Friday, December 9, 2011


I'm sorry I keep posting daily deals, but they are just so ridiculous. Today: boob stickers. For 25 freaking dollars.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


A shark that floats in the air, giving you nightmares forever, for only $26.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Gilt may have jumped the shark.

$300 axes. Yes, I'd say it has.

Monday, November 28, 2011

A List

Of things from which I am currently deriving satisfaction. Because in my world, people are solid and good, but things are problematic. There are too many of them or too few of them (both of these apply to jordan almonds), they break, they're too expensive, they get lost. So when a Thing comes along that is solid and good like its human counterparts, I derive satisfaction.
  • My new bathrobe. It was expensive, but since I am so much colder than the average person (37% more cold, to be exact), it was worth it. Also I had a discount code.
  • This delicious-smelling body wash. Mike got it as a freebie from work, and I have almost used up the tube in a little over two weeks. I have started showering in the mornings rather than at night just because the citrus smell makes the beginning of my day so much better.
  • In a similar vein, Dr. Bronner's peppermint bar soap is badass. I came upon it when we were visiting Mike's brother and sister in law, and I loved how strong it is. It will wake your shit UP.
  • Cover Girl's Outlast all day whatever whatever lip stuff stays on for real. I put it on before a 30 mile bike ride on Saturday (yes, yes I did) and it stayed on through wind, through lunch, and through some epic snot. 
  • Our wall-mounted towel dryer, which is something like this one except ours wasn't $150. I say "dryer" instead of "warmer" because in our ground-floor no-sun apartment, towels never dry on their own, which means using a damp towel for the week until it gets laundered. Unacceptable. This device has changed my life.

I realize all these things have to do with warmth and vanity. So be it. I would rather be warm and vain than cold and...still vain.

Maybe one day soon I will make a list of things that I have managed to drop and spill and lose recently. Except that would make me sad, and I would use up all my free citrus body wash trying to make myself feel better.


  1. Take your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe.
  2. Make it with super fancy butter that you bought at the farmer's market before you realized how expensive it was but after you had already told the butter churner or whoever they were how excited you were about their butter.
  3. Instead of chocolate chips, use Heath bar toffee bits, which you can buy in a big bag at magical stores like Target.
Seriously, do it. You will not be even a little bit sorry.
I think I have the beginnings of carpal tunnel. How weenie is that? Very weenie. But it is also what I get for working for two weeks from Texas couches and armchairs in positions that would make an ergonomist faint. I also haven't used a mouse since I got my Mac three months ago, putting stress on my poor right thumb.

As a result, this past weekend was a very welcome break from typing (and work in general), and we made the most of it - if by "made the most" I mean - "engaged in a variety of healthy and unhealthy pursuits that brought us pleasure". We exercised, we ate, we got things done around the house, we drank beer. Thanksgiving was as lovely as always, we got out into the natures on our bikes and our feets, and we did a lot of cuddling on the couch with our cats, watching what I now know to be the Avengers series - Captain America, Thor, and Iron Man 2. The cat cuddling was the highlight though.

Monday, November 21, 2011


From SFist: Couple states Star Wars engagement photo shoot.

I am just so happy these two found each other. 

Friday, November 18, 2011

Google glamour. With a "u".

Wow. Wow. Wow. Refinery 29, a fashion blog that I have seen people link to but have not actual read myself, posted an article on Google ladies who dress up for work. I know these chicks! They not only dress up, they dress far out. As in 6 inch wooden heels, tiny shorts, and matching outfits for their dogs. They came in with the acquisition (which became, which is now part of Product Search), and while I think they usually look heinous, I appreciate their dedication to getting up early to put some thought into their appearance. They are definitely the only ones on campus who do.

My favorite part is where one of the ladies says, "I'm on the hunt for an emerald green velvet holiday dress that is super pretty and accidentally sexy." Maybe I am just Jerry Sandusky-d out, but the idea of being accidentally sexy strikes me as deeply creepy.

In short, I highly recommend you take a look at that article.

