Responsible Festing

The last few days have gone by so quickly that I am not even sure what happened. On Friday, we had a retirement party for a woman I work with. I am so sad that she is retiring because she is 100% badass. I’ve watched men try to push her around in meetings and she does not stand for it. Finding women like that to look up to isn’t always easy, and it sure burns when you lose them. Treasure the awesome women you work with!

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I worked Saturday morning, then Sari and I raced over to the Turn Verein for some Oktoberfest fun with Tracy and her family. We typically go at night, but this year they wanted to bring their kids, so we got to see a whole other side of the festival. They had little kids yodeling, all kinds of crazy music, and fun crafts. All of the little kids in dirndls and lederhosen were freaking adorable!

We had German sausages (except Sari who just had fries of the French) and then shared five desserts. It was an awesome afternoon.

I didn’t dress up because I had to go straight from Oktoberfesting to watch our homecoming football game. We actually won which was very exciting for everyone. I didn’t get home until after 10 and while it was a long day, it was a good one.

On Sunday I went to Orange Theory (barely survived), then cleaned house and went through my closet while watching Practical Magic. That movie is SO GOOD and I can’t believe how many of my peers have not seen it. FIX THAT ASAP.

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I went through a bunch of my work clothes that I have never worn or they never fit properly to send with one of my co-workers for her nieces who live in Santa Rosa and lost their homes. It’s horrifying that people have lost their homes, but they’ve also lost their businesses and livelihood. I have a friend at work whose sister’s hair salon burned down. She’s found another salon to work at, but she lost thousands of dollars of tools that won’t be replaced by insurance. It’s hard to imagine how people start over if they can’t even make money. It’s still so unbelievable that so many people have lost so much.

Thankfully, the weather is supposed to deliver some rain this week, so I hope that helps. I don’t know how the men and women who have been fighting these fires without a break have done it, but I know that we can never thank them enough for their service. You can support California firefighters through the California State Firefighters’ Association and the families of fallen firefighters through the California Fire Foundation (or on Amazon Smile through the California Fire Foundation).

In less awful news, I started Mindhunter on Sunday night (no Outlander, WTF!) and I am loving it so far.

The guy who plays Edmund Kemper is such a perfect creep. It gives me the willies just to think about him.

Finally, on Monday, we celebrated the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr. speaking on our campus. This was his last speaking engagement in California before he was assassinated just six short months later. I had the opportunity to hear Tavis Smiley speak twice and it was definitely the inspiring kick in the pants I needed to avoid (in the words of MLK Jr.) “when silence becomes betrayal.” Tavis was an outstanding speaker and I felt very lucky to be able to hear him. I also ordered his book Death of a King about Martin Luther King Jr.’s final year.

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We had events across campus all day and into the evening, and it was a truly inspiring start to the week. We have a lot of work to do, but the reminder that we can make a difference and that can effect change was a much needed message.

Eating in the Street

I swear it was just Friday about five minutes ago. I don’t even know what happened to my weekend.

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In really exciting news, I FINALLY started watching Borgen this weekend and I love it SO MUCH. Thank you endlessly to everyone who suggested it. I was 100% hooked about 15 minutes in.

The show is about a politician who becomes the first woman to be Prime Minister of Denmark. It is in Danish and you have to read subtitles, but it’s so great that I don’t even notice. I am only on the fifth episode, but the characters are SO GOOD.

Also, I’m years behind in my opinions on this show, but I’ve never let that stop me from sharing them before. I am deeply frustrated by how much time we have to spend watching Birgitte try to keep her family life afloat while being PM because that is not something you typically see male politicians dealing with. I have no doubt that it is terribly difficult to be the spouse of a politician at that level, but DEAL WITH IT, dude. Your wife is the PRIME MINISTER. I like the husband a lot and he is carrying the huge bulk of family responsibility, but good grief we spend a lot of time on his woes. I feel the same way about Prince Philip in The Crown. Women have been managing this for centuries, so put your big boy pants on and support your wife.

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Ugh, I’m going to be devastated if he cheats. There is TOO MUCH foreshadowing. I just want them to be happy!!!

