Monday, June 16, 2008

gaucho grad

This past weekend, we drove up to Santa Barbara for my nephew, Nic's, graduation from UCSB...but not before hitting a few thrift stores in the surrounding area. I found more vintage flower pins and need to get crackin' on projects to actually use them. I also found a small vase with blue birds on a birdhouse which I'll use as a pen holder on my desk at Chumby where I started a new job last week. The vase is a bit much, but I am working at a place called Chumby now...

We took a stroll along State St. and popped into Off Leash, a pet apparel store we saw on an episode of The Dog Whisperer. Leave it up to Cesar Milan to let the humans know that they need rehabilitation just as much as the dogs. Turns out, the dog was just being a dog. Neither of the whippets were in the shop...maybe they were napping. We couldn't resist buying a potent smelling catnip cigar for Kirby (I'm a sucker for fun packaging!) which he rolled around with in the backyard the following day. He was surprisingly calm post-catnip, unlike the time my nieces' cat, Pikachu, who ran laps throughout the house during his catnip high.

The marine layer burned off just in time for the graduation which allowed us to enjoy the sun on the beautiful campus grounds as the young, hopeful, talented College of Engineering graduates sat patiently through a less than inspiring commencement speech by Wes Bush, CFO of Northrup Grumman. I'm certain this write up on Nic's senior project for ATK Space Systems is a sneak peek of one of many successes to come in his future career. (okay, just a smidgen of Proud Auntie coming out...)

Following the ceremony, we all hopped onboard the Sunset Kidd which cruised along the coast. Our guesses of the long, single-story structure next to the coastal mansion of the Beanie Babies creator (as we were told by the crew) ranged from an extravagant garage to ballroom to greenhouse. Guess we'll have to wait to be invited over to confirm.

The evening ended with dinner at Olio e Limone where the graduation crowd waiting outside for tables were surprised by a Baldwin brother stumbling into them. Sorry, none of us had any idea which Baldwin he was and were more interested in our celebration and menu choices.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

my little pony party time

I've been wanting to fly a kite for the past three weeks or so. One afternoon, I was determined to buy a kite at the next dollar store we passed. I saw a Big Lots, doubled my budget to $2 and walked out of there with a My Little Pony kite with a long pink tail and "Party Time" printed on it. (Looks someone else has the same kite.) Today was the day for it's maiden flight.

On our way to Balboa Park, we decided to stop in at the zoo and take a peek at the elephants since we hadn't visited them yet. Zoo membership is nice 'cause you can stroll around, see a few animals and come back another day. We stayed longer than expected and checked out Cat Alley, but left before we got tired. There's still kite-flying to do...

We headed down the dirt path in the canyon between Park Blvd. and Florida Dr. just across the street from the zoo. Surprisingly, this was a great place to fly a kite. Lots of wind and no power lines or tall trees to get tangled in! With little effort, it took off and we quickly let up the 50' string. Our first nose dive landed close to cactus and the string got tangled in the tall, dry grasses, so we moved down the path a little ways. Too much of a good thing would've given us neck aches and called it quits after a short while. The kite will stay in my trunk on the ready for future impromptu kite adventures.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


Yesterday, I walked to my hair appt. and noticed the price of gas at the station around the corner. $4.45 per gallon.

Here are other items $4.45 can buy you today:

Sunday, June 1, 2008

rock 'n' roll marathon

Of all days to wake up "late" on the weekend, it had to be today. I woke up and took a look at the clock and it was 6:37 a.m. Darn, I missed the start of the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon! I was really looking forward to seeing the running Elvises -- or is Elvi? There was supposed to be a record number of 'em this year.

I heard the T.V. helicopters and screaming just out our window and quickly got dressed. We live just blocks from the start line. When I reached University Ave., the source of the screams were evident...a bunch of, um, cheerleaders in front of Flicks bar. If I was feeling nostaligic for being back home in San Francisco, this would've done the trick to cheer me up. I wasn't feeling nostalgic nor needing to be cheered up and was purely amused by the start of my morning.

Our dragon boat practice was earlier than usual this morning, so I wasn't going to be able to follow the marathon or check out any of the bands. However, my path seemed to follow the course. It was strange to drive down the freeway and have the Southbound lanes of Hwy 163 filled with runners. (ha! caught some Elvises.)

We had quite a workout today. We've never been past the basin in our practices and our substitute coach, Susie, took us twice around the island just off of the Youth Aquatic Center. She mentioned that if we're paddling right, we'll feel it in our muscles tomorrow. great, something to look forward to as reinforcement of doing something right.

One last look at the marathoners at Mile 22 as I turned onto SeaWorld Dr. back onto Hwy. 5 on my way home.