It was time for a little adventure, so I headed to the beautiful south coast. I decided to stay at a hotel right on the ocean. It was beautiful, and I loved the room:

The floors had radiant heat, so it was quite lovely to walk on them. Also, my house tends to be chilly, which is great in the summer, but less than fabulous the rest of the year. It was nice not to be bundled up.

There was also a fireplace, but no log. The only thing missing from the lovely bathroom was soap:

There was a rainfall shower head, and also a handheld shower. I have often wished for both of those things.

When I went down to the office to notify them of these absences, they asked if anything else was missing. Like it was normal for things to be missing. At least I had the log so I could enjoy a fire later, which I did. There was a balcony overlooking the ocean, where I enjoyed the sunset, along with a glass or two of sparkling wine.

The light through the window as the sun set was really beautiful:

Another small pleasure was realizing that I had forgotten to bring a couple of things, and I could walk to the store next door to get them! It made me feel like I was in a city again, even though all I could hear was the roar of the ocean. The closest store to my house is more than 6 miles away, not exactly walking distance. So it was a super fun novelty. You’re probably laughing about how exciting I found this right about now. I can’t help it. I’m a hick!

In the morning, I had coffee overlooking the ocean, enjoying every moment before hitting the road for an adventure.

Up next: giraffes and zebras!

FIVE YEARS AGO: I was at church. Yes. Really.

TEN YEARS AGO: A surprise wedding. Not mine, I hasten to add.

TWENTY YEARS AGO: A good year.


View from my bedroom

I am pleased to say that the Dental Doom was much less doomish than expected. In fact, it wasn’t doomish at all.

I was greeted warmly at the oral surgeon’s office, and was soon ensconced in a comfortable chair in a pretty office, with the sun shining through the window. The assistant covered me with a soft, heavy fleece blanket, which was very comforting as well as warm. I told them that I have had nausea after anesthesia in the past, so they put some anti-nausea drugs in my IV before doing anything else.

And that, my friends, is all I remember until I woke up. I don’t remember being put to sleep, and they didn’t freeze me until after I was asleep, so I didn’t even have to deal with the needles.

They did freeze the heck out of me, though. I stayed frozen all day. I picked up what I hope is my last antibiotic prescription of the year, along with pain pills and prescription ibuprofen (one giant pill for mankind, instead of 4 little ones), and grabbed some dim sum from Hang Ah on my way out of town.

Arriving home, I took a nap, and after that, I was pretty much back to new, waking up to the pretty view you see above from my bedroom window. Other than the blood taste in my mouth, and the quite enjoyable post-anesthesia stoned feeling, I would never know anything had happened to me. There was no pain or swelling, and almost a week later, I am pretty sure that nothing bad is going to happen from the surgery. One of my co-workers in our dental department checked in with me to see how it went, and took a look in my mouth. She said it looked “perfect”, and that she would need a mirror to see the indents where the teeth used to be. Fun fact: it can take up to 10 months for the bones to grow back and fill in those indents. I didn’t know that happened.

All in all, I was really lucky. The procedure I feared the most turned out to be the best. And I am hoping that it marks the end of my dental problems, at least fior the immediate future.

A YEAR AGO: A little trip to the South Coast.

FIVE YEARS AGO: A stormy start to the week.

TEN YEARS AGO: The Audreyness of Audrey knows no bounds.

TWENTY YEARS AGO: I was bitten by a parrot. Seriously.


It appears that the only reason I ever leave the County is to have expensive and painful dental procedures. The last time I ventured to Santa Rosa was for a root canal, and it’s debatable which was worse: the procedure or the shocking cost of the procedure, which I am still slowly and painfully paying off.

This time, it was to have my lower wisdom* teeth removed. The one on the right has been causing me all kinds of hell lately, and though I am very grateful for my sister’s ability to magically produce antibiotics and pain meds in the middle of the night, living on them is not a sustainable lifestyle, though I have certainly given it a serious try.

I refused to even contemplate such a horrifying procedure while conscious, so I had to go to an oral surgeon, and the closest one was in Santa Rosa. All the knock out appointments are in the morning, so I drove down the night before. If you have to worry about dental problems, why not do it in style? So off I went to the Flamingo, with its glamorous lobby:

It’s quite magical at night:

My room was lovely:

Here’s the seating area:

And the lovely bathroom:

I got Indian food delivered and watched a hockey game before going to sleep. I slept surprisingly well, considering the impending doom. All that glamor definitely helped.