Also, Kasper gives me struggles. I find him to be very attractive, but he has been such a stalkery creep Katrine. There have been several instances when I thought he was going to harm her. RUN, GIRL. Do not encourage him. Every time I see him out waiting for her when she’s running I get such an overwhelmingly bad feeling. He seems like a deeply unhappy person. 

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And I like Katrine a lot, but she was awful to the hot trainer (Benjamin?). Poor guy. She had a great opportunity to get him interested in politics, but she decided to belittle him instead. I have to force myself to pay attention to politics in order to be an informed citizen, but I certainly don’t enjoy reading about it.

Oh, and I had no idea that Greenland was a Danish territory. I was also completely unaware of their complicated history with the Inuit people who live there. Not a clue. Live and learn!

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On Saturday night I went to one of our football games. We actually won which was a pleasant surprise. On Sunday, I went to Orange Theory, then went up to the office for several hours. That evening we had the Tower Bridge Dinner which was amazing. Last year it was way too hot, but this time it was in the low 80s which was perfect. The dinner on the bridge is the primary fundraiser for the Farm-to-Fork Festival in Sacramento. That single dinner raises enough money to hold events throughout the year that are free to the community. Chefs from all over the city serve unique dishes and drinks, and it is super tasty.

We clearly had a terrible time.

It was a gorgeous evening to be outside and the food was spectacular. Once I got home, Sari and I watched Outlander. How many more episodes until they are back together!?!?!!? Will I even live long enough to see this reunion?

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Spoiler alert for non-book readers!!!




MURTAGH LIVES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We jumped up and down with glee when we heard his crotchety voice in the darkness. I was devastated that he died in the books, but I hope we can have a reunion in zee colonies!

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I am also interested to see what they do with the “sex” scene between Jamie and Geneva next week. I get that she blackmails him and that he is sort of a prisoner, but she also says “stop” very firmly. I don’t appreciate the tone of the author’s response to questions about it, so I wonder if the show will depart from how the scene was written. If she had just stuck with the argument that it was a different time (with a different understanding of consent), then I could see another side to it. Regardless, the story was written in modern times, and her flippant attitude about consent is deeply frustrating to me (and part of the reason I stopped reading the books).


Last Thursday I got to go to San Francisco for a meeting that afternoon and on Friday morning. I took the train to get there early on Thursday so I would have a couple of hours to wander around. I started with Chinatown since it was within walking distance of my hotel. I had not been in that neighborhood since high school, so I pretty much didn’t remember anything about it. The buildings were so pretty!

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I have been craving a lobster roll for months (why?), so I asked around at work and someone recommended Anchor & Hope. It was pricey, but super delicious.

IMG 5235I often find that lobster and crab rolls can be kind of bland, but this one was incredibly flavorful. It also came with tater tots. A lot of you were quite wowed by the tots when I posted them on Instagram, but I have to tell you the tot truth – they weren’t my favorite. I am a tot traditionalist and I like mine fast food style with a little bit of chunkiness to the potatoes and a super crispy exterior. These were more like seasoned mashed potatoes on the inside and weren’t particularly crunchy on the outside. I obviously ate them, but I had a lot of tot feelings.

After my afternoon meetings, I rode a bus to Pier 39 to find some dinner and watch the sun set since it was such a clear day. I also found a crab roll which was fabulous. I think I’ve satisfied my roll needs – for now at least.

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It was such a pretty evening!

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As the sun went down, I spied Ghirardelli Square in the distance and decided that should OBVIOUSLY be my final stop of the evening.IMG 5258

I enjoyed a beautiful sundae with salted caramel and chocolate. It was magnificent.IMG 5262And, then it was dark and I hustled my fanny to the bus stop to get back to the hotel before it got to be too late. After the meetings on Friday, I rode back with a coworker and it took us three and a half hours in the car. The train only takes about two, so I won’t be accepting rides to or from SF anymore.

On Saturday, I went to Orange Theory and did some work from home, then went to our football game. At a fundraiser, our boss bought Lisa’s son a package to be an honorary member of the team (he’s 11) for a day, so I got there early watch him in action. I almost cried about 14 times because the players were all so kind and encouraging to him, and he had the biggest smile. He was definitely Mr. Cool.

