Hockey, Hockey, Hockey 2 July 2001

Got up this morning and finished the trim on the bathroom door and touchups around the fixtures; will repaint the one lavendar wall black tomorrow. Meanwhile, mom started taping off the loft area so we could start painting on Tuesday. I changed my mind about the lighter wall color, so I'll need to stop at Wal-Mart on the way back up and get a couple gallons of light gray.

At around 11am we left the house to drive down to the Bay Area. I dropped mom & dad off at a Comfort Inn in Redwood City, and then continued down to Al's house in Mountain View to take a nap and collect my hockey gear. At around 5:30 I picked mom & dad up again, and we met Al at Kabul, an Afghan restaurant in San Carlos. I figured it would be more exotic than mom & dad usually get, but not *too* exotic. They liked it, so mission accomplished.

After dinner we headed to Ice Oasis to watch Al's game at 7:30 and then mine at 10:20. I had hoped that Al's & my teams would play each other at 7:30, but no such luck. Between games mom dozed on a couch in the lounge.

I ended up having a good game, with two shots on goal in my first shift (about 5 total). None of them went in, but they were close. I hit the post at least once, and the goalie at least twice. I was hoping to perform well in front of my parents, so mission accomplished there too. To my disappointment, though, I *did* fall down once with nobody near me, when I got my skate blade caught in a rut. Bummer.

Black is Bigger 3 July 2001

Finally finished painting the upstairs bathroom today, and believe it or not, the black makes the bathroom look bigger, not smaller. It gives it depth, I think, and that feeling is probably enhanced by the light back wall with the window in it.

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Dad and I found a new light fixture at the Home Depot on Truxel Road in Sacramento (I hated the existing early 80s bar-style fixture with brown flowers stenciled on it), and he mounted it for me when we got back up to the house. It wasn't what he and I had originally envisioned, but it ended up being perfect for the space.

The Green Room 4 July 2001

This morning I started on the loft, which I envisioned as a library before I even closed on the house. I originally intended to paint the entire room dark green, but Al was a bit skeptical about the colors I kept pointing out everywhere we went. I think he thought they were too dark, or too blue, or too something else I'm not sure of.

Anyway, when I bought the purple paint for the bedroom, I also got a gallon of dark green (Billiard) for the triangular wall in the loft. At the time I also bought a really pale beige for the other walls, but I changed my mind after painting the bedroom, and decided I'd rather have a really pale gray. I got a couple gallons of that on the way back up to the house yesterday.

I started at the top corner of the triangle, which was a bit scary because it involved standing on a ladder at the very edge of the loft, and worked my way across the wall, painting the top and bottom edges with a brush. When I got to the wall seam, I realized I hadn't taped it off. I also realized that I really wanted all the walls green. I decided to throw caution to the wind and go with my original idea.

The next decision I had to make was what to do about the window. I decided to do the sill and the inside of the window frame the light gray. And thank god, because as it turned out, I almost ran out of green paint before I finished covering the walls. As it is, I'll need to put a second coat on to fill in some thin spots, but I LOVE the look.

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I was painting the outside frame of the bathroom door light gray when Al arrived; I was glad the room was finished, so he could see how it looked. He loved it, too. He's not sure about the purple wall in the bedroom, but the black bathroom and the green loft were big hits. I love them all.

Short Work Day 5 July 2001

When we got up this morning, mom announced that it was a short work day, so I had to decide what things remained to be done. I said I wanted to paint the walls outside my bedroom light gray, and that I had asked Al to show my dad where the dump was. Mom said she'd found some flat white paint in the downstairs bedroom closet, so she'd paint the downstairs hall and living room wall.

Al and dad made two trips to the dump to haul away all the junk dad had cleaned out from under the deck, the shower doors he removed from the main floor bathroom, and a few other random things. When they got back from the second trip, Al helped me with the gray paint, and dad helped mom with the white.

