Monday, March 31, 2008
Ugh. I've been terrible at keeping this thing updated. Sadly, I think that my infrequent posting will continue through April. Is it really nearly April? When did that happen?
Anyway, the month looks pretty insane. I have, in quick succession: an audition recording to make, a concert of a really awful song cycle that I can't make myself practice and a concert of wonderful yummy music that I really like. The last one overlaps with Orthodox Easter, so my parents are all mad at me that I can't be at every single Holy Week service and stuff. I didn't plan on that, regardless of the concert schedule, but whatever....
This last week has been fairly eventful. By which I mean that I only went to work once last week, and otherwise goofed off and had fun. I know. Shocking.
Boyfriend was on spring break, and despite still spending a lot of time in his lab, we took a couple days to do stuff. First, we went to the Jelly Belly factory. If you're in the area, you absolutely must take the tour. It's free, and so, so, so fun! You learn about the actual manufacturing process, which is interesting (especially for industrial/electrical engineers like Boyfriend) and the history and stuff. Then you learn all about Ronald Reagan and his obsession with Jelly Bellies, which I really didn't care about, but hey, you get to see huge mosaics made of candy! Anyway, it was great fun. At the end, of course they expect you to hit the gift shop, which is hardly a bad thing. You can get 2 pound bags of the reject jelly beans called "Belly Flops" that you otherwise couldn't buy. So fun. Did I mention that?? Here are some photos:
Yes, despite being an engineer, Boyfriend managed to put his hat on upside-down.....hehe......
The new flavor is wild blackberry, which I cannot recommend more highly. If you're somewhere where you can acquire individual flavors, you really must try blackberry.
At the end of the week, my excuse for not working was that a friend from grad school was in town with his wife. I hadn't seen them in a couple of years, and so I was really excited to get to do the tour guide thing and see them. I make an excellent tour guide, by the way, because of my freakish ability to memorize events and dates. My history geek-itude means that I remember when important buildings were built and why, and what happened where, etc. We met up with another friend from grad school, a German guy who has moved here and married an American woman, and did a walking tour of Union Square, Chinatown, North Beach, then went downtown to the opera house, Davies hall and the new Conservatory building. We then ate at Mel's Drive-in. I had to go after that, but they did the Golden Gate Bridge, Sausolito, Pier 39 and Fisherman's wharf.....does that sound like an insane amount for one day?? Cuz it is. A ton.
Friday, we added Boyfriend to the group and went up to Napa to go wine tasting. I'd never done that before, since it's a very yuppie thing to do, and I'm anything but a yuppie. We went to two big, well known wineries, and two little tiny ones. The big ones were a more tourist-catered experience. The tastings are in the gift shop area, where they're trying to sell you wine club memberships, fancy glasswear, fancy cooking stuff......blah. I didn't care for that, but for the Brits to get to see the origin of wines they actually have in England was interesting, I suppose. The other two offered a much better time. The people talking to us actually had a role in the making of the wines and could explain things in a human way (instead of a wine-snob way) and weren't trying to sell everything (including their souls). Of course, with all that wine, we needed a big lunch, and it turns out that the only half-way affordable place to eat in St. Helena, California is a totally excellent little tacqueria.
So, I'm still just as stupid about wine, but now I know a couple of winery names that I like, and a slightly better idea of what types of wine I can go for.
With such a luxurious week behind me, it was quite a shock to have to wake up early and go to work today, but such is life. I must now make up for all those days that I wasn't working!
I read a really fun book a couple of weeks ago. It was called Mistress of the Art of Death, by Ariana Franklin. It's totally anachronistic, and basically the cross between Law & Order and The Canterbury tales, but it was a really fun read.
Also unrelated to anything that I've said here, you know St. Mary's Cathedral in SF? The one affectionately (or not) referred to as Our Lady of Maytag for its resemblance to the agitator in a washing machine? Well, did you know about its wonderful shadows? Check it out: