It is so exciting to see people you know in a parade.
Our neighbor Carrie is active with the Alameda Small Dogs organization. They host a doggie costume parade at Halloween that is not to be missed.
The guy who lives down the street is always walking the route with his bagpipe.
Gloria and her family own Acapulco restaurant.
but we really know her and her husband from karaoke at Lemon Tree and Clubhouse. That’s where Chad got started singing.
Rick is in more bands than I can name. You can see the Frisky Frolics, who sing songs from the 1920s-1940s or thereabouts, pretty much every week at Speisekammer or Julie’s.
I didn’t know this guy before, but I waited almost the entire parade for someone to come around handing out miniature American flags.
Dr. Porter, thanks for the flag. You are my newest friend!
The town I live in has a big 4th of July parade every year. It’s fun to watch all the decked-out two- [and sometimes three-]wheeled contraptions cruise by.
Spanish and Provencal lavender, check.
[This is their third year. Last year they fruited for the first time and were so, so close to being ready for me to eat, then we went to Portland and the raccoons completely stripped them while we were gone. Very rude!]
[I planted this sorry little thing two years ago and it is still only about a foot high and just now starting to finally bloom. Go bottlebrush!]
It is freakin’ WINDY today. I continued census training today on the base, which is this big swath of concrete on the end of the island, which allows the wind to sweep right across at maximum velocity and I rode my bike there and home for lunch and back and home again for a total of 8 miles, pretty much all against some serious gusts [there were points when I could’ve strolled faster than I was pedaling, no joke]. It’s kind of a long walk, especially when I have to be there so early, and I like the option of riding home for lunch, but it is supposed to be windy again tomorrow, so I’m debating…
Chad and I went over to the beach at sunset — the other day I noticed that the sun is setting directly behind the San Francisco skyline if you are along Shoreline near Dead Man’s Curve [this is my own little joke — there is this almost-90° curve which is relatively harmless because 1. the speed limit here is 25 mph and 2. even if you flipped, it would be onto the nice flat stretch of sand, and actually that happened a couple years ago, someone took the curve too fast — they were probably going 30! — and rolled over onto the sand. No injuries, minimal damage.] and I wanted a shot of that, and Chad had been asking for headshots. The kite surfers were flying across the waves and the sand was pelting us in the face and my right ear is still ringing but it was worth it.
That little sliver through the setting sun is the Transamerica Pyramid, and if you look hard, you can see parts of both the Oakland-Bay and Golden Gate Bridges.
The headshots came out great [this is my choice for the final — straight outta the camera! How awesome is that? I am never this pleased with any of my photos] and I love-love-love this outtake. It makes me think of Steinbeck, through I’m not sure why.
[and that is what’s going on in my creative space — photos.]
i went to the beach and it was FANTASTIC. the tide was super high, i sat on the little landing strip of beach [seriously, it’s about 5′ wide right now, edged with all the flotsam from last week’s storm] and it was warm enough to remove my jacket.
i sipped my iced coffee, read the weekly, wrote a journal entry for the first time in ages and ages [i have been more diligent about the hardcopy daily 5s]. thought about where i can cajole chad into going tomorrow [forecast temperatures]:
santa cruz 
bodega bay 
gold country 
maybe point lobos or even big sur if we could get up early 
so santa cruz or jamestown.
i forgot my camera so i will share one of my old photos of Crab Cove that is similar to today’s vista:
Is it spring there yet? It finally warmed up a teeny bit Sunday, just in time for the time change. We bundled up, dug out the Beach Blanket, and went to the beach here in Alameda. It’s rained so much this winter that there’s a big grassy area on the sand — that’ll dry out in no time, but it’s very nice for now.
There were quite a few people flying kites.
Chad practiced his Mandarin and I raced through Mary Karr’s new memoir, Lit (her first, The Liar’s Club, is one of my favorites) until it got so cold we couldn’t stand it anymore.
Then we walked down along the shore and back on the public path, admiring all the fresh wildflowers.
Today was even nicer so I took an afternoon break and walked over and lay in the sand reading. Hopefully the weather will hold out til my next self-employed day, which is Wednesday.