*They should really be named Trouble Teeth or something that is more descriptive and more accurate. They should also hurry up and evolve into non-existence.

A YEAR AGO: File under miscellaneous.

FIVE YEARS AGO: Of rain, cats, and dogs.

TEN YEARS AGO: Rob finally got his permanent disability.

FIFTEEN YEARS AGO: A good deed. And a very good dog.

TWENTY YEARS AGO: My wonderful in-laws were visiting us in San Francisco. It was a great time.


You know how sometimes we get Junuary, when the weather is more like summer than winter even though it’s January? We had that in February, though I can’t come up with a clever portmanteau for that one. There were record highs in southern California that weekend, and possibly here, too. Certainly, it was warm enough to venture out without a sweater or jacket of any kind, and that is a rare thing here any time of year. You get kind of programmed to have a sweater or jacket with you at all times. The last time I went to LA, I brought my sweater with me everywhere and I never needed it. Not once.

Not only was it suddenly (though temporarily) summer, Megan actually had a Saturday off for once. Pressing Rob into service, we headed to our favorite seaside bar, where we sat at a little table in the garden at a comfortable distance from the madd(en)ing crowds:

We enjoyed the always excellent company of a Mandarin Blossom Cosmo (me) and a Buddha’s Hand Lemon Drop (Megan), as well as the beautiful view:

As the sun set into the Pacific, the moon rose over restaurant:

and the lights began to twinkle on the deck:

It was a beautiful end to a beautiful day.

A YEAR AGO: Some thoughts on love.

FIVE YEARS AGO: It was raining water outside and love inside.

TEN YEARS AGO: Remembering my much-loved American grandfather. I will miss him 45 years after his death. I think I always will.

TWENTY YEARS AGO: Farewell to the glamorous Princess Margaret.


I was reading a New Yorker article today where they mentioned that someone was “comically wealthy”, and I thought, “That’s exactly what I should be.” If only I had followed my original career choice of Idle Rich, perhaps I would have achieved a comic level of wealth by now.

When I was in 5th or 6th grade, we had a career fair. We were supposed to write down what we wanted to be when we grew up. I now look back at this with astonishment. Nearly half a century later, I still have no idea what I want to be when I grow up, and I’m beginning to suspect that I will in fact never grow up. If I haven’t grown up by now, with my 60th birthday looming on the horizon (less than 5 shopping months left, Suzy fans!), is there really any hope that I will?

Also, how did the alleged grownups who were running that particular show think that 12 year olds had any idea of what they could or should be doing in their distant grown-up futures? And imagine being held to a decision you made at that age, when you probably thought your name should be Princess Sparkle and you wanted to eat pizza every night and stay up late with your friends?

OK, to be fair, I still want to do most of those things, and while I wouldn’t actually call myself a sparkly princess, inside I feel like I am one.

At this career fair, I wrote down “Idle Rich” as my career aspiration. I got in trouble for this, the Powers that Be thinking that I was making a mockery of this preteen career decision-making, when in fact, I was 100% serious. I was indignant that I was so misunderstood and that the grownups once again failed to understand me. It was a Ramona moment.

I really think I would be an excellent idle rich person. I would never be bored, and my days would be filled with glamor and beauty. I would be a wonderful patroness of the arts. Maybe in my next life…

A YEAR AGO: Winter was not very wintry. It’s been conspicuous by its absence this year, too.

FIVE YEARS AGO: Stormy weather.

TEN YEARS AGO: Rob’s ongoing neck issues were a real pain in the neck.

TWENTY YEARS AGO: Sometimes an Oreo can be a madeleine.


Daria would be proud of me. My determination to acquire the pizza of my dreams actually led to my overcoming my impatience (Waiting in line! Waiting in general!) and laziness (Making an extra stop on my way home from work!). Needless to say, the keepers of the wood-fired brick oven failed to answer their phone, but I decided that I would not let that stop me.

