Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘sacramento’

you'll be there when i die, tattoo (365-81)

Day 81 of 365: a year in songs and photos

Song: The Who, Tattoo

(this is a pretty clever song by the Who, if you’ve never heard it)

This was….the second to last day of our trip. As mentioned in the other photos from this day, we spent five plus hours in the tattoo shop (Legacy Ink Tattoo, 21st Street, Sacramento) while Todd’s best friend Nelson worked on his arm. Their friend Dustin stopped by for a while and hanging out with them was a good way to wind down our trip. We had been walking around so much that it was nice to just kick back.

Dustin and Nelson are Todd’s friends from AA (along with Nelson’s girlfriend Lorraine) and they are a kick ass bunch of people. They’re part of the reason I can’t wait to go back to Sacramento this summer.

I think I’m done uploading for today. I still have a ton of Sacramento pics and almost all of the San Francisco pics to put up. But I think I should think about unpacking…

Or maybe doing one more 365 photo..

I put a shit ton of pics up at flickr today. You know how much a shit ton is? It’s.. a lot.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

you'll be there when i die, tattoo (365-81)

Day 81 of 365: a year in songs and photos

Song: The Who, Tattoo

(this is a pretty clever song by the Who, if you’ve never heard it)

This was….the second to last day of our trip. As mentioned in the other photos from this day, we spent five plus hours in the tattoo shop (Legacy Ink Tattoo, 21st Street, Sacramento) while Todd’s best friend Nelson worked on his arm. Their friend Dustin stopped by for a while and hanging out with them was a good way to wind down our trip. We had been walking around so much that it was nice to just kick back.

Dustin and Nelson are Todd’s friends from AA (along with Nelson’s girlfriend Lorraine) and they are a kick ass bunch of people. They’re part of the reason I can’t wait to go back to Sacramento this summer.

I think I’m done uploading for today. I still have a ton of Sacramento pics and almost all of the San Francisco pics to put up. But I think I should think about unpacking…

Or maybe doing one more 365 photo..

I put a shit ton of pics up at flickr today. You know how much a shit ton is? It’s.. a lot.

Read Full Post »

the people, the places, the weather, the faces

Day 82 of 365: a year in songs and photos

Song: Vandals, Rico

I’m working backwards here. I’ll fill in all the days eventually, but I wanted to get started with this one first.

I’m sitting here in a freezing cold New York, drinking my Peet’s coffee and going through my pictures from California and I miss that state in a way that’s almost like homesickness. Can you be homesick for a place you’ve only visited?

I fell in love with California, particularly Sacramento. This is my love letter to that city.

It’s a warm, welcoming place that made me feel at home whether I was in the agricultural outskirts or walking the streets of midtown. There’s a pace, a vibe in that city that I’ve never felt in Manhattan. Where New York City is claustrophobic and grimy, Sacramento is wide open and clean. Not clean in a scrub-washed kind of way, more like bright and airy. It doesn’t make me feel like I need a shower when I leave it. Even the parts of the city that are not so nice to live in are still pretty nice to look at.

It’s a colorful place, splattered with art and neon signs and houses dressed in pinks and blues and yellows. Bars and clubs and restaurants dot every street, yet it always feels residential. Maybe it’s the abundance of trees, maybe it’s the way everything is so spread out instead of built upwards. Maybe it’s the laid-back feel of the people. There’s no hustle, bustle, get out of my way or get knocked down feel like there is in New York. There’s no angry, horn blaring gridlock. There’s a softness to Sacramento that embraces you. From the coffee houses to the record stores to the tattoo parlors, from the Farmer’s Market to the greasy spoons, from J Street to Del Paso Blvd., no place seems foreboding or unwelcoming.

We explored every part of Sacramento. I saw all 15 or so places Todd lived, so every bar he drank in and club he played in and every corner he puked on. We drove through towns on the outskirts and within the city, other places he lived like Arden and Fair Oaks. We walked through Old Sacramento and strolled through Old City Cemetery, we hung out with his friends, ate a lot, walked a lot. I had the best guided tour of Sacramento anyone could want.

We did hit other parts of the state, which I’ll write about later, with photos. We spent a day in San Francisco, stopped briefly in Berkeley and spent a lot of time at Todd’s parent’s home in Lincoln, a sprawling land of planned developments where the streets have golf cart lanes. But my favorite part of the trip was the time spent in Sacramento.

