Wednesday, May 30, 2007

So long, Star's Hollow...

[To the tune of Carole King's "Where You Lead"]

I just watched my recorded final episode ever of Gilmore Girls. Yes, I've been crying. [Erin - I would've loved seeing it with you next to me!]

I appreciate how the writers wrapped up several open ends, brought the community together, and left us with the Gilmore women engaged in their familiar, playful banter in the diner (with Luke making their pancakes and coffee, of course). It felt good, complete - and sad - as the camera faded out.

As cheesy as it sounds, I think what made me the most emotional is that I felt like a part of my own story had ended with them. Like good friends had just stopped being around. I knew their histories, their personalities. I understood their inside jokes and appreciated their witty pop culture references. They reactions to "life" events were reliable and understandable. They were multi-dimensional - never perfect, but always true to character.

Perhaps paradoxically, I told Jon that as much as I loved the show, I don't think I'd want to own it on DVD. It's not like a sitcom that can be re-watched over and over - it's a series of glimpses into the life progressions of several likeable people. Watching old episodes seem like watching the "past", since I already know how they overcome those obstacles.

*sigh* I will miss having my Gilmore Girls around every Tuesday evening...

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

I love Jonathan!

My husband is so thoughtful... These were waiting for me when I got home from work today:

Chocolate talk

Today my Dove dark chocolate wrapper told me to "Laugh with the daffodils."

What? Who comes up with these?

Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day Camping!

No cellphone signals, no Internet, no television... no electricity, no showers, no flush toilets... no walls or ceilings, no smog, no agenda!

Jon and I had an exciting-yet-relaxing time in the woods for Memorial Day weekend. Scrambling to get a campsite reservation two weeks proved to be worth the money!

We left as soon as I got home from work on Friday evening and drove 3 1/2 hours north of L.A. into the Giant Sequoia National Monument. (We didn't know how high and winding the roads are to get there, but I guess our first clue should've been that we were camping 4500 feet higher than the Pasadena elevation.) When we arrived around 9:30pm, there was another group already in our campsite! Our reservations were clearly posted, however, so we had to break the news to them and wait for them to move elsewhere. (We felt bad because they already had set up a tent and started a fire, and yet, they were apparently there without paying, so we weren't very apologetic.) We had been forewarned about bears in the area, so we took every precaution - no scents in our tent, our cooler hidden in our trunk, our dry foods sealed in odor-proof bags... The biggest mammal we saw the whole weekend, though, was a golden retriever.

On Saturday, Jon and I explored the surrounding camp areas (Camp Nelson, Belknap, etc.) and cabins. It's crazy that people would pay half a million dollars to live in a tiny cabin with no grocery store within an 1 1/2-hour drive! I like the view, but I also like convenience, I suppose. :) We also noticed a small chapel in the Camp Nelson area that held its services at 11am on Sunday morning, so we decided to check it out the next day. In the afternoon we hiked to the Stagg Tree (the 6th most "voluminous" tree in the world), played several card games**, picnicked in a grassy vista along the mountain road, built a fire to cook our soup and s'mores, and went to bed early. It was lovely. :)

Sunday began with some commentary on how gross we were beginning to smell...

We went to the fireman's pancake breakfast near the chapel. While I thought it was free, Jon had guessed correctly... when the fireman greeted us with the cost, we wheeled back around to our car.

The chapel service was very small and very patriotic. We sang every song in the hymnal that mentions America, and listened to Pastor Freda talk about heroes and sacrifice. Throughout the short service, she repeatedly mentioned the "free refreshments" following, so of course we took her up on it. As we ate, we chatted with an older couple who live in a cabin there during the summers. The food was quite a spread - it saved us from eating our own sandwich ingredients that day.

When we got back to our campsite, Jonathan and Kierstin Schupack (some Fuller friends) had arrived! We all set up their new tent and went off to hike a 6 mile trail (with a 1600-foot elevation gain) through groves of Giant Sequoias. It was such a pretty hike - complete with crossing a river on a log and snapping pictures under several large tree trunks. We returned to the camp sore-legged and hungry. We had hot dogs and some more s'mores (get it?) that evening, though the fire didn't really catch hold on the large logs until we were ready to go to bed, so we huddled around until the glowing embers subsided.

On Monday we "struck camp" and then explored a nearby tract of land for sale. Anyone want to buy two plots with a cascading stream and high overlook? We thought it was beautiful!

On the way home, we stopped in Springville (population 1109 - yes they're that precise!) after passing through Pierpoint Springs (population 50), to explore a little and grab some lunch. Since it was Memorial Day, most of the shops were closed, but we were able to peer into the window of a wellness gallery where the proprietor sells Thomas Kinkade paintings and performs hypnotherapy. We then grabbed lunch with the Schupacks at the town's hoppin' burger joint and headed back to Pasadena!

The weather was perfect for the whole weekend - warm during the days and chilly when the sun set - and it was so refreshing to feel like we could breathe without inhaling car exhaust and smoggy dust in the air.

I didn't realize how much I value not being stinky, but after going three days without showering, the running water in our apartment's pink (i.e. retro/really old) tub was heaven!

**Anyone know of any 2-player card games besides Casino, Speed, Go Fish, and Egyptian Rat "Dance"? I need some more options, so Jon doesn't win as frequently. :)

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Lazy Saturday

What beautiful weather California boasts! Yesterday Jon and I joined some Fuller friends on a trip to a beach in Malibu. The wind was quite nippy, which was unfortunately deceiving for my sunblock application - I got REALLY burnt on my face and the backs of my lower legs. (You'd think I'd learn...) We spent hours lounging in the sand, snacking, playing games, and chatting with the Aussie lifeguard who kept stolling by. He showed us how to identify rips from the shore, and told us all about the selective L.A. County lifeguard application process. (They get paid very well here, but I could easily see why after barely dipping my toes into the extremely frigid ocean.) We also saw a seal, several passing dolphins, and hundreds (literally!) of seagulls and pelicans.

After cleaning up at home (and assessing my sunburn damage), Krissy and Dave invited us along to a poker party. Though initially convinced he wasn't great at the game, Jon ended up as the night's big winner! (I keep hinting that we should take our skills to Vegas... it's only a 4 1/2-hour drive away!)

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Gilmore Girls Gone?! :(

The CW announced today that Gilmore Girls will air its final episode on May 15th.

Here is the first-reaction rant I left in the comments section of the show's message board:

NOOO! I'm so so so sad... I've been following this show since it began, and I always thought there would be more twists with Rory's dating life beyond where she is now... That Logan wouldn't ultimately be the one she was supposed to be with because he can't deep-down rid himself of the jerkiness in his genetics. But now they're going to obviously make them end up together because there's no time to do otherwise (and end it happy). Also, what will become of Luke and Lorelai? How can they "resolve" and "right" their relationship back to where it's supposed to be (MARRIED) in so few episodes? And when is Suki going to have her baby? And how will we get to see Lane's kiddos grow older? And what journalism job will Rory end up doing??? There's too much!! Too much to resolve in so short of a time! I'm so sad...