As seen in San Diego

Why aren't all signs this cute?

Trophy Fern

Welcome back to the FF/DH San Diego Postings!

Despite many a mailed-out resume, I still do not have a job. -Other than packing Ian's lunch, of course. Although my days are typically filled with job hunting and lunch packing, my routine recently got mixed up a bit by MK, one of my fabulous homegirls from the cabaret days (plug for RubyRico's latest production - http://www.rubyrico.com/ ) who got me down to Balboa Park for some exploring and sight seeing.

We went to the botanical gardens, which, magically, were full of tropical plants! Tropical plants, the likes of which I have recently seen IN THE TROPICS! (see previous FF/DH postings)

The botanical garden was lush and wonderful, and on the walls they had some ferns mounted on boards. Live ferns, mounted on boards like a hunting trophies, sans glass eyes. If I ever live in a chateau with a huge mantel, I am going to hang up one of these ferns in the place of a 12 point buck.

The gardens also had a lovely "touch and smell" section. The most striking plant was the "Mrs. Taylor Geranium". Does this geranium smell just like Mrs. Taylor??

I refused to touch or smell this plant. I have never met Mrs. Taylor, and touching or smelling just didn't seem appropriate.

Outside the garden, MK and I found a nice bench, as shown in the photo. Notice how well MK demonstrates proper bench usage, and highlights the lovely ornamental work of the bench.

The really outstanding part of this bench was its plaque on a nearby wall. It isn't just a bench, it is a Courtyard Furnishing, donated by the Thursday Club. I thought, "What the hell is the Thursday Club, and why are they named after a day of the week? Are they handing out benches? Can I get one?"

Turns out, the Thursday Club is still alive and going strong, and we just missed their rummage sale.
Bummer. At least I still get to sit on the bench.


Joan Jett + Drag Queen = Glamorous

Since I can't be bothered to make decisions about my hair, I, as a rule, tell whomever is cutting my hair to do whatever they want. I typically end up with a totally stylish, somewhat edgy, multi-colored 'do. (Maybe it is because Havalah Winslow is the best stylist known to humankind. She is in Austin, TX - let me know if you want her number. She is a miracle worker.)

I am now in SoCal. I found a gal to cut my hair, told her to do whatever she wanted, and I now have a Joan Jett kind of a cut. -which is fine.

The new hair gal (who is no Havi, that's for damn sure) is updating her portfolio, and asked if I would come in for a photo shoot. Even though my schedule is packed to the gills with surfing and making lunch for my husband, I thought I could squeeze in some time for a picture. They also said they would have snacks, and I'm a sucker for a cheese ball and crackers.

After 45 min in the make-up and primping chair, I had on more make-up than all the cast members of Days of Our Lives combined, and totally looked like a drag queen with Joan Jett hair. The photographer told me, in a very serious tone, to "look into the camera like you know a secret". The only thing that achieved was me snickering and smiling to the point that my many coats of primer, foundation, bondo, and powder collected in cruddy conglomerations in the smile lines at the sides of my mouth.

Once home, the cleaning process proved to take almost as long as the application. We decided to just throw that washcloth out. There's no saving it from the pounds of Smashbox embedded in its formerly snowy white Egyptian cotton.

But, you know what? I do know a secret. I'm never wearing that much make-up again. Ever.

New Standards for Topiaries


[toh-pee-er-ee] adjective, noun, plural -ar⋅ies. Horticulture
1. (of a plant) clipped or trimmed into fantastic shapes.
2. of or pertaining to such trimming.
3. topiary work; the topiary art.
4. a garden containing such work.

1585–95; < class="ital-inline">topiārius pertaining to landscape-gardening or to ornamental gardens, equiv. to topi(a) (pl.) artificial landscape (< class="ital-inline">tópia (sing. topion), dim. of tópos place) + -ārius -ary


1. the domination of one's thoughts or feelings by a persistent idea, image, desire, etc.
2. the idea, image, desire, feeling, etc., itself.
3. the state of being obsessed.
4. the act of obsessing.

1505–15; < class="ital-inline">obsessiōn- (s. of obsessiō) blockade, siege, equiv. to obsess(us) (see obsess ) + -iōn- -ion

A picture is worth 1,000 words. There is nothing I can say that will do the front yard of this private San Diego residence justice.

Come visit. I'll take you to see it live, in person.


Where is that cord???

You know, that one cord? The gray one? The one that connects that one thing to the other gizmo? Not that cord, that one is for that other thing. I need the gray one! The one that connects the camera to the computer!! Yah! THAT one! Have you seen it?

FF/DH posts have been on a bit of a hiatus, because I have misplaced that one cord. Have you seen it?

So, here is a boring, non-picture, just news, no good stories with pictures, plain old update. Once we find the gray cord, I will update WITH pictures.

Update 1) I am still looking for a job. I know I will find something that is a perfect fit; I just don't know what it is yet.

Update 2) We got a surfboard, and I am surfing everyday, when I am not looking for a job. Maybe I should say I am looking for a job when the surf is not pumping. The break is closer to our house here than the break in Panama was to our apartment there. Ha!

