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Archive for April, 2008

Monday, April 28
11:40 p.m.

Act Well the Part That Is Given to You – Epictetus wrote: 
We are like actors in a play.  The divine will has assigned us our roles in life without consulting us.  Some of us will act in a short drama, others in a long one.  We might be assigned the part of a poor person, a cripple, a distinguished celebrity or public leader, or an ordinary private citizen.

Although we can’t control which roles are assigned to us, it must be our business to act our given role as best as we possibly can and to refrain from complaining about it.  Wherever you find yourself and in whatever circumstances, give an impeccable performance.

If you are supposed to be a reader, read; if you are supposed to be a writer, write.

I thought about the conversation I had with that guy, Jonathan, I had met yesterday at The Tea Zone.  That’s the sign of a good chat – one that ressonates a day later or longer.  It’s like a good finish that lingers for a lovely wine.  Anyway, we talked about vocation verses interest/hobby/passion and when they can dance together.  Jonathan is passionate about his music and writing, but he does web and graphic design consulting to make a living.  The creative person often has to find another vocation to make a living until his or her own work can sustain him or her, professionally.  Now, one doesn’t have to make his or her passion a vocation.  I suppose for some, it’s enough to just be able to do the creative act.

For me, I have no choice.  I must write.  And the more I write, the more I improve and hone my craft.  But it’s not just a hobby for me,  I intend to sell books and eventually make a living from it.  That doesn’t mean I intend to walk away from my vocation in the wine business.  That, too, is a passion of mine.   I also have a passion to cook, but I don’t wish to become a chef.  And I have a passion for painting, but I don’t intend on selling my artwork.  In those cases, I find the joy in simply doing the creative act.

I don’t know if my new friend will pursue music and/or writing as a vocation, but I suspect his joy in doing the work will sustain him in the meantime.  He admits the web and graphic consulting he does to make a living doesn’t feed his passions.  For some, a job is just a job.  I wondered how long that would sustain him.

I got to a point, back when I worked at a corporate think tank in Washington, DC, that I could no longer handle working a traditional desk job in a corporate environment.  So, I followed my passion for wine, quit my cubical enslavement and managed a trendy wine shop.  It changed my life.  I believe you have to be honest with yourself, learn who you really are and take risks to find your bliss.  I don’t know how it’s possible for young people to discover this at college age, or anytime before that.  I think it is human to change and evolve.  I would have never imagined, back when I was choosing my major in college, that I would end up working in the wine industry.  It became, essentially, a wonderful discovery I encountered simply by being honest and open.

Finding my way into the wine business allowed me to explore an industry I was interested in and cared about and removed me from the kind of work that bored me.  It is much easier to be successful in a vocation or industry that you are actually genuinely interested in.  And yet most people get stuck in work that doesn’t really interest or fulfill them.  This is just shocking to me.  Life is too short, there’s no time to settle.

So, I suppose I could say that I feel lucky, but my career path has nothing to do with luck and has everything to do with good sense, intuition and being honest and open with my wishes and desires.  I am very happy that I am working in an industry that I care about, that my work still feeds my passions and fulfills me, and, moreso, that I get to work on my writing on the side with the opportunity to make that a means for making a living, as well.  

Writing is my gift and I feel inclined to put my gifts to work, to, hopefully, use them to make this world a better place.  We all have the power to make a difference just by following our passions, cultivating our gifts and using our talents to better society.  This, I think, is the purpose of humanity, the necessity of the human race, the ultimate heart and soul of compassion and consciousness.  I’m not talking about serving the ego, but extending one’s self for the benefit of others.  This, I believe is precious and essential. 

I suppose I am living what Epictetus preached: acting well that part that was given to me.  I am doing my best to do my part, in my own small way.

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Sunday, April 27
11:15 p.m.

It was good to be back home.  I had missed my cats, my own bed and pillows, my incredible assortment of teas and my meditation room.  Between my stay on the coast last weekend and this business trip to San Francisco, it seemed like I had been gone for a couple of weeks!