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I left the game a little early to go meet Sari, Tracy, and Matt at a bar in town to hang out. It was a British pub, so naturally I had to get Scotch Eggs and beer. Gotta get that protein wrapped in protein.

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So delicious.

I went to Orange Theory again on Sunday morning, then did things around the apartment in the afternoon. I made more lotion bars and tried making chapstick for the first time. I was surprised by how easy they were to make, and I now have 17 tubes of it which should last me at least a month.

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Smoke On The Water

After enjoying the elk, we drove through the Redwoods on the Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. We didn’t know it at the time, but Oregon was on fire and the smoke was getting thicker by the minute. We got out of the car to walk around as much as we could, but the air quality was far too awful to try for a hike. Obviously, our experience were nothing compared to those who are directly impacted by the fire, but smoke sucks.

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We did some tree hugging:

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And lived our best hobbit life:

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After a couple of hours we all felt pretty awful, so we stopped for lunch, then headed back to Eureka. For some reason there was a place called “Trees of Mystery” that featured a giant Paul Bunyan and Babe, so we obviously had to stop there. Why are they in California?

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I still can’t fathom a fire big enough to blow that much smoke so far away, but it is absolutely horrible. This was taken just after noon:

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When we got back to Eureka, we stopped at Lost Coast Brewery to try some of their beers before heading home for the evening. I don’t normally care for fruity beers, but they had an outstanding brown with raspberry that I loved.

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We spent the evening relaxing back at the cabin. Jillian and I took a walk down the beach while Jared read in the hammock. We saw some jellyfish which was crazy to us because in Texas we had only seen them washed up dead onshore (the water is also too murky to see them swimming). They were beautiful, but totally creepy.

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We also found a great log to recreate Dirty Dancing scenes and did a lot of Beach Boys karaoke. Someone who was reading in a hammock didn’t seem to appreciate our dance skills and the racket that we were making. We finished the night off with s’mores and more unwelcome singing. We woke up early on Monday to head back to Sacramento. We were happy to leave the smoke, but apparently all of northern California is covered because we never got back out of it the entire drive home. it just looked so bizarre and unsettling. Stay safe out there if you’re in a the area of these fires!

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Fern Canyon

When we woke up on Sunday morning, it was super smokey outside. We started the day with irritated eyes and lots of coughing which wasn’t ideal.

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We got out of there early to drive to Fern Canyon which was about an hour and half north of Eureka. Most of the pictures I had seen online showed a lot of people in the canyon, so we were hoping to beat the crowds with an early arrival. We got there just after nine and there were very few cars in the lot which gave up hope. We took a short walk, then turned a corner to see one of the prettiest sights I’ve ever laid eyes on: A canyon of ferns! We spent a little over an hour climbing and exploring the canyon and these pictures are pathetic in comparison to how beautiful and lush it was. So, please enjoy 500 pictures of Fern Canyon.

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Scenes from Jurassic Park II were filmed in the canyon and we were not at all surprised when we ran into a wild Texas raptor among the ferns:

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We also ran into what can only be described as a feral Californian. The woman was washing her hair in a stream as we walked into the canyon which seemed like a perfectly normal thing to do for someone who was camping. At some point she came flying by us in the canyon and was parkouring off of rocks and dead trees. It was pretty impressive because she was soaking wet, wearing some kind of knit long underwear, and a was sporting a pair of old Keds. As someone who spent a lot of time slipping and falling in Keds as a kid, I was impressed by the purchase she was able to gain as she erratically bounded by us.

Since we were in a canyon, there seemed to be only one way in and one way out, yet she continued to come streaking by from the same direction she had last passed us. It was so confusing. How did she get behind us again? Where did she come from? Where was she going? The only time she took a break from her wombat ways was when she stopped by a waterfall to ask an unsuspecting woman to take her picture for Instagram. Strange times. Our experience with her ended the final time she ricocheted by us carrying a can of Campbell’s soup and a large handful of ferns. It certainly was the feral icing on our fern canyon cake.

After leaving the canyon we were lucky enough to see some elk in a meadow which was really neat. I didn’t even know there were elk in California, so that was brand new information.

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I really had to zoom through the smoke to get a photo. We were not close at all and I still can’t believe we even saw them:

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The rest of our day at lunch.