I Am…

Every month, the health initiative at work has a different theme. May’s theme is “Go Write,” with each of us pledging to journal at least 20 times this month. Each day has a different prompt. I thought this would be a great way to get back into blogging. I get so caught up in trying to document everything that I end up documenting nothing. So let’s do this.

Today’s prompt is I Am… Continue reading

Advertisements

35-for-35 Places: Mendocino, CA

On Martin Luther King Jr Day, I decided to actually start on my “places” challenge (which is likely NOT going to be completed, but is still fun!). While looking through my waterfall hikes book, I noticed a couple near Mendocino, CA. I wasn’t in the mood for a hike, but thought Mendocino might be a nice day trip. I have friends who frequent it every chance they get, so I wanted to see what all the hype was about.

Welcome to Mendocino, CA

It’s a nice 3 hour drive up US-101 and over Highway 128. I got a late start, which wasn’t ideal, but I thought I’d still have a good afternoon and then stay for dinner before heading back to the City. However, I had no idea just how twisty and dark Highway 128 is. You have to cross three different mountains with the resulting switch back turns and two-lane roads. The last bit is through a MAGNIFICENT redwood forest that looks like it’s out of a postcard. If there had been any safe places to stop, I would have some photos of it. However, those tall trees block any light from above, make it quite dark even though it was still afternoon. I knew that I wouldn’t want to drive back on this road in the dark (though I ended up doing so for the most part), so I didn’t end up staying long.Mendocino Village

I visited a couple of shops on Main Street, including the Gallery Bookshop. I picked up a couple of postcards and met the bookshop cat. But my favorite part was walking along the cliffs and watching the waves come in as the sunset. There’s something about the ocean that just soothes me, which was exactly what I needed after that bare-knuckle drive in. I even took some videos, looking at the waves crashing through the rocks (thought I don’t know why there’s no sound).

Pacific Ocean in the CoveAll too soon, the setting sun meant it was time for me to get back on the road. I realized that I didn’t know how to operate my brights (turns out you have to push the lever away to have it hold), so I spent much of the first hour and a half, holding the lights on. I’d definitely loved to go back and explore more another time when I actually have time to play.

Sunset in Mendocino, CA

The End of an Era

The Chevy’s at Stonestown is gone.

(Actually, it may have been gone for a while as I seldom go to the mall next to campus and rarely go across the front of the mall when I do stop by. Nonetheless, there’s a Chipotle and a new sushi restaurant COMING SOON in its place).

Don’t get me wrong; if I never ate at Chevy’s again for my whole life, I’d be very happy. But that Chevy’s location is inextricably linked many of my favorite college memories and it’s very odd to think of it not existing any longer. It hasn’t been THAT long since I left college, right?

My first semester at State, I didn’t really make any friends, only going to classes and back home to study. The second semester, I was forced out of my shell by a fateful trip to Sacramento, where I made two of the best friends I’ve ever had (and still have to this day). After that, gatherings outside of class to studying and chat became more commonplace and Chevy’s was a prime location, given its proximity to school.

Christmas at Embarcadero Center

Christmas at Embarcadero Center

My last year in college, it was the site of many Political Science Student Association fundraisers, proving the even PoliSci nerds can throw back a pitcher or six of margaritas with the best of them. It was always great fun to hang out with our profs, as well as my fellow students, plotting our eventual takeover of the department and university. Of course, getting a grande strawberry margarita in me meant all bets were off. I’ll never forget the look on Prof C’s face when I told him his article was “totally boring,” before realizing I had said it out loud. Luckily, he found it charming instead of insulting. In fact, it was such a mainstay in our diet, that our end of semester celebration that fall was held at Chevy’s – but the one at Embarcadero Center, just to switch things up a bit!

Chevy’s was where I decided to take my first grad-level class, while still in undergrad. Margarita Mondays got me through the first time I had to present in said class. It was where Prof C starting laying the ground work for me to go to grad school, following in his footsteps. It was where I celebrated with my friends that after seven years and four universities, I was finally going to graduate college. And it was where I found a touchstone after graduation, when I felt a little lost in the big “adult” world, attending another PSSA fundraiser for the next class of PoliSci nerds.

Thanks for the memories, Chevy’s! It wouldn’t have been college without you!