Update 3) My Panama beauty regimen of saltwater and direct, harsh sun gave split ends to my split ends. It all had to be cut off. I now have a haircut that makes me look like a little boy from the neck up. The rest of my figure indicates the contrary, so there is no real danger of confusion.

Update 4) We found out the one (yes, ONE, as in one and ONLY) Physical Therapy program in San Diego is ridiculously expensive. It is $11,550 per trimester. For that price, they should do all our housework, cater all our meals, do my schoolwork for me, and guarantee me at least a 6 figure salary within moments of graduation.

Since none of those things are part of their program, we are looking at plans B and C. Plan B is that I take all my pre-reqs here in San D, and then go to school in Long Beach. Plan C is that I take all my re-reqs here, and we look at moving somewhere else for me to do PT school after Ian finishes his Post-Doc. Either way, I am starting my pre-reqs.

Update 5) I am still volunteering at a PT clinic and it is fabulous!! They are knowledgeable, and compassionate, and really help people feel better.

I do the PT's bidding, including getting them towels or looking up client files or keeping the clients company while they go through their excercises. I love being there, and am the luckiest lackey of all time. I want to bake them all cookies every week, but that is not very professional. I instead just try to anticipate their needs and stay out of the way while I absorb every single thing they are doing, and not yell, "THAT IS SO COOL! DID YOU SEE HER HIP JUST GO BACK INTO ALIGNMENT?? THAT IS SO COOL!".

Update 6) There is a fabulous Iyengar Center in our 'hood. Hell yah. Nuff said.

Update 7) The Ross Dress for Less carries Channel sandals. Even the Ross is fancy here.

Update 8) I will soon find the camera cord, and post pictures of the cool adventures we have been up to here.


I Stand Corrected

In a previous post, I commented on how the plural of "Y'all" is "All Y'all".

A true Texan and native speaker, JW, has corrected me.

Singular: Y'all
Plural: All Y'alls

Singular: Y'all can kiss my ass.
plural: All of Y'alls can kiss my asses.

Please update your files accordingly.

I can totally do that.

Our San Diego/La Jolla/Encinitas Days are taking form. I have found that I need to go inland for all basic needs (cleaning supplies, groceries, Elmer's glue, potting soil, shoelaces, etc.), have found the post office AND the public library, and can now reliably find my way home with zero wrong turns.

Ian is Salking each weekday, and is really stepping up his work to match this higher tier of sciencing.

I am starting my next phase of awesomeness, as well. It is called "Jessica Becomes a PT". To set the stage for this accomplishment that will culminate up as Ian finishes up his Post-Doc, I have some pre-reqs to take care of, I need to take the GRE again, I need to actually get into the school I want to get into, and I need to volunteer at a PT clinic.

Since I don't have a job yet, I have started volunteering and observing at 2 different PT clinics. I have been watching folks with different injuries and conditions go through their rehab excercises, and one thought keeps coming to the front and center of my my mind:

Dude. I can totally do that.

I am impressed with lots of the gadgetry and whizbangery of the PT clinic. I am impressed with the PT's grasp of how bodies work, and am also super impressed with the confidence and expertise these PTs radiate.

I am shocked and a little dismayed at the total lack of integration and alignment of the client's bodies. To be more precise, I am shocked and dismayed that the clients are not being taught to align and integrate their bodies. Why are they not being taught how to stand evenly, before working on how to walk evenly? Why are they not plugging in their shoulders? Why do they have locked knees and "forward-head" and "rib-pokey-out-y" syndromes? To that, I say, DUDE. . .I can totally teach you, nice client, to fix that.

So, I am feeling much more confident that I can jump through the hoops of several years of school, and come out on the other side a competent and effective helper of folks with physical imbalances, teacher of uneducated and unintegrated appendages, and kick-ass Yogi PT.

How do you like them apples?


Amazing Roller Coaster

San Diego is home to one of the only original seaside boardwalk wooden roller coasters on the West Coast, the Giant Dipper (another classic wooden coaster is the other Giant Dipper in Santa Cruz, upon which I have a personal record of 8 rides in a row).

The picture of us together was taken before the ride. Gotta love the bad hat-head I am sportin'.

The picture of me is from right after the ride.

For the same price as a fancy cup of Starbucks, we got an adrenalin rush, increased heart-rate, a vibrant and fully alive feeling, and a great view of the boardwalk from the top of the ride directly before we went screeching down the first terrifying drop. The coffee shop doesn't have a view like that.

Are you OK? Are you OK? HELP! IT'S CPR Saturday!

Welcome back to FF/DH - the San Diego Chapters! Ian and I are feeling quite civically responsible this week.

San Diego is not only gorgeous, but progressive. Given the history of wildfires, earthquakes, and other disasters of varying styles and flavors, San Diego Red Cross is on a mission to make San Diego the most prepared community in the US. Go, Red Cross.

