out, “The trio of three.” Perfect for the trio of three of us.

Sadly, it was time to leave. They have an early flight and I have work in the morning. Overall, it was a fantastically typical, atypical weekend. I’m happy to have my crazy life* back!

* Although I could do without mistakes like Friday night. We live and we learn. Hopefully I learned not to keep up with the boys.

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Day 10: Granada

We rented a room in an adorable little hotel in Granada, up at the top of the hill in an old part of the city. Tiny, one-way streets lined by white-walled homes, with no where to hide, but an inset doorway when the occasional car passed through. The little hotel was beautifully done in thick dark wood, similar to what you would find in a ski lodge, and a little out of place, but a lovely contrast to all the stucco. Like I’d seen in Morocco, it was set up with an open-air atrium in the center.

Andalindsia and I set out to wander the town. It turns out that the weekend we were there happened to be Fiesta de las Cruces or better known as Cuz de Mayo or May Cross. Each of the neighborhoods puts together a display with a large cross covered in red roses as the centerpiece. Each display was tailored or the neighborhood that designed it. During the days, there was live music and dancing. Girls and women everywhere dressed in traditional flamenco dress. It was amazing to witness.

I’m so glad that I visited Morocco and southern Spain in the same trip because I hadn’t realized how much of their history collides. Our Friday afternoon was spent at the Alhambra, which is a fantastic fortress and palace complex that was inhabited by both Christians and Muslims at separate times, each leaving their mark in the historical site. It is definitely a place that needs to be visited, just for the history of it. but I have to say, I was somewhat disappointed, mainly because the only thing left are the structures. The artwork and furnishings were all gone. However, the walls are particularly ornate, even if the architecture is only partially interesting. I was surprised to learn that Washington Irving had spent a lot of time in the Alhambra.

The gardens of the Generalife, part of the grounds of the Alhambra, were particularly stunning, although our walk through them was cut short due to a thunderstorm. Andalindsia explained the difference between Spanish and English style gardens to me. I hadn’t really thought about it before, but English gardens are often wild looking, with plants growing over other plants. Spanish style is very manicured. I finally feel like I understand the difference between gardens and landscaping in New England versus the Spanish-influenced California.

After the Alhambra, we took a nap, just like I used to in college so that we could go out at 10 pm and stay out until 3 am. Andalindsia and I had a double date! I don’t think I’ve actually ever been on an official double date, so it was kind of exciting. I’d definitely never been on a blind date that wasn’t just set up by the internet. Andalindsia had been out before with The Journalist and he was to bring a friend. Turns out, the friend he chose was a pretty good match. The Journalist brought me The Graphic Designer. Great smile, speaks English, and we had lots to talk about. The Journalist got nervous a few times because I was talking very loudly and with my hands, but it was just a heated discussion about some of the companies that I despise.

We had a lovely evening drinking in a couple different establishments, eating meat substance (I was a bad vegetarian and didn’t feel like trying to explain to them), wearing stranger’s hats and dancing in the basement. Sadly, I don’t remember where exactly that we went, maybe Andalindsia can fill in those blanks. I’m not as familiar with the area. I tried to remember to be a good friend and get water for Andalindsia occasionally. I loved that she is going through all the things I did in college but with the benefit of twenty years of life experience.

It was a fabulous evening. I hadn’t had that much fun on a date in a long time. Hopefully, that will change. That evening made me realize that I really should be trying harder on this dating thing. I’m not going to make it my second job like my sister did, but I can at least make more dates and look nicer when I go on them. It is all about first impressions, right? So far, I’ve been the one turning everyone down, so I haven’t had to try. Maybe it would help if I did. Stay tuned.

Teacher Birthday

I showed up to surgery once with a stamp on my wrist. The surgeon was surprised. I’ve tried to avoid getting a stamp ever since. Tonight I failed. I also failed because I thought I ordered a normal sized beer. Obviously, I am a Lilliputian.

