Sunday, August 21, 2016

Elfland and more

I bought this book "Unnatural History of UCSC" when I was down there recently thinking it would be some kind of institutional history.  I admit, I didn't look at it too closely, I was managing so many people, actually the whole darn crowd.  Somebody showed it to me and I asked Dennis to buy it.

But no, it's not that at all.  Basically, a student-written compilation of all the weird things natural or the woods at UCSC ,  An emphasis on the 1970s.  That would be when I was there (1970-74).  People, faculty, students, would go out there and build odd stuff, maybe for performances or ritual, whatever.  Generally tolerated though the administration would get weirded out from time to time. Some of it I remember (the labyrinth), some of it I sort of remember, (Kiva Lodge), most I don't (Elfland et al).  Most of it was quite close to me. I was so caught up with my own issues, academic, social, romantic life that I didn't really pay too much attention to all that.  I did like to walk in the redwoods.  But not very far, just a little.

Weird stuff happened at UCSC then, plenty weird, that's just how it was. The place encouraged you to go out in the woods and create .... well .... whatever the spirit moved you.   Kind of brings it all back.

A lecture emeritus wrote "If you're interested in finding out what a deer-cow or a morad is, or you're curious about John o' the Woods or King of the Elves, two inhabitants at one time or another of our campus, check out this book. You may discover a hermetic aspect of college familiar to your parents' generation."

I kind of like being part of those mythological times, though.

Saturday, August 20, 2016


Naomi is spending a week at Busan University of Foreign Studies (Korea) doing orientation for her yearlong teaching program.  So far so good, I think I was most worried about her getting to the right place at the right time.  She has a roomate, a special education teacher from Atlanta, who she likes a lot.

She still doesn't know what her assignment of "National School" means but she's found one or two people who also have that assignment.  It will all be revealed in due course.

Busan, on the southeastern tip of Korea, turns out to be a very large city, 3.6 million population for the city alone, that's 7 times the size of Seattle.

She sent me this picture taken from her window.  The university, fairly new, has a large campus on a hillside.  You can see the large developed Asian city.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Birthday cats

Ilana had her thirtieth birthday during our trip.  She wanted to go to a cat cafe in San Jose so we did.  This one was not a cafe; but a meeting place for cats who need homes to meet people.  For $10/hour you get to hang out in a pleasant place with cats.  Ilana's been to similar ones in San Francisco and Singapore, maybe Chicago.  Pleasant place in an older (yet still unaffordable) neighborhood.  We just hung out; quite a number of cats.  Some were friendly (like this one) some not so much.  A fair amount of cat drama where one cat didn't like what another cat was doing. This particular cat who is all lovey but also staged a pretty big time cat fight with somebody else.

You want to tone down cat drama?  Put something in between them (like a file folder) so they can't see the other guy.  It worked well.

So a pretty pleasant time if you like cats.

I'm having some limited time Skype messaging in the middle of the afternoon (just as she's getting up) with Naomi who is in Pusan, Korea.  Pusan is a huge city, it turns out.  She's at an orientation for the teaching program she is in.  She just met a young woman that she sold a popsicle to at the Mercer Island farmers market the day before they left.  How crazy is that???

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Visit to the Beittels

For Dennis and I, no California trip would be complete without a visit to the Beittels.  We were lucky this time that Mark and Giovana were there for a visit from Italy.  We could make the schedule work so we did.  Sue had moved out of her house and sold it, moving into a nearby retirement facility.  She likes it, has 750 sq ft and two bedrooms.  We came for lunch which Mark and Giovanna fixed in the small kitchenette.  Biggest crowd ever fed (or will be fed there) declares Sue.  She's turning 89 and was happy there.  "A lot less pressure on me," she says.  We went on a walk, I walked with Sue and, like all my life, I struggled to keep up with her.  But I did.  Great to see Mark and Giovanna too; my cousins always.  Picture taken in a vegetable garden just outside Sue's apartment.

Monday, August 15, 2016

On the Santa Cruz pier

During last weekend's facilities, we went to a fancy dinner at a restaurant on the Santa Cruz pier.  Sunny Saturday in August, the tourist area around the pier, beach and boardwalk were packed.  Several of the young people wanted to go to the Boardwalk (generally disappointed) and put in a word at one of the restaurants.  They called and said they even had a parking place for us right at the end of the pier.  So Dennis loaded up the van and we did it, we drove right out on the pier where three young people were squatting on a parking place for us.  Everybody's wearing their Seattle Pops teashirts.  Thanks to Charl for picking up the bill.  Afterwards, I wanted a picture, we searched around, found a place and I hailed the next person to walk past us on the crowded pier, turned out to be a security guard.

So there's all eleven of us last Saturday evening!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Redwood Highway Fire

Dennis and I inadvertently attended a rural wildfire on Friday; the Redwood Highway fire near Selma Oregon.  We were traveling on Hwy 199 from Crescent City when we were stopped in a traffic jam in the middle of nowhere (that would be Selma).  Why?  Apparently there was a short cut which we took but didn't work.  Soon we saw smoke and a plane overhead spewing out fire retardant or something.  And helicopters, those helicopter just like in the picture who were flying picking up water from a pond to the left of us to the site to the right.  But we weren't going anywhere.  Emergency vehicles kept coming and pickups filled with equipment and stern looking men.  They were taking this seriously and we increasingly felt like we wanted out but we weren't moving.  Trucks with bulldozers.  More smoke, then black smoke.  Finally they decided to get rid of the traffic, got some people to direct traffic and we got to go on our way.  I was glad to leave!  They closed the highway.

This fire was contained, burning 75 acres and 3 houses.  Somebody was arrested for arson.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

The whole family in Santa Cruz

Just got back from a 11 day trip to California, whew am I tired!

We had a family get together down in Santa Cruz.  Rented my friend JJ's house.  During the weekend we had 11 people.  My four adult children, a husband and fiance, my brother, sister and niece.  Plus JJ and her grandson Orion.  And Dennis and myself.

Many of us are holding up Seattle Pops popsicles which Megan had brought down for all of us.

It worked out well, so much to do in Santa Cruz, in the summer.....

Monday, August 1, 2016

Family Retirement dinner

A picture of the table at the dinner given by Danny and Jessica at their home.  Dennis the guest of honor for his retirement.  Me and Danny on one side, Susanna and Naomi on the other.  Just a sliver of Jessica's face  Megan taking the picture.

On to Santa Cruz!

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Family gatherings - just the start

We're going into the Santa Cruz family weekend next weekend.  Tonight, Danny and Jessica hosted a dinner in honor of Dennis' retirement.  Tacos from ingredients from the Mexican grocery, very good.  Picture is Susann and Naomi over at Danny' and Jessica's house.  Susanna had gotten that silly clock on her trip to Korea in 2002.  She wants Naomi to take a part of her to Korea with her.

That's Maddy, Danny and Jessica's dog.  Yorkie Poo

Naomi will be there a whole year, yikes!  Mokpo, you can look it up.