I slept in until ten and then got up and played with India and Capri.  I had a crazy weird dream about Patrick Dempsey, or McDreamy to most American women and gay men.  Funny, I didn’t picture myself a Dempsey gal, I was more of a McCoughaney kind of gal.  But, whatever.  At least I knew I could still get butterflies, even if they were in my dreams.  Wow.  I’d hate to find out if psychologists were out there analyzing my blog.

I got out of bed and changed the sheets and cleaned up my upstairs.  I had unpacked last night but I needed to put stuff away and vacuum.  I showered, dressed and then met Susan for brunch at Blue Hour.  It had been awhile since we had brunched.  I missed our hip Sunday morning feedings over Bloody Marys, Bellinis and Moscato d’Asti.  Our server had the most outrageously perfect white teeth.  He’s friends with Susan’s super fabulous gay neighbor and he invited us to a fabulous black and white party this weekend – requirement black cocktail dresses and pearls.  LOVE IT!

I had a Dungeness crab omelette with rosti potatoes and a Blue Hour Bloody Mary – extra spicy with gorgeous pickled green beans stretching out and a large green olive and lemon slice.  Yum.  Since I didn’t order toast, our server brought me a lovely dish of thinly sliced grapefruit and orange with green apple slivers.  The server brought us each a glass of Moscato d’Asti, which was soft, sweet like white peaches, and kissed with delicate bubbles.  It was fabulous.

After brunch we walked through Cargo, a very cool shop a block away.  Susan headed home and I went to the Tea Zone to chill out and work on my writing.  I ordered a small pot of cinnamon latte tea with soy milk.  I met this really great guy named Jonathan who watched me drop my bag.  I am sometimes a bit of a clutz.  He looked at me with kind concern, as if I was some poor girl in distress.  We ended up talking for two hours about Tibetan Buddhism, writing, poetry, music.  He was very engaging and kind.  One of the coolest guys I’ve met in a long time.  I do hope to stay in touch.  I could really use some good guy friends in my life.  I have been surrounded by single women friends, which is great, but I think we all tend to over-analyze and pick apart what’s going on, or not going on, in the dating world of Portland.  And, honestly, that’s mostly what’s not going on.  It’s hard to be an east coast girl that needs to be courted in a laid back west coast world where men never approach women and ask them out.  Really, my girlfriends and I practically laugh and cry about this – it’s so weird!  I would joke to my friends that I would start going to Powell’s and lean provocatively over a guy’s shoulder and I still wouldn’t get asked out.  The west coast guy would say something like, “excuse me, I’m trying to find a book in that section, would you mind moving over out of the way.”  Yes, guy friends would be good. 

When I drove on the 405 to get onto I-5, it was blocked off because of a really bad accident near the Terwilliger exit.  So I had to detour toward I-5 north and decided to just go up Hawthorne and hang out for awhile.  I walked around and window shopped then took an sidewalk cafe table at Bread & Ink.  I ordered a salad with steak and Rogue blue cheese and a glass of Cinsault rose.  The sky cleared from a hovering dismal gray to a sunny, perfect evening.  I was happy.  I worked on my novel while I ate. 

After I ate, I had a thick, rich chocolately pot de creme with a decaf cappucino.  There were a lot of cute men walking around and I made a mental note that my girlfriends and I should hang out here more often.  A change of scenery would do us some good.  I love this time of year when the outdoor cafes open up and people enjoy good food, wine and company outside.  Something inside told me this summer was going to be a good one!

I finally made my way back home just before eight.  The road had cleared and it was smooth driving.  I turned up the music and enjoyed the gorgeous evening on my way to Whole Foods near Bridgeport Village.  I picked up some groceries, including some gluten free bread and – I was psyched – I found gluten free bagels, the first I’ve come across here in Portland.  I wandered around and picked out some matcha green tea, which is loaded in anti-oxidents, grade A amber maple syrup, organic orange juice and gluten free flax waffles. 

One of my great discoveries, in an effort to depart from using skincare products that weren’t natural, I had begun using Earth Science brand skincare line about a year ago.  I typically had more dry skin and sought out the A-D-E creamy cleanser and the Aloe Vera Complexion toner and freshner.  Over the past year I have had larger pores and occasional break-outs.  Today, I decided to try Earth Science’s Clarifying cleanser and herbal astringent for combination skin. 

