family weddings

So the main reason behind the mini vacation was one of my nephews was getting married. The wedding was at Spanish Bay, so Saturday morning we drove from San Francisco to the Spanish Bay Inn is 2.5 hours. Down Hwy 1. Some native Californians may need to pick themselves off the floor.

We didn't realize what amazing time we had made and we can't quite account for our luck now that we know about it. Was all the rain that day keeping people home? Were others avoiding Hwy 1 fearing wash outs? Was it because I'm from Pennsylvania and I am very comfortable driving on curvy, hilly, narrow roads even in the rain?

Whatever the reason it was brilliant because due to the flight delay the day before we really did not have one extra second and the wedding was at 11 am. It was a nice drive. I was amazed how homey and comfortable I feel on narrow, hilly roads. Minnesota still seems so flat to me.

We had a great time at the wedding. The service was a lovely mix of Buddhist/Western, the appetizers stellar [best scallops ever], lovely wine and lunch. Only silly things went wrong which is typical for any wedding.

Then we were off to find the hotel I had hotwired which had ended up being one that was recommended in the invitation package. Casa Munras was nice, we got a great deal price-wise and there was a fabulous cafe right across the street. As always the pillows were too much for me but this is true everywhere.

After some time to catch our breath in the room we made it back to the resort rather late for the after party and had some lovely chats before getting back at midnight and collapsing into bed. Family duty done for the trip. It was great to see so much of my family.

the first week of spring and vacation starts

Well the first week of spring had lots of rain and inches of slushy snow. So no running outside yet. And my entire house went on a shoveling strike.

Then I got ready for our trip to CA and there was spring! We spent 4+ days in Monterey and San Francisco. There were lots of green trees and flowers, lots of rain the first 2 days and lots of green. It was brisk on the coast but just delightful.

The getting to CA was a bit fraught, a starter blew on the engine and had to be replaced so we sat in the plane at the gate for 2+ hours. It was dark and pouring when we arrived and impossible to find the key my sister had hidden no matter how hard we tried. I did meet the neighborhood skunk and thankfully did not get sprayed. Luckily the rehearsal dinner had ended early and we got specific directions for key hunting and collapsed. The sea crashed all night long, I kept waking up and hearing it and falling back asleep happy.

Our mini vacation just kept on getting better from then on...

welcome spring 2011

Here it is the first day of spring and I still can't type. You would not believe how many typos there were in that first sentence.

It seems as I get older I enjoy spring more and more, perhaps it because we have actually had a spring the past few years? I still really enjoy winter and dislike bugs but still I look forward now to the weather warming up. It may be bike related.

So much snow has melted that even with a couple of feet still blocked on the streets by old snow the roads look incredibly wide today. If I had a bike that was ready I would be tempted to ride to dancing tonight.

No big equinox celebration planned, I'm getting ready for a family wedding and that is taking quite a bit of my energy. I did get my first long walk outside without a hat yesterday. The trails aren't clear enough for running, I was a bit optimistic about that but soon they will be. My cat sits outside in his yard with satisfaction and the birds and squirrels are going crazy, spring everywhere.

I can't quite believe with tons of snow this year I still didn't learn to snowshoe, so something to look forward to next year then. xo.

pirates are just fun

We celebrated one of my favorite spring traditions last night. This year the opera was The Pirates of Penzance. The cast did a superb job, the chorus was rousing and our seats were very good. I really enjoyed the voices of all the female leads, I don' t know that I can pick a favorite. Really the entire cast was wonderful.

We started the evening with a lovely dinner at Christos. It took awhile but I did manage to finally choose an appetizer, hummus this time. They are just all so good. I had the Kota Zakinthos which is a favorite entree, but this time the use of the sun dried tomatoes was a bit overwhelming but it was still a delightful meal. Lots of leftovers as usual. Post play two of us went to spyhouse for drinks and cream puffs. This are rich and not very sweet and I enjoyed my rare dessert out immensely. I wonder if they come from Patesserie Margo. Margo made our wedding cake so no wonder I love the cream puffs. The group was slightly smaller than some years but that didn't seem to decrease our enjoyment. I'm a bit sad that it's over for another year. Next year they are doing "Patience" which I have never seen. So I am already looking forward to it.

Unfortunately although the run for the operetta has just started they are entirely sold out. I really thought this year you would have a chance to buy tickets for something I was praising. Perhaps you can try your luck for unclaimed tickets before the show? Less than 24 hours until Spring.

loving this weather

The first day of Spring is this Sunday and the weather here has been very spring-like all week here. The piles of snow are rapidly shrinking, the birds are being raucous in the mornings and there was a sighting of herons on the river. Red wing blackbirds can't be far behind.

Plus the illusion of more daylight thanks to daylight savings time. Which I will enjoy much more as soon as my body stops wanting to stay up past midnight.

I have found myself thinking about biking again. Wondering if I should invest in a new bike, I never did replace the stolen one. I definitely need a rack and panniers. Perhaps I'll ride to and from the train station and take public transport to work this year.