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Night out

I’ve been a bore lately. Actually, it has been more than a year. My excuse in the beginning was that I had to spend my nights and weekends working on the online class I was teaching. Even if I wasn’t working on it, I sat on my couch thinking I should work on it and feeling guilty about it.

In the spring when that ended and I finally felt like I was going to get my life back, I learned that Pablo had diabetes and Mitsy was dying of congestive heart failure. I learned how to give insulin shots every twelve hours and I spent as much time with the pets as possible. I brought Mitsy to the vets three weekends thinking that each time would be her last and bawling like the world had ended. I wasn’t much fun to be with.

It has been a few months since then. Mitsy has passed and I’m learning to manage Pablo’s diabetes. And I’m trying to figure out how to have a life around it. Now that Perl has torn her ACL and is not allowed to run or jump or play for eight weeks, you’d think I’d be home, but just the opposite. If I were home, Perl would want to be out of her kennel running and jumping and playing. Instead, I go home every few hours to walk her and let her stretch, then confine her again and leave. She just thinks I’m neglecting her and I don’t have to hear her whimper.

So Friday night was the company Christmas party. I got al dressed up and went out on the town. I and my feet in the four-inch heels are grateful for the ride home from my Cow-orker and SO. Saturday I stayed home all day, but Perl and Pablo slept all of it. So did I for that matter. Sunday I went to dinner at a friend’s house. He is practicing his gourmet cooking on a small group of us. I do miss Physics Goddess’s cooking!

Monday night I stayed home and had to fast after 8 pm for blood and urine tests the next day. I almost ate beets that night. Really, really, red, dark, staining beets. I stopped myself so the nurse wouldn’t freak out at the color of my urine.

Tuesday night I went out with Mountain Man’s friends. I’ve been out with them a couple times now but still think of them as his friends, so I’ll stick with that until they have names. It was her birthday. We went to Tony P’s on Park Ave in San Jose. They have lunch service, but no dinner service yet, so they let us bring in dinner from somewhere else until then.

We had a blast. I met a bunch of new people. They are a great group and I enjoy their Second Tuesdays out.

Tonight I went up to the city for a bizarro world version of an event that happened five years ago. This time the interviewer was the interviewee. A lot has happened in five years.

The event went well with free wine and tamales provided by local vendors. I met a couple new people, but tried to lay low for the most part. I was there to support my friend and his work.

On the way out, my friend was carrying luggage on his way to catch a red-eye flight. The car was waiting out front. As we walked up the stairs, his bag rubbed against the wire mesh net along the stairs and in the blink of an eye, was attached. We all tried detaching the bag. One of the wires had slipped inside the zipper pull. I bent a key and broke a nail trying to open the pull. Someone found a hammer and we used the claw to pry open the zipper pull enough to release the wire. Seriously, I can totally believe this freak thing happened to him. Maybe he needs to work on his karma points.

He dropped me off at the train station, but since the train only runs once an hour, I had twenty-seven minutes to kill, so I went to the restaurant across the street.

The place was packed at quarter past nine at night. There was no room at the bar, just a high table for six. I said I was just looking for a drink to waste a few minutes. The waiter seated me at the empty table so I could look down upon the crowd.

A guy walked in. He was looking to have dinner alone. I offered him to share my table. His name is Brandon. He lives in the OC. An accountant. In town for work. From Chicago. School in Wisconsin. Lives with roommates. We got as much in as we could in twenty minutes. My version of speed dating. But then I left him. I had five minutes to get to the train. I said I’d come back if I missed it.

I missed the light and had to stop. As I did, the girl standing on the corner said she loved my jacket. The color. The fit. The way I walked in it. Turns out she is a fashion design major. The light turned.

I made the train.

Do you wonder what would have happened if I hadn’t?

Unexpected Craigslist Evening

For the last few weekends, I’ve been cleaning out my closets, piling things to sell or give away. This weekend, I finally took photos and started posting things on Craigslist.