We had already made plans to move to California when both the kids are out of high school. I’m sick of New York winters, I’m tired of suburbia and I want to live somewhere in my lifetime besides Long Island.

Three years and counting, and I’ll call Sacramento home. When you are longing for a place you’ve never lived in, when you spend five days in a city and feel like it’s calling you back, you know that place is for you.

The sun and the air
The mountains and sea
Streams and palm trees

The valleys…
The canyons…
The mountains…
The beaches…

That’s for me.

Read Full Post »

reprezent

represent

The newest additions to our living room. Now both our coasts get to reprezent, yo.

East coast, bitches.

Read Full Post »

All my bad mouthing about California must have had quite an affect on the man, because last night he sent me this pic on the phone:


You can do things like this on a whim when your best friend is a tattoo artist and needs a guinea pig to try out a new font.

As if he didn’t already walk around New York advertising that he’s from California (the excessive use of “dude” gives it away), this ought to hammer home the point.

Yea, we get it. California.

(he comes home tonight and I have yet to have a Worst Case Scenario breakdown!)

Read Full Post »

worst case scenario girl to the rescue!

I’ve always been a worrier. It’s just what I do. When I was little I would worry about the Russians and plane crashes and my parents dying in a horrific fire at the drive-in while they were watching Mothra. Yes, a fire at the drive-in. I was little. Even then, my imagination soared. I worried about school. I worried if my stuffed animals could breathe in my toy box.

The worrying not only carried on into my later years, but intensified and then was accompanied by panic. Panic and Worry. The deadly duo. After some trial and error, I decided that I could take on this duo with only my wits and good looks.

Well, wits.

Half wits?

The thing about Worry and Panic is that they form the perfect storm of anxiety. When someone already has all this anxiety running around in their system, this super cell of stress causes a transformation in the person. In the case of myself, this transformation is an alternate personality. We call her Worst Case Scenario Girl.

WCSG, as she is known, can take any situation and make a DEFCON-1 disaster out of it. Kid is five minutes late coming home from school? She must have been kidnapped by Hare Krishnas who want to save her soul! Hear helicopters in the middle of the night? There must have been a break out at the county jail and the escapees are in my yard and they are going to break into my house and hold us hostage like Mickey Rourke in that movie. With that one chick. Forgot the name. But you get my point.

My anxiety has a mind of its own. It does what it wants. I can argue with it and talk it down and tell it that it’s being an ass, but its a force that will never give in. And then like a mental Ultraman, all these anxieties and worry and panic join together to form the most formidable opponent that serenity, peace and reason have ever known. Worst Case Scenario Girl has arrived.

She’s part of me. I’ve come to accept her like one accepts a large tumor sticking out of their face. You name it, call it a friend and make it a part of your life.

It’s actually been a while since WSG made her presence known. I’ve been teaching myself how to keep her at bay and I’ve gotten pretty good at it. Basically, if I look at all the times I’ve panicked and worried and made up ridiculous dramas in my head and see that not a single one of them has come to pass, I can figure out pretty quick (hey, 44 years is quick!) that my mind is, indeed, dangerous and I should it pay it no mind when it does this stuff.

But sometimes. Sometimes it comes back.

always wear the happy faceLike today. Todd is leaving on a jet plane for his homeland. You know, the great, mythical place known as California. Where everything is better. Where the food tastes fresher and the sun shines harder and the people are super human. The place that God smiles upon every day. Nevermind those earthquakes and mudslides and raging fires and the cesspool of Hollywood. They don’t matter. Because any Californian will tell you that they live in the land of the blessed. No matter what you do, they can do it better. It doesn’t matter that this is the state that boasts Fresno and Bakersfield among its fine cities. They’ll just say “our ghettos are better than your ghettos.”

I saw a bumper sticker a few weeks ago that read: We Don’t Care How You Do It In California. It’s become my mantra. Every time Todd opens his mouth to tell me how much better something is in the land that brought us Berkeley, I just repeat those words. And smile.

So anyhow, he’s headed back there today to take care of some unfinished business with the DMV. He’ll be gone from about 5 today until midnight Saturday. I know, that’s not a very long time. Barely enough time for me to miss him, what with work, yardwork, a book I’m finishing (for the fourth time) and a book I’ll be reading all day Saturday. Oh, I’m not even going to link that book. Think about it.

