Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The one that got away

Yesterday we looked at an amazing apartment. It was in a gorgeous old Victorian building, with the following perfect details:
  • in between the Lower Haight and Duboce Park
  • across from a mini park with frolicking Australian Shepherds
  • on the top floor with a view of downtown
  • two bedrooms
  • kitchen with a pass-through and space for a dining table
  • living room with a turret, a built-in circular windowseat, and a mini covered balcony that would have meant we could keep the floor-to-ceiling windows open almost all the time
  • huge sunny back deck
  • gorgeous stained glass details all over the place
  • all for $1500 a month
BUT: no cats. We pretty much begged. What if our cat is fat and well behaved? What if we have landlord references for her? Don't you think that you're being unnecessarily discriminatory? Do you realize that we want this apartment very very badly? Aren't you charmed and/or intimidated by our fervor?

But they weren't. Heartbreaking. At least we know these kinds of places are out there...

Monday, June 29, 2009

Gaygaygay Yay

SF Pride was great! We slept in but the parade was ridiculously long, so we got to walk its length and see all the festivities. The best: the gay cops! I teared up a little bit, I really did. The other best part: it wasn't nearly as bawdy as the Folsom Street Fair - lots of naked old men (of course), but very few public sex acts. So that was a win.

And the Googlers/Gayglers turned out in force. The caption on a photo from SFist: "Favorite shot of the day: Google contingent. They're sexy AND smart." I don't know about the latter, but I really was proud. We got tshirts with the Maps icon (the place marker) that said "We are here." Again, I got a little teary.

Observe (not my photo):

And I'll upload my photos later. The only downside to the day: I wore Google temporary tattoos on each arm, and got sunburned. Now that I have removed the tattoos, I have Google-shaped pale patches. How unfortunate is that?

Friday, June 26, 2009

Apartment hunting

Mike and I are looking for a new apartment - not because we don't love our current place (which is a really good deal), but because we want a little more space, and a garden or deck, and a new neighborhood to explore. Today I looked at a place on Sanchez Street by Duboce Park, and MY GOD the block was gorgeous. Tree-y but sunny, with a sidewalk cafe at the end of the block that reminded me of Berlin. And flat! So flat! You could ride downtown with nary a hill!

Unfortunately the apartment was a Romeo flat, which I thought was a cute and vague description of the kind of building - Edwardian, Victorian, Romeo, etc. But no - it means you have to pass right through all the rooms to get to the kitchen in the back, which is awkward and not at all romantic. Nor is it a step up from our current place. So, bummer. But I have two mighty weapons at my disposal in this hunt: perseverance, and a month-to-month lease. Oh, and a third: a job that lets me be on the internets all day and therefore obsessively check Craiglist.

Landlords, show thyselves and thy abodes. We shall win thee over with our solid credit scores and gainful employment. Huzzah!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Hey guys

Did you know that it is more fun to run outside than it is to run inside on a treadmill? Which is not very hard, because running inside on a treadmill is no fun at all. But it is what I have been doing since college, albeit intermittently. Today, however, I explored the marshy reaches of Shoreline Park near work. And by "reaches" I mean three miles.

I have been intimidated by running outside, mostly because I don't know where to go. Like, around San Francisco? In my neighborhood? To the park? But I have to run down city streets to get there, and that seems weird and embarassing. And stoplight-full.

What I discovered tonight is that not knowing where you are going is the best part of running outside, because it gives you a chance to slow down when you are confused, and even to stop at intersections. I turned these stops into "stretch breaks", and it was great! I got to smell the smelly Shoreline marsh, and see a pelican, and almost step on a very lazy snake. But don't worry, I didn't squish it, and I even took a "stretch break" to stand by it and point it out to some oncoming bicyclists, so that they wouldn't squish it either.

Moral of story: running doesn't totally suck. That doesn't mean I want to have like a million of its babies, either (to quote from some mid-90s movie that I can't remember right now).

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I speak the truth

Hell yeah, I commented on Mark Bittman's blog. Comment #40! And totally inarticulate, even.