When we finished, Al took a nap, mom, dad, and I all took showers, and then the four of us played a Scrabble rematch (I whupped everone else's butts last night ;). I won again, this time somewhat snarkily; I went out first, so I collected mom and dad's 13 points each and Al's 5, and they each subtracted the points from their scores. That put me over the top. I prefer to win by blowout before any adding or subtracting of points, but oh well. :)

After Scrabble we drove down Hwy. 89 to Lake Tahoe. I'd never been past the dump before, and when I saw how beautiful 89 was closer to the lake, I was glad Al suggested this route rather than 267. There was an excellent bike path parallelling the highway which I plan to explore as soon as possible.

We then went to a public park at Kings Beach so mom could see the water. She loved it. It was warm and breezy, and the mountains around the lake framed it like a photo. So cool. I headed over to Nevada to get gas, and Al had us drive along Lakeshore Dr. to see how the richest 1% live on the way back. At 7 we had an excellent dinner at the Moose's Tooth Cafe (which turned out to be attached to a 9-hole golf course), after which I bought some golf sneakers in the pro shop.

It may have been a short work day, but it was a lovely, productive, and enjoyable one!

Back to the Bay 6 July 2001

Today wasn't supposed to be a work day, but mom still vacuumed the house before we left. :) Mom, dad, Al, and I all went to breakfast at the Donner Pines Kitchen to celebrate the end of the week at the house, and then we headed back to the Bay Area. Al drove his car, and I drove mom & dad in mine.

I dropped the 'rents off at their hotel and then stopped at Sigona's Market for some fresh fruit. Al had just gotten home when I pulled up; I'd planned to take a nap, but instead we ended up tidying up Al's house and vacuuming to stay ahead of the fleas (knock on wood, we may have them licked).

At 5 we went back to the hotel to pick up mom & dad for dinner. We took them to the Fish Market in Palo Alto, where the food is simple and delicious and the atmosphere is casual—a combination we thought would be up mom & dad's alley. Boy were we right! Mom absolutely loved it; both she & dad cleaned their plates and ate dessert too. Al & I are usually too full for dessert, so it was nice to have a taste of mom & dad's. I can now vouch not only for the swordfish and the smoked salmon salad with garlic croutons, but also for the strawberry shortcake and the apple crisp with almonds a la mode.

After dinner we went to the Stanford driving range to hit some balls. My driving was atrocious—a bad sign, considering that Al & I have a 1:37pm tee time tomorrow. :-/ We also stopped by Al's house so mom & dad could see it and meet the cats, and then I drove them back to the hotel. I'll pick them up tomorrow morning for the ride to the airport.

Gopher Golf 7 July 2001

Got up early to take mom & dad to the airport, with a brief stop at my office on the way (mom wanted to see my cube). After dropping them off at United departures, I decided to pick up Rolling Pin donuts and Starbucks coffee for me and Al.

When I got back, I worked on my golf swing in the back yard while At did some work on his computer, and then we headed to the Shoreline Golf Links. I shot approximately 149 (about two and a half times Tiger's average score), but my ball striking improved greatly when Al told me that it looked like I was standing too far away at address. Apparently I was. The score is approximate, btw, because I didn't score two holes that were going very badly when I picked up my ball.

The course was a bit overrun with Canada geese and gophers (or were they just squirrels with big butts?), but on the first hole we were treated to the sight of a duck crossing the cart path and running down the edge of the fairway with her babies in tow. It was SO CUTE.

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Test Driving 8 July 2001

Al & I slept in this morning (I stayed in bed until almost 11:30), then got up and walked to the Safeway to get breakfast and to Tower Books for a New York Times. When we got back we threw my skates in the car and headed to East West Hockey for a sharpening.

On the way back from East West, we stopped at the Toyota dealership on San Antonio Road and looked at four wheel drive vehicles. We ended up test-driving a Tacoma 4x4 with the off-road package (very nice, but bouncier than I'd expected) and a RAV 4 with an automatic transmission (I prefer standard). The RAV 4 was OK, but I found its power lacking. The real drawback for me, however, was that I had to tilt my head to see how fast I was going. With the steering wheel in a comfortable position, I couldn't see the numbers between about 40 and 80 on the speedometer.

We're still trying to figure out if we want to replace one of our current vehicles, in which case a new car/truck would be feasible, or whether we want to share a third vehicle, in which case we'd have to go used.

  Week 4 ->