Rural passengers, 1950s vibes, and Walter the failed botanist in Ukiah, CA

Nice things people on Yelp had to say about Ukiah, a rustic town in Mendocino County with a population of 16,000: “The air is always sparkling clear (unless there are forest fires). Every night we can go outside and look up and feel as though we are camping in the Sierras—billions of stars! There areContinue reading “Rural passengers, 1950s vibes, and Walter the failed botanist in Ukiah, CA”

Ride with Me: Exploring California’s Rustic, Woodsy Towns

Ride along this week as we step foot into the snow globe town of Shasta City. Later we’ll let notes from a gently strummed harp seep into our souls as we stare out at a view of the state’s largest lake (in California’s Lake County). We’ll soak in the bucolic, woodsy calm of a townContinue reading “Ride with Me: Exploring California’s Rustic, Woodsy Towns”

Bros eat Girl Scout cookies, passengers talk Bitcoin, and the beastly pothole dream in San Jose, CA

On deck for this week: A male passenger describes how a bro bonding Girl Scout cookie binge sesh made up for a disappointing date. In “Spanish Practice,” a daughter reveals to her mom the shocking gift she plans to bestow on her dad for Father’s Day. Two passengers in #Lyft Line speculate over the futureContinue reading “Bros eat Girl Scout cookies, passengers talk Bitcoin, and the beastly pothole dream in San Jose, CA”

Ostrich tattoos, antique shops, and the Greek island hangover store in Fremont, CA

I’m in Niles, a quiet, peaceful, and little-known neighborhood of the East Bay city of Fremont. Fremonts’ overall population is 238,000, while 7,500 reside in Niles. Antique shops pepper the buildings of the district’s main road, while yellow hills running parallel to train tracks mimic the parched humps of a giant camel. Outside one store, twoContinue reading “Ostrich tattoos, antique shops, and the Greek island hangover store in Fremont, CA”

Coastal Redwoods, Cathartically Empty Roads, and the Erudite Cat Caller in Santa Cruz, CA

I love all the redwoods. I love the transcendentalist feel. Driving by the beach I saw screaming, sunburned teens plummeting down the Big Dipper Roller Coaster; sea lions being cute and blubbery out on the pier, with no regard for their neighbors’ personal space; people in bikinis playing volleyball in the sand. I wrote thisContinue reading “Coastal Redwoods, Cathartically Empty Roads, and the Erudite Cat Caller in Santa Cruz, CA”

Ride with Me: Endless Vineyards, the Joys of Reading, and Goat Alarm Clocks in Santa Rosa, CA

I’d set out to Santa Rosa–a city that Sonoma Magazine described as “the kind of place where natural bounty serves as a muse for utopian dreams, sleepy residential streets hide ambitious farm-to-table kitchens, abandoned buildings are resurrected as art galleries, and the corner coffeeshop turns nightlife hot spot with craft-beers on tap, all to theContinue reading “Ride with Me: Endless Vineyards, the Joys of Reading, and Goat Alarm Clocks in Santa Rosa, CA”

The Bucolic Life For Me: Exploring California’s Central Valley, Part 2

**This is a continuation of an entry from a few days ago that featured the towns Turlock, Modesto, and Fresno. ~~ Lodi, CA After I pull in to the parking lot of a 711, three humans dressed in wedding attire pile into my car, holding cardboard trays filled with burgers and fries. The bride’s dress takesContinue reading “The Bucolic Life For Me: Exploring California’s Central Valley, Part 2”

My car the church confession box, tattooed Lyft Line girls hit it off, and the bilingual city tour

On the line-up for this week: two girls in Lyft Line bond over their tattoos and shared past experiences, thoughts on passengers who bare their souls and what it means to know someone on a deeper level, and a dream wherein I give a tour of San Francisco in Spanish to a very important LyftContinue reading “My car the church confession box, tattooed Lyft Line girls hit it off, and the bilingual city tour”

Ride with Me: California Desert Towns

The Desert Life for Me “You’re going where?” friends ask me when they find out where I’m headed. “Mojave,” I reply.  “Like the Mojave Desert?” “The town of Mojave,” I clarify. “It’s not too far from the desert though.” Some people respond with “Oh–cool;” others with, “Oh– why?” My answer: I’m headed to this townContinue reading “Ride with Me: California Desert Towns”

Short Story: The Life-Changing Magic of Crawling Home on the Freeway

“I thought, is this really what I want my life to be? Where I’m racing through it, instead of living it? What a life of speed, busyness, distraction, multitasking, stimulation, impatience does is wall you off from who you are. You become your to-do list. You become a ‘human doing’ instead of a human being.”Continue reading “Short Story: The Life-Changing Magic of Crawling Home on the Freeway”