that was the first thing i said when i woke up on september first and it turned out to be the month i hit bottom. i said it again this morning. let's see where the good luck takes me this month.
the second thing i did this morning was looking at my calendar. where technologically advanced people have cell phone pdas, i have an excel spreadsheet. and it indicates the following birthdays:*
08. the professor
29. g's brother
*please let me know if i'm missing yours.
i used to be real good with everyone's birthdays, always prompt with the greetings, etc. my sole hobby was to make custom birthday cards. all good things come to an end, i guess.
october marks many poignant anniversaries for me, significant and otherwise. a terrible month that makes me want to go to crowded bar, smoke up a storm, and pass out drunk. a fine month that makes me want to stop talking.
on a lighter note, october 3 marks my wedding anniversary. jg and i will have been married for six long years this sunday. and i do mean long!
i woke up saturday saying to jg, "i miss yosemite." thirty minutes later, we were on our way to redding. no correlation whatsoever. it's our brand of spontaneity. back in the good old days when we were happy and comfortable, we used to take road trips all the time. from popular national parks to obscure back roads.
ah, the good old days. alas.
anyway, at around 2:15 pm, we arrived in redding, at an oddly situated tourist destination called turtle bay exploration park. it wasn't without effort. the highways up in the woods of california are a bit (in keeping with the proper language of schmeebot, i will substitute the actual words jg used with) confusing. add or minus a few expletives.
the drive was long but pleasant. before we got thrown for a loop in the shasta county highway system, we were thoroughly humored by the sight of town names and bumper stickers. we passed signs with curious names like arbuckle and colusa. and nine out of ten cars we saw supported bush cheney. thank goodness my bumper doesn't say kerry edwards. otherwise i wouldn't be here to show you this story.
cool skyline on i80
crossing the carquinez strait
mobile home vs big rigs on i5
mushroom cloud also on i5
so, what's in redding? i don't know. i didn't even know the town existed until i heard that calatrava was designing a foot bridge for it.
jg over the sacramento river
thuy trying to break a cable
thuy's favorite shoes and frosted glass deck
west side of cable mast
standing where the mast's shadow marked 2:39 pm
cigarette butt receptor on lawn at base of mast insert your opinion here
these were taken below deck.
plaque on bridge support
a man approached us while we were reading that plaque. he informed us, "do you know who san diago coal trava is? he's that guy that bankrupted greece for the olympics!" i swear, those are his exact words.
jg looking up at mast
looking up at deck
a nice picture of jg
overall, lackluster. i have always had a thing for calatrava so i had high hopes for this bridge. i don't know what happened in redding but that ain't the bridge it should be. i mean, it looks like calatrava did a cheap imitation of one of his own bridges. how could it be? is my hero falling off his organic pedestal?
regardless, i think it's worth a trip. see it if you can; it's pretty darn unique. watch out for high way 299. the redding folks use 44 as a short hand for it.
next entry, i'll show you where we went after we left turtle bay.
immediately after we left turtle bay, we took the 299, which becomes the 44 after we crossed the 5. 101 280 154 lmnop. and we went to lassen volcanic national park.
hw 44 east
the park's entrance is located a bit awkwardly. we saw a few cars a head of us making u turns, which we ended up doing because even master navigator jg had missed the poorly marked turn off.
the park was rather empty. no one manned the entrance gate and the visitor center was closed. we saw a few other cars but other than that, no rangers, no tour busses. we were a bit surprised but pleased to have the entire park to ourselves.
we did pass by a horde of people who looked like they were on a class field trip. they were standing just to the right of this picture.
devastated area, i think
we were disappointed that the plaques at every vista point had been removed. there would be metal podiums with nothing but faded graffiti. we weren't given a park map so we were hurting for information. fortunately, the grand views didn't need any explanations.
sun light through storm clouds
jg sitting 10 feet from paved road
faint lake in the distance beyond the mountains
racing the storm
we drove up, up, and up. suddenly, there's a golden prairie crisscrossed with streams and lined with pines.
mount lassen's peak, i think
we drove up some more and found a giant parking lot and the trail head for lassen's peak.
trail head in background left of jg
trail is 2.5 miles long with 2000 feet elevation gain. i was reading the signs with all the threatening precautions like prolonged exposure to unfiltered sun when i saw a woman descending with a baby in her front pack.
the road leads downhill from the empty parking lot.
