Fish Out of Water

Musings and observations about life from an East Coast native now living on the Left Coast in the California State Capitol since 2004. This fish has made her home in Madison, WI (7 years); Portland, OR (2 years); Las Vegas, NV (7 months); Middlebury, VT (3 summers); Marne-la-Vallee, a small town east of Paris, France (6 months); Middletown, CT (3 years); and Marshfield, MA, the fish's coastal hometown 40 miles south of Boston (17 years).

Location: Sacramento, California, United States


July & August

Oof!  Just a wee bit overdue on the July round-up of activities, so this will have to be a combo post.  The good news is that writing a hybrid entry will force me to be more particular about what I choose to include in order to keep this relatively concise (and thus readable.. aka interesting... to my very limited but loyal audience).

July 1-7: Marshfield
Visiting my Mom over the week of July 4th has become an annual tradition, although we didn't get very much good beach weather this year - too many afternoon clouds and showers - but at least the night of the 4th was clear so we could enjoy the local fireworks.  Funny how we get such a good show even though owning and using fireworks is technically illegal in Massachusetts...  Mom and I enjoyed our brief visit to the Gardner Museum to see the new wing and renovations in the original palazzo.  Mr. E and I met up with my aunt, uncle, cousin, and her daughter for lunch at Legal Sea Food and then had our traditional fresh lobster dinner with Mom later in the week.

July 13: Monthly Dinner & Drinks
L and I went to Hot Italian this time around, a first for her.

July 15: Book Club
Non-fiction this month plus "A Voice in the Crowd," which I realized I'd already seen once we started the video.

July 20: Baseball
Unfortunately, our River Cats lost this one.  Darn.

July 21: Monthly Brunch
Mr. E joined the group at Firestone Public House.  The coffee got a thumbs up (Peerless Coffee from Berkeley), as did the music mix, but the expediting from the kitchen wasn't as successful, as several of our items sat on the line awhile before arriving at the table.  Given that we were sitting right next to the kitchen, it was pretty obvious that our orders were ready but weren't being picked up, and M's pancakes were less-than-hot and less-than-fully-cooked in the middle.  Luckily, the customer service experience helped to compensate for the food challenges, and we all deemed this venue worth of a return visit.

July 24-26: PCA Learning Team Face-to-Face Meeting
I participate in a learning network of PCA staff across the country whose work involves planning and community partnerships.  We have monthly conference calls and a yearly in-person meeting, so I was able to attend this year's face-to-face event in Durham, NC.  The meeting was well-organized and well-structured, and being able to meet peers from other PCAs was incredibly valuable.

July 27: Capital Athletic Club Summer Social
Not much on offer for me in the food line at this CAC event, although I could enjoy the BBQ chicken and the sliced watermelon, but I was disappointed not to find even a simple green salad or raw veggie tray of some kind.  I'm thinking that this probably isn't an event worth repeating for me in the future, but at least Mr. E could get his fill of BBQ meat. :)

August 1: Mr. E's Birthday!!!
I brought home some chocolatey baked treats to celebrate my fabulous partner and best friend, the wonderful, loving, handsome, mischievous, clever, talented, marvelous Mr. E! :)

August 2: The Press
I met T & D for wine and some light bites and learned that the situation at PP hasn't improved at all for T.  If anything, it's gotten worse, but it sounds as though she's taking some actions to find other opportunities and to begin working on an exit plan so that she can leave on her own terms.  I'm pulling for her...  She so deserves more...

August 4-12: CAC Close-Down
Our gym closes each year for a chunk of time to do maintenance and larger renovations, so we have to find alternative workout options.  This year, I was able to swim laps at the Southside Park Community Pool, which was run by the YMCA for the first time in order to keep it open (City budget issues).  Although the level of chlorine was quite high, it was great to have designated morning lap swim times so that I could still do my usual workouts on most days of the week.

August 9: Crocker Art Mix
"Fired Up Mix" on Thursday evening focused on ceramics and food, with several food trucks clustered in the street-side courtyard.  Mr. E and I both enjoyed our truck treats, but we were glad to sit inside, as the temperatures were still a bit toasty for outdoor dining (at least for us).

August 10: Monthly Happy Hour
S & I met at Firestone and managed to grab 2 seats at the bar, despite the crowded conditions.  We both enjoyed the Happy Hour pricing specials on beer and cider along with the HUGE warm soft pretzel - definitely an item that must be shared.

August 11: Dinner with Neighbors
E & M hosted and provided wonderful grilled fish and veggies, and we contributed a caprese salad and fresh watermelon.

August 18: San Francisco
When we met for coffee earlier in the month, A told me about taking her girls and their friends to the Jean Paul Gaultier exhibit at the De Young Museum, so Mr. E and I decided to make the trek.  The exhibit was fabulous, despite the crowds (closing weekend for the show), and we also really enjoyed eating lunch on the outdoor patio of the cafe.  Now if only the traffic during the drive there and back had been lighter... *sigh*  A good reminder about why taking the train is usually the better option!

August 19:  Book Club
We had selected "Uncle Tom's Cabin" for this month, but I couldn't get through it.  The subject matter was just too painful, and at a certain point I could no longer bring myself to continue.  I kept trying to keep perspective and remind myself that it was fiction, but the problem was that I know how close to reality many of the scenes truly are, so I wasn't able to keep that emotional distance.  During our discussion, I learned that I wasn't the only one who felt that way.  I'm hopeful that our next choice, "In Cold Blood," won't have the same impact on me.

August 23: Captain Jack's Annual Vet Visit
Our boy needed his rabies shot and annual check-up, and he got a clean bill of health with some extra praise for his dental progress (kudos to Mr. E for the daily kitty oral hygiene activities!).

August 24: Monthly Dinner & Drinks
L and I enjoyed the outside patio at Michelangelo's and discovered that our bond of friendship extends deeper than we had expected, as we share a history of and ongoing struggles with body image issues.  Such a relief and a comfort to be able to talk with a friend about such a challenging, difficult, and personal topic.

August 25: Monthly Brunch
We returned to Firestone with the whole crew and had some better luck with food, although M's pancakes were still lukewarm.  Time for a change, so next month we'll be opting for Orphan instead.

August 26: Baseball
During the last home game of the season, the River Cats hosted Fan Appreciation Night.  Unfortunately, that did not include a win. :(  But our Cats did round out the season by clinching the PCL Title for their division, so we'll be heading to a playoff game in early September.

August 31 (Happy Birthday to J's sister J!)-September 3: More Baseball
*sigh*  Not a pretty season for the Red Sox.  The first game against the As was a blow-out of 20-2 followed by two more losses of 7-1 and 6-2.  At this point in the season, though, we already knew all was lost for the Sox, so we could go to the games with no expectations and just laugh at the ongoing ridiculousness of the situation.  We also cheered on the As, since they're making a run at the AL West division title and certainly for a Wild Card spot.  Keeping our fingers crossed for the Oakland team and many of the players we've seen come up through the ranks via Raley Field and their time on the River Cats.


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