The juice life

Mike is home, I'm settled back in from my travels, and life is good. I'm having to put on the space heaters when I get home at night, and drink lots of tea, but that's fine by me. I'm not saying that I love it when it gets dark at 5 p.m., but there is something nice about it when you live in a place without clearly defined seasons. It doesn't ever smell like Fall in San Francisco. It does get nippy in the mornings, but that's not really any different than a foggy summer morning. So the early dark is the clearest sign we've got that time is moving along.

The other sign that time is moving: I bought a juicer, because I have apparently embraced my late-20s yuppiehood with a vengeance. It is a beautiful piece of machinery, capable of pulverizing fruits and vegetables with a single snarl. It is immensely satisfying to use. So far I have been chucking in grapefruit, apple, kiwi, lemon, carrot, celery, kale, and fennel. It's delicious, and makes for a beautiful orangey juice.

Part of the reason the juicer felt necessary was that I was in a pretty gross state when I got back from Texas. A week and a half of eating and drinking too much and sleeping too little had piled up, and I wasn't happy to be heading back to Real Life while Mike stayed in Austin. So retail therapy + the promise of a healthier life resulted in a trip to Bed, Bath & Beyond with a coupon in hand.

I am not supposed to go to Bed, Bath & Beyond alone because I buy too many things. Way too many things! But those things are always so useful. Like a towel for your hair that you can lash into place on top of your head, or a pot lid organizer for the pantry, or, say, a JUICER. I also bought a box of jordan almonds that I ate in one sitting, but we can talk about my jordan almond problem another time.

Aside from dedicating my credit card bill to B, B & B, I cooked my butt off on the nights that I was home alone and Mike was in North Carolina (embarrassing Bank of America at their headquarters). I made a curry split pea soup, a warm salad of eggplant with arugula, basil and feta, and roasted the heck out of pumpkin seeds with brown sugar and cayenne.

I also took the week off from alcohol (that's a bottle of sparkling water you see there) to detox from our Texas celebrations. And to prep for a party with an open bar, which I'll post about later...

Monday, November 14, 2011


Between work and travel, things have been very busy over the last two weeks. I have managed to carve out time, however, to discover that there is a treehouse that you can rent just south of San Francisco. All future visitors will be encouraged to stay there, just so I can see it in real life.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Analyze this

Last night I had two dreams that I remember. Both of them are so cliched as to be ridiculous.

1. I was at the house of an acquaintance, for what I believed to be a Halloween party. Once I walked in, got myself a glass of wine and some finger foods and settled into a chair, however, I realized it was a wake. People were going around in a circle weepily telling stories about their dearly departed, who I did not know. Soon it was going to be my turn to speak. I had to figure out how to leave discreetly. Before they got to me, they decided to move into the other room, where the body was. The anxiety of that moment - what do I do now? - is all I remember.

2. I woke up on a Thursday and realized that Saturday was my birthday, and I had no plans. That was sad. I tried to think about what to do with a group of people - day activity? night activity? I thought just going to a bar would be boring, and so would a house party. I was sad that I didn't have any creative ideas. I asked a friend, who suggested a Sonoma day trip. Too short notice, I thought. She suggested Fly Bar. Well ok, I said, can you come? No, she said - my parents are in town, and we're going to a tattoo convention.

And that is how very dull anxiety dreams get weird.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


I am sitting at my kitchen table with a glass of red wine and a mixing bowl of Funfetti batter, trying to decide whether to go Occupy SF. The batter is going into mini donut pans, which I bought in a fit of Bed Bath & Beyond-induced insanity (real affliction), and while I have absolutely no idea if cake batter is going to work as mini donut battter, it seems worth a try. The red wine is because I ate a few (read: many) spoonfuls of batter and needed to cut the sweetness, and also because I thought it would help me decide.