Oh and running! I did a bit on the treadmill this winter, but not much. I can't wait to go to the bird sanctuary and run on the dirt paths. Perhaps I'll even be able to do that this weekend and I am looking forward to finishing my couch to 5K program in the warm weather. [I got up to about 2.3 miles last year]

Then there are daffodils, and corned beef and cheese-cake and egg dishes...all spring to me.

I love to hear about springtime plans from others and get inspired. What does spring mean to you?

corned beef and patterns

I had corned beef today and it was awesome. That's one of the things I love about St. Patrick's Day, it's soooo easy to buy corned beef for lunch. Warning: the above is the coherent part of the post.

So about that last post where I realized I was in a pattern. Seeing the pattern was pretty awesome [and funny] and I wasn't surprised that the realization gave me more space around the whole situation. Even though I still have to correct stuff at work, I don't feel like I am being hated for it. I correct and try to move on. A bit like being a teacher, grade the test, it's part of the job.

So my brain? awareness? story mind? has been nibbling at this realization in a relaxed way and gently wondering "so is there some kind of meaning or gift behind this pattern" and I may be seeing something oh so dimly. So now I'll try to put it into words.

I sometimes want to be 'right' In fact a query I have been using this winter is "do I want to be right or free?" When I look at most situations in this way I realize I would rather be free, it cuts through the ego or something...

Correcting at work is like the flip side of this dynamic. I don't actually want or care about being right in this situation. Or to put it another way, I would like the people I work with on projects to all be right. And yet frequently I am stuck being the one who is right. And for the success of the project I have to communicate that.

Suddenly I can clearly see the downside of being 'right'. And it seems such a gift.

you're wrong, it's a pattern

Sometimes I am critical and I notice things about myself and others that I think are 'wrong'. But that's not what I am talking about here.

This thing happens at work, it happened again this week in fact. I'm working on a project with someone, not a new person, and they are doing things wrong. This isn't an opinion thing it's a real mistake or misinformation. Like someone writing red + yellow = blue, instead of orange. In terms of our business it's incorrect. It will break something or perhaps cause something to not work at all.
So it would be worse to ignore it. And there isn't a question of deliberate sabotage or malice.

The first few times I mention the corrections in passing, no big deal we're all human. By about the 6th time I am getting irritated, mostly because I take it 'reverse personally'. I start thinking that the person in question must be hating me because I am noticing and correcting their errors. I start figuring out which errors are safe to ignore [at least for a time] and which have to be communicated right away to stave off bigger errors [hopefully].

Some people make the same errors over and over again, and I start to feel like I am doing all their work and that I must suck at communication because why didn't they understand the process the first 11 times? It causes delays and problems for projects.

But you know I don't want to 'narc' on them. [am I twelve years old?] Sometimes I feel guilty when I don't say anything, I feel guilty for with-holding knowledge.

Mostly I feel all weird about it. *sigh* I have the toughest time negotiating it. I get stressed about it. It takes up time and energy that I keep telling myself I would like to use elsewhere.

I was venting about this to my wife and asking advice 'should I say something this time...' when suddenly I realized this is a freaking pattern.

It's been going on for about 3+ years, and it keeps on happening with different people. And I have no idea why. [covert psychological experiment?]

I try to coax some sense out of the pattern and it goes fuzzy. I really have no ideas right now. I don't think it's about expectations or fairness or speaking out or being realistic about intelligence...

But I am giggling because it took me this long to see that it was a pattern and I do feel hopeful now that the 'why' of the pattern is coming to me at some point and maybe I'll even get to stop running this pattern even though I don't know how that would happen. But it could.

so that Opera last night

I was so underwhelmed by it all. and I am pretty sure it wasn't the pms because those I was with felt the same without the pms. Although that may have been the reason why I didn't enjoy dressing up as much as I usually do.

Granted we didn't stay for the third act, but that tells it's own tale. I didn't want to stay for it, I was fine with going home. I could pick some parts of it to pieces but no point. It just wasn't our thing last night. Which is ok.

I am happy to report though that I believe the review was wrong. I didn't find it the least 'real' or 'realistic'. Which was fine. I don't know of anyone who goes to the opera for realism. I certainly don't. I don't go to opera's for subtle gentle entertainment.

Anyone who wondered why all the shows I attend are uniformly good that streak is certainly broken.

yeah for March

A fine time to muse over some stuff that I enjoy.

Here it is, we are a week into March and already it's shaping up to be a bit sweeter than February *knock wood*

Daylight Savings time soon, in just under a week. I love that illusion of more light.

Equinox! No matter how much snow is on the ground still the first day of Spring [March 20th this year in my time zone] is something to celebrate.

Playford and dancing. The first Saturday in March was our 31st Playford ball. That is not a typo, 31 years! It was a lovely affair. My wife sewed me a new gown. Gorgeous brick red/olive dupioni silk. Yet another friend has joined the dancing ranks and a good time was had by all. A full crowd but not crammed this year. I danced three evenings last week and although 3 hours a night is my current limit, I thoroughly enjoyed doing something completely unrelated to chicken pox.

Looking forward to the opera tomorrow. Looks like the snow will be holding off until after midnight. Though I am bemused that the reviewer says the direction 'keeps it real' wtf? I don't go to the opera for 'reality'! I'm looking forward to seeing it for myself.