Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Great Train Museum

Last weekend I went to Fairfield.  Why, you ask?  For the Western Railway Museum, duh!  

I realize I've actually had this thing for trains for a long time.  Most of my great life adventures have begun on trains.  I even found the almost love of my life on one.  

So it seemed right to pay respects.  And I went with a guy who loves trains even more than me, from an engineering perspective.

Love the traditional uniforms all the conductors and volunteers wear.  And did I mention this museum is almost entirely run by volunteers, right down to the train restoration and maintenance?

Woman a la mancha.

An example of how tramps used to "ride the rails."

A classic Pullman.

Blustery Fairfield is also home to a large wind farm with turbines (don't get caught calling them windmills).

The inside of one of the trains in the restoration queue.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Helpful Hints By Jane Tucker

This weekend I met my dad in Fairfield for the great train museum, and found even more greatness in the restored old advertisements lining the inside.  I especially liked the series from Jane Tucker, domestic extraordinaire with a few tips out of left field.  I picture a woman poised in heels and pearls, ready with an answer for everything.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Gigantes y Cervezas

Great weekend!  I realize it's Wednesday, but it's taken me just that long to recover.  I can't wait to share it with you!  Let me start with the Giants game on Saturday.

My lovely diehard Brewer fan buddies from Wisco flew in for the weekend for the series against the Giants.  It's not easy rooting for the other team on someone else's turf, but Belle and the crew did it all with class and local pride.  They did the Brewers justice.  

As for me, I'm not much of a sports fan, but was happy to be along for the ride.

Apparently "free belt buckle day" made the price of tickets skyrocket, so passed on the hundred dollar bleachers scalpers offered and hit a Giants bar instead.  (See terrible-quality photo burgled from Facebook below.)

Sadly, the Brewers lost.  Maybe if we had been there in person things would have been different.  I like to think a ragtag crew of Sconies helped contribute to their victory last Friday night, though it nearly incited a riot when they flashed the "T" at Nyjer Morgan's alter ego, T-Plush and he flashed it back.  Giants fans thought he was flipping them the bird, and nearly booed him off the field.  Then they boo hooed about it all over the news.

Such a complex game!  Glad I had some great mentors.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

How to Take Security Tags Off Jeans

I know this doesn't look good, but it's just because I got them from the naked lady party and the tags were still on.  Sometimes the clerk misses one and you don't want to go all the way back to the store.

If the tag has ink inside, I read that freezing it first makes it possible to break it without a mess.  If there's no ink, it's much easier.

Using a small flathead screwdriver, gently wedge into the space under the tag.

Keep wedging on all sides of the tag to loosen it from the fabric.

Repeat this on the other end of the tag (the small side).

When the pin becomes more exposed, the edges will weaken and eventually break the pin holding the tag together.

This was a lot easier than it looks- just be prepared if there's ink inside and don't do this over a white couch.

Hello, new jeans!  Yes, I will wear you to work today.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Naked Lady Party

Funny, on the east coast, we just call it a "clothing swap," but in California, it's a "naked lady party."  Either way, it's ingenious and I jumped when my roommate said she was having one.  Imagine taking all your old clothes and not only getting rid of them, but finding them a new home where they can get a second chance.  Oh, and getting a whole bunch of new clothes yourself without spending a dime or going through the hassle of stores.

This is the only way I shop now.  There was a lot to dig through (I got too caught up in the moment to even think about photographing the ocean of clothing on my living room floor, but it was impressive).  I'm lucky to have friends with style, who are my size and have much bigger closets than I do.  The perfect match was a friend with too big clothes- mine always shrink, so it felt like we just handed off our entire wardrobes to each other and it was a done deal.

The score of the century are these amazing knee high leather boots.  

 I'm pretty sure they are going to change my life forever.

And a black leather coat, with perfect fading on the arms and shoulders.  I'm so ready to rock.

My only issue now is that at some point during the day, I have to take them off.  Is it weird that I want to wear them to bed?

Sunday, July 17, 2011

A Perfect Day Off

It's been the summer that won't seem to warm up.  Until today.  It was also one of my first days off in a while.  (This will change- I've decided I need a day off every week.)

Fewer days off means they're that much sweeter when they do come.  A chilly morning sent me to my favorite coffee shop with the girls.  Some coffee, a little gossip and a great book was more than enough to make today perfect.  

But they brought kayaks!

They launched the boats and we drove ahead to the end of the river to meet them.  Then the sun came out.

We swapped places and Lisa and I took a turn paddling.  We checked out the local real estate and checked out the birds coasting inches over the surface.  My river cabin of choice is the charming fixer on the right.

When we got back to shore, the Jen Tucker Band started playing on an open-air stage.  Gorgeous day, great live music, friends, dogs to pet, wine, and a tuna sandwich.  Does life get any better?

Saturday, July 16, 2011

My First Post!

I just started posting for Craft.  I couldn't be more excited.  Check out my first piece on Caja Jewelry here!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Technical Support

Tonight I had a marathon Skype session with my friend Matt in New York.  We used to have regular Skype nights on Fridays when I worked nights and weekends, where I would save up all my computer questions for the week and then bombard him with every mechanical problem I'd encountered.

That's how Matt is.  He's good at fixing stuff.

Now our Skype sessions happen less frequently and are unscheduled, but still full of computer glitches and meltdowns.  Except now there's more urgency, because I need him to give me clear explanations with immediacy before anyone at work suspects that I may not know what I'm doing.

From resizing a photo, to referring me to an inspirational book he read as a kid, to advice on healing a broken heart, Matt is always the guy to have on the other end of the phone, helping me navigate through life's mysterious codes.  He's the one who reminds me when I'm forgetting my spiritual side, or lets me know when I'm being too stubborn or unreasonable, in a gentle but honest way.  He also has a gift for saying difficult things to people who have a hard time hearing anything.

I hope everyone has their own version of a Matt in their life.  When trusting your own instincts gets fuzzy, it's really nice to have someone in your corner telling you when to take a chance.  And when to stop betting against the odds.

And, of course, how to get rid of that spyware you accidentally downloaded.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

My Mama Takes on the Colorado

This came out a little blurry, but I got an excited email from my mom sharing a shot of her rowing, one of her hobbies for the summer when the ski slopes are closed.  I think it's rad!  I don't know much about rowing myself, but it's a tremendous upper body workout while soothing and meditative.

I can't wait to try it some day.

Go Mom!


I almost forgot what day it was today until a work colleague reminded me.  Free slurpees all day at 7/11.  

"All day?"  I asked.  "Are you sure?"

He was certain.

So a couple carloads of the work crew synchronized break times to get our loot.  It was my first slurpee in years.  My last one was waaaay bigger than 7.11 ounces, was so sweet it was nearly unpalatable, and involved a huge brain freeze.  Today I learned the way to combat brain freeze is to rub your tongue on the roof of your mouth to stimulate the senses.  Kind of sounded like hooey I wanted to prove wrong, but that little cup of cherry ice was just right so I never had to worry.

Here are most of the interns and the marketing department.  A few were daring enough to even spring for the big cups.

Next year I'll have to remember to mark my calendar.