I’m wearing my sticker proudly today.
Although I did find it a little odd that my polling place was at a church. At least it was a church free of signage endorsing anyone or anything. It was nice to see so many people there, in a variety of ages. More importantly to me, I went late enough in the morning and avoided long lines.
At work, about half of my co-workers have already voted, with the rest planning to do so after work. We joked about trying to get all of our meals for free today with many businesses offering free items for those who voted. Free coffee at Starbucks. Free star-shaped donut with red, white & blue sprinkles at Krispy Kreme. Free scoop of ice cream at Ben & Jerry’s. Free sandwich at Chick-Fil-A.
Yesterday I found myself having to call AAA Roadside Assistance while on my way to work. As I was merging from Interstate 110 to Interstate 405, I noticed that I had a flat tire. I went through a few moments of, “oh crap, what am I supposed to do?!? There’s no place to pull over!!!” I was able to keep driving to get on to 405 and found enough of a shoulder to pull over. I sat there for a bit debating how safe it was to get out of the car and change my tire. I called Bill to get his opinion and he was adamant that I just call AAA. The independent Girl Scout that I am had a problem with this. I didn’t want to have to call AAA for this… I know how to change my own damn tire. But, Bill was right, it wasn’t safe for me to get out of the car and get to my trunk with cars and semis zipping by at 70mph. I swallowed my pride and made the call. They had someone at my car in less than twenty minutes. John changed my tire and had me on my way less than five minutes later. I’ve learned that when you’re on the freeway, you get high priority. AAA rocks. Today I’ll go get my tire fixed and pray that it’s repairable. I don’t want to have to buy a new tire.
This past weekend Bill and I found ourselves in the Bay Area again for Michael and Sara’s engagement party. Mom did a great job with setting the house up to handle forty plus people despite the constant rain. Thankfully, the wind was quiet and it really wasn’t that cold. Patrick and Dad set up a large tarp covering the patio. A restaurant-style propane heater kept those of us who stayed on the patio warm. Mom made a delicious spinach and sausage lasagna and a baked ziti. Sara’s mom, Debbie brought a Caesar salad and lots of garlic bread. Patrick made four amazing cheesecakes. It seemed like everyone had a great time. I got to meet a lot of Sara’s aunts, uncles and cousins. I also got to meet many fellow bridesmaids that I’m sure I’ll be seeing more as we get closer to August. All in all it was a great party. I know Mom was really stressing about the rain and was worried that everyone would be too crowded to be able to eat and have a good time. For some reason, I just wasn’t in the mood to take photos. I actually left Michael’s camera at home in Long Beach. So, I have no photos from the party. I’ll get myself back in a picture taking mood later. We do have Thanksgiving coming up.
Sunday morning Bill and I went with his parents to Mountain View Cemetery in Piedmont to visit Bill’s grandma. The annual Chinese grave cleaning day was a few weeks ago, but we didn’t have a chance to go until Sunday. I honestly don’t know what the day is really called, so this is what we call it. The rain had stopped temporarily and even the grass was pretty dry, but it was a little windy and quite cold. Bill’s grandma does what she can with the weather. Every time we’ve gone, the weather has been beautiful. Bill believes it’s his grandma’s doing. The cold weather was our fault for being so late to visit. We left some flowers and burned some incense. Bill’s parents were both too cold so they waited in the car. Bill and I stayed by her grave and watched the incense burn while chatting about the number of new gravestones that appeared since our last visit. We also commented about a common practice in Chinese families of engraving the names and birthdates of both members of a married couple on the gravestone when one of them dies. The member who is still living has their name painted red signifying that they are still alive. When that family member passes away, their children wash off the red paint. While I understand it’s probably really convenient to get most of the engraving done in one job, we both find it a little creepy. I would have a problem seeing my name on a gravestone before I died.
A recent television special of Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations and the cemetery visit prompted us to ask each other one of Anthony Bourdain’s favorite questions: If you knew you were going to die tomorrow, what would your last meal be? Anthony tries to ask this question almost everywhere he goes, even if the question is taboo for the culture. But I’m always interested to hear the responses. From world renowned chefs to local street vendors, almost everyone’s meal is something they ate as a child. Bill’s meal: sticky fried rice with mushrooms and pork. My meal: Mom’s ketchup meatloaf & mashed potatoes with lots of butter. Dessert would be Patrick’s bread pudding, no raisins. What would your last meal be?
Some pretty photos taken from the plane as I descended into the Long Beach area Sunday afternoon:
Something Bill’s mom said made me laugh when I was taking these photos. She said she feels more comfortable flying when there’s a thick layer of clouds under the plane… like there’s a cushion supporting the plane.
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