Later, at home, after washing my face it was a relevation.  I usually get congested at night especially after I wash my face.  After I washed my face tonight I felt clean and clear.  I realized the other dry skin formula was clogging my pores and didn’t get the job done in actually cleansing my skin.  What’s worse, it seems it had some role in my night and morning congestion – after using the products.  Who knows.  But, after a few nights or perhaps weeks of using the more cleansing, astringent combination skin products, it will be interesting to see if this plays out to be true.  Meantime, my skin felt great right before I went to sleep and I didn’t need to strap on a Breath Right Nose Strip.

 

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Saturday, April 26

Last night before I had gone to sleep I began packing.  After my best night’s sleep in San Francisco, I got up at 9:00 a.m. and finished packing.  I showered, dressed, checked out and dropped my bags off at the Hilton down a few blocks, closer to the BART station.  I met one of my colleagues there and she ended up leaving two of the Doug fir starters with the concierge, who was excited to plant them with his little boy in their back yard.

It was already in the seventies and would reach the low-eighties.  The sky was a perfect powder blue.  Part of me was tempted to stay to enjoy the day.  But then as we crossed the street to go to H&M, the crowds of people bumping and brushing past us reminded me how much I was ready to get back to Portland.  I don’t like crowds and I don’t like large cities with lots of people.  Within thirty or so minutes, I tried on 22 items – a handful that I considered buying.  But then I wasn’t really in love with anything I put on.  I had never shopped at an H&M before, except for when I picked up my flip flops a couple of days ago, but I didn’t know my size.  We didn’t really have time to browse through, try items on and then go grab the right sizes, when needed.  No matter.  I put the clothes back and headed out to get something to eat.  The old me would have rushed around, grabbed the next size up or down, and then would have bought half of those garments.  I loved how disciplined I have become.

I crossed the street and went to Herbert’s Mexican Grill.  I ordered 3 small soft corn tortilla tacos with carne adobado, black beans and lime-cilantro rice.  The food was really good.  I hadn’t had a thing to eat yet, so I was starving.  And my diet limits me when I’m in a rush, so, all in all, I was pleased. 

We dashed off to the BART station on Market, headed toward the Coliseum-Oakland Airport station.  From there, we boarded the shuttle to the airport.

It was a nearly empty flight.  I had a row to myself.  Just as I sat down, I pulled out my book with every intention to work on my edits.  But, shortly after the plane took off, I fell asleep.  I woke up just as we were approaching Portland.  It was gray outside, but the snow-capped peaks of the Cascades stretched along as we passed the Three Sisters and Mt. Bachelor, Mt. Jefferson and then my dear Mt. Hood!  I smiled.  I was home.  Seeing Mt. Hood, I really didn’t need a reminder on how much I love Portland and Oregon, or how connected I have become with this magnificent place.  Even in a fun, energetic place like San Francisco, I had missed my beloved green state.

No, it wasn’t as clear or sunny today in Portland, but the white-peaked mountain range, majestic, made for a much more beautiful picture.  Yes, indeed I was home.

After leaving the airport I met two of my San Francisco trip colleagues at Claudia’s on Hawthorne to catch the end of the Redwings game – and they won.  We watched the first half of the Philly-Montreal game.  I used to be a big Flyers fan when Eric Lindros played.  I had a major crush on him.  I became a fan when I lusted over him during the 1992 winter Olympics.  Lindros retired this year.  And he’s still single.  Big E, if you happen to Google yourself like most celebrity actors/athletes do (hell, celebrity or not, who doesn’t Google themselves??) and you happen to read this blog, go directly to my website (see the About Me tab) and proceed to the Contact page.  Yup.  Email me.  Seriously.

Okay, so we ate nachos and I consumed one lovely margarita before leaving Claudia’s at half time.  The Flyers were up.

I got home and was so happy to see my kitties!  Sadly, no sign of Shadow.  This was really beginning to worry me.  I missed my little stray friend.  I put on my pajamas and watched Harry Potter & The Goblet of Fire on television.  I was tired and I didn’t feel like channel surfing or doing much of anything else.  It was great to have a chill night with my girls, India and Capri.  They wouldn’t stop purring next to me, which was totally relaxing in a very Zen way.
 

