We now have our tickets for Malaysia!
We are flying United (oh well), leaving from Santa Barbara on Monday October 30 at 8:20 am. We go through San Francisco (70 minutes) to Tokyo’s Narita Airport (12 hours) where we switch planes for the final leg to Singapore (7.5 hours). We arrive at 11:59 pm on Tuesday, October 31 after crossing the International Date Line. We may spend a day or two in Singapore before we take a local flight to the island of Borneo and into Malaysia proper.
The map shows the route, although the leg between San Francisco and Japan will probably take us further north, closer to the pole. The polar route is actually a faster route, and in the past, with shorter haul airplanes, we would stop in Alaska on our way to Japan. Not stopping is a lot better.
Our return flight from Singapore starts at 7:30 am, Tuesday November 21. We take the same route back, going to Tokyo, then San Francisco, and finally arriving in Santa Barbara at 12:41 pm on the same Tuesday. Again, we pass over the International Date Line so the trip takes quite a bit longer than 5 hours.
We get back in plenty of time to host our Thanksgiving Dinner! Make plans to attend.
So, the trip is now real. We’ve bought our tickets (and Harriet got a real deal on them). Hey, four weeks of lead time is really good for us!
Saturday, Harriet and I got a chance to stop by the Santa Barbara Book & Author Festival. We’ve gone to this for several years now, and it just gets better and better. Eric Kelly from the Book Den is heavily involved, and this year it was across the street from his store, in the courtyard of the Santa Babara Public Library Main Branch.
The festival is a place for local authors, publishers, and associated service organizations to meet the public and each other. There are a lot of booths, and you can talk directly with Santa Babara’s literati. We have quite a few local publishers and I enjoy seeing what’s being produced by these small presses.
Two booths were particularly memorable. One was run by John Roshell, who is a principal at Active Images, which is the publishing arm of Comicraft, a lettering and design studio. They make COMICS! I had no idea they were in town, although their mailing address is in LA. They produce the Elephantmen graphic novels. I was recently introduced to them at the San Diego ComicCon this year, and they are woderful. Both the artwork and the stories are great, and it was pretty cool to know that there is a local connection.
The other fun thing I learned is that this publisher is married to Starshine Roshell. Harriet and I have become big fans and she’s one our favorite, local journalist/editorialists. She writes beautifully and just make us both laugh. Unfortunately, she’s lost her local editorial column as a side effect of a huge fiasco happening with our local newspaper, the News Press (not affectionately known as the News Suppress). That miserable fiasco is fodder for another post.
The other booth that impressed me was for McSweeney’s. They’re a small publisher out of San Francisco, and they produce the most amazing books and magazines. This is a publishing house where the book production is as much the art as the content of the books. Really wonderful graphics and packaging of some really quirky and delightfully written bits of fiction and non-fiction. They have a magazine for short fiction and art (McSweeney’s), a magazine for non-fiction (The Believer), and a Video Periodical (Wholphin) that delivers a DVD quarterly with short films. We bought a sample of each as well as a wonderful book called Your Disgusting Head, which is sort of a spoof on illustrated science books. We were assured that there are no true facts in that book.
These are really beautiful pieces that you need to see when you are next here, visiting.
Friday night, Harriet and I ate at the Itsuki Restaurant on Calle Real, between Highways 101 and 154.
4020 Calle Real # 3
Santa Barbara, CA 93110
It’s a really good Japanese restaurant that’s pretty small and informal. They have a wide variety of sushi and combo plates, but my preference there is the Oyaku Donburi bowl. This has egg, chicken, and a variety of vegetables on a bowl of rice. Way outside my low-carb target, but still plenty tasty and nutritious.
Harriet got a teriyaki salmon combo plate, which she said was pretty good but did not have enough salmon.
I’ve been involved with the Santa Barbara Rape Crisis Center since 1985, serving on the Board of Directors, President of the Board, volunteer at fundraising events, computer nerd, and donor. Over those years, the agency has been at several locations, but for most of my active years it was at 111 North Milpas Street. It’s a lovely house, but it’s also old with rats and plumbing problems, and the landlords were a pain-in-the-ass to deal with. I know that it was becoming more and more uncomfortable over the years, and quite a bit of board time was spent trying to find a new, better location.
Thursday evening they had an open house at their new location. It’s a big space, consisting of the lower floor of a two story building on Canon Perdido Street. It looks great inside. They really spent a lot of time brightening up the interior. It doesn’t have a lot of windows or views outside, but they have the interior set up with lots of lights and light colors. And the two rooms with windows are the reception area and the training space, so your typically entry into the center is very welcoming and uplifting. Unfortunately, I don’t have a picture of it, yet. I may add one, later.
A lot of people attended the opening, including the local gaggle of politicos. The agency is doing quite well, and it serves as a testiment to the hard work and smart decisions made by the board, staff, and volunteers. Great job!
My middle niece, Kimber, celebrated her 14th birthday on Wednesday. I sometimes refer to Kimber as my stealth niece, because the first impression you get is “cute and quiet”.
Wrong! She’s both gorgeous and really funny. The first time she came down to visit us on her own, I was surprised at how hard I laughed. When she happened to be visiting while I had an improv show, she took money at the door, but she did it wearing a wig and playing a character so well that you couldn’t tell how old she was. I was in stitches.
Last year, her school had a civil war era re-enactment event called the Blue and Grey Ball. She, her mother (my sister), and grandmother (my mother) made the dress in this picture. When the picture popped up on my screen in the email they sent, my jaw dropped to the floor. And now, even though it’s over a year old, this is my favorite picture of her. She still had braces on at the time, so it may not be hers.
I bet she played the part of the southern belle perfectly. That would have been something to see.
I should also point out that she’s no slouch, either. She’s an active soccer player, and has recently been getting more and more involved with swimming. Frankly, I don’t even remember which athletic teams she’s involved with.
Yup, she’s a talented, brainy stud.
The final picture I’ll post here is from Kimber’s most recent trip to Santa Barbara. We arranged the timing so she could be here for the Solstice Parade, which was its usual wacky goodness. And, she baked cookies: chocolate chip cookies. Oh man, how perfect is that.