Archived entries for California

the earth quakes

On Monday evening, I experienced my first earthquake. A 5.7 quake, this plate movement interrupted my relaxation time. I was getting ready to go to bed (really) early, when suddenly my bedroom door started vigorously shaking. When it persisted, I realized that it wasn’t an attempted breaking-and-entering but tectonics! The first wave was pretty vigorous, and lasted for maybe seven seconds or so. Just when I thought it had stopped for good, a more subtle rumble was like “Nah, I’m not done here” and proceeded to gently shake everything for another five or so seconds.

This song sums it up pretty well.

“That’s what you get when you’re on the West Coast.”

In response to my Facebook status update regarding the quake, my friend Simone Crew ’11, a native of the Bay Area, wrote “Welcome.” That also sums it up pretty well.

i got a little more comfortable…

…with the Pacific Ocean on Thursday. (I’m not sure why it has taken me so long to post about it. Silly me.)

The drive from NSI down La Jolla Shores Dr. was a beautiful, winding journey, with a view of the ocean that I failed to capture on film but that is unlikely to leave my memory soon. Parking my (the Smith’s) Mustang under a palm tree and walking to a beach littered with surf boards and bonfires/cookouts embodied my most California-y experience here to date. Besides that traffic the other evening.

It was great to observe the various amalgamations of families and friends: those high school kids who I regrettably used to be (except they are much better off because their hangout is the beach), new parents introducing their child to the sea, that father who plays sports with the kids (in this case a lovely, portly, young dad who managed to turn soccer into a chase game, resulting in many a squeal from his daughters and nieces), and my favorite: countless duos of father-son surfers.

All that camaraderie warmed my heart but also made me feel pretty lonely, to be honest. I’ve been trekking to all these really great places that are relaxing when alone but they merit the company of someone close to you. On a scale of one to lonely, I was almost desperate enough to walk over to one of the cookouts and introduce my hungry self with the line, “Hi, I’m Genna. I’m new here. From Jersey. Not as bad as it seems. Anything you suggest I do in SD besides eat this hot dog and ear of corn?”

I withheld my urge and instead took to the sea again, this time motivated to take a memento or two. When I visited Torrey Pines Glider Port, I decided that I was going to collect something from each new place I visited this summer. Unfortunately for my luggage, this decision has amounted to a growing collection of (really sweet, neverbeforeseen) rocks. And one royal blue zipper pull that I almost threw back in the ocean until I realized that a seagull was probably going to eat it if I didn’t take it. And I kind of wanted it. And now I have it.

Oh, one more thing: after the beach, I finally went to an In-N-Out Burger! It didn’t quite live up to its name due to the length of the drive-thru line, but it surely lived up to its reputation. I got a Double-Double, Animal Style (on the secret menu), with a side of fries (ketchup too!) and chocolate shake. In retrospect, I really did not need that shake and I certainly did not need the ketchup for the fries. I said “Sure” when the cashier offered it to me because I am usually a fan of the condiment and always a fan of something to dip my fries in, but after employing the ketchup for its intended purpose, I realized that these fries were just too good to be tainted with Heinz. Away with the ketchup packets!

Excuse me while I ingest this bucket full of health.

One last thing: I’m going to include a song in this post that makes me feel better whenever I hear it, off an album that makes me feel better whenever I hear it. It is one of the only CDs from my adolescent period that I insist on keeping. I have kept a bunch of the music, but in terms of owning the physical compact disc, Bleed American is the only one that has persisted. Ladies and gentlemen, Jimmy Eat World’s “Sweetness.”

it tastes of california sunshine

I just returned from one of the most fulfilling afternoons for my foodie self at Hillcrest Farmer’s Market, about a 18 minute drive away from my digs here in Scripps Ranch. In this post, I will record my purchases. In the next, I will outline some of the major points Robert Sapolsky makes in Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers about stress and food consumption because although it is not directly relevant to the project with the babies, it resonates with a lot of people nowadays so I figure it worthy for the blog.

My purchases

-4 organic fennel bulbs, for 2 fennel fontina pizzas I’m going to make tomorrow in honor of Penny’s birthday (link is to my food blog, a collaborative effort with Scott Schnur ’10 over the course of the Spring 2010 semester)

-1 container of peanut butter hummus (yes, such a thing exists; so glad the stars aligned that way)

-lots of heirloom zucchini and summer squash for a vegetable lasagna I will also make tomorrow

-1 bunch of organic basil

-6 pluots (plum-apricot hybrid) that my taste buds forced me to buy after trying a sample

-1/2 pound of dried apricots, California style; was turned on to these by Harper Hubbeling ’11 freshman year, who taught me the proper pronunciation and mouthfeel of the dried delicacy; was informed by the saleswoman today that they taste of California sunshine

-2 bunches of candy-striped beets*

-1 container of cilantro-, chile- and garlic-ridden labneh (cannot wait to make sandwiches; yum)

-1 handcrafted ring featuring a stone of which I forget the name (I’ll ask them next time I go, in T-168 hours), fit to size in front of my eyes on a ring stretcher made in 1921

-1 organic iced coffee with soy milk and agave nectar that did not stand a chance against my thirst/fatigue

-1 spicy mushroom/garlic gourmet tamale that did not stand a chance against my hunger (finally, I know what Adam Mayer ’10 has been talking about regarding Mexican food on the West Coast-sorry any other Mexican food I’ve ever eaten; I would have eaten the husk if it were edible, I swear; no more California dreamin’)

-2 green glass tumblers made from recycled wine bottles for Jay ’73 and Penny as a sign of my gratitude, in honor of Penny’s upcoming birthday, and because I wanted to add to their collection of incredible cups (Jay blows glass, see below)

*P.S. In the spirit of eating healthily, not wasting food, and loving to cook things I’ve never cooked before, I asked what to do with radish leaves. The man I asked relayed my question to his son who was about my age who asked first if I was raw, vegan, vegetarian, etc. before he proceeded. His suggestion was to wash the leaves, spread them some tahini, hummus, or nut spread of my choice, pan-fry them, and enjoy. Nom x 1,000,000.



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