Thursday, July 29, 2010


I know you know that I love Gail Collins. But I bet you didn't know this: she loves us!

"Although no generation lacks warts, our 20-somethings are terrific. We worry about the youth of America turning into distracted Twitterers with superficial values who will never find jobs, but every single day I trip over recent college graduates who are amazing — funny and smart with an astonishing work ethic."


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

My dad's tractors

On the left you see Big Blue, named by yours truly. On the right you see Little Red Corvette, named by my father.
I have now had a Prince song stuck in my head all day.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Why aren't all recipes illustrated like this? If I ask very nicely, maybe it will happen.

Marie Claire really gets it

This photo spread pretty much shows what my work life is like. I wear super high heels and stand around the Plex looking hungry.
In reality, this is a place where not having tomato sauce on your shirt qualifies you as dressed up.

(The photos are from a few years back, but I am still tickled.)

Dog days

Phew, I have had an intense week at work - lots of people on vacation, so lots of emails to respond to on their behalf. It really puts into perspective how not stressed I have been for 99.9% of my working life. It also puts into perspective how very complicated my work is when I pay attention to things other than my own daily tasks.

But! A large part of working so diligently has been telling myself that I can be lazy in other parts of my life. I have been the absolute suck at exercising - I've been in a lazy rut ever since I got back from traveling in June. I've run a few times, gone for a few bike rides, but haven't really done much else. I need to shake it off and get back in the game, man - the Google pounds creep up on you fast. Today I had a weird lunch of sushi, Indian, Italian, and hippie (quinoa pasta, not recommended). And that was me trying to control my portions. As if by covering continents I wouldn't notice that my plate wasn't full. In actuality, it did wind up full, because I have so little self control when it comes to the eats.

Speaking of which, I am now the proud owner of a beautiful little ice cream maker.
Isn't she pretty? I think I will name her once we have spent more time together.

Leslie is currently visiting from NYC, and over the weekend we made four sorbets:
  • strawberry, from this recipe, which turned out great
  • blueberry, which we made sans recipe, and was fantastic
  • herbal tea, coconut milk, and lavender, which was odd but sweet and creamy
  • lavender and coconut milk, which was also odd but will get another round of consideration tonight
As you can tell, my commitment to eating more healthfully to combat my extreme laziness is not what it could be.

To lapse back into self justification for a moment, I blame my indolence on the fact that my body thinks it should be summer, and that if I were on the east coast it would be too hot to move. The fact that it is 60 and cloudy every day in San Francisco has not yet computed; my bod had 25 years of seasonality, and it just hasn't caught on yet. So let me believe it's the dog days and ice cream and beer are what's required for survival. We have two beers going right now - a hefeweizen that we bottled last night, and a blonde ale that will be ready in another few weeks. Both are light and summery and totally not weather-appropriate, but I'm hoping they'll both be tasty. The hefeweizen smelled sweet and banana-y, so my hopes are high. Will report back soon.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


Did you read today's New York Times editorial about Google's algorithm needing governmental oversight? You should, so you can then appreciate Search Engine Land's glorious evisceration of it.

NYT editorial: When Google was a pure search engine, it was easy to appear agnostic about search results, with no reason to play favorites with one Web site or another. But as Google has branched out into online services from maps and videos to comparison shopping, it has acquired pecuniary incentives to favor its own over rivals.

SEL satire: When the New York Times was a pure newspaper, it was easy to appear agnostic about its editorial coverage, with no reason to play favorites with one business or another. But as the New York Times has branched out, making investments in external companies, it has acquired pecuniary [that means financial, by the way] incentives to favor those over rivals.

NYT editorial: The potential impact of Google’s algorithm on the Internet economy is such that it is worth exploring ways to ensure that the editorial policy guiding Google’s tweaks is solely intended to improve the quality of the results and not to help Google’s other businesses. Some early suggestions for how to accomplish this include having Google explain with some specified level of detail the editorial policy that guides its tweaks. Another would be to give some government commission the power to look at those tweaks.

SEL satire: The potential impact of the New York Times algorithm on the internet economy, not to mention the US economy, the US government and the world as a whole is such that it is worth exploring ways to ensure that the editorial policy guiding the New York Times is solely intended to improve the quality of journalism and not to help other businesses that the New York Times owns or the bottom line of its for-profit owners. Some early suggestions for how to accomplish this include having the New York Times explain with some specified level of detail the editorial policy that guides what it decides to covers, what it doesn’t decide to cover, why it chooses to write a particular headline with a particular angle, to show all versions of a newspaper story that is written from start to finish, to reveal what’s been edited out. Another would be to give some government commission the power to look at all these aspects, perhaps the power to reside within the newsroom and ensure fairness.

Seriously. I'm not saying people shouldn't question Google's motives. I can say that I feel confident that we're doing things the right way, but we're a big company with a lot of money at stake so you don't have to take my word for it. But I do think this is an epically lame ass editorial.

As Danny Sullivan, the author of the spoof says, "What the New York Times has suggested is that the government should oversee the editorial judgment of a search engine. Suffice to say, the editorial staff of the New York Times would scream bloody murder if anyone suggested government oversight of its own editorial process. First it would yell that it has no bias, so oversight is unnecessary. Next it would yell even more loudly that the First Amendment of the US Constitution protects it from such US government interference."

The whole Search Engine Land article is thorough and very interesting (at least if you are me) - did you know search engines are protected by the first amendment? Damn skippy.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Best birthday

Holy shnikeys what a weekend! Mike threw me a birthday party, and it was epic. Thinking that he had made no plans for Friday, I organized my own get together at Fly - which I refused to leave, even when all my friends insisted on heading back to my house. They got me there, though, and 30+ friends surprised me. It was incredibly excellent - there were streamers and baked goods and fancy beers and lots of hugs.

I believe there are others' photos and videos coming, but for now I have just a few, including one of the pinata that I got to wear as a hat.
And a late-night group photo.
On Saturday Mike whisked me away to Sonoma for the weekend, where we picnicked and tasted wine (including at Perry Mason's winery, oddly enough) and went to a brewery. We stayed at a beautiful bed and breakfast that fed us strawberry waffles, and watched the World Cup final at a precious Irish bar that made a great Bloody Mary. We went for a hike on Mt. Tam on the way home, picked up the ingredients for our next batch of beer, and then sat our butts on our couch to watch old episodes of Glee. Hallelujah!

All track hella flos

Flojuggler is a site that tracks the menses "of one or more girls". At first I thought it was for dudes, but I guess they are trying to please all factions. Their catchy tagline is: "Some people just want to know when the bleeding is going to stop so they can get busy. Those people use Flojuggler." Good god.

More brilliant marketing:
"You don't want to think about it. You want to set it, forget it, and then get a reminder when that special delivery is about to land."

"Flojuggler is for people who care about the women in their lives. It´s a fun and discreet way to handle a fact of life. Boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands, wives, and kids ALL track hella flos."

"Any address book can give you her phone number. Only Flojuggler lets you know when it's time to call."

Maybe it's satirical?

I love the lady they have on their homepage, at the back of the montage of people that, presumably, have had their lives bettered by this site.
I'm with you, lady.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Saturday Fail

It is already Friday, but I would like to tell you about last Saturday. It was a big fat fail of a day.

The sequence of events:
  • Wake up, eat some breakfast, begin to assemble recently-arrived cat cabinet. The aim of the cabinet: put the little kitten's high calorie food in a place where the fat cat can't get to it. Brilliant, right? As I tightened the final screws, the cabinet door swung open and caught on our stupid bean bag chair. Boom, the door ripped off, and the crappy wood was shredded. Cat cabinet fail.
  • Angry, I stalked out of the living room and into the bedroom. I punched the door in fury, intending to hit the frame. Instead, I hit the glass pane on the door. It shattered, and I bled. I mean holy crap, I punched through an f-ing window, and I have the messed up knuckles to prove it. Glass punching fail.
  • Mike fired up the vacuum to get the pieces of glass away from the kitten, who expressed interest in eating them. The vacuum began to smoke, and to smell. When opened, it appeared to have melted into itself in the kind of blind misery that I was now feeling. Vacuum fail.
  • I decided that the only way to fix my mood was to go for a run. While adjusting the volume on my music, I accidentally disengaged my phone from the arm holster with great force. My phone - while still in my hand - hit me in the head so hard that I saw stars and had to take a seat. Own head punching fail.
  • I went home and decided it would be best not to move until Mike came home and I was properly supervised. While sitting still on the couch hoping not to screw any more shit up, I noticed that fat cat's eye was swollen. On further inspection, it was full of snot. But it wasn't snot, of course - it was infection pus. Disgusting cat eye fail.
  • We made an emergency appointment at the vet, who told us that the eye medicine would cost $60. But! There was a human version at Costco that we could obtain for half the price. On the way to Costco, Mike realized that his employer is currently engaged in a campaign against Costco's environmental practices, and that being seen at Costco could prove awkward. Ethics fail.
  • At Costco, we waited over an hour for a tiny tube of eye goo, surrounded by miserable obese families (this is a completely scientific observation). While checking out, we pre-ordered frozen yogurt, which is the primary benefit of Costco - you get to cut the line at the snack counter! But no, not today - the pre-order line was longer than the regular line. Despite having paid for it, we skipped the froyo. Frozen dairy fail: the greatest fail of all.
Things did get less terrible after that, but it was already 6 p.m. We wound up making pizza and staying in, because god only knows what would have happened if we had tried to go out. I probably would have gotten syphilis or eaten human poop or something.

Just in case anyone would like to take a look at Mike's posts for - he blogs regularly - you can follow this handy dandy link. Enviroblogger extraordinaire.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

New earrings

Aren't they the preciousest?

Love for my foods and beers

My new favorite place, Social Kitchen & Brewery, is doing German-style nights on Mondays and Tuesdays! As they say on their site, "The great German beer cities of Köln and Düsseldorf have a unique beer drinking tradition: in bars and breweries in these cities, a server greets them with a stange, or glass, of beer. Throughout the evening, servers circulate through the dining room with trays of freshly-poured beers, depositing a full, cold glass each time a patron's glass is nearly empty. Guests enjoy the conviviality of good company and good beer, with nary an empty glass, and no need to flag down a server to order another."

This was my favorite thing about Cologne. The server would make a mark with a pencil on the paper tablecloth everytime they dropped a glass off, and you got a continuous supply of cold beer. You paid at the end based on the number of hashmarks. The trays are also really neat - they have holes that are the perfect size for the little glasses, so nothing spills.