I really don't want to be part of any big out of control protest - I am claustrophobic and afraid of loud noises, much like a cocker spaniel - but my guess is that Occupy SF won't be like Oakland. The rumor is that the SFPD is raiding it tonight, which is why all my friends are going. As I ponder joining them, I've also been coming up with a number of possible Facebook status updates.
  • To tell you the truth, I'd rather be occupying my couch tonight, but it's time, friends. It's time.
  • Friends, family, and colleagues: don't worry about me getting teargassed, as I am way too chickenshit to do anything but stand on the periphery and run away if things get intense.
  • Please don't fret about me, I'll be fine tonight, because I can just tell the riot police that authority figures love me. That always works.
This last one is a reference to a time that I attempted to talk two cops out of arresting friends. When they told me to back away and shut up, I told them they were reacting incorrectly. Authority figures love me! They were unimpressed.

I will probably go for a bit tonight, but leave if it starts heating up. I can't even cut an onion, dude - I'd be a seriously liability if I got teargassed. On the other hand, Mike is going, and I'd like to support him and our other friends. I also support the movement . Even though it obviously has its flaws, all populist movements do, and I think the cause is spot on. The fact that I have more Facebook update ideas than specific reasons for wanting to go tonight is troublesome, but I really am excited by what's going on in the world right now - and angry at the way that corporations legislate through our elected officials - and I'd like to show it in some way other than online petitions.

So I'm going to finish my brew - did I mention I'm brewing a batch of beer right now? - and see where I end up when it's done. If you see a photo of me tomorrow on the homepage of your newspaper of choice, looking bloody and disoriented, just blame the Funfetti.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Putting in the kilometers

I covered some serious ground today, and my feet are feeling it. It started with a morning run along the Tiber...
That led to post-run pastry ogling...
 Which inevitably led to post-run pastry consuming (sfogliatelle, my favorite)...
 And then, belly full, I noticed - and applauded - the rim of bike lane that is the shore of the Tiber...
And, after my wine and cheese tasting class, I strolled past galleries like this one, with some hilarious Obama/Clinton art...
And after walking through the Foro Romano and the Palatino and circling the Colosseum, I ended up here...
Where I enjoyed a beer, then rambled on for some wine and dinner. I like eating dinner in a restaurant alone, though I wouldn't want to do it all the time. I sat and read this fascinating Atlantic article on gun control, sipped a white wine (which I now know, after wine class, that I like because it's mineral-y!), and ate stuffed squash blossoms, the best penne arrabiata I've ever had, and seared tuna. And now I go to bed, because in the morning I head to Frankfurt. Boo.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

What I love about Rome

So many things. Moto moto many. But here goes:
  • The shoes. 9 out of 10 people wear pure beauty on their feet. Tourists stick out like a sore thumb. A sore thumb in Tevas.
  • The food. It's divine. But you probably guessed that.
  • The old + new. I don't think it would be easy to live in a city that has an identity defined by ancient history, but they wear it well here. Tonight on my walk home from a different neighborhood I passed through a piazza full of games for the night - ping pong, foosball, basketball, a climbing wall...It was for fun, of course, but it seemed like there was a games parallel. As in, there's a history of public entertainment, but it is no longer quite so bloody as it once was. 
  • The people we've collected. Maybe we just lucked out, but within 30 minutes at a local's bar near our apartment off Campo de Fiori we met people from all over the globe. We sang songs together, and danced, and pressed cheeks at the end of the night. Granted we lucked out in that we met a few people who worked for the UN and introduced us to a circle of people that was mostly gay and had literally lived in dozens of countries (in crisis, no less), but still. There are a lot of NGOs here, a lot of people who are global citizens more than they belong to any one state.
  • The cafe culture. As in Paris, you can sit indefinitely with very little pressure to keep ordering. When you're ready for the check, you ask for it. Simple. I just spent an hour alone at a cafe - at 8 p.m., prime time - drinking wine and reading a magazine, and it was easy peasy. I wasn't crowded, I wasn't rushed, and when I was ready to settle up I did. Boom.
  • The light. Just as California light has its own glory and personality, so does the light here. Yesterday the sun was strong and hot; today it was buttery and slanting, and there was a lovely chill in the air.
What I don't like about Rome:
  • Jetlag.
The upside of jetlag, however, is being up early in the morning to go on photo excursions. Below are some of the pictures I've taken thus far. On the docket for tomorrow: a lunchtime wine and cheese tasting class, visiting the Colosseum, and a pub quiz with some expats.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Irony intervention

A high school classmate posted this on Facebook today. It was tempting to comment, but I refrained.
I wish people would stop writing about what they hate. No one tells you, but they think you're depressing and annoying. Like, did anything GOOD happen to you today? Life is too short to bitch.

