Tag: trips

NYC for Mike’s wedding

In early September, Alicia and I flew to NYC for my friend Mike’s wedding.  It was Alicia’s first trip to NYC (and my second).  We caught a red-eye flight from LAX to Newark (through Cincinnati), and arrived to NYC Friday morning.  Because we had flew into Newark, we had to take the train into the city from the Newark airport.  So our first experience with NYC was emerging from Penn Station.  We had to pick up the keys to the apt we were staying at in Brooklyn, which was a short walk to 5th Ave.  Along the way, we walked through Koreatown.  We had left one Koreatown for another (though NYC’s K-town is a much smaller deal than LA as its only one block).

Koreatown NYCAfter picking up the keys, we got some lunch and then headed to Brooklyn to drop off our stuff and get ready to head out for the wedding.  We were able to walk over to Mike’s apt from where we were staying and then go with the larger group heading over to the wedding site.  As for the wedding itself, it was probably one of the best weddings that I’ve attended.  It was low-key, but not overtly.  They had friends that had provided homebrewed beer as part of the beverages and it was catered by a pizza truck (I don’t remember if it was wood-fired…but it was definitely artisan pizza).  Mike and Jessica had written their own vows (Mike’s referencing his obsessive fandom of the Oregon Ducks and other sports).  A real good time.  We did end up bowing out around 11pm (ET)…since we had very little sleep since the day before (and what sleep we had was airplane sleep).

Mike & JessicaSaturday, one of Alicia’s college friends came up to the city from Rutgers.  We met up with her at Central Park and walked around there for a while and then I left to meet up with Mike at the NYC Duck’s bar to watch the football game (see the vows reference above).  One cool thing that happened on Saturday, is that while Alicia and her friend were checking out the Highline Park, they ran into a La Newyorkina cart.  We had just received her Paletas cookbook from the KCRW cookbook club a week or two before the trip.  (Alicia and I went back the next day, because I wanted to try one as well).  After the Duck game was over, I met back up with them and we ended up heading down to the tip of Manhattan.  We walked by Ground Zero, where they were going to have the big grand opening of the 9/11 Memorial the next day, and then walked down to see if we could catch the Staten Island Ferry.  When we got to the terminal, we had just missed a ferry and didn’t feel like waiting for the next one.  Because it was the 10th Anniversary of 9/11 the next day, they had set up white flags for the persons killed in the attacks in Battery Park.  Each flag had each persons name on it.  It was a pretty impressive display (it takes a lot of park space to put up that many flags).

9/11 FlagsIt was a quick trip (we had to head back Sunday), but we both had fun.  Alicia wants to move there (I think its a nice place to visit…but I wouldn’t want to live there).

Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2011/nyc-mikeswedding/

Berkeley, San Francisco, & Santa Clara (for the Timbers!)

I Spent a long weekend in the Bay Area to go see the Timbers play the San Jose Earthquakes last weekend.  Being that I’m still unable to drive, I took the train up (flights were more expensive than I wanted to pay).  I do love the train (and look forward to high speed options coming in the distant future).  I was able to do some reading and enjoyed a beer from home on the way up.

I stayed with my sister and her fiance (well he was only there the first night) in Berkeley.

One of the main reasons for the trip was to go to the Timbers game vs the San Jose Earthquakes.  So Saturday afternoon, I took the CalTrain down to Santa Clara for the match to meet up with the other members of the Timbers Army that had traveled to the match.  I have some pictures, but this video gives a little better idea of the match day experience:

The rest of my trip, I spent mainly hanging out in San Francisco walking around.  I tried to go to new areas this trip instead of the usual suspects of the Mission & Haight/Asbury.  (I wasn’t however able to escape going to the Ferry Building multiple times, they do a pretty good Farmer’s Market on Saturday’s, and the more permanent vendors inside are just too good.)  So Sunday, I struck out from the Ferry Building and decided to walk along Embarcadaro towards the Palace of Fine Arts (and possibly the Golden Gate beyond).  Along the way, I stopped at the TCHO Chocolate Factory (and tasting room) and the Boudin Bakery (and museum/factory tour).  I didn’t take any pictures of the chocolate factory (they weren’t producing on Sunday), but I did get a few on the bakery’s factory tour.

Boudin Bakery

After grabbing some lunch at Boudin, I continued on towards the Palace of Fine Arts.  It was a typical San Francisco Day, blanketed in a slight layer of fog that just didn’t want to burn off.

San Francisco Days

I finally made it over to the Palace of Fine Arts (a new place visited in San Francisco) and debated what to do next.  Would I continue on and walk over the Golden Gate Bridge, or would I head over to the Mission to get a loaf of Tartine Bread.  In the end, I decided on the bread, as the Golden Gate would be there the next day and Monday’s were no-bread days at Tartine.