It’s not the missing him that has me all hyped up with anxiety today. It’s not even the combination of antihistamines and caffeine that has me hyped. It’s her. My nemesis. Worst Case Scenario Girl.

There will be a terrorist attack while he’s in California and he won’t be able to get back.
Shut up.
He’ll be swallowed up whole by some hairnet wearing clerk at the DMV.
Shut up.
An earthquake will…
Shut up.
A mass outbreak of bird flu will…
Shut up.
A meteor….
Stop.
His parents will drug him and kidnap him to keep him home…
I hate you.

Really, this isn’t as bad as what WCSG did when Todd was driving here from California. There were gay rodeo clowns and children of the corn and kidney thieves involved. At least my worries now are more grounded in reality. Sort of. I do have this vision of him getting together with his old friends in Sacramento and realizing that they feed his ego way more than I do and he decides to stay there and live out his life in rock star glory. By rock star, I mean the “legend in your own mind” kind. Californians on the whole seem to have a superiority complex. But this particular Californian seems to hold the ego of the entire state in his head. Which is why I bought him that mug.

And I really don’t get the whole California thing. His co-workers are all “ohh, you’re from California?? Tell us about it! Teach us to be like you!” as if he was from some mystical land where people piss gold and shit diamonds. Big deal. You come from a state that is made up of 90% migrant workers, 8% actors and 2% people who think they are rock stars.

I kid because I love you, babe. And because you never stop making fun of New York.

Besides, I know that WCS about the friends in Sacramento thing is ridiculous. A steady diet of Del Taco and free tattoos is nice and all, but they don’t go nearly as far as a nice set of tits and home cooked meal.

Just don’t be surprised when tonight, as his plane is zooming across the country, I write an in depth post about the coming alien invasion. In California. Specifically, Sacramento. And the aliens will be looking for a tall, blond man with a rock star ego. For some anal probing.

Worst Case Scenario Girl has a warped sense of humor.

Read Full Post »

real mexican food!

Todd definitely gets homesick for California sometimes. One of the things he misses the most is the availability of authentic Mexican food. I usually say something about Del Taco then, and he waves a dismissive hand at me and goes into one of his lengthy rants on how chain restaurants like Chili’s have no idea what Mexican food is supposed too look or taste like. Which then turns into a story or two about the Mexican dives he used to go to in Sacramento or the guy in Fresno who used to sell tamales out of a cart.

So I was on a mission to find a good Mexican place. There were a few around my neighborhood – well, they called themselves authentic – but they all turned out to be just glorified versions of Mexican fast food. I know there are quite a few places that are probably closer to authentic around where I work, but that town is not somewhere I want to go during non-office hours.

A few days ago a friend of ours started talking about tamales. Not only had I never had a tamale, I wasn’t even sure what one looked like. Of course, I got a full explanation about them, how they are made, how you eat them, the varieties you can get, etc.

hot tamaleI wanted a tamale.

After some Googling, we found a place about 30 minutes from here that seemed authentic enough. The reviews all but called it a dive, but said the food is so good that “foodies” have been invading this little Mexican community to dine at Fonda Coyoacan.

We took a ride out there yesterday afternoon. It was worth the trip. We finally found a place that Todd could compare favorably to his favorite places back in California. It’s a very small (about six tables) storefront restaurant that has little ambiance during the early afternoon, but you can tell it’s the kind of place that comes alive at night.

We had tamales; I had mine with chicken mole and Todd had his with chicken and green sauce. They were interesting; basically cornmeal and chicken stuffed inside a corn husk. Then I had papa con chorizo. Todd had incredibly messy, but tasty, huaraches.

The food was awesome. Rich, flavorful and nothing like the “Mexican” food I had become accustomed to on Long Island. I discovered through some more research that our very friendly server was actually the owner, Elvia Cardenas, who came here from Mexico in 2001.

I wanted to go back today, but I have a feeling it’s going to be packed with locals watching the Mexico/Costa Rica gold cup game (US plays Canada Thursday in the seminfinals, if you’re interested).

We’ll be back at Fonda Coyoacan next Saturday. There’s quite a few things on the menu I want to try.

So, Saturday’s lessons: Mexican food is not chimichangas and burritos, Todd doesn’t have to go back to California to get huaraches, and I’m pretty good at spackling.

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »