Nov 25 - Dec 1

Five Things for the Week

Hello! Earlier in the week, I stopped at one of my favorite taquerias for a late lunch and it brought back a memory that I share below.

It’s been cold, raining off and on all week. So cold that I caved and turned on the heater. Even more shocking is that I started wearing long pants inside the house! *a group of people collectively gasp* *in the background, a woman puts the back of her hand to her forehead before feinting* *in the distance, church bells begin to ring not in celebration but, as a warning*

Honestly, thank you for subscribing, reading, and sharing. All of our time is important and that you are choosing to spend even a little bit of it reading this, means a lot.

Have a great week!

[one] the week that was, boring… in a good way

This was a week of relaxation, contemplation, and a little bit of planning. Nothing of note happened. In fact, on some days, I was outright bored. And though there was initially some guilt and inclination to try to “fill” the time doing something, anything, that needed to be done, I resisted. I let my stress-filled jaw unclench. I let my mind wander. I caught up with family and friends (via phone and emails). I played Tetris 99 (my highest ranking is #11 and for the life of me I can’t break into that top ten). And I looked ahead to what I wanted to do for the rest of the year, and into 2020. I wrote. I read. I was grateful for what the week was.

[two] but where is “new” north sacramento?

On Tuesday, after the last conference call for the week, I logged off the computers, grabbed my camera (just in case), and went out for a drive.

I headed slightly southeast to Old North Sacramento, a neighborhood I know nothing about nor have I ever been in. It’s interesting; there is a mix of run down pockets and rejuvenation projects happening. Some newer restaurants are popping up. And there is a lot of art (murals) on buildings along the main roads. Good for future photowalks.

I made my way to Downtown, then through Midtown, which is always fun for me to explore. It’s my favorite part of this city. I often fantasize about living in a condo overlooking Capital Park (there’s one for sale for $2.2M in case any newsletter subscribers are feeling particularly generous... hint hint). I made a point to go up and down streets that I had never been on before and discovered (and made mental notes of) some places I want to check out. Most of them restaurants, used book stores, and other boutique shops.

I then found myself in East Sac. If there’s one thing that Lady Bird gets right, it’s the dream of living in East Sacramento. It’s the picture perfect incarnation of an all-American neighborhood, where every house and every yard brings about fantasies of a perfect life. Driving through there, especially up and down the streets of the Fab Forties, I couldn’t help but daydream about a day when we could buy a house there. Though I prefer downtown, I wouldn’t turn away a newsletter subscriber’s generosity if they were to gift me a home here, either... *wink*

I backtracked and found myself on Garden Highway, a levee road that follows part of the Sacramento River. I’m intrigued by river-side living, where your house is on stilts and your yard basically looks like a swamp. Sure, I imagine it being beautiful at times but, is it worth it year-round? Some of the homes are gorgeous, with elaborate decks and boat docks. Generous subscriber, no need to buy me anything along the river. Thank you anyways.

A series of levee roads through farmland took me up and around the airport (and eventually back home). They recently broke ground on another housing development (just east of the airport) that will add 2500 more homes (and more traffic) and it got me contemplating about moving somewhere more rural (why do I feel the need to retreat from people?).

All in all, it was good to drive around and explore a little more. I appreciate the time to let my mind wander, listening to music, while experiencing a little more of this city.

[three] i’m sure ice cube was rapping about a different scenario than this

We started with bringing the Christmas decorations in from the garage. She began to decorate while I prepped the split pea soup in the slow-cooker. Our home filled with comforting sights and smells.

Midday, we took a break to go out for burgers before the rain came back. Our afternoon filled with a few chores, reading, and relaxing.

At the end of the day, flipping a switch by the front door turned on the Christmas tree lights. Nearby, flipping the switch by the (gas) fireplace turned on the fire. We sat on our couch and ate our soup while watching TV. More of the same into the evening, with some hot chocolate and popcorn.

Today was a good day.

[four] do they argue with each other over floss brands?

I survived (oh, stop being so over-dramatic!) the deep cleaning with the dental hygienist. The sounds from the dental “power” tools are a little jarring but, what I can’t stand is the sight, feel, and sounds of the metal tools scraping on my teeth. That, for me, is the worst part of going to the dentist.

