1) I seriously dislike Kate Gosselin.
2) We are putting hardwood floors in the living room, which means the furniture is all messed up and the TV is sitting unplugged in the kitchen. We are having a TV Free existence, which is Very Cool. I didn't have a tv when I lived in England, and I listened to so much music, read so many books, and generally enjoyed life a lot more. That being said, tomorrow I plan on indulging in Celebrity Apprentice on hulu. I'm not one of those people who brags about not having a TV. I think the main reason people don't have TVs is to be able to tell everyone they ever meet that they don't have a TV. Very few people are more sanctimonious than those who quit doing Bad Things (ie smoking). Non-TV-owning people are as sanctimonious as they get, as a general rule.
3) Ikea does a seriously good stuffed salmon. And for $6.99. Ikea might be the new date-night spot. Salmon and bookcases in one trip. What more can one ask for?
4) I just got turned on to the Live Music Archive. I can't believe I never found this before! An archive of gazillions of concerts online, all through Open Source Audio. I'm listening to Jazon Mraz at Farm Aid. I'm a big Jason Mraz fan. I've been following his blog and I'm convinced he's done Landmark Education stuff. It's inspiring - he's out there talking about the possibilities he's creating that touch, move, and inspire him.
5) We went up to see the poppy reserve on Saturday. One of the first things I knew about California, even before I lived here, was that there were these crazy fields of poppies out in the desert. I had seen it on the news a few years before I lived here. It was another El Nino year, and the news was covering how much the flowers were blooming, and how everyone was coming from all over the world to see them. I knew I wanted to see them someday, and now it's become a yearly ritual. Every april we go up to walk around the trails, look for snakes,and check out crazy lizards. It's always a weird feeling for me - when I first moved to CA in1999 with my ex-ex-ex boyfriend Mark, we lived in Lancaster, very near the poppies. It was a pretty miserable time for me - we were on the verge of breaking up, and I was broke. Not a good time.
So it's bittersweet to go back there on our yearly treks now. On the way we always stop at the Charlie Brown Farms restaurant in Littlerock. It's the strangest farm restaurant. They sell everything from ostrich burgers to deep fried pop-tarts. I get a turkey burger. J got a venison burger with garlic fries. They use about 10 cloves of garlic, so now our car smells.
Here's a picture of the poppies. They were all closed up because of the windy weather, but still were bursting with color. And we heard there were rattlesnakes out, but we didn't see any. Bummer.
6) On Thursday I went up to my office in San Mateo for the day. Here's a Wing Picture. Those are the hills somewhere around Gilroy, which is, incidentally, the Garlic Capital of the World. When I first drove to California by myself in March 1996, I remember being blown away by those green hills. They were like nothing I'd ever seen before - so vibrant and velvety. I still want to roll around in them.
7) I am currently reading England's Mistress, the story of Emma Hamilton, mistress to Lord Nelson. She was born in slums in northwest England, made it to London where she worked in brothels, as a maid, and various other demeaning types of jobs, and eventually was 'passed on' to Lord Hamilton, the ambassador to Naples when his nephew tired of keeping her as his own mistress. Being sent to Naples was the best thing that ever could have happened to her, as Lord Hamilton fell in love with her, and actually married her. He was a widower, and really didn't have much to lose. He was 60, she was about 25. She wound up meeting Nelson while he was fighting Napoleon, and openly became his mistress. I'm still not through with the book, but according to Wikipedia, she managed to live with both her husband and Nelson at the same time, in England. If nothing else, she's inspiring for how much she was able to overcome, and how far she rose.