Ciao Roma (soon)

Work is very very busy right now, for reasons uninteresting to everyone who does not directly work with me - product launches, performance reviews, bugs out the wazoo - and I realize I am becoming like all those people I didn't used to understand. You have too many meetings to attend? You can't get through all your email? You feel a vague sense of dread even when you've checked most things off your to-do list? I now know how you feel. But the real reason I'm discombobulated is that I leave in two days for Rome, and then fly on to the Frankfurt Book Fair.

Frankfurt is a clusterf*** of all-day meetings, bad food, no water (because no bathroom breaks), amazing team dinners, late nights in smoky bars, and jetlag. It is fun, it is intense, and I am always very glad it is over. I inevitably come home with a cold, and usually laryngitis as well. This year I have armed myself with Throat Coat tea (though not a humidifier, a tactic I've used in years past), a relaxing weekend in Rome beforehand, and a giant bottle of melatonin. I am hoping that their forces combined will keep me healthy and minimally exhausted.

Given that Mike is just back in town, and October in San Francisco is glorious, I wouldn't mind if the book fair were in, say, January. But please don't think I'm complaining - I'm not. I'm super excited, though I do feel like I only just caught my breath.  My mom left Saturday evening, after a few days of redecorating, wine drinking, and bluegrass-watching.

I dropped her off at the airport and drove directly up north, to Pt. Reyes, to meet friends at a birthday house rental. I got there late, and I left early, but I got to spend time with wonderful people I don't see all that often, and woke up to this view.
Vegging has been the name of the game the last few nights, but all that comes to an end now. On the agenda for tonight: packing.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

I love Jezebel

I really really do.  "You're going to let your ass say its piece" needs to be a riot grrrl band.
There are certain situations where it may be impossible to get out of a crowd, and the fart must be passed. Say, for example, you're in the crowd at a sold out show, or you're waiting in the security line at O'Hare Airport. If you can't hold it, you're going to let your ass say its piece and deal with the aftermath. You can try to mitigate the smell — for example, if you carry scented lotion in your purse, take it out right after you fart and start nonchalantly applying some to your hands. Nothing to see here. Just a lady passing gas and moisturizing — or you can deny that the smell came from you. Whatever you do, if you plan on seeing any of the people around you again, do not raise your arms triumphantly over your head and proudly proclaim your stewardship of the fetid air now passing into your fellow humans' nasal cavities. This is widely viewed as rude behavior.


Oh man, that title has so much potential. Like, this post should be about yeast infections. Or the perils of men, and subsequent yeast infections. Or something. For the record, I have never had a yeast infection, but I have heard of the perils from other ladies. Anyway. Instead, this post is about this:
Do you do your nails? Do you know why? Because I don't. I am on a TEAR (as in paper, not as in sad salty drop of water running down my cheek), and I couldn't give you an explanation. I just like doing my nails. Except I DON'T. I don't like waiting for my nails to dry, I inevitably f*** them up, and they chip after like 5 minutes. But still, I have kept them weird colors like bright orange and grey and dark green for the last month or so. Free the Brennan Nails, right? Maybe I can work this into one of the many protests happening these days. Holy cow, that was shallow. But I have green nails these days, so anything goes.

P.S. I had to photograph my hand in this claw-like position because when a hand is flat out and you take a picture of it in bad light it looks like a creepy creepy anemone. Try it and tell me I'm wrong.

Friday, September 30, 2011


My mom is in town to keep me company while Mike is gone, and thus far we have been eating great food, drinking lots of wine, and having epic gabfests. While I've been at work she has driven to Sausalito, headed down the coast to Half Moon Bay, and walked half the city. She went wine tasting at the ferry building, chocolate tasting at Ghirardelli, and panic-tasting at Coit Tower: she dropped her camera off the side of the Filbert Steps. In Brennan-luck tradition, though, a French trapeze artist happened by and helped her out, so her camera is safe and sound. All it cost my mom was a bottle of wine that she had bought for me.