The first thing I sold was the cat tower. I’d bought it a little over a year ago. I finally found one on sale so that it was less than two hundred dollars for some particle board and carpet. I felt guilty that I’d waited so long to buy the one thing my cats were guaranteed to love.

I put down Myrtle’s top and threw it in. I was so excited that my cats now might be able to climb it and see over the railing to watch the birds and squirrels in the trees. I put it in a sunny spot in the dining room and sprinkled catnip on it.

Nothing. They scratched at the bottom post but didn’t climb. I picked them up and placed them individually on the first landing. They sat for a moment then timidly jumped off.

I wondered what was wrong with them. I thought at first they were just lazy. Then I started to watch them, and analyze their walking. That is when I first realized Pablo had a problem.

Pablo had a hard time getting going when he’d start walking. He was shaky and deliberate. I took him to the vets and he got an X-ray. He didn’t even need to be sedated. He laid upside down, paws outstretched in the little cat-ray tube. The vet remarked at how clear the images were when she showed them to me. Then she pointed out the unclear parts. The murky haze where his joints should be.

Arthritis. Pretty severe arthritis.

That is when his pills started. Glucosamine mixed with his food, which also meant Mitsy and Perl both got a little too. I figure that wouldn’t hurt them.

That explained why Pablo wasn’t jumping any more. Mitsy wasn’t wobbly, she just didn’t seem interested. She also stopped sleeping on the bed and stopped siting on the couch. I tried making things for her to jump on to get on the bed, but she wasn’t interested. I thought it was just a choice.

Realizing I felt guilty about not getting the cat tree when they could still jump, I went out and bought a short carpeted staircase and placed it next to my bed. Mitsy immediately ran up it and laid on the pillow next to mine and started purring. I’d bought her a nice kitty bed and put it under the telephone desk in front of the window. She slept there constantly, but always looked so sad. I hadn’t realized how depressed she’d been that she couldn’t jump on the bed. It would be another couple months before her diagnosis of congestive heart failure.

So the cat tree has been on my list of things to sell. Some other cats should enjoy it. I found a buyer and loaded it into Myrtle the same way I’d brought it home. I met the young couple at the train station yesterday. It took a while to figure out how to get it in their car. I let them negotiate ten dollars off the price and sold it for seventy. Then I went to the Palace Cafe for a salad before my train ride to the city for an afternoon date.

I’ll skip the date part because it is bad form to talk about dates. Like talking about job interviews, you never know who will read it.

Back at home, last weekend I decided to remove all of Pablo’s hiding spots. I’ve given him lots of places to run off to over the years, but with his twice daily insulin injections, it is a real pain when he slips off to one of his little holes before I can give him his shot. The other reason is that as they get older, there is more likelihood of an accident happening and it is hard to clean those spots.

Part of removing hiding spaces was taking the metal frame out from under my bed and putting the box spring on the floor. No more hiding under the bed. Also, no more wondering why the dog is struggling to get out from under the bed. Perl is getting older too and eventually will also have a hard time jumping on things. So, it is preemptive.

The bed frame got a few hits, but I’ve had a hard time getting people to respond after they’ve emailed me. I posted a few other cat things that haven’t gotten a hit and one free item that was gone within minutes of posting. It was my old wine fridge that stopped working. With all the engineers in the area, I wrote, “Free to a good home. If you can fix it, you can have it.” I told the guy who responded where it was and he could pick it up.

The item that I was most unsure about being able to sell I titled, “Sexy Red Shoes.” They are size seven, faux snake skin, four-inch heels from White House | Black Market. I had so much hope for them. But they were really half a size too small and I didn’t want to admit it. After breaking my foot, I’ll never get back in them. I’d worn them once out, but they deserve better than that. So I’m trying to find them a new home. Someone who will get them out and about.

I didn’t expect anyone to respond, but someone did a day later. We made plans to meet up tonight at Starbucks on Shoreline.

