Got up early for some relatively weird amount of "early", like 9 am West Coast time, and then Carl did a few errands and I had my first Gamma sketched in the time it took Carl to get his mail, about ten minutes. I felt good about that. Then we drove for Santa Cruz and I did my guest duties of entertaining the driver for the drive.
In Santa Cruz we went to a central parking lot and walked to the comic book store where Carl got his and Gretchen's stack o' comics, and I bought a package of standard manga paper. I have some stuff framed in my head, already, for some doujinshi for some stories. And it'll be fun to see what I can do with the standard paper and the standard reductions from those sizes.
Then we hit Trader Joe's where I found a bunch of things that I had to buy and I'll probably pack in the morning. Then we went to Mobo Sushi, where I happily had a Sunrise (flying fish roe with quail egg on top and wrapped in tuna... 2002 eggs and some tuna... yum), half a Landshark (unagi and lots of stuff with mac nuts), and a good, solid order of saba negi (pickled mackerel and green onions) which was just beautifully made. I love saba when I can get it when it's good and fresh and that exact range of sour and rich that is so characteristic of just that fish. We then ordered a big order to take to Brad and Gretchen. And we did!
They ate. We talked. I shared sketches. Then Gretchen and Carl took me to the tea shop that was closed (*sob*), but then we went out to the ocean.
I miss the ocean. Deeply, bitterly, thoroughly. I walked barefoot across a pebbled path over to the sand-filled steps and then down to the sea. The water was probably 50 degrees or so, and I danced in the ripples while Gretchen wrapped herself up in a shawl. All the locals were bundled up, the surfers were all in their wet suits. I was in shorts and a light shirt and I was warm in the sun and it was 60!! I have acclimated to Colorado, I suspect, and 60's felt like a blessing of warmth to me. We walked along the rocks towards an archway worn by the water in the cliffs. We got to hairy boulders and stopped. It was good enough for me. I walked through the water and then back up the cliff and along the pebbled blacktop and we got back to the car. I cleaned off my feet and put on my boots and we then drove to Donnelly's Chocolates.
I bought a lot of good stuff, and they added a frozen water bottle as the cold pack for my goodies. I'll have to pack that in my checked luggage, as I can't bring a bottle of water as carry on onto the plane. It's going to make it... interesting. Anyway... it should be good enough.
We headed back to the house and I drowsed quietly in the sunlit front room of their old Victorian house, and we talked about D&D, gaming, manga, anime, travel to Mexico, Korean and Chinese adventure movies and dramas and it was very, very good. It's been a while since I've seen them and it was great to catch up again. Carl says that he does more socializing in a week with me than he usually does in months. *laughter* I guess if he dangles a Liralen before them, we get to go see everyone.
From there we headed into Oakland, and I got a decaf coffee at Starbucks and we sat and I drew another three Gamma's quite happily as we waited for the coffee and for other stuff. Then we hit End Game and I bought some "yellow" dice that were far more like tigers eye dice. Carl then gave me a bunch more blue and red dice, and some advise on how to *use* the dice we have for the mecha that Jet and I built from Lego. *laughter* There's actually a game where you build little Lego mecha and have them fight it out in short, medium, and long range, and they get dice for their weapons, defenses, communication ability, and mobility. So we'll have little Lego war games across the library when we get back.
From there we went to Le Cheval, a really excellent Vietnamese food restaurant, where we met up with erikred! It was a very good meal and we go to talk a lot about gaming, food, travel, and other things. It was really cool to just sit down and talk for a while as I don't think we'd seen each other since the early 90's. We'd met back in the Chatsubo days, and it's been a very long time since then.
From there we went right back to Carl's place, as I am still pretty tired, and he had some amazing Ghibli Animation to show me. It just astonishes me what they can do with such minimalist lines, sometimes. Wow.
I also read all of Livewires: Clockwork Thugs, Yo!, which takes five nanotech teenaged mecha and wrecks extreme havoc with them in a way that is just far more to my technical liking than anything that's come out in years and years and years. I am really inspired... but it's a very, very far cry from Twin Souls. I have to do something high tech soon or that part of my mental compost pile is just going to explode.
So I still need to pack, figure out what it is that I can haul back with me and what I'll just have to let Carl ship me, and I'm coming home tomorrow pretty ragged on sleep and rest, and stuffed full of ideas. It's going to make for an interesting life for a while, I suspect.