jg at unidentified vista point, thunder in the distance
unidentified lake, lassen peak beyond
finally, a sign!
jg at the edge of bumpass hell parking lot
gnarly pine just to left of egg shaped rock in previous picture
another trail head, looks like a fun hike
past bumpass hell we saw another no name lake. then we smelled sulfur.
steamy thermal pockets
unlike normal people, i like the smell of sulfur. the deep gurgling sounds made by these mysterious holes sound like what i imagine a monster would when it's digesting a small asian girl.
tiny boiling pit jg actually stuck his finger in it
we left unceremoniously through the park's south entrance. we continued to descend. the day was fast coming to an end.
heading west on highway 36
not long after the sunset we got stuck in a massive traffic jam. there were cars in every which direction. half an hour later we realized they were all converging here:
welcome to bush valley
it was a full day, a long road trip. even though the destinations fell short of expectation, i enjoyed it lots. jg and i plan on going back to lassen national park for a hike or two in the spring. wanna join us?
jg made pasta with chicken in red sauce. i prepared the salad. we were laughing through out the entire debate, particularly when it turned into a total love fest with the strong women bit. bob was the worst moderator ever.
we're having icecream+peanut butter cups for dessert. the debate is over so now we're watching baseball. our guests are trying to get us to go camping with them this weekend. can you believe that a friend of theirs once brought pot brownies to camp and the raccoons ate them all?
speaking of the wild life, look at this sad sight seen right outside my front door.
i found him when i went out for a walk yesterday. it was such a weird day. there was a ominous haze hovering over the entire bay. i could see the water real clearly but i couldn't see the sky. it was like the top half of the picture was left undeveloped. very strange.
later i learned from npr that the haze was actually smoke from a forest fire in the valley. i like how it gave the sunlight a red tint that evening.
taken on lombard on my way to pick up jg
jg had a long day. he didn't feel like making dinner so we ended up at our favorite vietnamese restaurant on clement street.
jg+big bowl of noodles
it was the first time we found a parking spot on clement street. i saw this near our car.
help dorothy find chloe
look what was waiting in the mailbox for me when i got home.
home is where the heart is
i sent mary a thank you note some weeks ago and that's the return address i actually used! at first i wondered, "hm, why did she send me a photocopy of my own envelope?" then i realized... oh, how embarrassing! ah well. at least i got the zip code right.
sunday my gramp in law came to visit us.
gramps took us out to lunch at the waterfront grill. we got him to tell us about the time he hopped trains from minnesota to san francisco. he saw the golden gate bridge when it was nothing but a couple of towers and a few cables in between. the best part about the whole story: he was fifteen!
it happened to be fleet week weekend so, after lunch, we took gramps on the ferry for a naval experience. we watched the air show in style.
look, everyone! jet!
we spent the entire afternoon walking up and down the embarcadero. it was crowded and loud with the jets darting around overhead. we tried to get a tour on the destroyer but we had missed the day's quota. we resigned to hanging around the ferry building, where we watched a waning air show.
yes, it is snowing. no, i do not have the day off. you know, mostly i do not envy kids. you are always doing stuff wrong because you don't know all the rules. you get yelled at. other kids are mean. you are mean. it's not really all that great - except for snow days. a snow day with no place to go but outside. stomp through the lawns not yet marred by footprints and leap to the big open space to make a snow angel. go inside soaked through and through and sit on the radiator wrapped up in a towel next to your wet clothes. the steam rising from your clothes smells like dust and moisture mixed together. your fingertips are bright pink as they warm up wrapped around a mug of hot chocolate.
cake for one birthday
this october twenty eighth
jg thirty two
under the influence of christmas, i have decided that it's haiku time on schmeebot. write one on your blog today. send me your link and i'd be honored to share it with everyone. or, if you'd like, i'll post your very own haiku right here on schmeebot!
it's moving week at schmeebot. this means i won't be to entertain you with my illustrated haikus for a while. i am optimistically hoping to be back in action by the end of next week. given how i am at the mercy of big brother sbc and that pesky reality tv game show, i can only hope to get to the new apartment in one piece.
so, while schmeebot will be all brown and lonely, i will be going to my new mail box regularly. yes, i'm blatantly begging for postcards again.
schmeebot the shameless beggar
838 anza street #301
san francisco, ca 94118
i would love to receive a haiku or two. please?
a reminder to mark your ballots carefully on tuesday