Monday, February 22, 2010

Stuff I Eat

Last night I made Butternut Squash and Sage Pasties. They were fantastic, and the only change I made in the recipe was to use Jarlsberg in place of parmesan, because that's what I had on hand.

I recommend. I also baked Chocolate Puddle Cookies (from frozen dough made last week), and they are amazing, like gooey meringues. Make them now.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

My baby's growing up

Into the secondary fermenter!

We're now t-minus two weeks (or so) to bottling!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Let's tally it up

Wins for today:
  • Got my eyebrows threaded. Hurt like a biznitch but it turns out my eyebrows DO have an arch!
  • Bought a blazer that is made out of sweatshirt material. A new day has dawned: the day of the Professional Sweatshirt.
  • Scatterbrain Jamboree at Thee Parkside tonight.
  • Ate a pound of Jordan almonds.
Losses for today:
  • Also got my upper lip threaded, just because I had a Groupon. Hurt like a biznitch but it turns out I look no different sans invisible moustache.
  • Persistent sinus headache.
  • Ate a pound of Jordan almonds.
Let's-see-how-it-goes for today:
  • Questionable haircut. Bangs good, A-line cut not so good; Ramona Quimby-esque in the back. Unfortunate.
  • Dreamed last night that we new apartment; apartment fantastic, except contained tomb of Nabokov in the living room. Received Wellesley magazine today, noted full article on Nabokov. Eerie.
The wins have it, for now, dependent upon the haircut. If a shower and some time saves it, excellent - if not, I'm going to have to lop it, and then I really will look like Ramona Quimby.


The San Francisco Police Department has been pretty awesome to me lately. A few weeks ago my purse got stolen from a bar. One minute it was next to me on a bench, the next minute it was gone. I knew who took it, since a guy sat down next to me just before the purse disappeared, and he was also gone when I noticed my purse was missing. SUCKAGE. The purse had my keys, my wallet, my glasses, and a hat. My phones were in my pockets, thank god, since my Goog phone is the only thing I own that is worth anything.

A friend call the police for me and two officers showed up. They took information from me, they took information from a guy at the bar who saw the dude that took my purse, and they were very thorough. One of the officers had very neat and endearingly girly handwriting. They put me on a call alert list that would automatically dispatch officers to my apartment if I called 911, since I was afraid the thief might try to use my keys to get in and steal my stuff.

When I got out of a cab outside my building, a car pulled up to the curb, and two plainclothes officers asked if I was Genevieve. Um, yes. Turns out they were patrolling my block. Impressive!

Just a few minutes later, a chick called to say she had found my purse, with my wallet still in it. My wallet had my business card, so she called my cell. Fantastic! I went to get the purse, and everything was there - keys, wallet with cards and CASH. But not my hat. I lose hats every month or two, so I figured this was the universe's most elaborate way of keeping my on schedule.

It took another few hours to realize my glasses were gone. It's been a pain in the ass getting them replaced, and it would have been cheaper if the thieves had just taken the cash and left the glasses, but I promise I am not complaining.

Since the theft, I have gotten two voicemails from the SFPD asking if I have any more information on the suspect. I have managed to forget to call them back both times, but that changes today, I swear. The thing that's crazy is that I called the night of the theft to say the purse had been recovered. So either they missed that memo, or they are just that thorough.

And I don't want to sound ungrateful, but: don't they have better things to do?

Vietnamese Beer

I already wanted to travel to Vietnam, but now that I know they have good beer, I really really want to go. 2011 maybe?

Thursday, February 18, 2010


Last week I was interviewed for a documentary film about books. The concept behind the film is that a dude is driving a Bookmobile around the country, stopping in towns to ask people questions about books and reading; they get a free book in exchange. Different authors drive the bus and do the interviews in different cities, and everyone gets to talk about what books mean to them.

It's a great idea, and I had fun in the interview. I talked about my job and what we do and why I think it's important, I talked about my college obsession with the short story, and I talked about a few books that had meant a lot to me because they connected me with other people.

So I was super bummed to see that the website for the project totally blows. The background, oh my god, the wallpaper background. Maybe it's supposed to seem nice and old-fashioned, but it seems like the better approach would be a clean layout that doesn't look like a crappy family blog.

Don't take this to mean that I wouldn't be excited to be included in the documentary, though I'm sure my large hand gestures and tendency to look at the camera and not the interviewer have knocked me out of the running there. But moral of the story: don't have a good idea and then build a website that sucks. The end.


I'm so excited - I got the volunteer gig I applied for! Starting next week, I'll be helping Witness use Google tools in their advocacy. Witness (as far as I can tell so far) uses video storytelling to draw attention to human rights abuses. I'm going to be one of several lady Googlers helping them with their online communications strategy. It's going to be rad, I think - it has enough in common with what I do every day (i.e. talk web marketing with and introduce online tools to book publishers) that I shouldn't suck at it, and it's going to involve enough learning to be really interesting.