Palace of Fine ArtsMonday, I headed back over to San Francisco for some more exploring.  This time I ended up at Sutro Heights Park, where the Cliff House Restaurant is, and the Seal Rocks are just offshore.Pacific from Sutro HeightsMonday evening, I met up with my friend Cristy Rose at a local pub in Berkeley (The Albatross) and spent the night at the house she was house sitting at.  We had a nice brunch in the morning (with fresh eggs from the backyard chickens), walked around Berkeley some, then it was off to the train station for my trip home.  All in all, a nice relaxing trip.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2011/berkeley-san-francisco-santa-clara-for-the-timbers/

has it already been almost half a year?

Outside of a few posts about bread (and even those have dropped off) and the normal list of books for the year, I haven’t been writing much here this year.  Well to be honest, I haven’t been writing much anywhere this year.  I’ve been full of a lot of ideas but not a whole lot of action…or at least not sustained action.

So what’s been going on this year?  Well, Alicia and I are dating again and as of May we’re living together, so that’s one big change.  Alicia’s best friend (and her boyfriend) came down over Easter weekend to visit (and see this show).  We went up to visit my sister in Berkeley (and I finally got to meet her boyfriend after two years of Christmas travel headaches) at the end of April.  I’ve been continuing progress towards building my moving fund (current progress is in the sidebar).  I’m still pretty much on track for my book goal for the year (greater than or equal to last years 80 books).

There has been some surprises though as well.  The biggest so far came on the morning of May 9th.  I went to work like any other day even though I was feeling a little off.  I continued to feel a little off and even told Alicia that my right arm was feeling a little twitchy.  The next thing I remember, I woke up in the hospital to see my sister’s boyfriend (who lives in Berkeley, but happened to be on So. Cal. that day).  I had a seizure and had been taken to the hospital via ambulance.  I was kept overnight for observation and released the next day with a prescription and instructions for follow up appointments with my regular doctor.  So far, the medications are working without any noticeable side effects and my tests are coming back normal.  So it seems to be one of those fluke things that just happened.  Something the doctors won’t be able to fully explain.

Before releasing me, the doctor’s at the hospital advised me that I shouldn’t drive and that they were required to notify the DMV.  The letter of re-examination from the DMV came a few days later.  For that, I would need to have a form filled out by my doctor by June 4th or my license would be suspended on June 5th.  This being LA, most people I tell this story to think this is the worst part.  But for me, its just a minor inconvenience.  I was already commuting to work via the subway and vanpool.  My work provided bus pass allows me to get around other places, and I can always let Alicia drive my car for the trips public transit doesn’t work as well for.  The specialist I saw told me as long as there are no more seizures in the next three months, he’ll fill out and sign the form.  A much nicer time frame than the six months to a year the hospital doctors told me.

I think that brings things pretty up to date.  The summer is starting to fill up though…going to see the Timbers play ChivasUSA at the Home Depot Center tonight.  Next weekend, we’re going to spend a night at a bed and breakfast in the San Jacinto Mountains.  The weekend after, we’re going to Portland (where I’ll be going to watch the Timbers vs. NY Red Bulls match with Elizabeth and Austin as part of the Timbers Army!).  In July, we’re going to Temecula to see the Avett Brothers perform.  The “big” trip this summer is in early September though.  We’re going to Brooklyn for my buddy Mike’s wedding!

Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2011/has-it-already-been-almost-half-a-year/

Sketch 51

So I didn’t get around to writing a post last week while I was home in Oregon.  So this will be a brief post, basically just bullet pointing some things I’ll post more depth in my end of the year wrap up.

  • Drove home to Oregon over 2 days (stopping in Williams, CA)
  • Bought chains in Corning at Les Schwab (and stopped at the Olive Pit for good measure)
  • Roads were for the most part bare pavement throughout all the mountain areas of Northern California and Southern Oregon.
  • Eugene Santa Pub Crawl 2008
  • Reconnecting with old friends
  • Christmas
  • Cafe Yumm & Hawaiian Time
  • Performing a wedding
  • Drove back to LA in 1 day…bare pavement all the way (only a little bit of slush from Mt. Shasta City down to Shasta Lake).
  • Back to work on Monday (with a flat tire just as I left my apt to greet me, and a bus ride to work instead)

Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2008/sketch-51/

2 Nights of Ray LaMontagne

A few months ago, I purchased tickets to Ray LaMontagne at the Wiltern here in LA.  It was a second show that was added after the first show quickly sold out.  I was so glad when it was announced because I hadn’t been able to see him live yet.  Anyway, another one of my friends got tickets to the show in San Diego before the second show was announced, as it didn’t sell out immediately like the first LA show.  Between getting the tickets and the show, circumstances came about that she might not be going with the person she had originally intended.  So one day, I came up with this crazy idea of us sharing our tickets with each other and going to both shows.  My friend loved the idea.