On Saturday morning, at 8am, we showed up at the Convention Center in downtown SD for CPR SATURDAY! It is a totally huge CPR class, given by the Red Cross, for FREE. Yes, boys and girls, this basic CPR class is free, free, free to area residents.

We were shocked and thrilled with the turnout. Look at all these folks who are giving up their Saturday morning to go to 3 hour CPR class! We watched a video, took a written test, and practiced in small groups with our Red Cross CPR Trainers. Our small practice group was full of 8 folks from a Harley club, in addition to me and Ian. Our lack of leather, denim, and gray hair really made us stand out from our other group members. Ian commented that it is good that they are learning CPR, as they will probably need it after one of those old guys has a heart attack and lays down their bike. Always the optimist, that guy.

Ian and I now know how to assist someone who is choking, someone who is not breathing, and someone who needs CPR. We have the card to prove it.

And what did YOU do with your weekend??

If you want to learn more about CPR Saturday, check this link .

If you want to make a contribution to the Red Cross, check out this link .


They don't go muddin' in La Jolla

Just a little update from Team Montgomery-Quigley. . .We have settled into our temporary new digs in Encinitas!

We now live in a little rental cottage/converted garage apartment behind the house of one of Ian's colleagues. It is a lovely place to land, and their sweet little kitty has followed a sunbeam through an open door into our house once or twice. What a lovely surprise to have a purring fluff ball on the couch of our new house! Particularly a fluff ball who has a cat box that is not my responsibility!

Our next door neighbor has banty hens. We are really looking forward to meeting him.

Our house is 2 blocks from the beach, and 2 blocks in the other direction from a cute neighborhood coffee shop. There are about 5 acupuncture clinics, 6 hair salons, 3 "hot" yoga studios, 1 record shop, 7 overpriced sushi restaurants, 1 raw food restaurant, 1 vegan bakery, 5 surf shops, and 2 fancy-pants garden centers, all within walking distance of our cottage. This is so Southern California.

The free weekly paper is choc full o' ads and coupons for plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures, and the streets are choc full o' people who used those coupons and now have the perkiest, strangest, bolt-on-cantaloupe-looking breasts imaginable. I have never seen so many deeply tan women twice my age, with such gravity defying figures, in such strappy clothes.

Lots of folks here also look really excited or surprised, but don't think they are actually excited or even interested; I think it is just their face-lifts.

All the main roads have bike lanes, and drivers are very courteous to cyclists and pedestrians and folks with strollers.

No stores in our immediate vicinity carry cleaning supplies, unless you count the $8/bottle eco-vegan-friendly lavender essential oil infused Himalayan salt crystal deodorizing spray. I don't think people in this neighborhood buy their own cleaning supplies. I think their maids from Escondido buy their cleaning supplies for them.

This weekend we climbed at an area about 1/2 hour from our house and it was FANTASTIC!! There is bouldering around here that we checked out, too, and met some cool local climbers who were very welcoming and cool. Yay!

On Sunday, we rode bikes for an hour down 101 and got passed by huge herds of road cyclists on super fast road bikes. What fun! We will have lots to do in our spare time here.

Below is a video tour of our little cottage, complete with Ian working on unloading while I busied myself with the important work of documenting the moment. Our cottage is fantastic, and has only one closet. See picture. A trip to Ikea is in my future.

Email me if you want our address.

Climbing Red Rock, No Discount at Restaurant

After hiking in Kolob Canyon, Ian and I went to Red Rocks to climb for a few days and get that windswept, blustery, carefree, squinty-in-the-desert-sun look. Simply stated, the desert was a stark contrast to the jungle. The climate there was so extremely dry I used chapstick for the first time in months. My fingers dried out and cracked (not pretty). The wind was so strong it threatened to blow us off our holds on the climbs, which made leading all the more exhilarating. The wind added an element of difficulty to climbs that was not described in the guide book.

We climbed, we got sand-blasted. With sand in our ears and hair and eyes and socks and belly-buttons, we lamented the less than optimal wind situation. We wondered if we should stick it out because the climbing there is so astounding, or be big wusses and call it for the day. Suddenly, a sweet and mighty revelation hit- we now live about 5 hours from Red Rocks (if Ian lets me drive, it might only be 3 hours away!)!! We have family in Henderson, which is a mere 25 minutes from the amazing, scenic, challenging, and fulfilling climbing at Red Rocks! That is an easy weekend trip! This was not our only chance to drink in the sandy, stark awesomeness of Red Rocks!

We hit it and quit. We'll go back when it isn't so windy.

After packing it up and saying goodbye to Deanna and Christine and Jayden (thanks for the hospitality, the hot shower, and the many many smiles and laughs!!), we hit the road for San Diego.

On our journey, we stopped for dinner at Quigley's restaurant. The food was of a sub-Denny's quality, and Ian didn't even get a discount. I felt a little cheated.

Listening to classic rock on the radio all through the Mojave desert helped. Cuz, you know, I'm just a small town girl, living in a lonely world. I took a midnight train going anywhere. Just a city boy born and raised in South Detroit, he took the midnight train going anywhere. I didn't stop believing.