Wednesday we went to see John Prine, and boy howdy was it amazing. He is the real deal. It was a hot day, stayed warm once the sun when down, and we picnicked with wine and this view.
John Prine has been around forever, doing his funny sad country music, and he can work a crowd. His brother was in the audience, and every once in a while he would say, "I love you Doug." And Doug would yell back, "I love you brother." Then everyone would cheer. Someone yelled "John, you're a legend!" He blinked a few times, then said, "Usually that's inside my head." The whole thing made me feel happy, and centered (ohmygod, I have gone NorCal), and like I know what I love and can surround myself with things that I love. It was...inspiring.

Last night we went to my regular yoga class. I had told the instructor that I was bringing my mom, and she said she was honored. I don't know how honored she felt when my mom gave her an in-depth explanation of why she couldn't do pigeon pose, but mom was successfully shushed, and seemed to enjoy the class. I definitely did. The best part: Mom wore a tshirt that said "Group Therapy" and had bedazzled glasses of wine on it. 

Friday, September 23, 2011


I have had a week of incompetence and ill luck. I've had commute fails on an epic scale (well, epic if you consider waiting on the curb for 45 minutes then getting stuck in 2 hours of traffic epic, and being trapped in a roasting airless bus on the return trip, which I do), I've spent over a week trying to write a self review for a promotion at work that doesn't make me sound like a jackass, I've dropped and chipped and burned all kinds of things, I've embarrassed myself multiple times, I've pissed off creatures great and small. And this morning I put Mike on a plane to Cairo, which has nothing to do with incompetence or ill luck, but does have its own frustrations. But I'm happy for him, really!
Anyway, I'm going to turn it around here. A few things I've enjoyed this week:
  • attending a super fancy startup party (with Beth and the mostess hostess above)
  • this article on a small-town pharmacist
  • discovering that a friend from college is undertaking a very cool world-exploring theater project
  • resisting the urge to buy oh so many thigns on this site
  • fixing my internet - with a friend's help - through methods technical and hacker-y
  • planning my Halloween costume (just you wait!)
  • wallowing in the lovely Indian summer weather
  • drinking out of a big glass boot with this lady, who generally does not look so sleepy (or enshadowed, but that is my camera's fault)

Friday, September 16, 2011

A week for the books

Today is Friday, which means I'm posting this a bit late, but whatever. I'll proceed. Last Saturday we had a gathering at our house that turned into a party that turned into a rager. It was a lot of fun - probably a bit too much. We wound up getting the last guests out of the house at about 5 a.m., and pissed off our neighbors mucho in the process. On Monday I left a bottle of wine and an apology note outside their door, and returned home to find a typewritten note - on a letterpress card, no less - thanking us for the wine but scolding us for being inconsiderate. Fair enough.

Aside from gathering the ire of our neighbors, the party went off smoothly. It had a summer camp theme, so I put out pitchers of Tang with vodka (delicious, and my downfall) and Countrytime lemonade with whiskey, along with fruit rollups, animal crackers, and bags of Capri Sun, which inevitably wound up being used as mixers. We had the firepit going in the backyard, and there were people on the porch, and in the house, and pretty much anywhere they could fit (including a couple locked in the bathroom, doing exactly what I hoped they weren't doing).
There were make-your-own-merit badges of construction paper, markers, stickers and safety pins. I was awarded Hostess with the Mostess badge, and also two that looked like nipples, pinned to my chest. Someone else had a badge that named her Chief Breast Inspector. It was that kind of party. My favorite thing was the pinata I bought and stuffed with little plastic bottles of booze.
Sunday morning (er, afternoon) I woke up in a haze, and stayed that way until we met Boof at the Willie Nelson concert at Mountain Winery. A pound or so of brie and manchego brought me back to something approaching normalcy, and Willie doing all his classics brought me back to endorphin-land. Monday we had a cocktail party to attend (hosted by friends who are opening their own distillery), and Tuesday I tore through dollar-oyster night, eating something like three dozen. Wednesday I had a work happy hour (balanced out by a run when I got home), and yesterday I stood at the stove for hours to make bread, lentils, roasted vegetables, fried rice, and a pot o' grains (amaranth, quinoa, teff). I don't know what got into me. Oh right, red wine.

