Monday, February 23, 2009

Oakland


It was a quick and painful trip. My sinuses are still unsure if they are supposed to implode or explode, what with all the pressure changes (flight and 2 mountain passes) and smegma being pushing around my cranial cavity. I can't hear a damn thing and my throat is so sore, I haven't been able to speak for 24 hours, nor eat. At least I'm not dizzy anymore and my bones no longer feel like they are being shoveled through a recycling process.

Well, it may have done some good. Loosing my voice while sick is actually okay because my conversational skills, I noticed (as if I were a bystander or worse yet, a reporter, completely unable to help the situation) had already tanked and I wasn't making much sense anyway. And also, when I travel, I usually divvy up my day into 5 distinct parts, each one able to contain an entire museum, hike, sight to see, or visit. Being sick, my pace was slowed to something my daughter and sister found more manageable. Although, I even opted to sleep in the car while we were at the beach! Usually, I see the ocean and no matter what I'm wearing or what the temperature is I generally ask myself what seems to me to be a rhetorical question, "How could anyone stand on the edge of that and NOT throw themselves into it?!" This time, I just crawled in to the car and tried to steer my imagination away from a pathetic death in the passenger seat of a parked car and towards living another day.

Another thing that made the visit exciting was my apparent power to piss off the entire Castro Valley! Who knew wielded such power?! Or perhaps their unders are too tight. Somehow, they didn't like it when I drove my sister's car to the BART station. It was only three miles, but the town was in an uproar. My driving wasn't tops. I'll admit. I mean, it's hard to get where you're going when the streets aren't labeled and you have a map spread out over the dashboard... not to mention the stick shift and unsettling screeching of her car (which she assured me was purely cosmetic). At any rate, the horns of the Castro Valley are alive and well.

Otherwise, Blue and I picnicked and daisy-chained in Golden Gate Park. We shuffled through the Academy of Science. Rachel took us to the Santa Cruz amusement park for a white knuckled, screaming ride on the ferris wheel. It's scarier than it looks! And every time I say "No WAY!" And then I get tricked into it. We went shopping in the rain in Chinatown. And I thought that MOMA would be a great idea. So we met Huck's cousin Daphne and spouse and adorable baby and mother at MOMA. Well, Blue didn't like MOMA. Aside from the Frida Kahlo painting, she thought it was pretty stupid. She did like the black poodles and the white baby, however. But the shades of black painting and the Dali shoe sculpture got her really laughing. We had to remove her from the premises before she was stabbed by several sets of stilettos. But it was good to see those folks.

And my sister's garden shed in beautiful. I wouldn't have been so disparaging of Oakland in other publications if I'd known it would be like this: a stucco cottage at the end of a long winding path through a secret garden. The house is my some famous architect (Henry? Hank? Harold? Thomas). And she lives in 200 stacked square feet. We climbed a ladder to the bed. The blooming cherry tree and plinking rain on the sky light made the hike worth it, though. Even if the bathroom was up three flights of stairs. Thank god I didn't have a stomach illness!

Here's a photo Blue took:

It was great to see my sister and to engage in a little belt-loosening fun with my beleaguered daughter before all the hard work begins again.

And now, that's as much talking as I think I should do.

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