citysonnet’s March Colors and Letters: ‘K’

March 12 is a Letter, the Letter K.

Here’s the full list of March Colors and Letters.

Self’s letter K is KRAKEN.

Specifically, KRAKEN COFFEE COMPANY, which has a store on Avila Beach, in Central California.

Avila Beach, which she remembers from when son was in college in San Luis Obispo. She visited again last summer, her first stop when California’s mandatory lockdown ended. (And already, last summer feels sooooo long ago)

Avila Beach was a little more crowded, a little more commercial than she remembered from 15 years ago. But she went early, and found parking right in front of the beach. She entered the coffeeshop and asked the young woman behind the counter, “Is it too early for ice cream?” The young woman responded, “It’s never too early for ice cream.”

Past Squares 19: Souvenirs

Can you believe it’s THE LAST WEEK of Past Squares? WAH! It’s been such a fun challenge. Much gratitude to Life of B for hosting so many wonderful Squares Challenges.

Self’s roof sprang a leak during the last storm. Everything inside the closet was soaked, so she had to haul everything out and decide what was worth saving.

There’s a map of the New York subway system (!) and a poster that was probably something son made when he was an RA for Muir Hall, Cal Poly – San Luis Obispo.


Lens-Artists Challenge # 149, Part 2: Cool Colors – BLUE and GREEN

The host of this challenge is Tina at Travels and Trifles:

  • Leaving behind “just for fun”, we move on to the blues and greens found in nature. Complimenting each other perfectly, this was the area where I found the greatest frequency of the two colors together. My image above presents it in an abstract way via a vertical pan of the spring marsh grasses. Below, we see it in a more classic landscape of sky, trees and water.

Self turned out to have a lot of blue and green colors in her garden!

Today she will share pictures from her front porch.

Featured today: hydrangea, garden ornament (lugged home from San Luis Obispo, years ago, when son was at Cal Poly), armeria

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: ‘Z’ Anywhere in the Word

Self’s word is AMAZING.

Here’s a picture of something son left behind in his room. He attended college in Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo. His freshman dorm was Muir, the Math and Sciences dorm. He moved to shared housing for his sophomore year, but his third and fourth years at Cal Poly, he was back in Muir — as an RA, or Resident Assistant.

When he graduated, the crowd that attended commencement included a group of students who had all gone through Muir and had the good fortune (they said) to have son as an RA.


Excavating Son’s Room: Amazing Discovery

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Alone in the House, What Does Self Do?

Naturally, watch TV (“Live! with Regis and Kelly”: the guest is Ivanka Trump. Looking at her in her brown sheath dress with a high slit on one side, and her extremely long legs ending in maroon high-heeled pumps, and her high blonde ponytail, self can only muster three letters: OMG.  She must have broken a million hearts when she announced she was getting married)

Naturally, read diverse stuff. Right now, on self’s lap, is the latest Cal Poly Physics Newsletter (Self forgot until now: son declared a minor in physics), which will also, according to an announcement on p. 6, be the last: the newsletter is “going green” and will only be sent electronically from now on.

Self is exceedingly curious to see what more recent Physics grads (Self is defining as “recent” anyone who graduated after 2000)  have done with their degree, so here goes:

  • AA (’00) is “a math instructor at Tommie Kunst Junior High School in Santa Maria.”
  • MB (’05) is a “Program Management Associate” at a startup called SolFocus.
  • CF (’04) “is currently working on a Ph.D. in Astronomy in U. of Heidelberg, Germany.”
  • PF (’08) “is a financial services professional working in Los Alamitos in Orange County.”
  • RG (’06) “has been accepted to Ph.D. programs at UCR in physics and U. of Arizona in optics” (So how does one pursue Read the rest of this entry »

Most Inspiring Memory of the Weekend

Aside from what was on son’s mortarboard:

Sign that son put on his mortarboard with blue tape, the night before the Cal Poly Commencement

Sign that son put on his mortarboard with blue tape, the night before the Cal Poly Commencement

Aside from this message on Kramer’s T-shirt:

Kramer's T-shirt (He runs cross-country at Harvey Mudd)

Kramer's T-shirt (He runs cross-country at Harvey Mudd)

The most inspiring memory was something self doesn’t have a picture of.  When the graduating seniors were headed to their respective departments, after the main ceremony in Spanos Stadium, self saw a young man walking quickly along the sidewalk.  He was tousle-haired and tan, and he was wearing shorts.  He had a prosthetic arm and two prosthetic legs.  The legs connected mid-thigh.  The arm connected above the elbow.  Self gaped.  She looked at the young man’s face.  He was smiling to himself.  He walked quickly along, and no one so much as turned their heads.  Self tugged urgently at hubby’s arm:  “Look!” she said.  “Look!  See him?  The one in the grey t-shirt?”  Hubby looked.  But the young man was walking so fast that he was almost out of sight.