I do really really love 101 Cookbooks. And I think I've figured out where the blogger lady lives, just from reading the posts and recipes. On Pierce, in the Lower Haight or Duboce Triangle, methinks. What, is that creepy?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


So, my brother graduated last week. So, this is making me feel old so I want to quit my job and travel the world because I am not ready to settle down yet and I want to explore and there is so much I haven't seen!!! Etc. But I'm not going to quit my job, because it is awesome, and I am going to explore using the vacation days that I have been hoarding.

Back to my brother's graduation. He won all kinds of awards for his art, which is consistently bizarre. Here is one piece, which actually sold while we were visiting.

It is called The Beast. And here is the artist with another one of his pieces, which is called "A little help, please?"

In my head, it is called "And maybe some Lunchables?" Because Teen Girl Squad is always relevant.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Swedenborgian wedding

The tidal wave of weddings has begun! Yesterday Mike's coworker got married in a beautiful Swedenborgian Church that had both stained glass and giant seashells on display - a little bit Christian, a little bit Pagan. The best part: a brochure on Swedenborgianism (?) that asked the burning question - Was Emanuel Swedenborg the most intelligent man who ever lived? I gather that we were supposed to respond in the affirmative.

All the wedding guests then climbed into a trolley for a bizarro San Francisco tour of the Western Addition, the Castro, the Mission, and Pac Heights. Tourist sites? Not so much. The crazy bell-clanging driver deposited us in the Marina, where we got on a boat for a sunset dinner cruise. It was capital-G Gorgeous. Mike has better photos than I do (for once), but here we are, windblown, with the Golden Gate Bridge behind us.

We saw pelicans! And seals! And mother-fing porpoises! It was an awesome way to spend a Sunday, especially since I otherwise would have been home in bed, whimpering about my whiskey-induced hangover. Seriously, whiskey: never again.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Last night, on the streets of Philly...

I got called a MILF.

By a bunch of dudes in a beat-up Jetta. A Jetta, for crissakes. I realize I was wearing my professional lady clothes, but STILL.

And then the publisher I was with told me to just focus on the last three letters, and it would all be ok. Nope.

I would now like to state for the record that I am not pregnant, nor having I ever been. Nor do I plan to be anytime soon. And if you would L to F me, you will most certainly never have a chance in hell by insinuating that I am an M.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Last week I volunteered at the Oakland Zoo, and got assigned to help out with the giant tortoises. Please forgive the fact that I am featured in both of these photos - it is useful for scale, though I know the world does not need to see what I look like in Carhartts.

This lady is an Aldabra Giant Tortoise, from the Seychelles. There were three in the enclosure, and since they all look pretty much alike, I do not know this particular one's name. So I am going to call her Bertha. Bertha pretty much just sat there while I worked in her area, though she did retract her neck a little when I raked close to her. Sorry, Bertha.

The dude below, however, was a pretty sprightly guy - perhaps because he weighs a few hundred pounds less than Bertha. His name is Pokey, and he was donated to the zoo by a couple who had kept him for 48 years. He had a dog door so he could come and go into their house as he pleased, and he would hibernate under their bed during the winter. The zookeeper (who was about 60, and had purple hair and a nose ring and a big tattoo of an elephant on her calf) called him her boyfriend. He climbed into her lap and chilled there for a while.

He didn't climb into my lap, but I tried not to take it personally. While it would have been cool to shovel elephant poop or whatever other volunteers do, I did enjoy the tortoise bonding time.

Ball pit

At the NYC office. How did I not know this was there until last week?

Photo credit: Mike. Co-ball-pit-model: Elise.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Comings and goings

Laura had a going away party, and it is sad that she is leaving San Francisco. But it is really great that we were able to use a school photo of her to make a creepy Laura mask at Toronado. 

Lianna visited! And I made her go to Fly Bar, of course.

Also, I saw the proofs of her book, and it is fantastic. You should all buy it when it comes out in the fall. Don't worry, I will sound the call at the appropriate time. Or inappropriate time, given the nature of the book.


I'm staying here on Thursday! Oh yes I am! And I am going to walk on that Highline thing, even if there are supposed to be thunderstorms pretty much the whole week I'm on the east coast.

Monday, June 8, 2009

I love the aquarium

I really really do. Because you get to ogle animals, without the guilt that accompanies seeing a large mammal in a small cage. Because fishes aren't people. This weekend we went to the Monterey aquarium, and we saw sea otters and regular type otters and mating seahorses and pregnant male seahorses and octopi.