 

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Friday, April 25

When I woke up this morning I felt like I ran my body into a brick wall last night.  For one, it was a long day and we were out late.  Thankfully, I pace myself when it comes to my wine consumption, otherwise I would have been far worse off!  And, per my usual challenge in hotel rooms, I didn’t sleep super well.  I dragged myself out of bed at 10:00 a.m. and checked emails. 

I met my colleage at the H&M shop in Union Square.  The irony is that I was waiting in the Post Street location and she was waiting in the Powell Street location (near Geary).  We had no idea there were two H&M’s a couple of blocks apart.  I guess they need all of that inventory in a shopping city like San Francisco.  In any case, I bought a pair of cute bronze flip flops with a line of matching bronze sequins along the thong portion.  Tres cute.

We walked up to the Cafe de la Presse for lunch.  We downed a bottle of Vox sparkling water with lime slices.  I had the mushroom soup and the Nicoise salad.  The food was okay.  But not as fresh as the salads and food you get in Portland.  God, we’re spoiled up here.  I know they say that San Francisco is the foodie town, perhaps was the foodie town, but it seemed like you only get that in the fine dining restaurants.  Maybe I’m wrong.  But in Portland you can get killer seasonal, fresh ingredients that taste like they were just plucked from the earth at most restaurants.

After lunch, we walked toward Chinatown.  It was already in the seventies and the sky was a perfect clear blue.  I wasn’t missing the Portland rain.

We continued into the North Beach section, one of my favorite neighborhoods.  We wandered down Columbus Avenue and peeked into St. Francis Cathedral.  I had only seen the outside.  Since I mentioned it in my novel, I figured I should check out the real deal.

We stopped by a gelateria called NAIA – I had a split of pistachio and coconut gelato.  Molto bene!  We sat in the outside cafe seating and enjoyed the warmth from the beautiful sunshine dappling its happy light through clusters of green leaves above that dangled from the trees lining the main avenue.  It was a good day.

Next, we went two storefronts down to get pedicures.  I had my laptop with me and worked for about an hour.  My toenails were a metallic bronze-green, very earthy, very Oregon.

We walked back to Union Square and met our two other colleagues.  We enjoyed the remainder of the sunny afternoon at an outdoor sidewalk cafe in the square – Emporio Rulli Il Caffe.  I had a sangria and people watched.  A troup of actors/dancers performed mime-like modern dance in the middle of the square.  It was interesting.

After, we quickly dressed for our evening out in cocktail wear.  I met my colleagues at Farallon.  They were sipping on bubbly while I was trying to figure out what to do with my missing slip situation.  I couldn’t find the slip I packed for my dress that was clinging to me whenever I stepped outside in the wind.  It wasn’t a gorgeous situation, but I’d have to deal.  We took a cab to the California Culinary Institute for the Wine Literary Awards. 

The cab drivers in San Fran are very funny and engaging.  Every cab ride had been an adventure, thus far. 

The evening was mostly a bonding one with my colleagues at the three other Oregon wineries and two members of the Oregon wine board who were there to join us, along with the wine writer we sponsored at our table.  Otherwise, it was just another Napa reunion.  I did see some Napa friends and said hello, which was nice.

But the highlight came when the award recipient, a sweet man and important historian to the Napa Valley, was giving his acceptance speech and this petite blonde middle aged cougar-esque woman came ping-ponging down the aisle, brushing past our table and charged the stage.  She stood right up close to the award recipient holding up her glass of wine, shaking in her drunkenness, with her dress pants tucked awkwardly in the backs of her insanely high heels.  You can’t pay for this kind of entertainment!  It was a shame for the guest of honor, who handled the bizarre situation rather well.  Three men came up from the sides of the banquet hall and escorted the drunk woman from the stage and out of the banquet hall.  Later, we learned she was asking the award recipient where Elvis was, that she knew he was somewhere in the building.  Priceless. 

