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Friday, February 23, 2007
To the people in La Quinta, Calif. who google this blog every day:

You should really bookmark the page.



Wednesday, February 21, 2007
I'm trading in these palm trees for some other ones.

Palm tree

I leave tomorrow afternoon to visit my best friend, who lives in Miami. Our plans include deep-sea fishing near Key Largo, rugby, several parties, beach, sun, fun, food ...

So yeah. I expect plenty of stories, photos and trouble.

My, That Must Hurt

Tuesday, February 20, 2007
Jason and I had just come home from a morning of sun and tennis. He parked in the street, right in front of the yard. When I climbed out of the car, I don't know what came over me, but ...

I had a sudden urge to swipe at our enormous prickly pear cactus with my tennis racket.

So I did.


My racket knocked a bright fuchsia cactus pear off the succulent plant with a satisfying noise.

"Hee hee hee." I pointed and laughed.

"Are you serious?" Jason said. "You're giggling like a 12-year-old."

"Hee hee hee." That made me laugh even harder.

"Wow. You are so juvenile," he said. "Just because you wacked off a cactus ..."


I crumbled to the grass and laughed until I cried.

Hi. I really am 12.

With this ring ...

Thursday, February 15, 2007
What's that?

I'm sorry ... I can't hear you over the "Bling! Bling!" of my hand.

Engagement ring

Jason gave me an engagement ring yesterday, and it's wildly gorgeous.

The photos really don't do justice to the ring. It's so much more sparkly and shimmery in reality, and it's absolutely perfect for my hand.

Also it looks a little pee-colored here, but in real life it's the lightest of yellows. It matches a glass of champagne EXACTLY, and I am all about accessories that coordinate with my alcohol.

The perfect ring

I love this ring. I love what it means to us.

I didn't think I would ever be one of those girls to get all weepy over something as traditional as a ring. And as a feminist, I always balked a little at the icky implication of ownership that came along with a ring on the finger.

But now that it's on my hand, I can't help but be moved by my ring. It's one of those things that is so perfect and beautiful, it makes me tear up to look at it.

Yes, it's traditional, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's anti-woman. It's less about possession and more of a symbol for an equal partnership, a promise of an eternal union.

On location: Salton Sea

Monday, February 12, 2007
When we were making plans to move here, Jason asked, "How close will we be to the beach?"

I said we were about two to three hours from the ocean ... "But we're only about an hour from the Salton Sea."

The Salton Sea. It sounds wide, expansive, romantic. I imagined wind-swept picnics on the sand, evening bonfires by the water's edge, lingering kisses against the crashing waves.

And now I think I was confusing it with "Wide Sargasso Sea," which is actually about the beaches of Jamaica. But whatever. Point is, I was wrong.

Since we've lived here, Jason and I have been hearing a lot about the Salton Sea. There are jokes and stories -- and also a lot of fights. Some people want to drain it, some people want to preserve it. Either way, it's turning into an ugly political mess.

Sunday was our first visit there together. (Jason had been there one time previously with the tour company he used to work for.)

It's true, the Salton Sea is a very troubled place. It's very polluted -- the lake is replentished by agricultural run-off. (You know those conventionally-grown grapes, artichokes, asparagus, etc. you guys get from California? All those poisons run into this body of water.)

A lot of fish used to live there, but the salinity of the lake is getting too high to sustain many species anymore. The fish are also dying from pollution and algae blooms, which makes for a lot of rot and a lot of stench.

I guess the Salton Sea also used to be a thriving resort area; it's now surrounded with dilapidated structures.

But you know what? It's gorgeous.



Salton Sea

It's SUCH a cool place.

The lake and surrounding wetlands are a popular stopover for migratory birds:



Environmentally, the place is like nothing I've ever seen before. There's a lot of underground activity, probably because it's so close to the San Andreas Fault line, and the ground literally gurgles with bubbles of methane. There are mud volcanos that belch and burp and erupt -- Jason got splattered with some mud when he was peeking into one of the formations -- and it all feels very prehistoric.

Here's a mud volcano:

Salton Sea volcano

And here's some mud about to spew:


It is absolutely one of the most amazing places I've ever been:


Even with the dead fish, which sounded like Pop Rocks as they crunched underneath our feet:

Dead fish

P.S. You guys know that you can click on any of the photos and see my entire collection at Flickr, right? I thought so.

Kung Pao Kitten: Movie Star

Tuesday, February 06, 2007
Twenty seconds of a sweet, sweet cat:

And now, "When Cats Attack!" Kung Pao Kitten gets fiesty on the poker table.

Sing us a song!

Monday, February 05, 2007
Billy Joel's atrocious rendition of the National Anthem at the Super Bowl reminded me of this -- one of my favorite stories ever about Jason:

Between our hectic schedules, I feel like Jason and I get such little time together. So on the weekends, I hate for any of that time to be wasted on sleep. I want to be awake NOW, not wasting one single minute.

I was leaping on the bed, shaking Jason, even prying his eyelids apart with my fingers. "Wake up!" I shouted.

"Why should I wake up?" he said.

"Because!" I said. "It's nine o'clock on a Saturday!"

Jason, with his eyes still closed, said:

"It's nine o'clock on a Saturday,
the regular crowd shuffles in,
there's an old man sitting next to me,
making love to his tonic and gin.

He says, 'Son, can you play me a memory?
I'm not really sure how it goes
But it's sad and it's sweet and I knew it complete
Back when I wore a younger man's clothes.'"

I grabbed my journal from the nightstand and handed it to Jason with a pen.

"You need to write this shit down," I said.

Since I'm not a Billy Joel fan, I'm not familiar with the lyrics of "Piano Man" outside of the chorus.

Instead, I thought Jason was some sort of sleepy genius poet.