Sunday, July 30, 2006

Day One: SF to SF to SF to... LA

I didn't leave San Francisco until 5pm. Hence, the title of this here post. I had optimistically thought I could get out by 1. Then by 3... At about 4:30, when I finally had my car packed up, I thought 5 sounded nice and realistic.

Abbie (AGAIN!) helped me with packing/throwing things out/etc. She brought the dog she was dog-sitting, and the dog helped out by going to the bathroom all over my apartment.

Multiple times.

But we kept our senses of humor, and kept throwing things out and packing things up, and in the end, I was ready to go.

With one tiny problem...

We tried to strategize... Can she go up here?

But in the end, it was decided that my best bet was to get down to LA, and re-pack the car there, putting together a few more boxes to ship home (and making some space in the car) before my sister comes to meet me in Colorado.

So I was off - on the road by 5pm, and feeling great... until I realized I couldn't really see out of the back window. Knowing that I could shift a few things to give me a better view, I pulled over about 30 miles outside of the city at a nice little gas station in San Leandro. One bag shifting, one water, one its-it and a bag of corn nuts later, I was back on the road.

Happily listening to my iPod and singing along, I was disturbed to note that my music kept getting quiet. A few hard bumps later, it was all but impossible to hear. I began to panic until I realized that my radio did not have the same problem, which meant that the speakers were fine - it was the tape player that had issues. Wanting something fun to listen to, I desperately scanned the radio, to find that A Prairie Home Companion was on. Hurray! Somewhere just south of... somewhere on the 5... NPR disappeared. I tried to find another NPR station so I could hear the final 30 minutes of the show, but to no avail.

Desperately (again), I scanned the radio, listening for any station that might help keep me awake and alert. Turns out, in California's central valley, the only stations are Mexican and hip hop. I scanned again, listening for any song I might actually know - for any familiar sound to keep me company on the long drive - and then I heard her: Delilah.

For those of you not in the know, Delilah has a nightly radio show where she plays soft rock hits of today and yesterday. But it's not as straightforward as that... oh no. Delilah also plays the role of friend, confidant, and pseudo-shrink to any callers. Yesterday, in a 2-hour time period, some highlights included: a woman calling to ask Delilah to play a song that spoke to the joy she was feeling at adopting two children, a man dedicated a song to the woman he's known as a friend for 7 years, and who had recently "hit him over the head" and made him realize that she liked him more than a friend (and, consequently, that he liked her more than a friend too), and another woman calling in to talk about how she's having trouble with her husband of 6 years (they have two kids, have known each other since they were 5, and their troubles are financial).

But all good things must end, and as I continued my journey south, I started losing the signal to the Delilah station. I was starting to get tired, but knew I had only a little more than an hour to go, so I turned to the only no-fail way I know of to keep myself awake while alone in a car: singing.

It started off with some typical folksy songs - the kind I like to sing along with when my iPod/radio combination is working - but I was still feeling pretty tired, so I knew it was time to pull out the big guns: show tunes.

With the near-death experience of Peter leaping out of a moving car to escape a Miss Saigon serenade from Jme and me a few months back still fresh in my memory, I began belting out every song I could think of. And it worked. 45 minutes later (and with very little voice left), I parked my car by the Poolside Cabana. It took every ounce of energy left in me to drag all important & valuable things into the house, but I did it, and at 11:25, I was parked on a couch with my feet up and a big, glass of cold water in my hands.

In all, a most exciting day.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Change is Good

I spent the day today with Abbie, cleaning out my entire apartment (well, "cleaning" is an interesting choice of words here, as I was told by my landlord yesterday that I didn't need to clean the apartment before I left because they'd be re-doing the entire interior). We threw A LOT away, recycled a lot, took half a car-load to Goodwill (ask Abbie about her special donation of dead batteries), and took no less than 8 boxes to the post office.

It was a tiring day for me, as we were working so hard, and it was so difficult to see progress being made. Abbie was great at helping me see the progress, and at pushing me without frustrating me, and I couldn't have done it without her. The highlight of the day came when I walked into my "annex" and discovered it was entirely free of my stuff. Of course, this meant that all my stuff had been moved to the main section of my apartment, but it was satisfying to know it was all in the same room, at least.

