Thursday, July 01, 2004

How I Spent My Summer Vaction

Usually, people write these essays at the end of the summer, rather than the beginning. And they're 9 years old, not 22. The former is a fatal flaw: Unless the most stunning part of your break from school occurred at the end of August, you've probably forgotten all the best details.

It's weird to be home again, and using a proper computer with a mouse and real keyboard. I just ripped out all my lettuce and spinach, which were overgrown and infested with some kind of disgusting insect. So sad. At least I know they'll grow next time I try.

Anyway, leaving off from the previous entry, which saw our heroes rocketing their way south to Santa Cruz via the scenic Silicon Valley suburbs of Milpitas and Fremont, the mall was a success in that it wasted sufficient time, and we found our way to Fremont, a Cost Plus where mom drooled over cobalt blue dishes, the BART station, and a Trader Joe's with little difficulty.

The house in Santa Cruz was advertised as "funky and eclectic," and it was, I suppose. Mom said this disdainfully upon seeing the place, though I'm not entirely sure why. It was a fine base, located near Paradise Point, which is very popular with surfers. The stereotype of surfers as hot, shirtless white boys in the California sun is a myth, however--every surfer I saw, boys and girls, were dressed in full-body wetsuits, negating the influence of hotness on my opinion of them.

Santa Cruz's downtown is one of my favorite among smaller-town shopping districts. Lots of neat little spots to eat and spend money on things you actually want. Terrible, really. I went to Streetlight and limited myself to only three CDs, including some older Lambchop and Mountain Goats releases and the new Wilco. I didn't even browse the vinyl, knowing it might melt in the van before it got home. I went to Bookshop Santa Cruz (bypassing the giant Borders entirely--support local businesses!) and picked up five goddamn magazines. My mom got David Sedaris's new book on audio CD so we could hear him read six hours of fabulous text on our long drive up the coast. And I got a new pair of shoes.

One can't wear scratched and falling apart 8-hole Doc Martens to job interviews she has yet to even secure, can she?

Among other highlights, we went down to the other end of the Monterey Bay and enjoyed Point Lobos State Reserve, which is one of my favorite places anywhere. This time we saw harbor seals sunning themselves on the near rocks, while the sea lions were farther out. My sister and I also witnessed two gulls have a fight to the death, which was pretty interesting. I didn't know gulls fought over anything but sand-covered hot dogs.

After a few days, we took the scenic route up the coast and into San Francisco to help my sister move from a shitty apartment to a great one, but the traffic and the parking made mom anxious about staying, so we didn't.

And because she insisted on taking Highway 1 up the coast, it took about four hours to arrive just slightly north of San Francisco, in a tiny town called Gualala. The next day, we drove until we reached Crescent City. The next, Seaside, to check progress on the beach house, then Portland to stay with the Cambodians. By this time I was quite done with beautiful beach scenery and welcomed the smiling faces of my little nieces before passing out on the family room floor.

In Portland, my mom and I went to Lloyd Center to shop for her very particular model of sneakers at Nordstrom and see Fahrenheit 9/11. We would've seen it earlier, but it was totally sold out in Santa Cruz. I would spout some opinion, but I don't have one--it's worth seeing, if only so you can participate more intelligently in the dialogue surrounding the film and the issues it brings up.

And, joy and rapture, Burgerville for lunch. Mom just ordered whatever I ordered, so I hope it didn't kill her stomach. Usually dairy is not a happy thing, and the berry smoothies (not so much a Jamba Juice-esque deal as a milkshake made with fat-free frozen yogurt and fresh berries) have a lot of that.

I hung around Olympia for a few hours, in part to avoid rush hour and in part to make sure I saw Becky. We met for dinner at Apollo's, which is a good, happy medium for us.

And then I went home, so now I am there. With little to nothing to do besides get groceries, put crap away, and find a fucking job.

The listings today are depressing as hell, but I'll get some delicious food to make some healthy meals and be cheery anyway.

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