I don’t have many pics from the shows…just a couple of really dark pictures from the San Diego show (the Wiltern doesn’t allow photography)…but here is Leona Ness (the opening act) and Ray at the Spreckels Theatre:


I enjoyed both nights quite a bit, but for different reasons.  I think the San Diego show was a little better…at least Ray’s portion of it.  The set was at least one song longer in San Diego (I think…I wasn’t counting…but the LA show just felt shorter).  We had great seats in San Diego, however they were off to the left and the view was partially blocked by the speakers.  We basically just saw the side and back of Ray.  In LA, the seats were in the balcony, so we were looking down from the center, but much further away.  Both venues were excellent for ambiance and sound quality.  Very fitting venues for the music.  My only complaints…in San Diego, we had some annoying folks around us, a couple where the guy was demeaning and pretty much just horrible to his date, and a girl who kept recording on her cell phone in 30 second blocks the majority of Ray’s set.  In LA, I was disappointed how little difference there was in the set list from the night before from Ray.  While Leona Ness played pretty much the same songs, she at least switched up the order.  Ray’s set was pretty much exactly the same, with the exception being him not performing Roses and Cigarettes in LA. More pics from the weekend are here.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2008/2-nights-of-ray-lamontagne/

Thinking of home…

I’ve been homesick lately.  It is compounded by the uncertainty I have about whether or not I’ll be able to go home for Christmas as well.  The problem is, I started a job through a temp agency in August.  I was supposed to be on the normal 60 – 90 days temp-to-hire schedule.  However, a month and a half into the job, one of the executives I was assisting left the company.  A few weeks later, the other guy, decided his assistant needed more of a legal background.  So that assignment ended.  I was quickly reassigned to a new position in the company (only missing two days of work), but that also restarted my temp-to-hire schedule.  Which means, no holiday pay…no vacation pay (though that may not have happened anyway).

The company’s Holiday schedule for 2008 has Christmas Day and the day after for the “official” holiday days.

My sister (and her boyfriend) are going to be home the 20th – the morning of the 26th.  Airfare is already almost prohibitively expensive…even flying in and out of Portland.  If I have to work on the 24th…then my only option to get home in time to see my sister is to fly.

I’m thinking about seeing if I can take that entire week off.  But there is risk in that, as they could decide just to not have me back after that week.  Even if they said it was ok beforehand.

Anyway…one of a few things in my life that I wish was different.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2008/thinking-of-home/

Running to Stand Still

On Tuesday, I found out that I did not get the internship in LA.  While I’m quite relieved to at least know, I’m still a little bummed that I didn’t get it.  LA isn’t my first choice of a place to live by far, however I think the year there would have been very good for me.  What it has done is put me back into a brainstorming mode of what my next move is.  Right now I’m blessed with a great job and boss so I’ve at least got that going for me.  But it also doesn’t get me any closer to where I want to be.  So I’ve got myself some time set up to talk to a friend and do some brainstorming on Monday morning.  Hopefully, we’ll be able to come up with some good ideas from there.

What I see myself doing this week though is pulling inward.  I’ve got no appetite for food, though I’m eating better this week than I did over the weekend.  I’m going home tonight for Mother’s Day weekend, but that is also part of what is on my mind.  A couple weeks ago, my parents were in town, and didn’t tell me they were coming up, and when I talked to them after finding out…didn’t make any time to see me.

I feel alone.  If it wasn’t for one of my best friends, I might not have seen anyone outside of work this week.  I barely even see my roommates…one of whom is a lame duck roommate as he’s moving out at the end of the month. So I also need to be searching for a new roommate, but I have no motivation for that either.

Tonight, 80’s Night at John Henry’s in Eugene.  That will be fun.  It’ll be good to see my Eugene friends and forget about everything else going on for a few hours.

Saturday, I get an eye exam.  I don’t think my perscription will have changed, but its been long enough I need an exam to get new glasses.  I’m going to get my Dolce & Gabanna frames relensed (I lost one of them) and I’m looking for new frames that are flamboyant and competely different from the three frames I already have.

Sunday is Mother’s Day.  I haven’t decided what I’m going to do for her (other than give her the last installment of money that I owe her).   

I’m also looking forward to watching the Planet Earth DVD’s on my dad’s HDTV. 

Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2007/running-to-stand-still/