With as rarely as I’m posting these days, maybe my blog post titles should just be the seasons. Umm.. let’s see, what have I been up to. I visited my mom in Los Angeles. This was my first time flying in to Bob Hope airport in Burbank, and wow! It was such a nice experience. Way better than the stress of LAX. Would fly again.


Last time when I saw my mom at Christmas we went and saw La La Land. Not gonna lie, was heavily influenced by the movie to go visit Griffith Park & Observatory. It was quite lovely trekking through the park and then making it to the observatory on the top of the hill. Our timing was perfect, and we arrived just in time for the planetarium show, which made me nauseous.  So realistic!


The next day we checked out the botanical gardens, where the main draw was the garden’s resident peacocks. I figured that it would be nice to see one or two, but they were everywhere when we walked in. In the first ten minutes we even stumbled upon a peacock in full glory.

Seeing a peacock at 100% meant that we had to take photos with the peacock. I’ve never done this before, and to be honest, I found it a little scary. The peacock was vibrating furiously, chasing after peahens, and making lots of mating calls. EEK! Even when we passed the main peacock dating hub, and were on the very outskirts of the park, we never stopped hearing their mating calls.

It was father’s day, and my aunt wanted to have a big lunch. Of course, everyone was already off doing holiday lunches with their fathers, so instead I celebrated with my mom, aunt, and grandma, all of us father-less. It didn’t make me sad, it was just an observation at the time, but later I found myself thinking about the differences in how we all processed the fact of this loss.

An insane line around 3 blocks for… donut ice cream sandwiches?
Pastry pit stop @ 85 Below, a Taiwanese bakery chain
There were all sorts of whack mayo/corn/squid ink pastries, but I was curious about the coffee. The house coffee was a sweetened milky americano.

All in all a successful trip.

What else? There was Pride. I ran for a bit in the Trans march since I was out and about right when it started, but I haven’t participated in Pride in years, really. It’s always a hot drunken mess.


It’s summer, so dogsitting is ramping up. I’ve got about a grand worth of work coming up in the next few weeks, which means I’ll be busy! I took care of two BIG dogs, but they were just the sweetest and laziest dogs ever, so no troubles there.



The service I use to check out e-books and audiobooks from the library (Overdrive) just released a new app called Libby that makes it much easier to check out & read/listen to books, and I’ve been loving it. Previously I would log in to Overdrive on my computer, download the books through Amazon, then send to my phone, and for the audiobooks, that was super tricky getting them to the phone and in the right format. I’m currently reading a biography of William Tecumseh Sherman, Carrie Fisher’s Wishful Drinking, China Rich Girlfriend, and listening to audiobooks of  Furiously Happy, The Price of Salt & James Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time.


Things have been super stressful at the apartment with multiple roommates moving in/out. It’s been utter uncertainty, chaos and drama for about a month, and that was starting to wear on me. I found myself feeling very sad about all the changes, even though I knew that everyone was doing what was best for themselves, and that we have to change to evolve. I dunno, you live 4 years, 6 years with a person and you will feel something when they leave.


With all that was going on at home, I was looking forward to visiting NJ for a wedding. I was a bit confused about what to pack since we were staying on the Jersey Shore in a little beach town, but the event was at a Yacht Club and ‘black tie optional.’ Also I had checked the weather, and it was high 80s, alternating between cloudy and storms. Um… Not great beach weather.

Once we had settled in to our crappy beach hotel, Ryan said he needed a tie, and the closest real shopping options were outlets in Atlantic City, about a half hour away. I was tired, but we weren’t doing anything else, so I went to AC. It wasn’t particularly bustling on a Friday afternoon.

There is a Western themed hotel. Not a bad idea, but the props were pretty janky
There were the Atlantic City version of tuk-tuk drivers… You sit in a bench and they walk behind you, pushing you down the boardwalk. It looks very strange. Like a couch just drifting down the road.

Amid the fake … everything, I found a little bit of reality. Back in the day the beach was segregated, and Chicken Bone Beach was the tiny strip of the boardwalk/beach for black folks. It was called that by the whites because supposedly people were leaving behind their chicken bones in the sand. At first I was aghast at the naming, but it turns out that the local community is trying to reclaim the name. From the Wikipedia page, it sounds like this was a pretty hopping strip, with all sorts of community events and celebrity sightings.

Right as we were finishing up our shopping, a flash rainstorm hit and we were drenched. We ran to an Old Navy to wait it out, but it just didn’t quit. So for the whole ride back we were soggy and grumpy. Oh, also I was terrified because it was really hard to see driving in the storm. Ryan was calm about it, but how can you be calm when you can’t freaking see?

Walking the main drag, looking for pancakes
Hydrangeas were everywhere.
Small town, big breakfasts!
Ryan breaks his 8 month sobriety just for a night. It was a beautiful wedding, but I felt a little out of place since nearly everyone at the event was either family or had known  each other since middle school. Middle school???
8am beach bums

I got lucky with decent weather the last 2 days of the trip and that meant some quality beach time. On the last day I got up early and slightly hungover just so I could go swimming one more time. Later that day we made it out to see Ryan’s parents, and then it was off to the airport hotel to veg and watch Game of Thrones.

Obligatory beach selfie

Well, that’s most of what I’ve been up to. And back to the housing situation – three weeks into new roommates, and everyone is still not all moved in. There’s quite a bit of redecorating going on, so the house is going to be chaos for a bit longer, I guess.

Food, Travel

My LA Thanksgiving in Food

I used to have a food blog. It was solely dedicated to me eating out and making the occasional ugly but delicious meal. Even though I shut it down about a year and a half ago (I had taken too many embarrassing photos with food. It had to be stopped), sometimes people still search for “Tracy Eats SF.” This post is for you, loyal reader, since I don’t post about food much anymore.

Breakfast in my grandma’s house in LA usually means one thing: Bun Xiao AKA her special beer batter crepes with bean sprouts, veggies, pork and shrimp. Even though I am usually stressed out every time I go see my family, which is rarely, my grandma’s crepes make it worth it.

I was totally stuffed with one crepe, but my grandma decided to make me another. When I wouldn’t eat it, she rolled up the innards into a spring roll. Maybe she thought she could trick me?

It worked. I was curious, and ate a bit more. Grandmas are sneaky like that.

In the afternoon my aunt took me to her friend’s house for a Thanksgiving lunch. Everything was delicious and TOO DAMN PERFECT. It took until about the third course that all shame fell out the window and I started taking covert photos of my food. My aunt’s friend had just gotten back from Argentina, so the theme of the meal was Argentinian. I can get behind that! Here is an empanada that I dirtied with chimichurri. Apparently you’re not supposed to use it as a dip. I doubt anybody actually follows that rule.

Hello Argentinian ribs! Hello Argentinian sausage!

Eaten with mango salsa and lotsa Malbec. Bliss.

And afterwards, an invigorating walk in the hills, followed by cappuccino, limoncello and pie. Some kinda heaven.

About an hour later I made it back to grandma’s house in time for our usual 30+ Thanksgiving dinner, complete with ham, turkey, prime rib, seafood, and all manner of Chinese food. I don’t know how, but I didn’t overdo it this year.


Life, Travel

The Way We Were

I’m hanging out in Los Angeles for the Thanksgiving holiday and while there’s a dizzying amount of clutter and chaos, I’m trying to focus on the gems. Today I stumbled across this classic photo of my parents, which was hidden amongst my pile of old comic books. LOOK AT THAT HAIR!