Self will never forget it, dear blog readers.  Never.

Cal Poly, Commencement 2009

Hubby and self are staying in a brand new Holiday Inn Express (only open 11 months, and the rooms still have that brand-new feeling) in Atascadero. Both of us are bug-eyed from lack of sleep. Late last night, met up with old Ateneo chum of hubby’s, Fulton. There ensued much reminiscing, much discussion of our respective sons, Fulton turns out to be a regular font of information about economical travel.

Then, before we knew it, it was time to pick up our rental car from SFO (since both our cars are clunkers and would probably fall apart if we tried to drive them to San Luis Obispo). Then, straight to bed, though hubby was still maniacally watering at 11 p.m.

Then, awake at 3:30 a.m. Self was so groggy. Barely had time to down half a cup of coffee. Thank goodness hubby drove all the way.

Called son when we passed Paso Robles. “Where are you?” he asked (from the sound of his voice, it seemed he’d been wide awake for a while. Highly unusual, at least for son!) When we told him, he said, “Oh my God. Hurry up.”

And so hubby stepped on it, and we met up with son at 7:45. Then there ensued very long walk to Spanos Stadium, but it was quite a good thing we got there early, for son told us we had to reserve seats for six other people. Hubby elected to sit high up in the bleachers, instead of down below, on the field. Self has attached pictures she took, an hour before commencement.

Suffice it to say that self had so much fun chatting with son’s friends, and the one with the straw hat that says “Tonga” on the brim is his housemate, Russell, and self will post later about the late lunch at Cafe Roma (which was absolutely fab), but for now she has to check her on-line class!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers, stay tuned.

Up in the bleachers of Spanos Stadium, an hour before Commencement 2009

Up in the bleachers of Spanos Stadium, an hour before Commencement 2009

Russell, who expects to graduate in two years

Russell, who expects to graduate in two years

Naturally, Dear Blog Readers

Self is taking ze laptop with her to San Luis Obispo, for she is sure to have many many adventures, adventures only someone as inimitable as self can devise (!!).

There will be “situations” galore — though, sadly, none having to do with Dearest Mum. Perhaps hubby can fill in.

There will be tomorrow’s graduation ceremony, during which self will probably weep copious tear of joy (also exhaustion — hubby has just informed self that we will be parking a mile away from Spanos Stadium, the site of the festivities)

There will be lunch following at Café Roma (Self has called at least once a week for the past two months, just to make sure the reservation is still there)

There will be night-time drive to Holiday Inn in Atascadero (the closest self could get to San Luis Obispo, without breaking the bank).

Meanwhile, self will also be communicating with her on-line students, and finishing the two books she has to review (both on Burma: though one is vastly more interesting than the other), and if she gets inspired and not too tired, she just may be able to start a short story. (Self, would this not be overly ambitious? How will you be able to write, when you will be spending the whole day gallivanting hither and thither? When will you ever learn to “bend like a willow,” not be so self-absorbed, be open to new experiences, blah blah blah!)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers, stay tuned.

A Place

How many times have self and hubby made the trip south to San Luis Obispo since son began attending Cal Poly? Perhaps ten, twelve times. And each time, self learns/ notices new things.