Abbie had the brilliant idea that I bring my change to on of those "Coin Star" machines at Safeway to get some cash. Two Safeways later (the first had a machine that was out of order), I walked out with $36 (interestingly, the slip said "$36.46" but apparently they figure if you're coming in to get rid of change, you don't want your 34 cents...).

Then it was off to Zeitgeist (where the "Phoebe Zeitgeist" sign appeared to be missing - can someone please confirm/deny this horrible rumor?!) for beers and TAMALES (oh, Tamale Lady, how I shall miss you!) with the old Baker Beach crew, and then we finished up the night at Taqueria Cancun, with burritos and tostada de ceviche (I'm drooling just writing that!).

A great way to say farewell to this amazing city, and the wonderful friends I have here. Thank you all for coming out last night, and for calling from across the globe, and for helping me pack and helping take things off my hands and for being such a stellar group of friends. I can't even think of how much I will miss having you all in my life on a day-to-day, in-person basis - it is just too overwhelming. It's been a great adventure, out here on the left coast, and I can't wait to come back again soon.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Good Peeps

This past weekend, I went to the wedding of a good friend and former roommate. Flying all the way across the country for a total of about 48 hours with only two weeks until I have to have my entire apartment packed up and about 4 weeks worth of work done in just 5 work days, was, admittedly, completely insane (yeah, I have some issues with over-commitment).

The thing is, for all the stress I should have been feeling on Friday having to board a flight at 6am (and therefore waking up at 3:45am), fly through Chicago, land in Albany, and then rent and drive a car over to rural Vermont, I only felt excitement.

The weekend was wonderful… lots of eating, drinking, socializing, and laughing. We picked on our friend “Ira” for ordering chocolate martinis when the rest of us were drinking beer, we stayed at the most incredibly cute-but-quirky B&B ever known to rural Vermont, we went for a hike and for a dip in a swim hole, we danced (oh, did we dance! Ask AP about the ill-fated “dip” move where I accidentally got flung to the floor.), and throughout it all, I couldn’t stop smiling.

The mother of a friend of mine has a saying I have been hearing in my head a lot lately: “Be with people who wish you well.” I had a birthday celebration last month and I distinctly remember looking around the table at all the people who had turned out for it, and grinning uncontrollably at the fact that I was in the presence of such incredible people, and then realizing that they were all my friends! I felt surrounded by their love and support, and was so very grateful to have them all in my life, and to have them all sharing my birthday with me.

I can only imagine that one’s wedding is that same feeling times a million. I looked around the tent at all the people smiling and hugging and laughing, and was overcome with joy for my friend, her new husband, and all of us who were lucky enough to be sharing in their special day together.

So to you, Berd (I know, I’ve never called you that, but for the sake of anonymity on the blog, I’m using your nickname), know that the entire 2BN crew wishes you and your groom (“William” was it?) nothing but the absolute best. We will happily fly across the country or drive up the coast in order to wish you well in person – anytime and anywhere.



When I was little, I read a lot of Nancy Drew books. At some point in my obsession with the series, a Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys “Super Sleuths” book was handed down to me, and in it was a chapter entitled “HB.”

**Note: Spoiler alert! Stop reading now if you don’t want to know the plot of the HB chapter.

In this tale, Nancy gets a mysterious (go figure) note that is signed “HB.” She is told to go to a phone booth at a certain time and wait for a phone call. She does, and the phone rings right on time, and she hears a man’s voice saying “HB” and there are birds in the background. Being the super sleuth that she is, our heroine figures out that the birds in the background are a specific kind of bird, that can only be found at a park (or zoo or something like that) nearby. Thinking she’s about to go find a kidnap victim, our leading lady heads out on her own to investigate… only when she arrives at the building, expecting to find said victim, she instead finds a room full of all the people she knows and loves, who shout “Happy Birthday!” when she enters. Her friends gave her a mystery to solve for her birthday.

At any rate, today is the birth date of a few people (who aren’t famous), and that rambling above is a shout-out to them.

To you who are close, and you who are far, know that just because I didn't call doesn't mean I'm not thinking of you. May this year bring you peace, joy, and great adventures along the way.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Home Sweet Home

My New Home...

Dining Room


Living Room


Frighteningly Blue Bedroom Closet

Home Sweet Home II

Door to Study

Study View 1

Study View 2

(door goes out to a balcony)