I managed to walk the dog and feed the cat early, so I arrived half an hour too early. And I was hungry. I saw a truck with pizza on the sign and started looking for the pizza shop. It was a restaurant two doors down from Starbucks. It was pretty empty. I sat at the bar, ordered a pizza and a glass of wine and texted the girl to let her know where I was if she showed up early.

She laughed when she arrived because she had actually planned on stopping by the restaurant after meeting me at Starbucks. She was adorable and little and looked like she was under 18, but actually was old enough to be married, have a kid and work at Google. She didn’t want to try on the shoes inside, so she gave me the money to hold onto and went outside to try them on.

She came back in wearing them. She loved them just like I do. But for her, they were half a size too big. We talked some more, then she went back out to change and brought the sexy, red shoes back. I gave her back her money.

Then we had dinner.

No, I don’t usually eat dinner with people I’ve just met on Craigslist, but she was there to try something for a friend. There was some story about it and it included gluten-free something, but I have to admit, she was very soft spoken and I didn’t want to keep asking her to repeat herself.

We talked and ate. At some point she mentioned she was from Dallas. I told her about the time I went there for a friend’s wedding and ended up in the gay district doing Jell-O shots a six pm. She, like most Texans, seemed surprised Dallas has a gay district. It might have just been a block or two. Maybe not a whole district.

She asked where the wedding was.

“Somewhere outside of Dallas,” I said.

She named a place.

“No, it began with an ‘L’ I think.”

“Lewisville?”

“That sounds familiar. I think it was northwest of Dallas.”

“That is where I’m from,” she said.

“Do you know CivilSarah?”

“There are a lot of Sarahs.”

“Yeah, but this one is civil, unlike the rest. I can’t remember if she was from there or they were just getting married there.”

We finished dinner and slightly awkwardly went our separate ways, as often happens after trying to sell a pair of sexy, red shoes and having dinner instead.

Turns out my friends weren’t married there, but did live there. I’m still trying to figure out if these people who have lived in Lewisville, TX might somehow know each other. That would just make the story so much better.

Me and The Genie

One of “my kids” is in town, so we met up for dinner and drinks. Started with sushi at Akiko’s on Bush Street. I let her order for me. You all know I like that. Loved the place. Would totally go back. Maybe in two weeks. ;-)

Then we moved next door to the Irish pub, where I ordered Bailey’s and Irish Mist and both were substituted for something not Bailey’s and not Irish Mist. Our second drink also had items that were both substituted. Made me question the authenticity of the Irishness.

We caught up on gossip from the Yellow Nunnery. Talked about how things have changed or not changed over the years. And I apologized (not so profusely) for standing her up for lunch in Boston one time. I had underestimated the time it would take to get to Cambridge on the T. I swear it used to be faster. This time I was sure to know exactly when I would arrive and was even early. For anyone who knows me from The Yellow Nunnery, early was never my forte. There is a reason I was given a watch both times I left.

For what it is worth, the people taking this photo were quite amused that I was out drinking with my student. I think one of them tried to tell me that she is hot. I wondered for a moment where I had gone wrong and why they thought I was a lesbian.

Anyhow, it was great catching up. I miss my kids sometimes.


– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Staycation!

Physics Goddess came to visit. (See all iPhone Photos and Nikon Photos on My Gallery.) For two days I dragged her to all kinds of places. It started with Quiz Night. Then we got up early in the morning and drove to Monterey. Lunch at the Cannery Row Brewing Co.

A few hours at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

We drove up the coast to Santa Cruz and had a good Irish meal at 99 Bottles Of Beer On The Wall.

And wrote limericks for their St. Patrick’s Day contest.

The bathroom stall had this strange carving with a thought bubble that read, “Disapproving stall, disapproves.

Friday started with a tour of Pixar.

Then a trip to the vodkary at Hangar One

We ended with coffee at Reverie and dinner with some friends from The Yellow Nunnery at Babino’s.

Physics Goddess was good humored to have endured it all!