Witness itself sounds fascinating. It looks like they have a twofold approach; they train people to use storytelling to help those who have gone through traumatic events, and then they take those stories and share them with the world to gain attention for particular causes.

You can see some of the videos here.


The Examiner did a story on Googlers that commute to campus by bike - all 40+ miles, several days a week. I'm on the SF2G (San Francisco to Google) email list, but I'm too afraid to ride with them any time other than Bike to Work Day, despite the fact that they are actively courting newbies. It's on my to do list though, I swear - once I get my bike computer working and can confirm that my average rolling speed is not completely embarrassing.

Unfortunate that the Examiner photographer had the SF2G-ers ride on the sidewalk to get his dramatic cyclists + Google sign shot.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Stuff I Eat, Savory Pie Edition

This is a little late, but last week I went to a dinner party that was centered on savory pies. And holy crap, they were amazing. There were at least five different kinds, and I'm going to post a photo to make you jealous.

There was spinach and feta, cheese and cauliflower, braised beef, chicken pot, and tomato pepper. All genius.

This is my baby

In a few weeks, this fermenting bucket o' sugar and yeast will have turned into delicious delicious amber ale. Hopefully.

This coming weekend I have to transfer it to a glass container, leave it for two weeks, bottle it, then leave it some more. But I taste victory already.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Otago Pinot

When I lived in New Zealand I spent a few weeks working in a pinot noir vineyard in Central Otago. It was pretty fun, for field work - the local ladies told dirty jokes and sang all day. The vineyard's softball team wore white t shirts with pinot noir juice splattered all over them. I bought a lamb from a farmer for $26, named him Dinner, and had him butchered - two weeks worth of meals!

When I got back to the US, though, I couldn't find any pinot noir from Otago at all, let alone from my vineyard. Bummer.

But it turns out that they are starting to catch on! i.e. The New York Times has given New Zealand pinots their seal of approval. So if you ever see wine from Kurow New Zealand, let me know - it is the very sweat of my brow. Delicious.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Don't make anal retentive beer

Last night we went to a free homebrew class at BeerCraft. Amazing. It was run by an enormous old dude named Griz, who held forth from the comfort of an armchair. The shop itself has bins of hops and grain and barley everywhere, and lots of equipment that looks straight out of a chemistry lab. They threw down some folding chairs, handed out beers, and that was the class. Griz wore stained overalls, had long gray hair, and had to stop and wheeze every once in a while. I would not have been surprised if he had expired right there.

Not that he was not otherwise hearty - he was. He talked for two and a half hours, about making beer, about his "squeeze" (his lady friend of 47 years - "no one got married, but no one left"), about the importance of doing something well but not working too hard at it. He reminded us many times not to make anal retentive beer. We shouldn't think he was New Agey or something, he hates that shit, "but if you don't enjoy the process of making the beer, it's going to be crappy beer."

Many of his gems involved his age or his size. We learned "the fat boy" beer brewing method - "You want to see the easiest way to do something? Watch a fat man do it."

He assured us our beer was going to be good, but even if it wasn't, we just had to serve our friends good beer for the first few rounds, then give them the crappy stuff - they'll think it's great. "If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit."

All evils of modern life - gentrification, cell phones, stress - were compared to "keeping a turd in your hat". After a while, you forget it's there, but it's still shit. Or something.

Finally, he explained that beer - or any creative, involving pursuit - should pull on your "bullshit choke chain". For example, a long time ago he was sitting on a park bench in Amsterdam while unbelievably high off "the good stuff" ("it was like running naked through a field of the best ganja and then rolling the sticky stuff off you") and a Trappist monk sat down next to him. They talked about beer, the bullshit choke chain got pulled, and Griz spent 39 days in the monastery, learning to brew Belgian style beer.

He also told us how to cook the wort properly without using a thermometer, how to sanitize your carboy, and all that practical stuff. But mostly it is the rude jokes that I will remember.

Monday, February 8, 2010

For those who ask what I do all day

Read "Publishers Win a Bout in E-Book Price Fight". A more accurate headline would be something like, "Google is coming out with an ebook model and we are just trying to stir up drama".

Friday, February 5, 2010


So there is this dude that makes posters based on TV shows. Some are really excellent.

Some I didn't get because I don't watch the shows. And some I just don't get, period.

Anyone smarter than me have an explanation?

