Friday, January 23, 2009

Homeward bound

During my last hour or so of driving home from Bakersfield, I got to see the sunset. So, its not so bad, all this driving. I might have missed this beautiful sky had I already been home.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

What a ball!

January 20th, 2009. Barack Hussein Obama become the 44th president of the United States of America.
Max took an oath of his own:
Last night we had or own inaugural ball.

And it was really fun. Even the most cynical got pictured with our new president. And why not?

The Teelings:
Gwen and her sock:

Mario and Monisha:
Maria and Luciano:

OK, so the arts and crafts table at our party was more of a hit with the grown ups.

Not to be outdone, Max corrected the image of his new president.

The standard line at this point is, "so now the work begins..." but I'm thinking, we HAVE been working, and it was great to take a break to celebrate, break some bread, drink some wine and breathe a sigh of relief.

I may have to go to Tulare today, but I still have a bit of a skip in my step.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Surviving week 1

289 + 282+ 176.4 = 747.4 miles in one week. That's just three days of driving. My new territory. So, I am trying to see the positive spin on this and for real, there are a few upsides of being away from home and sitting in a car for many hours at a time.
  1. Sightseeing
  2. Learning about new cultures
  3. Meeting criminals and gathering great stories to tell at some later time (over many drinks)
  4. Learning to text safely while driving. Oh, that's right, its illegal.
So my first stop last week was in Fresno.
I got there pretty quickly, under 3 hours and had a few meetings, shaking hands and meeting a few new clients. While there, I dropped the name of my new landlord-to-be (the guy who is renting me a room in his lovely house starting toward the end of the month) and my clients went silent. Then nervous laughter.

Does Grand Theft Auto mean anything to you? Well, to me it just brings up images of silly movies but there are people in real life who steal cars professionally, in bulk, if you will. So that is kind of the deal with my almost landlord-to-be. Too bad. He seemed like a nice guy, but I guess he's going away for a bit and will be wearing some striped clothes pretty soon. Do guys in jail still wear zebra clothes?

Next stop, Bakersfield. I arrived at night and was exhausted. It wasn't until morning that I smelled the manure. I am a city girl. Just spoiled. I'd rather smell coffee brewing, or chocolate or even bread baking (as if I ever smell bread baking). Ah well. I spent a good part of the day in this very far away city and then drove and drove and drove home. Do you realize that Bakersfield is almost LA? Shit. No, apparently still manure.

Final new city for the week was Oakdale,

which, I am not sure qualifies as a city no matter what they tell you.

I am very excited to report that there is a Cowboy Museum which I cannot wait to investigate and, the town/city has an annual rodeo every second weekend in April. This seemed VERY exciting to me, the ex-New Yorker, since I have never been to a rodeo and I thought it would further bond me perhaps to BZ and his parents since they are from Rodeo country (Texas, right?). BZ asked if I knew what a rodeo was really like and if I was sure I wanted to set up this family outing for real...apparently they make Barnum and Bailey look like the good guys.

Next week, Chowchilla (that's just fun to say), Fresno, Clovis and Modesto. I'm bringing Netflix, knitting projects, Audio books ....and a sense of humor.