1. I picked up this vintage pink number at an estate sale last year. Left it hanging off a table at the farmer’s market a couple weeks ago. Went back last week, they remembered seeing it but didn’t know where it had gotten to. They searched the farm, found it, and remembered to bring it for me this week. Now it is raining and we are so happy together.
2. aloe in our garden
3. favorite pink heart plate and last season’s strawberries
4. at the Alameda Antiques Fair. we thought about going today but didn’t. GEAUX SAINTS!
5. pink pal found on the base
6. me at the first Maker Faire
7. my pretty pink parasol at a street fair in Oakland
Friday: Chad DJing at an art opening at juliestea.com. He played a bunch of world/electro stuff and attracted quite a bit of attention from some older ladies. One of them slipped him her card at the end of the night. He said she made him feel uncomfortable. I said, welcome to being a woman.
So here’s the deal. I am trying to do the 365 photos but it has been 100% cold and 90% gloomy the past couple weeks and it is about all I can do to drag myself outside for a walk at sunset, which is about the only time you can get any light, when the sun drops below the clouds for a few minutes before disappearing behind another bank of them. I am almost thinking about doing 365 sunsets but that is probably far more than I commit to.
I figured I would take this opportunity to tell you more about where I live.
There are two places I usually do on my walks, one is I turn right at the end of my front walk and head over to the Bay Trail [which is a decades-long project to create a designated walking path around the entire bay, I remember my dad being excited about it and talking about one day, one day, when I was a kid] path that takes me down to Crab Cove, where there is a small beach, then a long beach, and a duck pond, and also a Foster’s Freeze [ice cream and fried food with c. 1970 orange-toned booths. The fries and malts are tops.]. The small beach is my favorite place, if you go at mid-day even on nice days there is a good chance you will have it to yourself.
It’s a bird refuge, too, so there are usually zillions of waders and diggers etc. this time of year. I keep forgetting to bring my zoom so you can’t see them too well in any of my photos.
The other one is turning left at the end of my walk then going up 3rd Street onto the artificial point that leads out along a marina. The northern side of this point is undeveloped and there’s a small path you can walk along. There’s a nice view of San Francisco [we’re directly across the bay] and the big ships that dock for repairs on the retired naval base. There are also several tiny beaches but I have been scared to explore them since Chad pointed out the giant cockroaches scurrying around on the rocks.
That long black thing is a breakwall, it’s lined with old falling-apart cyclone fence, there are usually a couple people out on it fishing. I walk over there sometimes, too, and don’t know why I don’t more often.
Also, note the giant bank of fog. That is when I laugh at the people who live in The City, because over here we get 15 minutes of sun while they are running around in the middle of an ugly cloud.
Had some good times here. Tillie’s was one of those diners where you could get the skillet breakfast in a big flippin’ skillet; they had a stack of them in the kitchen. Faded peach booths, strawberry waffles with a mountain of whipped cream. Weird v-shaped counter and the one round booth that fit 5 or 6. They were open on Christmas. I am pretty sure they used to be open 24 hours, I remember coming here very late back when we went clubbing a lot. That old orange sign they replaced a couple years ago. Big volcano of mashed potatoes sitting in a pool of gravy. The bus doesn’t even stop there anymore, it goes around the corner. Thanks, Tillie’s, and good night.
Tim and Gary picked me up this morning and after coffee, we met up with Victoria and Dusty at the Alameda Antiques Fair. It took us 10 minutes just to walk across the parking lot to the main entrance, and the fair itself stretches out across the base just bout halfway across the bay to San Francisco. It is one serious swap meet. Two hours and I didn’t come anywhere close to seeing everything. I wish you had been there, you would have gone nuts.
I scored some Murano glass carrot beads and a tie pin with a G on it and some old watch faces that I think I’m going to put on a bracelet. The photo of the beads up there caused some lunatic vendor to scowl at me [“you’re not allowed to take pictures here!”]. Regret of the day: I wish I had bought the entire box of these doll charms but they were $1 each and I don’t really have a use for them. I would just like to have them to look at once in awhile.
You can view more photos from the fair here.
Afterward we met Donna and D at La Piñata and gorged ourselves, sat comatose at the cafe, then came back and discussed politics with Chad for far too long. Tired now.