Tuesday, June 29, 2010

12 Galaxies

Several people have pointed out to me lately that 12 Galaxies Guy, otherwise known as Frank Chu, now has Wellesley in his protest sign crosshairs. Here's a recent photo by Abby:
Since no one has ever really understood what he hopes to achieve by constantly wandering the streets of San Francisco, sign in hand, they also don't know what his beef with Wellesley is. But any press is good press, right?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Sans Medvedev

Today I sat in on a meeting with a bunch of Russian cabinet ministers. They seemed nice. Many had iPads. One fell asleep at the table while an engineer was talking, and he didn't really try to hide it. That's about all I have to report.

You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours

I really want to be a part of a cooking co-op.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Best Bars in the US?

Esquire just came out with its picks of the best bars in the country. I was pleased to see so many of my favorites on there.
And it looks like there are about a bajillion more awesome bars that I need to visit. Obviously I should quit my job and get cracking.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Update from Tom and Betty (aka Grilled Cheese)

Two weeks ago my parents got back from a three week trip to visit my brother in Australia. The next day they drove up to Boston to see me; we spent a night together in Boston, then they drove back to Pennsylvania. In short, they haven't had a ton of time lately to settle into their new house. But they have managed to get a few things done.

#1. Beekeeping.

Here is my aunt with the bees, which were delivered to my parents' property last week.
And here is my dad in his super awesome beekeeping outfit.
The man really loves honey, so I'm very happy for him. Have I mentioned in previous posts that my parents tapped their trees this winter and got maple syrup? And that neither of them actually likes maple syrup, because it's apparently too sweet? Crazytalk, I say - I'll take maple syrup over honey any day. Not that that means that I will be boycotting my parents' honey, because I will most certainly not.

#2. Tractor pull.

Apparently the annual tractor parade is the highlight of the social season for the town nearest my parents. It looks like fun.
And oh oh oh, this one is just amazing.
Revel in it.


Desktop Carnivorous Plant Set

Monday, June 14, 2010

OMG seriously


With the greatest of ease...

Last Wednesday, my Groupon addiction brought me and Mike to a trapeze class. I was pumped, Mike was indifferent, and neither of us knew what to expect. It turns out that it is a tough thing to trapeze - tough physically, and tough emotionally. I was terrified every time I had to climb the long wobbly later to the platform - the platform that always has three people on it (the jumper, the next jumper in line, and the dude who tells you when to go) is only a few feet square, and is very high up.

The worst part was right before the jump - even though you're harnessed in and above a net, the process of leaning out OVER the abyss while holding onto a wobbly trapeze bar is counterintuitive and scary. The upside was that it made the actual jump seem just fine - I've spent enough time on rope swings and cliff jumps to be comfortable with the sensation of falling. The bar itself tore up my hands and the backs of my knees, my shoulders felt like they might get ripped off, and the fear made me grit my teeth down to nubbins. And yet: it was fun! Here is my highly accurate rendering of what I was able to do by the end of class.
And here is Mike in flying trapeze mode:
Not too shabby, right? I'm not sure I'd do it again, but I am glad we gave it a go.


Friday I volunteered at the Alameda Point Collaberative, a project that was organized by my work. The APC is a group of 200+ housing units for formerly homeless families. There is also a farm (to grow food for the community), a nursery (to make money), and a bike shop (for being awesome). We spent the day tearing up weeds and putting in a flower garden - other groups of Googlers helped with a corncob-and-mud shelter and weeded rows of vegetables.
At the beginning of the day, this plot was a mess of weeds and some overgrown artichoke plants. By the end of the day, it was a mess of mulch and plants - but an intentional mess, and one that will look a lot better in a few weeks.

I came away with a very fetching sunburn and some artichokes that I gave to Teppi, who then brought me to a bar in Alameda that had four kinds of beer that I hadn't heard of. Most were Belgian, but I also tried a funky IPA. And I didn't notice it until looking at my photos later, but the bar has a mighty fine mural.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Maybe there is a God



Wellesley 5 year reunion was...a lot. In a good way. Fun, exhausting, comforting, melancholy-inducing, euphoric, and a whole lot of other stuff.

When we got onto campus on Friday, the first thing we did was get in the lake.
After our class dinner, we headed to a dance party on the quad, where we challenged several other classes to dance offs. We won.

On Saturday we rectified our hangovers with a flotilla on the lake.
Shunning the official dinner, we ordered Thai food and had our own banquet.
We ended the night with more dancing, which was to be expected.
Sunday was dedicated to the alum parade, where we all wore white like a creepy cult and cried when the old biddies were driven by in antique cars.
Along the way we laughed our asses off, sweated in the dorms, got nostalgic and sentimental, and vowed to not let another 5 years pass before we're all together again.

Anatomy of Fun Times

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

World Cup time

I will be at Mad Dog for the US v England 11:30 game on Saturday. Let the tournament commence!

Pickle juice helps cramps

I knew a girl in high school who drank pickle juice to stay skinny, she said. The fact that pickle juice has any kind of physiological benefit seems to me to be approaching a frustrating validation of her stupidity.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


I am epically overstimulated these days. I am also sleepy. I flew to New York a week and a half ago for BEA, the annual book conference. In addition to building three slide presentations that would endure much scrutiny (and turn out to be as effective as they needed to be, thank god), I also gave a talk to several hundred people. It went fine.

Then it was time to celebrate. We hosted a big BBQ for the publishing world at the Google NYC office. It has the benefit of being fun AND impressing the bowties off people.
We also had a team dinner, which devolved into a game of Jeopardy about my boss and emo/raucous toasts (including one in honor of me and my PowerPoint labors). We then took over a hookah bar on the Lower East Side and turned it into a huge dance party.
The next morning I was at the airport at 5 a.m. for a flight to New Orleans. Pictures of that are yet to come (my camera cable is back in SF), but suffice to say it was absolutely awesome. We went to a cowboy wedding, we ate shellfish, we listened to jazz and wandered the streets all night. We drank grenade-shaped drinks on Bourbon Street (newsflash: they're nasty).
We pretty much wrecked ourselves, and had a good time doing it.

Yesterday involved an early flight to New York, a full day of work, and a takeout dinner on a roofdeck in Brooklyn with a friend from home, a friend from college, and a friend from San Francisco, all of whom now live in New York and hang out without me. This thing makes me happy.

And now I am on the Amtrak, passing the lovely snooty beach towns of Connecticut on my way to Boston. I am going to visit my favorite bars in Cambridge, catch up with amigos, and try not to overexcite myself in anticipation of my five year college reunion. Next Tuesday I fly back to San Francisco, where I plan to have a complete physical collapse in the safety of my own bed.