Sunday, January 25, 2015

Filing away the past

My straightforward task — cleaning out a file cabinet — should have been routine. A non-event.

I've tried to pare things down before, but this was a walk through my academic life.

I found class notes and blue books. And old readers (remember those spiral-bound packets we had to buy?).

I found papers I don't remember writing about poems I don't remember reading for classes I don't remember taking. (And I was an English minor!) The dot-matrix printing may have faded, but the grades and comments still resonate like a Phil Collins tune.

Recycling everything felt like throwing away my thoughts and experiences, even my old feelings: Panic, anxiety, exhilaration, pride (and that only brings us to 1992).

I have to admit, I saved a few of those papers. Whoever says grades don't matter clearly does not have a file cabinet of old work.

The new and the familiar (on vacation)

Because Joel and I haven't met up too often in southern California, we're still looking for our favorite place. Every dinner is a new experience.

This year, it was Sonny's in San Clemente.

I branched out from chicken marsala — into chicken with mushrooms and spinach and marsala cream sauce, can you believe it? (Thanks for the restaurant recommendation, guy at the Phoenix airport.) Joel didn't love the lasagna, but we were both fans of the mud pie.

It's a wonderful thing, having a leisurely dinner outside in January.

I just got back into town, so vacation already seems like a distant memory. But being back home suits me. My postal carrier, per her habit, wrote a "welcome back" note on my mail, and I love these everyday gestures.

It's good to be home. Even in January.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Post-college catching up in Newport Beach

Theresa, Kara, and I — sorority sisters from Cal — got together for lunch. Kara chose Fig & Olive, and also explained her childhood fig allergy (which, at first, her parents did not believe was actually a thing).

Fortunately the menu was not heavy on figs. Rather, it offered many olive oils ("Spain, Spain, Greece," according to our server — this is what he said, I don't remember any pronouns or prepositions). The restaurant was gorgeous — and also in Hangover 3, we were told.

The three of us getting together for long lunches is turning into a tradition. We met up for lunch last year, which was great since we hadn't seen each other since the 90s!

We didn't spend much time talking about college or the house at either of our gatherings, though; we're all grounded in the present. But speaking of the 90's, I'd like to have talked about that new Hindsight show. The bad ideas, the do-overs, the babydoll dresses. Ah, nostalgia.

And cheers to things that are so 20 years ago!

Sunday with Julie

Despite Julie's hectic work and out-of-town visitor schedule, she came to Newport Beach so we could have our yearly catch up during my vacation.

We went to Bandera, one of my all-time favorite restaurants. But the pitch black, almost romantic lighting (especially at 4:30 in the afternoon) made me feel a little cranky. Good thing I got a fried chicken sandwich; that cheered me up a lot. Julie loved the butternut squash enchilada, and the coffee was ameezing (any Kroll Show fans out there?).

We both have big plans for 2015. Or shall we say, big plans to put into motion some big plans. Julie's may involve blogging. I hate to be a January joiner, but she inspired me to restart my blog. Once I'd gotten out of the habit, it seemed hard to put my thoughts together and hit publish. So I'm starting small!