Monday, May 09, 2016

Green Onions and Red Chard

Lisa M. and I took a walk in Tilden Park a week ago Saturday. It was a hot, sunny afternoon, so we took a path that is largely shaded, and had our usual very good talk. The following morning, F. and I had brunch at Grub, on Valencia St. I’m trying to cross as many things as possible off my to-do list before clinical pastoral education starts, and trying Grub was one of them.

Last Monday I went to Nordstrom to meet with a personal shopper to get a few blouses for work and a jacket that is less fancy (and allows more arm movement) than my interview jacket, but it turned out they didn’t have either. The woman I was meeting with advised trying Macy’s, which she said has tons of stuff for work, but they also didn’t have either item.

Tuesday I had another pre-CPE medical appointment, and on Wednesday I made a new pants pattern, longer and narrower than my usual pants, and sewed a pair. The results were somehow not pleasing, so it was sort of a wasted day (as was Monday), but at least now I know.

Things picked up on Thursday, with volunteering at the soup kitchen followed by an extremely delicious burger and shoestring potatoes at Zuni, also on my list of restaurants to try. The potatoes had a very favorable grease-to-starch ratio and the burger, with bleu cheese on top, was fantastic. I sat right next to the window and watched the passersby and read The Sun before and after eating. Very nice, relaxing time.

On Saturday, F. and I took a drive out to the East Bay in a City CarShare Scion iA, whose dashboard panel dims if you turn on the headlights, which we did because it was rainy. Therefore, you can only see how fast you’re going if you don’t have the headlights on. Odd. We also had problems with the sound system, whose touch screen seemed to be downright user hostile. (And which does not include a CD player. I guess they figure no one has them anymore.) A button to turn on the hazard lights is located right where your wrist naturally rests when you’re fiddling with the sound system, so we inadvertently turned on the hazard lights while on the freeway.

The next day, Tom, F., and I took the very same car to Sacramento for Steve and Julie’s Mother’s Day soiree. (Earlier I sang my mother’s voice mail a soulful improvised
Mother’s Day song to the tune of “Summertime.”) Again, we were unable to achieve rapport with the sound system touch screen, again the hazard lights got turned on on the freeway, and both of us ended up furious, which is not unheard of for me, but rather unusual for Tom. After a dangerous swerve toward the concrete divider, we ended up just doing what F. and I did the day before, which was to turn the volume down to zero (which can be done using a button on the steering wheel).

After we arrived in Sacramento and were stopped at a red light, we poked at the sound system again and it responded with alacrity: it only works if the car is not in motion. Which is fine, but it would be helpful if there were a sign on it saying so. We almost had an accident trying to make it work. (Actually, that’s not really fine. If you’re driving 15 hours on the freeway, you’re supposed to exit every time you want to change the radio station?)

As for the party, it was really nice to sit in Steve and Julie’s backyard with them and Tom’s mother, Ann, our honoree, and Steve and Julie’s neighbor Robin. I admired Julie’s colorful garden, with its profusion of flowers and wonderful border of green onion plants alternating with red chard. We had a very tasty lunch of steak, fruit salad, Caprese salad, and roasted potatoes. We had to overeat with one eye on the clock so as to get back to San Francisco in time to overeat at the monthly Thomas House potluck.

Today I got an email asking if I’d spent $200 at a Ross in Alameda this afternoon—the second time my credit card has been used fraudulently in two months.

I’m nearly done with two books about Buddhist chaplaincy and have found a few extremely helpful things in one or the other. It was a good idea to read them. I’ll finish them before my program starts in June, and I also hope to reread a third chaplaincy book and finish Chernow’s Alexander Hamilton.
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