When we got to the Embarcadero in the cold rain, late and without a camera, I declared last night’s Chinese New Year’s Treasure Hunt “better in theory.” But it was really fun.We started at Embarcadero, got our clue sheets and our map.The course boundaries were the financial district, NorthBeach, and Chinatown.It took the four of us (with two internet-connected cell phones) about an hour to decipher the clues and mark the points on the map…then the hunt really began.We weren’t really racing, but walked toward the first clues and generally found where we were going by following the hordes of other dorky people walking in the rain with Ziploc-covered maps and flashlights.Hey, at least we weren’t like the brain trust group in rat-decorated hazmat suits and k’nex headgear.

After finding the 10th of 17 clues (a “bienvenidos” sign on a doorway in an alley in NorthBeach), we decided “That’s good enough.”Besides, we were in the culinary center of San Francisco, and hungry.We wandered around a bit, until seduced into the Trattoria Volare Caffe with free bruschetta and the promise of homemade pastas.Yummy.

Eventually, we declared our annual mission: We will play, we will get all the clues, we will enjoy the process (no running!), we won’t worry about turning in the results, and we will wind up eating dinner in North Beach.

So, it was better than expected.And next year it will be even better yet, since we are going to have the following: clear skies, warmer temperatures, a team name, and a digital camera.

A better blogger always has a camera.

Bye-bye 30s

Last month, the sun set on my 30s. But as it did, I was watching the sunset in Hawaii, with a delicious mai tai in my hand and a great guy at my side. It really doesn’t get better than that.

While in Hawaii, Derek & I hiked: to a beach, to the green sands of South Point (but we arrived in the dark, so who’s to say if the sand was really green?), into a lava tube, and onto the crater floor of Kilauea Iki. We snorkeled near the Captain Cook Monument in Kealakekua Bay, which was, as one of our fellow snorkelers decreed, “like swimming in an aquarium.”I felt like a little kid, and my mask kept leaking because I couldn’t stop smiling.I could hear all my friends back home calling me “Water Baby,” which just made me laugh to myself, and break the seal on the mask yet again.

If you get the chance, go to the BigIsland. It rocks!

Sunset before birthday

OK, I’m starting this blog that I’ve been threatening.

The questions I’ve been asked are “Why?” and “What are you going to write about?” The answers are “Why not?” and “Everything,” respectively. More specifically, this blog is my defense against all those well-intentioned friends and relatives who keep asking, “Why aren’t you writing?” It’s also me encouraging myself to write by making it public. It’s a journal, of sorts, and a way for people to know what’s going on with me. This will save my friends from the “intimate spam” of mass emails.

Sometimes, I’ll write about what’s going on in my life, or something I’ve seen or heard. Hopes, dreams, that sort of thing. Essays, writing samples, lists, poems, stories, song lyrics. I’ve just started writing a novel; I won’t be posting chapters here, but I may give updates on its hero, Eugene.

There may be some talk of knitting or weight loss efforts, but god forbid I should write exclusively about those topics.

I’m not going to promise to write every day. I know myself better than that. But I do promise to not let it die a premature death from neglect.

Finally, I would love to hear from you, so please post your comments or questions.