Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Dani and Allegra's Engagement PARTY! I've never had my name on a banner before.

Lots of wonderful people came. Julia's house was the perfect size!
  • The decorations and food were amazing. I really appreciated all the thought that went into every little detail.
No one has ever thrown a party for me (or us) and it was indescribably wonderful not to have to worry and just enjoy everything.

We had a wonderful champagne (and beer) toast with so many sweet words. I got all misty.
Allegra looked stunning.

As the night got longer, strange things began happening. this creepy pinata head was worn by many a dancing machine.
If you want to see more engagement party pictures, check out Allegra and Andy's blog

The annual girl fest

We were all smiling.

The saturday dyke fest continued to get even larger this year! It was so nice to have leggy there with me this year and we just had an entertaining, relaxing afternoon in the park (surrounded by tens of thousands of lesbians).

Almost everyone dressed up in their best homo-wear.

And it was extrememely lucky for me to run into one of my favorite old friends, Heather Pauley!

Oh yeah, there was some weird shit goin on on-stage. We tried to ignore it, but then they all got naked.


We had a fire scare this weekend. 6am, gay pride parade sunday, a crazy arsonist set fires on two of three floors of our building! We ran like crazy zombies through a hallway of smoke as the fire dept came to put it out. SCARY! Please everyone, consider renter's insurance.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Pride is here

This scene could only mean one thing...

Dyke March is here.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

This is my jacket

I finally finished my newest sewing project, my black jacket. After some frustration, I actually made it work. It even fits well. This one I am actually going to wear in public. See mom, I can sew!

Monday, June 18, 2007

My weekend in Black Diamond Mines

After a less than thrilling Staff Retreat this saturday, I was off to Rio Vista California to camp. We ended up randomly at a very crowded campground with children everywhere. But we still managed to have a campfire, chili dogs, and, of course, fun.

Andy began the fire.

Sunday we were off to Collinsville (pop 40) and the Collinsville Cemetary. Suprisingly, it was almost entirely full of Italian names, and those creepy picture headstones.

Like all old neglected cemetaries, vandalism is a problem.

One of the trip highlights was Shirley, who owned the Bird's Landing Tavern. She got to be in a Clint Eastwood movie once, with the Tavern as the setting.
There isn't much out in this countryside, but there is a LOT of wind. PG&E put in these in the last couple years. There are hundreds of them.In Antioch we went to Black Diamond Mines County Park. It is HOT, desolate, barren of trees or much of anything. Being a miner here would have been miserable.

We couldn't find the prospector's tunnel in the hills; Andy was disappointed.But the best was the Hazel-Atlas mine tour! First coal mining, then silica sand (glass) mining. Hundreds of miles of tunnels beneath the hills. They take small groups inside a little ways for a thought-provoking slide show and a chance to poke around the tunnels.

They only let us go in a little ways, but made up for it by giving us jackets (90 degrees outside, 55 inside) and these stylish hats.

When these were coal mines, kids (8 and up) and their fathers labored 10-12 hours daily, 6 days a week. When oil and petroleum replaced coal, they converted the mines to get silica. They blasted these amazing caverns 50 feet long and 30 feet high. They are amazing to see but too dangerous to go inside.

Again, another fun weekend hunting ghost towns and mines. Thanks Andy, good idea!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Campanile (Camp-an-E-lee)!

The Clock/Bell Tower at UC Berkeley (circa turn of the century) is of the 3 worlds' largest! It gave us an amazing view of the East Bay and UC Berkeley.

307 Feet up, everything is small....

Twice a day, the campanile guy comes and plays this crazy machine for 45 minutes. There are 61 Bells altogether, of differing sizes.

The bells are as big as a person.

As you ride the elevator up, you notice elevator buttons for 7 floors. I asked the elevator attendant about what else lived in the bell tower. The campanile master has an office. She also said they store lots of bones for the paleontology department. Bells and bones. Go figure.

Bomb, Pickle, Chocolate Factory

ScharffenBerger Chocolate Factory in Berkeley.

Before they made chocolate, they made bombs here during WWII. The walls, as well as the 30 foot ceilings, are made completely of brick, so if the bombs exploded they wouldn't catch the place on fire. Then Heinz moved in, doing some picklin'. Then it became chocolate heaven!

These are Cacao fruit on the tree. They grow to the size of a football, then you get the seeds out of the inside of the fruit. If they aren't germinated, no chocolate.The beans get roasted, shelled, ground, and then made into chocolate. ScharffenBerger have all kinds of crazy antique chocolate making machines. Pipes run everywhere, carrying the magic along!

They fed us copious amounts of chocolate during this free tour! I highly recommend it when people come to town. Just make reservations, as everyone wants in on the action. And if you're out in the world and see SharffenBerger, try the Nibby bar: Chocolate with little roasted cacao nib pieces mixed in. Yum!!

Fruit Picking (for fun)

This weekend my mom visited and we picked fruit in the East Bay. Tidrick ranch has cherry trees; apparently Cherry Picking Season is only 2 short weeks of the year. What timing we have.

I am picking cherries from standing on the ground; they fall right off into your hands, perfectly ripe.

Cherry picking ladders are oddly beautiful. I even got on one, high up into a tree, and got a little nervous. But I stayed up there until I got some amazing cherries.

Perfect Cherries.

Peach picking wasn't quite as challenging (no climbing required) so not quite as fun. But the peach cobbler we made that night was amazing.