For instance:

    A wooden sign self hadn’t noticed before, just before the road climbs through Cuesta Pass: Mow before 10 a.m. What was the purpose of such a sign, self wondered aloud. Hubby replied, “Fire danger.”
    The stone bench just outside Muir, the dorm where son is an RA: While son was taking a shower, self sat there to read her book (Strapless: John Singer Sargent and The Fall of Madame X, a fascinating portrait of mid-19th century New Orleans) and noticed for the first time a small plaque on one end that said: Imagine Heaven
    The rec room doors were covered with signs that all said the same thing: Bill for Damage. Self thought it was curious, a kind of prank. When she came closer, she saw that each represented some kind of infraction. To wit: Bill for Damage, May 1, a fine of $5 assessed on all first floor residents for leaving pizza in the first floor bathrooms. On May 8, a fine of $5 assessed on all female Muir residents (Muir is divided into male and female wings) for leaving personal items in the trash cans on the first floor. Self asked son who was responsible for collecting the fines, and son replied that he was. Which self thinks must be a hard and not particularly enjoyable part of his job.
    The walls of son’s room are covered with posters, cards, photographs. One handmade sign says: I like you Andrew. A huge banner says: Welcome Home, Andrew, and underneath that there are names, a profusion of names.
    Son likes the movie “Stardust.” He didn’t know the actress was Claire Danes until he googled the movie. Then he found out that there was some kind of strange connection between Claire Danes and Manila. “She hated the City,” self said. “Yeah, I know,” son said. “And the Mayor of Manila declared her a ‘persona non grata.’ Is that still in effect?” Self said she wouldn’t be surprised if it was. And she told son that Zack had written a hilarious poem called “A Letter to Claire Danes.” Self offered to send son a copy of the poem.
    Son also just discovered the movie “Juno.” His new wallpaper is a mosaic of black-and white photographs of “Juno” star Ellen Page.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers, stay tuned.

In Muir …

“Your thumbs must be full of callouses,” Hubby tells son.

They’re sitting side by side on the couch in son’s room in the dorm. Son’s playing “Devil May Cry 3” with hubby offering encouragement. He also suggests helpfully to son that son, upon graduation, may want to move back home.

“I don’t want to live in the Bay Area,” son says phlegmatically. His fingers are moving like lightning over the controller.

“There is no shame in moving back in with your parents,” husband intones. “It is a practical move. To save money.”

Son is diplomatically silent.

This is the same dorm where he started his college life, two years ago. The campus is completely deserted. Tomorrow, when we drive back to the Bay Area, son will be entirely alone.

It’s creepy walking down the quiet hallways. Every student has gone home for the Thanksgiving break. Son has to make two rounds every day: one early in the morning, and one before 10 PM. He has to make sure no one is lurking in the building who shouldn’t be there.

I know that if I were alone in this building, alone on an empty campus, I would be thinking Grudge 2 and completely freak out. I would imagine a long-haired ghostly woman floating down the corridor toward me and would be so overwhelmed with fright that I would not be able to move and would be apparition’s first victim.

Oh, well. Do not, of course, mention any of this to son.

Re-stocked his fridge — which was completely empty — with food to sustain him for the next three weeks. Upon arrival, hubby and I were distressed to learn that son was living off two huge cartons of Kix cereal from the local Costco.

Went to Copeland’s Going Out of Business Sale in downtown Chorro St. (sale only 10%, some weird kind of “going-out-of-business” sale!) and bought him new Mizuno running shoes, track pants, and socks.

Had steak dinner at Tahoe Joe’s.

It was a gorgeous day. Sky blue, blue, not a single cloud. At one point, passed Emerson Park and everyone was looking up and gesticulating. What? At approaching clouds?

There was a huge flock of birds flying in arrow formation, swooping here and there just above us.

Suddenly, the streets that yesterday were completely empty (except for in front of the movie theatre) were now full of people. The bar hubby took me to while son was doing his time at the front desk of the dorm was completely full, at 2 PM. Bartender made me a nice coffee drink with Kahlua, Bailey’s, and a shot of chocolate liqeur. Yum, yum. Afterwards, stumbled getting off the bar stool. Sorry.

Not ready to go back yet. Why is it that the weather always seems so much nicer here?

Beaches we have stopped at: Pismo and Avila.

Restaurants: Pierside, Pismo Beach; Fat Cat’s, Avila Beach; Denny’s on Madonna Road; Corner View Bar, downtown SLO; Tahoe Joe’s, Madonna Road

Purchases: two bars of Magnolia-scented goat milk soap; soft knit baby hat and baby shoes for new niece Alyssa; New Balance running shoes for hubby; and everything else for A

Most excellent meal: Everything

Now son suggests we go out for some ice cream. Though hubby and I are full to bursting from dinner, we readily agree. Son suggests Bali’s, somewhere on Foothill Boulevard.

More later …

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