Apparently, this woman crashes all of the Napa parties and gets trashed.  No one knows how she finds out about the events.  She just appears like a wine drinking specter.  I kept thinking I should write an opera about this Napa woman who was heartbroken long ago by a winemaker, and is left to crash one Napa event after the next in her drunken melancholy, searching desperately for her former love – Elvis, the King of Cabernet. 

Anyway.  We cabbed back to Union Square and returned to Farallon.  I didn’t eat much because of my celiac disease and, though I mentioned it before I arrived in San Francisco, I didn’t trust much of the food to risk it.  So, I grabbed a bite to eat at Farallon – we had some lovely oysters.  My colleague ordered a bottle of bubbly. 

Luckily, my hotel was across the street.  It was an early night and I was thankful for that. 

 

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Thursday, April 24

I didn’t have the best night of sleep, tossing and turning and falling in and out of sleep.  I have inconsistent sleep habits in hotel rooms.  The major contributing factor to that – pillows.  The pillows at the Kimpton Hotels are good.  I had four fluffy pillows nestled around me, three of which were stacked for my shoulders, neck and head, and one to hold on to.  There’s actually a type of pillow called a husband pillow.  I suppose my fourth snuggle pillow served the same purpose.  In any case, what disrupted my sleep, I believe, as far as pillows are concerned, was the billowiness of the pillows.  I need at least one or two pillows that are firm.  In any case, I finally decided to get out of bed just after 9:30 a.m.

I checked email and went over some work projects in my queue.  Then, I stretched and did ten yoga sun salutations.  I got dressed and walked up a block to a creperie for breakfast.  I ordered a Tuscan omelette with tomato, basil and mozzarella with a side of perfectly crisp roasted potatoes with garlic and parsley.  Delicious.  I had a cup of coffee and talked on my cell with my mom.

I returned to the hotel to change for a work event I co-planned with three other winery colleagues who picked me up at my hotel in a cab.  We continued down Post Street to a lovely Japanese-Californian-French fusion restaurant.  We planned a light and fun food and wine pairing for about 12 local media.  The restaurant, Bushi-Tei, was beautiful with its simple, elegant decor.  My colleague adorned the long, glass table with three small Douglas Fir starter trees wrappd in little burlap bags filled with stones.  This gave it a nice Oregon touch.  Black, smooth stones decorated the glass table with lovely, tall glass lamps for floating candles.  It was a pleasure to work with the Bushi-Tei crew – a super professional, accommodating restaurant team.  The media guests arrived, we greeted everyone and eventually got seated for the tasting.

The food was incredibly inventive and the pairings were interesting.  All in all, it was a great ‘first time’ event like this and we thought this format was a nice way to taste our wines with the media.  Our media guests seemed to be quite pleased with the tasting and one writer suggested she may change the format of her tastings for her column to include food and wine pairings – it really adds to the experience and perspective of tasting wine.

After, we said our good-byes and thanked our media guests and the Bushi-Tei team.  We gave the restaurant one of the starter Doug Fir trees to remember their new Oregon friends.  And then we took a cab to the Mission district to a dive bar called the 500 Club  so that we could catch the rest of the Redwings play-off game.  One of my colleagues is from Michigan and is a die-hard Redwings fan.  Unfortunately, the bartender couldn’t find the channel, so we headed out across the street to another sports bar that housed the city’s Redwings fan club.  Seriously, there were Redwings banners hanging from the ceiling.  This other dive bar was called Kilowat

One of the writers who came to our tasting, a cute, dimpled guy who was friends with one of my colleagues, joined us.  The crew ordered a pitcher of beer, which I couldn’t partake in, so I ordered a Maker’s Manhattan.  It was an interesting crowd of Redwings fans and dogs wandering between barstools.  The Redwings beat the Avalanche, so we were ready to move on.

We went to the dimpled writer’s place where he had a couple of friends join us.  My friend, Jamie, who handles PR for Kimpton Hotels, and her co-worker, Paul, met us at the writer’s pad.  Bad pun.  Anyway, the writer grilled up some lamb and pork.  We were going to order take-out, but forgot to, so it was slabs of meat for dinner!  We laughed about men and meat, and how they don’t really need sides.  The writer shared some good wine with us and we sat outside on his patio, which was quite lovely. 

At around midnight we piled into another cab and headed back to Union Square.  My colleague gave the funny cab driver one of the Doug Fir trees.  Before we got to Union Square, we ended up getting dropped off at a random bar/lounge named Lime, where we chatted with two locals, one who looked like MADtv’s Bobby Lee’s very gay twin.  We left and went to a karaoke bar called Mint, which was only a five mintue stop-by, as my colleague couldn’t get onto the karaoke list to sing the song Jolene.  So, we grabbed another cab and, still hungry, ended up at Lori’s, a diner at Union Square.  We wore paper hats and delighted in the late night food – I had a bun-less burger with hashbrowns instead of french fries (per my gluten-free diet).  It was delicious to return to my hotel room and finally get ready for bed!  Sleep at last (hopefully). 

 

 

 

 

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Wednesday, April 23

It was a crazy busy day at work trying to get everything together for my trip – cutting the menus and organizing my travel packet of maps and walking directions, etc.  I don’t rent a car in San Francisco, I take the BART (rail) from the airport and then walk a lot, unless a cab is necessary.  It works and it’s a lot cheaper than renting a car (and far less of a hassle).

After work, I stopped by my place to pack up, only I still had some last minute packing to do.  I had everything in its order, for the most part, but needed to make some final decisions on jackets, my usual packing conundrum.  Once satisfied, I zipped up the huge suitcase and lugged the thing down the stairs. 

I fed the cats with a few days worth of food and water and I headed out to the airport.  I was a little behind schedule, but that was nothing to the fun traffic I met on I-5, headed toward 84 and the airport.  I was stuck in back-to-back traffic for several miles and worried that I would not make my plane.  I kept thinking about the worst case scenarios.

I finally got off the ramp toward Economy Parking.  It didn’t look good.  I had just over an hour until my plane would take off.  It was pouring down rain and the wind was making my car shift from side to side – yikes.  I found a good parking spot in the Blue Lot and hurled my heavy bags out of the car and ran for the shelter and hopefully arriving bus.  As I turned the corner a bus was loading a handful of travelers.  I’m waving at the driver as I hasten my steps, dragging this heavy bag behind me, while getting soaked from the rain.  I wasn’t wearing a jacket of course, it was packed.

The driver closes the door and heads my way.  I figured this was my good luck.  My plane was leaving in an hour.  If the bus would get me to the terminal in fifteen minutes or less, I’d be okay.  But, the driver shrugged and drove on, leaving me in the rain.  Like it would have killed him to let me board off the shelter course!

Furious, defeated, and certain I would miss my plane, I pouted in the shelter and cursed like a sailor until the next bus came along five minutes later.  I made it to the Alaska Airlines counter with 45 minutes until my plane would take off.  I ran my credit card in the slide spot and I found my name on the screen, but on another flight. Shit (I thought to myself!).  I am under the 45 minutes until the plane takes off rule, which means the Alaska Airline computer system kicked me off the flight.  Even though we both knew, we being me and the AA computer brain, that I could have easily sprinted to the gate and boarded the plane before its scheduled departure.  I desperately called over an AA attendant and acted like the system screwed up and that I needed to get on that plane.  Only, after digging around in the system, the attendant announced that my flight had been cancelled due to mechanical problems and I had been re-routed to the 8:45 p.m. flight.  I tried to get onto their other flight going to San Francisco Airport (I always fly into Oakland, I find it to be easier).  But that flight was full.  At that point, I decided that 8:45 p.m. was my fate.  I took a deep breath, checked in my obnoxious bag and proceeded to security while texting my friend, Alison, to let her know I would not be able to meet her for dinner, after all.

I went to a Mexican restaurant and ordered corn tortilla grilled fish tacos and a margarita, straight up.  The airline gave me food vouchers for the change in planes. 