Friday afternoon seemed like the best time to push my patience and laziness to their limited limits. It was an alarmingly lovely day. I can’t remember the last time it rained, and the 29 inches of precipitation we had received by the end of December was looking pretty paltry by the end of January. No rain in the immediate future, either:

Our short winter is almost over, and there aren’t many rainy day opportunities left. On the bright side, though, it made the waiting in line and waiting in general much more pleasant:

It was nice to hang out in the herb garden and admire the honor farm stand:

As waiting went, it was pretty good, though of course it was also longer than predicted. It’s the Mendo way. And the pizza was worth the wait. This one is House-made Fennel Sausage, Sliced Red Onion, Pickled Fresno Chiles, Oregano, Cured Black Olives, Mozzarella, and San Marzano Tomatoes:

This one is Calabrese Pepperoni, Artichoke Hearts, San Marzano Tomato Sauce, and Mozzarella:

They were both delicious. I should be patient more often!

A YEAR AGO: My proudest achievement.

FIVE YEARS AGO: A busy Saturday.

TEN YEARS AGO: A power outage.

FIFTEEN YEARS AGO: Visiting birds.

TWENTY YEARS AGO: The unpredictability of the weather.


Of course the “Sex & the City” reboot called for a Girl Night!

Getting the requisite pizza was once again more complicated than you’d expect. Our first choice, the fabulous wood-fired brick oven baked pizzas from the Village, were not available because they were not answering their phone, and I was not prepared to go there, wait in line, order, and wait again. Impatience is (or should be) my middle name (and it wouldn’t be notably worse than my actual middle name). I didn’t have enough cash for my second choice, which is a cash-only establishment, so it was door number three, the winner because they not only answered their phone, but cheerfully accepted my debit card.

Suitably armed with pizza, I went home and fed the cats (not pizza), and was ready for Megan to pick me up. We stopped in at the post office and the Gro on our way to our family estate, to check for fan mail and get some snacks. A girl cannot live on pizza alone, though she might like to try. As Daria so wisely put it, “And there is no aspect, no facet, no moment of life that can’t be improved with pizza”.

Arriving at Megan’s place, it took Millie about .00002 seconds to be horrified by me and try to hide from my awfulness behind the safety of Megan. Millie may be horrified by humans in even less time than it took my former landlord Mark to fire up his generator when the power went out, previously held to be the shortest measurable time known to man.

Despite her visible horror at my appearance in her home, Millie chose to sit on the very same couch that I did, separated, of course, by the safety zone of Megan. Stella was naturally uninterested in any of this drama, being far too interested in wedging herself into the place that was the most inconvenient and uncomfortable for me, and being as snack-adjacent as caninely possible. Having her own dinner did not of course lower her interest in participating in mine.

We binged on all six episodes that were available at that time, so beware of spoilers below if you have not already binged it yourself, or rationed it out like the responsible adult HBO clearly thinks you are, since they released an episode a week and I think the last one finally airs this week.

I was delighted to see that while they referred to recent unpleasant events, in the SATC world, the unpleasantness was over and one could merrily bare one’s face to the elements and hug one’s friends. I greatly missed Kim Cattrall as the witty and wonderful Samantha, whose absence was inadequately explained, and, after his untimely death in real life, the inimitable Willie Garson as the unforgettable Stanford Blatch. Again, his absence was inadequately explained on the show, but they couldn’t kill off two characters.

The show’s attempt to be inclusive was cringeworthy to me, and felt forced and fake. The story arc with Miranda was particularly far-fetched and unlike her character, unless she was having a late in life crisis. I did not like how she dismissed her husband Steve, a good man who has always loved her and appreciated her prickly qualities, seeing the vulnerability beneath the exterior. It was especially hard to watch after their separation and reunion in the earlier movie.

All the men get short shrift in the reboot, though of course the show has always been all about the girls (again, unlike real life). The clothes are still fabulous, the writing still witty, and their world is still beautiful and gracious, separate from mere ordinary mortals, and that’s the way I like it. The very things that people criticized in the movies were the things I loved. I don’t want to see reality. I want escapism, preferably in fabulous apartments and exotic locales.

All in all, it was fun escapism and a delightful evening for everyone but Millie, and possibly Rob, who got to chauffeur me home.

A YEAR AGO: The delights of John’s kittens.

FIVE YEARS AGO: Surprise! A new, giant, blocky refrigerator is your new roommate!

TEN YEARS AGO: Encounters with law enforcement.

FIFTEEN YEARS AGO: Arriving in Florida.

TWENTY YEARS AGO: Indoor and outdoor coffee.