And these things.

And jellyfish, which I always forget are totally awesome.

Other things I love:
  • dinner with Lianna at Alembic
  • Catchphrase at Candybar
  • brunch with Hilary! who lives in SF for the summer!
  • seeing Beth and Goof's new house
I'm not happy that my voice makes me sound like I've been smoking a pack a day since the late 1940's, but I am just going to have to deal. New York again this week, for my brother's graduation. 

Friday, June 5, 2009

Lucky duck

Courtesy of Nicole, a report on the Wellesley alum who gets to be Mrs. Landingham. Big props for holding a football while awkwardly conversing with Hillary.

Again, the joys of working from home

The sounds of children laughing on the playground nearby mingling with the forceful melodies of the man directly below my window singing "Fuck the police."

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Trip Report

On Memorial Day weekend we did a 3 day backpacking trip near the Hetch Hetchy reservoir in Yosemite. I picked the Hetch Hetchy area because it's visited way less than other areas of the park, and because the snow line was still low enough to prevent us from doing anything in the Toulumne area. So this was two weeks ago now, but I'm still processing, so bear with me.

For those who don't know, the Hetch Hetchy is a dammed reservoir that is the source of San Francisco's water. Which is why this photo is so hilarious. 

Right? But anyway, it was a fantastic hike, though the first day included a pretty long climb. Totally worth it, and the second day we got to ford a river, first thing in the morning. 

Doesn't Mike look happy? The second day had a lot of climbing as well, and ended at Rancheria Falls, which turned out to have a sweet - and freezing cold - swimming hole.

That's my splash! Please note that the strangers on the far shore are wearing bathing suits. I mean, really? Who does that on a backpacking trip? Wouldn't you rather go for the twofer and clean your underwear a bit while you're swimming?

So, yeah. We got all fresh and clean, and on the third day we hiked out along the reservoir. 

It was exactly what you ask for from this kind of a trip - peace and quiet, campfires, great weather, decent daily mileage (~10), good company, and enough tasty food. Plus whiskey, which I will only drink in the backcountry.

And that's what I did on my Memorial Day vacation. The end.

Text from my little brother

"I'm heading to my last undergraduate class ever."

How the hell did that happen?


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Happy Days

I think it's a pretty stupid name for a series of articles, but the NYT does have some good content there. This article is worth reading, if only for the fact that it works in a "stabbiversary".

Open bar

SF folks, if you are interested, there is an Upper Playground-sponsored open bar (beer only) this Friday at Laszlo in the Mission. We went last time, and it was pretty fun. And, you know, free.

RSVP here.

Home again

I just spent a week in New York, and I really loved my hotel, for several reasons. The first was the big soaking tub, and the accompanying bath products.

The second was the view.

Pretty nice, eh? I also liked that it looked a bachelor pad circa 1955, and that it was in the Meatpacking District and therefore close to my office and a ton of great shops and restaurants.

But really, I think I would have loved anywhere with a reasonably comfortable bed, as I had over 30 meetings in 4 days and I am exhausted.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Nancy Drew

So my childhood love of Nancy Drew either makes me a feminist, or a future participant in the criminal justice system, according to the NYT. Maybe, but really I think I just wanted strawberry blonde hair and a boyfriend named Ned. 

Nice to know I'm in good company with my ND love, though. And does anyone else use "Nancy Drew" as a verb? As in, "I couldn't find my credit card, but I did some Nancy Drewing and realized I had left it at the bar where I got shnozzled last night."

Because I do, sometimes.

CA State Park closings

California sucks and blows at life right now, and I feel like I'm spending half my time signing petitions for and against various things. Which is ironic, because it's the people's participation in policymaking that seems to have screwed things up so bad. Ballot system, you are terrible, and direct democracy doesn't work because people are idiots.

Except for the people I know. So you should take a look at this list of state park closings, and then send this email to your legislators and the Governator.

It will be so, so sad if these closures go through. I moved to California to get to spend more time outside, and I'll be seriously disappointed if these parks get shut down. 

Just legalize marijuana already, and let the tax revenue come pouring in. It's that easy, right?