Hike With Me: California Nature Trails, Part 2

*A continuation of yesterday’s entry, which featured Huckleberry Regional Preserve in Oakland, South Fork American River in Coloma, Blue Rock Springs trail in Vallejo, and Bull Valley Staging Area in Port Costa. Paradise Beach, American River (Sacramento, CA) Hike up and down dusty golden rabbit hills until you reach the river. On the path over,Continue reading “Hike With Me: California Nature Trails, Part 2”

Hike With Me: California Nature Trails, Part 1

“I’ve always found the phrase ‘alone in nature’ to be a humorous oxymoron, an utter impossibility. When the garden is empty of people, I still consider it a social place where I spend time with jays, ravens, dark-eyed juncos, hawks, turkeys, dragonflies, and butterflies, not to mention the oaks, the redwoods, the buckeyes, and theContinue reading “Hike With Me: California Nature Trails, Part 1”

Wild Lyft Ride Series, Part 3: A Weaponless Hold-up and the Salinas Sunrise Ride

A Weaponless Hold-up “Please. I’m on the car now. You can’t drive off,” says the woman with her head inside my passenger’s rolled-down window, hands gripping the car. Minutes earlier, I’d picked up Liana and Jessie* outside of Elbo Room in San Francisco’s Mission district.  “It was too hot in there!” they exclaimed, the fluffyContinue reading “Wild Lyft Ride Series, Part 3: A Weaponless Hold-up and the Salinas Sunrise Ride”

Wild Lyft Ride Series, Part 2: A Journey through the Woods with a Goat Yoga Instructor

After a slightly serpentine and bucolic ride up to *Marie’s house in the Aptos hills, I park in front of her rustic dwelling to find my phone has no service. Leaving the car to inform her of my arrival, I pass by dogs and goats along the way. Two friendly chocolate labs greet me atContinue reading “Wild Lyft Ride Series, Part 2: A Journey through the Woods with a Goat Yoga Instructor”

Wild Lyft Ride Series, Part 1: The Street is No Place for Snow Angels

“Hi, I’m calling because I just dropped off a Lyft passenger who was very intoxicated and is now lying down in the middle of the street. Any help would be much appreciated.” So went my frantic call to 911 from a residential neighborhood in north San Diego.  Let’s rewind a bit though to all thatContinue reading “Wild Lyft Ride Series, Part 1: The Street is No Place for Snow Angels”

Passenger Story: The Ellen Meme, Punching Down, and Personal Sensitivities

I’m pulled over in front of Delta of Venus– a hippie, LGBT-friendly cafe I spent much of my time at as an under-grad at UC Davis, inside of which funky music plays, vibrant paintings hang from multi-colored walls, and Queer Student Union dance parties occasionally infuse the space with life. While waiting for passenger Chase*Continue reading “Passenger Story: The Ellen Meme, Punching Down, and Personal Sensitivities”

Siri and Me: A Complex Relationship

As a Lyft driver, passengers talked to me about all kinds of things: the conflict between finding meaningful work and achieving financial security; the pull of a gambling addiction; the endearing habits of one’s lovable cross-eyed cat. One man recalled how he’d studied bats, flown helicopters, and met his wife down in Guadalajara, Mexico atContinue reading “Siri and Me: A Complex Relationship”

Ride with Me: Passenger Talks Biculturalism in Oakland, CA

*Names and certain identifying details have been changed to protect confidentiality Exploring the city Known by many as San Francisco’s across the bridge neighbor, Oakland is the largest city in the East Bay region of the SF Bay Area, widely varied and home to 440,000. Accompanying its downtown’s urban grit are the hipster Temescal neighborhood,Continue reading “Ride with Me: Passenger Talks Biculturalism in Oakland, CA”

Ride with Me: A child behavioral therapist in Monterey, CA

Exploring the city A sea otter is the first image my mind conjures when someone mentions Monterey, California. Like for many Bay Area millennials who made trips there with their families during childhood, the town’s name for me is nearly synonymous with its famous, beloved aquarium. Exploring Monterey again as an adult expands my mentalContinue reading “Ride with Me: A child behavioral therapist in Monterey, CA”

No Money for Emotional Rent in Redding, CA

**Names and certain identifying details have been changed for confidentiality. Exploring the city I’m driving LYFT in Redding, California, a city in Shasta County three and a half hours north of San Francisco. As always before I embark, I like to do a little pre-trip research. One reviewer on Yelp described it as “a blend ofContinue reading “No Money for Emotional Rent in Redding, CA”