Where to begin? The ostensible reason for my recent trip was a symposium on veterinary hospice care, the reason being that I have to do quite a lot of end-of-life counseling and thought I might get some useful information out of it (which I did). The main reason, though, is that over the past almost 14 years since my last visit to Northern California, I have accumulated quite a number of friends - both real and virtual - in that little corner of the world, and it was high time to see some of them.
And I did see as many people as I possibly could. I stayed with my friends Karl & Michael, both of whom are on faculty at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. Karl and I have known each other since 1991, when we were both still in school. I also got to spend time with my friend and classmate Denae, whom I've known now for nearly 18 years; my friends Walt & Rusty, whom I hadn't seen since we all lived in North Carolina (I moved away in 2002 to live in domestic bliss with S, and we all know how that turned out); and my friend Bayliss, whom I hadn't seen in nearly 11 years when I moved from Maine to North Carolina.
In addition to these dear people, I was happy to be able to move some of my online friendships into the realm of real life. Blog reader and colleague JJ tracked me down and gifted me some absolutely lovely hand-dyed sock yarn from Hand Jive Knits in colorway "dusky plum". Clearly, this deserves a special pattern:
It was, however, far too short a meeting, so I'm hoping she gets a position she's looking at near here (and then she can be Tuck's dentist, too).
And as Stephen has already written, I surprised him at work and got to meet Janie Sparkles (and every other dog at Clif Bar). It will come as no surprise that I heart Janie. It may also come as no surprise that Stephen has shown Tuck's photo to every one of his coworkers.
After I skipped away for a tour of the Scharffen Berger chocolate factory (which I also heart), Michael came over and we trekked across the Bay Bridge to Stephen's place, went out and had a delicious dinner, followed by coffee and cupcakes...
...then arrived fashionably late for knit night at the Three Dollar Bill Cafe, where I got to meet Bill, whom I had known for a while from the Men Who Knit community. I had started kilt hose on this trip (in wonderfully soft worsted weight, undyed cormo from Elsa Wool Company - pictures yet to come) to be able to have something relatively simple to work on during the symposium and he had a couple pairs in process, so we had a nice, though again too brief, chat about techniques and yarn choices.
After that, it was a quick visit back to Stephen's apartment, where I was interviewed for the next Y Knit podcast. I'm pretty sure I blushed ten shades of red when they referred to me as "famous", but I've been interviewed a few times in the past and think I managed mostly not to sound like a total ass. Or at least I'm hoping they edit the hell out of it to get that result. Either way, I'm not sure I can bear to listen to it.
There was, of course, more than I have time to share properly - like the visit to Lacis, or the very nice woman (and brand new fellow Raveler whose screen name I neglected to ask) and her daughter who were my neighbors on the Minneapolis to Detroit flight - but it's very clear that David & I are going to have to go back just for vacation sometime, simply so there will be time to do some proper socializing.