Friday, August 24, 2007

Return to California

I got in yesterday from a week in California. My grandma rents a cabin in the high country for a few weeks, and the family traditionally convenes for a week of swimming, hiking, and enjoying the cool mountain air. I haven’t been back to California for almost a year, and it was strange to be back. At first, I felt a jolt as I drove from the Sacramento airport to my parent’s house. I had forgotten that air can be so dry and land so parched. North Carolina is like the tropics, in comparison. After arriving home, it almost seemed like my year in NC had never happened; I guess the familiarity of home, and the contrast between California and NC, made my year away seem like a dream sequence in a movie.

The time at the cabin was lovely. I did my typical running and mt. biking escapes, struggling in the thin air. My good friends Cheri and Dylan drove down from Oregon with their new baby, Ritter, so I spent more time actually around people than I typically do when at the cabin. My protocol in the previous years has been to grab my bike and hit the mountain trails for the majority of the day. It was nice to see everyone.

Flying back was, well, it sucked. I had a red eye, which I booked thinking it would be nice to sleep the whole flight and wake up in Raleigh. My flight was supposed to go from Sacramento to LA, then LA to Raleigh. My Sacramento flight was late leaving, and when we landed in LA, we taxied to, what felt like the next county, only to have to catch a bus in the reverse direction back to the terminal. I missed my Sacramento connection. No problem, the ticket lady told me. We got you booked for the next Atlanta flight. Well, to make a long story short, I got bumped off that flight, and the next, until finally, at 2 a.m, I was able to catch a flight to Atlanta. Anybody who has been around me when I’m tired knows that it’s not a pretty scene. I’m not a night person, and being bumped off multiple flights makes a monster out of me, to put it mildly. Anyways, finally, I made it to Raleigh, at 11 a.m., where I was left with a 2 hr. drive to Winston-Salem. Lesson from the trip: I’m going to limit my West Coast journeys to Seattle, and I think I’ll avoid red eyes.

I’m so glad to be home. Driving on the freeway back to WS yesterday I had a whole new appreciation for damp air, green foliage, clean roads, guys that dress in polo shirts and argyle, and the southern drawl. I even did a true native North Carolinan move: I stopped for food at Bojangles. For those of you from the West, Bojangles is southern fast food. No "I'm Lovin' It!" healthy yogurt parfait options at Bojangles: just fried chicken, sweet tea, and really good biscuits. I'm typically anti-fast food, and true to my California roots, I regularly consume soy milk and tempeh, but I was so relieved to be back in NC that I was like, bring on those biscuits!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


I’ve been negligent in my blogging as of late. Here’s my excuse: I started a new job at work, which I’m very excited about, but it’s also very time consuming at the moment because I’m still editing. I’ve switched to account services with Wachovia, so basically, I’m working as the go-between between Wachovia and our agency. They threw me in with two huge projects, and in the same week, two of the other editors were out, so it was just a crazy work week.

I’ve also adopted a dog. Mae. She’s completely taken over my heart. I never thought I had a maternal instinct, and I’m still very much on the fence about ever wanting children, but some sort of maternal-thing has overcome me with Mae. I miss her when I’m at work, and I rush home at lunch for a visit. She sleeps on the floor near my bed each night, and I’ve been waking up at 6 every morning to take her for her walk/run (early mornings at the office lately—but normally, I don’t have to be at work until 9). She’s reportedly a Boxer/Lab mix, but I’m a little doubtful about the Lab part; the Boxer side definitely dominates. Cullen thinks she’s the result of some back-alley loving, which is probably accurate.
She turned one in July. I adopted her from a foster/dog rescue group in town. I can’t say enough about her temperament: she’s just a complete doll. Cullen’s quite taken with her, too. Mae and I spent our weekend at Cullen’s house, and she behaved very well while we were out on our long run, doing errands, and having dinner with friends.
I’m slightly worried that I’m becoming one of those over-doting (annoying) dog owners who sends pictures of the dog for Christmas cards and reports on the dog’s growth in terms of percentiles. So I apologize in advance if I get carried away…I’m just completely taken by my new girl.