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Superb Owl

I am so excited for the game this Sunday, and even more so now that I know there will be a god on the field. From Jezebel, courtesy of Vanessa, I recommend reading about how the Saints' linebacker Scott Fujita is freaking awesome.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Like a Prayer

We've got a Google Group going to plan for our 5 year reunion in June! Let me know if you are an '05er and I haven't already added you.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

I don't really think that I have IBS

I just had a super weird appointment at Kaiser. My regular doctor is out on maternity leave, so in her place, I got this hippie nurse practitioner who talked at length about his dreams and his girlfriend, with whom he is madly in love, apparently. After suggesting I might have Irritable Bowel Syndrome from all the stress he assumed I have in my life, he said that I might benefit from intensive psychotherapy, as seven years with his analyst had cleared his IBS right up.

Apropos of me saying that while I do tend to express my tension in freaky nightmares, he described a dream in which "anal Swiss movers" boxed up all his things very neatly, with labels and such. Eight months later he was forced to switch offices, a fact he used to prove that his dream had been prophetic. He then said that if I wanted the results of my bloodwork I'd have to call the lab myself, as he heads home at 4:30 these days because he loves his girlfriend so much. He had very long eyebrows and nose hairs, and cold hands.

It was a pretty entertaining appointment, if a little scattered. When you are expecting medico-corporate professionalism, a guy with long gray hair and a faint eau du B.O. kind of throws you off. He applauded my ingestion of an herb mixture in 2006 (made by a farmer friend) that had cleared up a UTI, a response that was surprising in its lack of nose-wrinkling, which is my GP's usual reaction to anything holistic or not prescription-oriented.

The appointment ended with him telling me to go get my bloodwork done and to schedule an ultrasound (he think I have a kidney stone, too). He then swept out the door, and I wandered the halls for several minutes until another nurse found me, placed my urine sample baggie in my hand (they make you carry it yourself! doesn't it seem like there should be pneumatic tubes for that?), and told me which floors to head to for the rest of my tests.

So, I'm confused. I appreciated having a long talk with a doctor who asked questions and thought about my responses instead of rushing me out the door. It was, however, kind of uncomfortable having him share his own experiences. I am glad that he loves his girlfriend, especially since it is hard for me to imagine anyone with eyebrow dandruff giving or receiving love. But I'm looking forward to my ultrasound on Friday, because it will give me straight answers and not be wearing a Cosby sweater.

House tour

I want to be friends with this guy. He has a gorgeous house, and a sense of humor that is a million times better developed than anyone else associated with Apartment Therapy. Go through the whole slideshow, and read captions.

I too aspire to meditate to an image of Colonel Sanders.

Beer Week

Holy shnikeys it is almost Beer Week in SF! There are just so many things I want to go to. There are a ton of beer dinners - i.e. menus with beer pairings - but those are expensive, and I like trying to pair beers on my own, even though I'm not very good at it yet.

Here are some events that look good:
  • Beer Cocktails and Late Night Beer Happy Hour at Alembic - all beer week.
  • Humphry Slocombe Beer Ice Creams - all beer week.
  • SFBW'10 Scavenger Hunt (!!!) - all beer week.
  • Organic Vegan Beer Dinner: Bison Brewing Co. at Millennium Restaurant -2/5-7.
  • Beer to Brakers - woohoo! This Saturday, 2/6. I am most definitely doing this.
  • Brewery Night: New Belgium Brewing Co. at The Toronado on 2/6. Don't scoff, serious beer geeks - New Belgium will always have a special place in my heart, because you can send free postcards from their brewery in Fort Collins. My dad and I sent my mom 8, drunkenly.
  • Mini Firkin Festival - Magnolia Gastropub & Brewery, 2/9. 12 cask conditioned beers!
  • "A Night Without Hops" with Brian Hunt (Moonlight Brewing Company) - The Monk's Kettle. Mike "IPA Lover" G. would never go to this with me.
  • Bavarian Beer Breakfast - Gordon Biersch San Francisco 2/12. Tempting, though not the best idea.
I just got overwhelmed and skimmed the rest, but there is much there. Beerbeerbeerbeerbeer!

Stuff I Eat

Holy crap, the dinner we made last night was so good. Behold: Potato, Turnip, and Spinach Baeckeoffe with Feisty Green Beans.

The Baeckeoffe recipe came via Cooking Light, to which, thanks to my mother, I now subscribe. We upped the cheese and used Jarlsberg instead, but otherwise followed the recipe, and it came out delicious. The beans recipe was courtesy of 101 Cookbooks, my favorite food blog. We left out the raisins and the tofu, and used frozen beans. I will tell you what, this shit is ahhhhhsome.

Mike in USA Today

Mike's mentioned in USA Today! That is very much not the forum where I would have guessed that his genius would be recognized - it seems only slightly more likely than Parade - but what the hey.

Here's his contribution: Greenpeace's Mike Gaworecki says mobile devices are growing increasingly dependent on "cloud computing" power or Web servers that store and process many of the users' requests. He says these data storage centers are the single largest driver of new electricity demand worldwide.

Congrats Mikey! And yay cloud computing.