Afterwards, she recommended a different brand/kind of floss and it got me thinking for longer than one would consider “the normal amount of time to spend thinking about this”, how dental hygienists have favorite flosses, and what it took for them to get to the point where they have a clear favorite.

[five] at least we didn’t ask for to go bags and cups

A friend and I rode our bikes to Lalo’s. We were 11, maybe 12 years old, with just a few dollars each (mostly in coins) but, we had a plan. After being seated we ordered sodas and the server delivered the chips and salsa basket. For a little over an hour, we sipped our sodas with free refills and snacked on the free chips and salsa (with refills) and talked about things that 12 year old friends talk about.

Our server (guy) kept coming back, asking us if we planned to order anything else. He was annoyed that we were taking up his time though, I remember the restaurant being almost empty. It was mid-afternoon. In retrospect, that probably had nothing to do with it. To this day, I remember the look of annoyance on his face. It’s the same look I probably wore anytime I had to wait on kids and teenagers (at my restaurant jobs).

Another server (girl) caught on to what we were doing and seemed fine with it, as she was the one who kept bringing us refills.

Our “few dollars” covered the bill and tip. But, every visit back as an adult, to Lalo’s, I made sure to tip very generously.

Recently Read

Trust Exercise, by Susan Choi - I did not start reading this book expecting it to hit me like it did. It took a surprising turn and the ending left me thinking about it for a few days afterwards. The more I reflect on it, the more I like it.

Contract for the Web - I read through (multiple times) and endorse this, created by the World Wide Web Foundation.

3 Kids. 2 Paychecks. No Home. - after reading some “van life” articles (aside: I very much appreciate my freestanding, built on a foundation, home). The juxtaposition was… strange. Of course, living the “van life” is different from “living in a van because you are homeless” but, it really made me start thinking about how controllable and uncontrollable circumstances — and how you manage both — go a long way into shaping your life.

Recently Watched

The Mandalorian, s1 ep4 - This episode featured one of the best scenes of 2019: Baby Yoda sipping soup while watching Mando fight. If the Baby Yoda sipping soup meme is the only memorable thing we get from this series, I’m good with that.

Star Trek: The Next Generation - currently at s6, ep18. Episodes 9-11 were heavy. Data’s further exploration into what, makes life “life” in episode 9 was well done, where he grappled with whether Exocomps were indeed, alive. The “Chain of Command” (parts 1 and 2) had great acting not only by (of course) Patrick Stewart, but by Ronny Cox (as Captain Jellico), taking command of the Enterprise and conflicting with the rest of the officers. I enjoyed re-watching “Starship Mine” which is basically ST:TNG’s version of Die Hard, taking place on the Enterprise instead of Nakatomi Plaza.

Recently Listened

This week’s rotation included Heart, The Black Crowes, Rush, and Led Zeppelin.

I fell down a Youtube “rabbit hole” with Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, and Linda Ronstadt. I’m amazed at the amount of talent the three of them have, and grateful that there are videos and recordings for me to experience. It’s fun for me to “discover” and appreciate artists that I always knew of but never appreciated before. I mean, watch this:

Heart’s cover of Stairway to Heaven - Performed in front of the remaining members of Led Zeppelin (at the Kennedy Center) with Jason Bonham (John Bonham’s son) on drums… I teared up.

Here’s a bonus video of Ann Wilson covering “She Talks to Angels”. She’s amazing.

A Christmas Duel”, by The Hives and Cyndi Lauper - It’s December and time to break out one of my favorite Christmas songs. And, speaking of Cyndi Lauper, this video is beautiful chaos; a mix of nostalgia, fun, 80s WWF stars, teppanyaki chefs, the Goonies, and Cyndi Lauper saying “Free cookies with gas!”

[Podcast] Dolly Parton’s America “Dolly’s Wildflowers” - Loved this bonus episode focused on covers and tracks inspired by her music. I wish this was a full album.

Post notes:

I completed Screen / Life Balance’s “30 Days of Gratitude” on my blog.