Last Day of College EVER

Last Day of College EVER

A Trip to Giants FanFest

Though I’ve been a Giants fan since 2005, I’ve never attended FanFest before. My dear friend, Jen, has attended the Chicago White Sox equivalent, SoxFest, since I’ve known her and raved about it every year. I know that Giants FanFest is run differently and this year I finally got up the courage to go. My lovely friend, George, a FanFest veteran, agreed to go with me and be my guide. It was everything and nothing that I wanted it to be, but I had a great day and I know I’ll be more prepared the next time I go.
Together We're Champions

Continue reading

THE GIANTS WIN THE PENNANT! THE GIANTS WIN THE PENNANT!

This team, you guys! This team!

I’m not a lifelong Giants fan. I grew up outside DC, decades after the Senators and decades before the Nationals. If you wanted to follow baseball, you were an Orioles fan. Cal Ripken Jr was my guy. Every year on Father’s Day, the whole family would caravan up to Baltimore to take in a game. Grandpa would be keeping score and all of us would be eating our body weight in ballpark food. Camden Yards seemed like paradise.

Until I found AT&T Park.

I became a Giants fan on May 5, 2005. My mom came to town for Mother’s Day weekend and I wanted to take her to a Giants game (since they were playing the Nationals). My favorite professor gave me his season tickets in the bleachers and I was hooked! The Giants lost that game, but I couldn’t wait to go back. Luckily, that favorite professor became my advisor, mentor and friend, lending me his tickets many times over the next couple of years. I got see Barry Bonds hit home run #725 from those seats.

The day before I left California, Barry Bonds broke the home run record. As I sat in that hotel room in Berkeley, I cried tears of joy that I was still in the Bay Area when it happened, so I could watch on TV. But there were also tears of sadness that I was going to miss this team SO much while I was gone. Grad school didn’t work out and neither did moving back home with my parents at the age of 28. So, when I got the change to move back to San Francisco, I jumped at it. It was June 2010.

I LOVED the 2010 World Series run. We lost some games, but we felt in it the whole time and the energy was great. We took it to Game Five of the World Series, but the whole time, I just had that Tom Hanks voice in my head – “We’re gonna WIN!” The group of players was fantastic – a cast of characters that embodied San Francisco from Brian Wilson’s beard to Aubrey Huff’s rally thong. Buster Posey was the Rookie of the Year. It was epic, amazing and ridiculous.

Two years later and the Giants are going back to the World Series. We’ve got a new cast of characters – from Happy Flight (Angel Pagan) to Marco Scutaro to Reverend Pence to Baby Giraffe (Brandon Belt) to BCraw (Brandon Crawford). I’ve been on edge for weeks, waiting for the Giants to break my heart.

A coworker gave me two tickets to Game Two of the NLDS. I was in AT&T Park when the Giants lost 9-0 and fell 2 games behind in the series. This team would have to win three games in a row, on the road to stay alive. And then they did. Reverend Pence was born and those Giants, this team, played “for the name on the front of the jersey, not on the back.”

We made it to the NLCS, which we got to start at home. We dropped Game One, but came back to win Game Two. Then we dropped Games Three and Four in St. Louis and I figured, “okay, this is it.” We made it to the NLCS when I never thought we would and the line ends here. But then Zito did something I never saw him do in a Giants uniform. And we brought the team back to San Francisco.

And finally, the team that never seemed to get it together to win at home, took the energy of the 43,000 people in the stadium and the millions in the City and gave us Game Six. I watched the game yesterday from Public House with my friend George, which is just about the best place to watch without actually being in the stadium. The energy was amazing once the game started, chanting and yelling, about to blow the roof off the place when anyone got a hit, a strike, a run, a good catch. We won last night and I started to hope again.

Today was a long day at work and I was torn between watching the game for pleasure and watching the Presidential debate for work. I moved back and forth between the two, getting updates from my dad via text and relaying updates to my favorite professor who now works at the same place I do. That 3rd inning was amazing and Brandon Belt’s solo home run (nearly another splash hit) in the 7th was fantastic. Everyone was playing well, playing hard and continue to play for the team on the front and not that name on the back.

I never get cocky with this team, even up 9-0. But then it started to pour down rain, like it had several times earlier that day and it just felt like a sign. We had three more outs. Lopez got us two and then they brought in Romo, our stripey socks closer. In the best justice we could ever ask for, Matt Holiday popped the final out to Marco Scutaro and the Giants won the Pennant. We’re going to the World Series again for the second time in 3 years, which seems so surreal. The Tigers are coming to our house on Wednesday and if these guys can keep the momentum going, it’s going to be a great series.

This team, you guys! This team!