When it was finally time to board, the woman who checked my boarding pass called me Miss Jorgensen.  I liked the way it sounded.  That might be a weird observation.  But, I don’t think I ever really listened to someone else calling me Miss Jorgensen.  It wasn’t like it wasn’t like it was anything new or a kind of relevation.  It was just that it was the first time that I really heard myself being addressed as Miss Jorgensen.  And as I began walking down the ramp toward the gaping entrance into the plane, I kept repeating it to myself, like the line of a poem I had just memorized.  I thought about the fact that my left hand had been in my pocket when I handed her the pass – how did she know I was indeed a Miss and not a Mrs.?  I smiled at that thought.  I was happy that I was still recognized as a Miss, like I was still fresh-faced, carefree, wild as a young filly on her way to an adventure.  As I sat in my seat on a relatively empty plane, delighted in the all leather comfy seats of this particular plane, delighted in the exit row with extended leg space, I stretched and basked at the fact that I might have missed my original flight, but I scored the best seat on the plane!  I had one other person in my row, he had the aisle seat, I had the window and we shared the middle seat to dump our extra stuff. 

Miss Jorgensen still rang through my mind, now like the lines of a bad song you can’t get out of your head.  And as I was still meditating my proper maiden name, I wondered how much longer I’d get to enjoy that status. 

The kind fellow on the plane ended up escorting me to the shuttle, and from the shuttle onto the BART, and from the Powell Street station to my hotel on Post Street.  We had a very nice and lovely extended conversation on family, religion, Catholocism, and adoption.  I thought about the good fortune of meeting a kind soul who was my protector in San Francisco.  And, yes, sometimes I have a great anti-feminist notion of feeling grateful for a man to take care of me in certain situations, especially when safeguarding me at night in unknown territory.  There are chivalrous and righteous knights out there protecting the women folk, and I suppose they deserve to be acknowledged for their goodness.

I was staying at a Kimpton Hotel, the Prescott – I got a really good rate by booking my room well in advance.  I arrived in my lovely room exhausted from the travel but not too exhausted to unpack.  I am a little obsessive compulsive and need to get settled into my room, into this new space.  And I was happy to get to know my four pillows that would provide me restive comfort for the next three nights.

 

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Tuesday, April 22
10:38 p.m.

Oh the lament of the girl who waits until the last minute…

I hate packing.  I’m not really good at it.  I am one of those people who obsesses on weather and mood – and therefore must have as many options and alternatives as possible.  Which can be ridiculous, I know.  God forbid I don’t have a medium weight jacket if it’s not too hot or too cold, but somewhere in between.  I believe people survive on a daily basis with not having the perfect weather appropriate jacket, unless, of course, they are travelling to the Ukraine in the winter and forget a coat altogether.  But I hear you can go shopping in some places, even the Ukraine, if need be.  Yet, who forgets a coat when heading out to the Ukraine?  Anyway, I am very practical in my obssessing and I am, like an Eagle Scout, always prepared.  Usually.  It took me awhile to organize myself as I was trying to figure out what to pack.  The weather channel forecasted weather that’s going to be all over the place in San Francisco this week.  It’s a safe bet that I’m going to have more than enough jackets to cover the outcome.  I could hear my mom’s voice ringing in my ears – it’s always best to pack layers…  Yes!   Several layers of different jacket weights just in case!

Okay, I’m not really that bad.  But, bad enough that it really does take me a long time to pack.

I made myself a beautiful salad for dinner and a nice cup of Yogi Ginger tea.  I took a break from packing and decided I’d finish it on my way out tomorrow.

As I began to wind down for the evening I was happy to meet up with an ‘old’ friend from high school – a dear one who I haven’t seen since graduating.  I think, in many ways, our paths have been similar.  It will be nice to catch up and learn about her adventures in travels (Himalayas, etc.) and in life.  It’s crazy how we’ve grown and changed.  We were both studious good girls in high school, we played lacrosse, we were both half Italian and we both longed for something different out of college – she initially went to the US Naval Academy and I went to Sweet Briar, a women’s college, while most of our friends flooded to UVA, VA Tech, James Madison, George Mason and William & Mary in herds.  Not that that’s a bad thing, we have amazing schools in Virginia, but looking back now and seeing where my friend and I have come, I realize we are a lot more alike than I realized back then.  It will be a good reunion.

 

 

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