California Dreamin’! Part Un

Hi folks!

I’m in California at the moment, soaking up the love of some of my favorite people, Rachael Herron, Sophie Littlefield, and Juliet Blackwell. It’s all a bit of a mad debauch, which is exactly what I needed post-semester’s end. At the same time, being around my serious author pals is a great way to switch back into writing-mode from teaching-mode, something I definitely need to do as I have SO MUCH to write this break.

But before I insinuate it’s all work and no play, we are definitely managing to play. A lot. Here are some of the highlights…. :)

Let’s start with Humboldt Fog, one of my two SF food obsessions…It’s a blue goat cheese. Heaven on bread? It was waiting for me when I got to Rachael’s house. Love!

Best cheese ever? A serious SF obsession.

Best cheese ever? A serious SF obsession.

Also waiting for me was my new friend, Clementine. It was love at first full body press:

My new friend, Clementine.

My new friend, Clementine.

After a fab day at Rachael’s, we eventually moved on to Sophie’s, where we ate Indian food and made author piles:

Author pile!

Author pile!

I do love an author pile!

That's my "gah" face. :)

That’s my “gah” face. :)

And the next morning Sophie fed me bagels with cream cheese and smoked salmon. I am a simple soul, and that basically means we are now engaged. At least in my world.

Sophie keeps feeding me bagels and lox. I LOVE HER.

Sophie keeps feeding me bagels and lox. I LOVE HER.

Sophie also bought an enormous piece of meat, which Julie couldn’t stop handling.

Julie can't get enough of Sophie's big meat.

Julie can’t get enough of Sophie’s big meat.

And speaking of enormous, no trip to the Bay area is complete without the requisite visit to Good Vibrations, not least to see their collections of antique vibrators. I get flashbacks to “The Yellow Wallpaper” era hysteria treatments, and we had some great talks about these issues as we wandered around, me poking my finger into all the toys (I can’t be taken anywhere).

Antique vibrator display at Good Vibrations, Lakeview. A trip to SF isn't complete without visiting a GV store.

Antique vibrator display at Good Vibrations, Lakeview. A trip to SF isn’t complete without visiting a GV store.

Then I went back to Julie’s amazing house. It’s amazing on a number of levels, not least of which is the fact that you never know what you’ll find lurking in the corners:

You never know what you're going to find stashed in a corner at Julie's house.

You never know what you’re going to find stashed in a corner at Julie’s house.

Then we were made a real French dinner by a real Frenchman, including french butter. I’d been listening to Chris Moore’s The Fool while driving to IL so you’ll have to excuse me for the added swearing.

Fucking french butter for fucking french food. (I've been listening to Chris Moore's The Fool again, obviously)

Fucking french butter for fucking french food. (I’ve been listening to Chris Moore’s The Fool again, obviously)

Dinner was moules frites and it was GORGEOUS!

Dinner is prepared!

Dinner is prepared!

For dessert we had ananas flambé, which is French for lighting a pineapple on fire.

We're here to light your pineapples on fire.

We’re here to light your pineapples on fire.

The results were delicious. And then I fell asleep on the dinner table (no joke).

Post incineration.

Post incineration.

So that was the first two days of my visit! Needless to say there has also been much plotting and planning and talk of the best way to murder people and how to get them caught by clever sleuths and lots of jokes about enormous meat. Oh, and burritos. But that’s later in the visit!

More to come soon……….. ;)

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