Happy FriYay!

Convoy Street

Last weekend, a bunch of our friends went to Palm Springs but we backed out at the last minute due to logistics and such. We had a little in-town date though, at a buzzy new restaurant called Pokiritto. I guess a poke bowl is kind of like a deconstructed sushi roll? And a sushi burrito is… woah, big. I loved it. But, I’d just as soon go out for normal sushi. Afterwards we crossed the street to Iceskimo and got some snow ice, which is kind of like if a snowcone had a baby with frozen yogurt.

This weekend, we’re having a small garage sale. Keep your fingers crossed that we can get a little cash!

Here are a couple of links to take you into the weekend… 

I finished reading Ready Player One (our May book club selection) but there is still time to read if you’d like to join us! It’s upper-YA, so, a pretty quick read once you get into it.

Bryan Singer’s X-Men movies are so thrilling! Until Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy came along, they were my favorite superhero movies… but what if the story of the X-Men had been directed by Wes Anderson?

All the shows we watch during the normal cycle have finished (wasn’t the season ending of New Girl sweet?) so to fill in the gap we have started watching Angie Tribeca on Hulu. If you like on-the-nose style of comedy like the movie Airplane! then you’ll like this.

Desert Camping at Anza Borrego

A few weeks ago I went desert camping with a couple of my buddies! Actually, it was Coachella weekend, but we didn’t go all the way to Indio for that. Why spend multiple hundreds of dollars on a concert ticket when you can rent a modest campsite for $25 a night, eat hot dogs, and listen to iTunes?

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Oh, did I tell you guys yet? I’m into camping now. I’ve been 2 1/2 times! To explain the “half” time, it was on this particular trip, when I drove over for the day and then went home that night. I was unsure about camping overnight in a tent with Mosey (we’ve never done that) plus, this semester was just exhausting for me and I couldn’t bear the thought of sleeping on the ground (even with my comfy air sleep pad).

April in in the Anza-Borrego desert was just perfect. It was nice and hot, but not too hot. Just hot enough that you don’t feel bad about sitting in the shade drinking cool beverages (instead of exploring). We were a couple of weeks too late for the famous wildflowers, but nonetheless there’s just something to be said about the beauty of the desert.

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I love the greens and yellows against the blue and purple mountain backdrop.

The campsites were very nice and new. I was impressed! Later I read in a guidebook that the reason the campsites were so new was that a massive flash flood in the mid 00s had washed everything out. So, everything was rebuilt anew. Sad, but glad for the nice new digs, which are pretty rare in the camping world.

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There was a nearby hike to an oasis(!), but the trail was dog-prohibitive (so as not to disturb the wildlife, which included jackrabbits and bighorn sheep) so I went with everyone to the trail head but then Mosey and I went back to the campsite to arrange all the food, read my kindle, and build the fire. Doug took a few cool shots at the oasis though. Next time, I’m definitely hiking all the way there.

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The following day, while I was at home relaxing with Mosey, the crew took a much more grueling hike to Maidenhair Falls. Sounds wimpy, but I’m glad I wasn’t there to slow everyone down. It sounded really hard, but the waterfall at the end must have been so magical!

How do you guys feel about camping? I won’t say I love sleeping on the hard ground, but I love how affordable it can be for a quick weekend escape. Any favorite campsites to point me toward?

“Her Fearful Symmetry” Book Review & May Selection!

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April’s book was a strange, strange read, for me. I was caught up in it, I read it at a nice speed… but perhaps we should have kicked off our book club with something a little more… normal?

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Have you ever tried cooking something that sounded like it would come out great? Like, all of the ingredients, when listed together, seem like they could make something really delicious? But… when you plate up the dish, something is just off? Honestly, that is how I feel about Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger. The topics: London, Coming-of-age, Romance, Sisters, Ghosts, these are all things I can get behind, and sound like they’d come together to make something great. But, for some reason the book didn’t grab me the way I thought it would have.

I knew I had to finish the book by the 25th because Libby and I agreed upon today to post our reactions. After the three-quarters mark I was kind of reading the way that you’d watch a scary movie, like with one eye shut and kind of through your fingers. I had my hunches on what was about to happen, and wasn’t sure if I wanted to find out if my hunch was correct or not. Is that the way Audrey wanted us to read it? I suppose when ghosts are involved, there’s always the chance that uneasy feeling was intentional.

Each of the characters were interesting in their own way, but I found myself more pulled to the supporting characters and less involved in the main characters, the twins. I suppose considering the twins were the focus of the book I found them a little underdeveloped. I think my favorite story arc was that of the OCD neighbor Martin and his personal trials. Maybe we connect ourselves to the characters we can relate with the most? I do not have OCD, but I can relate to irrational things preventing me from taking risks or even causing me to procrastinate on everyday things.

One of the major themes I saw emerge, which I liked, was the concept of one becoming two, and/or two becoming one. You saw this in the romance aspect, the life and death aspect, and the twin aspect– the fact that the girls’ mother was one of an estranged pair of twins, and that the daughters were a very close pair of twins threw that into stark contrast. The romantic involvement with Robert– him separating himself from Elspeth and getting involved with Valentina made me think about how hard it is to be single after being in a long-term relationship, and how your body and soul crave a new connection after the first one was cut off.

The ending seemed dragged out but abrupt at the same time. Is that possible? I’m not sure I have an opinion on the way things turned out. I’m glad I finished. If I wasn’t committed to reading this as part of the book club I may have fallen off and not finished. So, I feel satisfied with that. Maybe that’s the best part about leading being part of a book club anyway!

I’m not going to tell anyone that they “must read” this book, but I’m glad I was a part of reading along with Libby and I’m looking forward to hearing what you thought about it, if you read along with us.  Please write a little something in the comment area or paste a link to your thoughts on your blog or to your goodreads review or something. I think since it was such a strange and possibly polarizing book it will make for better discussion!


The great news is that I can announce our May book choice — Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. I’ve been seeing this book pop up time and time again lately, especially since it was announced that a movie is in production with Steven Spielberg directing … so I placed a request on it at the library. I think it’s going to be more fast-paced, it’s described as a “thriller,” and it has to do with virtual reality and video games, so I am totally in.

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I love futuristic dystopias like 1984, Minority Report, The Hunger Games, as well as the movie Tron, so I hope this lives up to my ideals in the genre. Please, join us reading Ready Player One this month and come back at the end of May for another discussion!