Thursday, December 22, 2011

First week of Decemberish: Hello, Palo Alto. I love you, San Francisco

True confessions: I slept through at least 75% of our drive into San Francisco. I generally think it's unfair for the passenger to sleep while the driver does the dirty work. Sorry, Garebear. In my defense, we never really talked in the car, so, as far as I'm concerned, it's the same if I'm awake or asleep. I think I still woke up to change the CD if my groggy-car-dream-memory is accurate. So there's that. 

I also woke up to eat banana bread my aunt Carrie made and think about how much I wish I had water.

Oh, how parched I was. I didn't even have enough water in me to make a spitball and pretend it was water as I swallowed it. Don't lie--you know what I'm talking about. I was too out-of-it to get water when we stopped for gas. STUPID, STUPID. 

I spent maybe 3 hours of that drive having a groggy "little engine that could" moment. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can, I think I zzzzzzzzzzzzzz. *dreams about sharks, wakes up miserably parched* I think I can, I think I might cry...I don't have enough water for tears. Bloody....

Don't worry, though, I made it. I could've kissed that balding fat Indian man at the gas station. He tried to tell me to be careful because the winds have been pretty powerful bla bla bla as I tried to guzzle water as politely as possible and nod as if I was listening intently, keeping crazy eyes in check. 

And it only got awesomer from there. 


More bridge! 
So gorgeous.

We got to Palo Alto and hugged it out with Ryan and Jon. It is always a pleasure to see those handsome men. I also had the pleasure of meeting Skip and Lincoln. Yep, I didn't think of taking pictures. Use your imaginations, jeeze. 

Amy, Ryan's sister, was still at work when we got there so we hugged it out with her later. She and Skip are a great hosting duo, and Lincoln is simply adorable. 

Ryan decided we were going on a walk to the dog park with Amy's two lil doggies. Enjoy: 

Jon, the dog whisperer, doing what he does best. 

Ryan surveying a tree. 

Ryan climbing said tree. 

Garrett watching encouragingly. 

Me. Kind of. This is how I interact with dogs 
(Of course there's no real picture of me. Sorry, SORRY, okay?) 

We spent some Family Time with the Stellhorns. Amy made delicious food for us each night we were there and made us feel totally welcome. 

Getting our Trust Falls on. 

Jon. What a supportive palzywalzy
Look at him, listening intently to Garrett's entrancing poetry. D'awwww. 

Cutting jalapenos for DELICIOUS Pollo Fritto sammmmmmmiches. 
If you are in the Bay Area, you should really look Pollo Fritto up. 

Watching South Park/Dog Whispering. 
Come now. You didn't think Jon was the ONLY dog whisperer, did you? 

We did a lot of things. That mainly actually means the dudes spent a lot of time recording music or at least trying to record music (post soon to come) and me listening to the dudes record once in a while/ reading/writing/being on the internet/taking naps and having nightmares about my friends concerned about how much internet I've been experiencing lately/taking naps and having nightmares about ex-boyfriends. 

We also played Settlers of Catan, which is a lame, boring game if you don't know what's going on but a fun game if you do. I almost won once, even, until Garrett and Ryan plotted against me. Never again, boys. I will defeat you. 

The dudes apparently, and when I say apparently I mean vehemently, didn't want to go into the city, which was kinda disappointing to me because I love adventuring around San Francisco. 

No worries, folks. Andrew saved the day. 

Studmuffin central. 

Andrew and I go back, way back, 19th century style, to Summer 2008. You know, the summer I "singlehandedly brought Zion down to Hell and forced everyone to have sex in the woods" according to my boss. In actuality, I was great at my job and never even suggested that anyone have sex in the woods. Shoot, ya'll. I didn't even have sex in the woods (True confessions: I did make out in the woods and it was awesome. I suggest we all make out in the woods at least once in our lives). 

Anyway, I made a lot of life-long friends that summer. Andy is one of them. Andy is that guy I wouldn't hesitate to call if I needed a place to crash for any reason, nefarious or innocent. He is truly a fantastic friend. 

From first late night we spent talking at Jacob Lake, he and I have been first-rate compadres. Even though we don't fully agree on everything, we share a lot of the same values and a similar sense of humor.   

4 a.m. trip to the Grand Canyon. 
Steve, a MUCH more innocent version of Jeannette, Andy.
Notice: sister's soccer sweatshirt. 

I love this picture so much. 
We had a Nordic funeral for a bird that we found dead on the doorstep. 
Flames and all. 
Of course, Andy and I were the brains behind this shenanigan. 
Andy built the raft out of popsicle sticks.  
*note: it takes a lot longer than you'd imagine for a bird to burn. 

Andy goes to Berkeley, In fact, he is the face of Berkeley right now. We decided to meet halfway. Halfway between Berkeley and Palo Alto just happens to be San Francisco. Win. 


I rode the caltrain into the city all by myself. ALL. BY. MYSELF. I am aware that some of you are smirking at me right now. Oooh, you're 23 years old. All by yourself, huh? A real challenge, huh? 

Hater's gon' hate. 

Okay, so sometimes I am timid about really, really stupid things. I get over anxious about something not even worthy of anxiety. Public Transportation is one of them. Although I really love taking the train, I am always worried about getting lost/missing my stop/missing the train/bla bla bla. An experience in 2007 scarred me and it has taken me getting on and off a bajillion trains, plains, and automobiles since then to get over it. 

I guess the ease of this particular experience is notable, personally and now publicly, because the nonexistence of panic seemed like a nod from the universe. Things are getting better. You are growing up. You are okay. You are okay. You are okay. 


Hipster artsy photo of my jeans/Doc Martens 
(true confessions: accident picture)

Downtown stop. 
Gorgeous sky. 

Andy and I were both hungry so we hit up Panera. We talked for probably an hour. Then we realized we were wasting precious daylight, and we are grown up adults who can walk and talk at the same time, so we caught the BART down to Union Square. 

Okay, let's have an ubergirl moment: THE MALL IS SO COOL. There are these fantastic spiral escalators. With all the Christmas colors, people shopping, smells and sights, I felt like I was inside a giant beautiful fairy-robot's ribcage. 

I'm not always a huge fan of shopping, but I saw the light on this day. 

The Christmas lights. 
The projected lights were kinda cool, kinda creepy. 

Nightlife in Union Square.

I tipped him a dollar for this picture. 
Worth it. 

So we really didn't do anything too spectacular. We mostly tried to find a warm jacket and jeans for Andy (he had to prep for his trip to Germany. In fact, he in Germany with his boo right now, ka-chow!), shared secrets, discussed how we could save the world, tried to go ice skating and then were so over it, drank some Starbucks. We mostly enjoyed each other's company, a simple pleasure I really needed. Just the perfect outing. I couldn't've asked for anything more. 

And just like that 6+ hours had passed and I had to get back to Palo Alto. 
Hugs, future plans, goodbyes. 

And this, ladies and gentlemen, marks the day I rode public transportation all by myself 
without crying, panicking, stressing, thinking I lot my ticket and would now get kicked off the train, daydreaming about what I might do were I to get muggedor raped, getting lost, or any other sub-category that could possibly be included in the category "Irrational Fear of Public Transportation."

Boom, Baby.  

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