This weekend will hopeful involve more recovery time than this week has, but I'm really not counting on it.

Happy Friday!

Today started off as a pain in the ass, with the simultaneous meltdown of both my phone and my computer (because our wifi router spontaneously bit the dust). Without my work account on my phone I couldn't get into my computer, and vice versa. A kind Muni driver let me sprint my way onto his bus, and I am now in the office, where electronics know to behave.

And Mike came for lunch!
Yes, there is a photo booth in the San Francisco office. I don't know why either.


This may not look like much, but it is ohsotasty. Warm lentils with olive oil, balsamic, celery salt, and some fried-up freezer rice. Dinner last night. I had a Ball jar with some red wine in it going, and I was a happy lady.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


Caitlin just presented her new company, Amen, at a TechCrunch conference/competition. Go Caitlin! 

Friday, September 9, 2011

Have y'all seen the online clothing catalog that did a photo shoot at Wellesley? Well, you should. It is a very accurate representation of how women's college students dress. 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Update on the Baroness

Ezzie is home, and resting comfortably. By which I mean that she is back to normal cat behavior. Here is proof.

She may have kidney problems later in life, but for now she's out of the woods. Mike and I aren't, however. Aside from having to pay our vet-inflated credit card bills, we have to give her a subcutaneous IV injection every day for a week. Translation: we have to give her a nice long slow shot in the neck to pump her full of fluids. I am not looking forward to this. But hey, it is much much better than having killed a cat with a bouquet of lilies.

Hips don't lie

I am taking the best yoga class ahhhhhh. It's with an instructor that a friend brought me to over a year ago, but that friend is no longer in the Bay Area and I just happened upon the instructor's new class. Different channel, different time, same show. It's very relaxing and slow-moving, with a lot of focus on breathing; perfect for a noob like me. Her posture corrections are genius - in my first class, she told me to grab her ankles and lift my hips while laying on my back, and boom! I was in a bridge, which I have not done since I was 9 and had the first of a very long series of freakish growth spurts. I whooped, she murmured "Excellent, excellent, beautiful" at me in her impossible-to-place-but-lovely accent, and I imagined that all others in the class, who had easily pulled off a backbend unaided, were rolling their upside-down eyes at me.

The studio is on Divis, and even though it's on the second story, you can hear all the street noise. I love that. The room has incredibly high ceilings and huge windows and a beautiful wood floor. It smells exactly like San Francisco to me, the smell I missed so much when I was living in Boston. It's a little bit of mold and mildew and fog, a little bit of good old wood, a little eucalyptus, and a lot of whatever it is that continues to make this city magic for me. I could live in that room. I love feeling my body warm up in there, and then cool down at the end of class, when we're in whatever that pose is called where you lay like a dead person and breath for an endless amount of time. You pull a wool blanket over you then, and it's heavy and probably has other people's sweat on it, but it's perfect.

According to my friends who have gone to this instructor for a long time, she does a lot of hip work. I don't know exactly what that means since everything in my life feels like hip work, given that I have a bum right hip/butt, but I am told that since ladies hold lots of tension in their hips, this is a Very Good Thing. Whatever this hip work is feels magical - I leave class with the very tiniest muscle tremors all over, a feeling like exhaustion but also like the happy tingliness of a massage.

That's enough gushing - blame it on the hip work. I am an incrementalist in all things, so as much as I love this class I'm not going to become a yoga-head anytime soon. I will, however, be bringing my mother to class when she visits in a few weeks, and I think that is going to be something to see.

This may make me a bad person, but

I just marked this email as spam: Stand With Disabled Vets on 9/11's 10th Anniversary.

I'm not George Brennan, dammit, and everyone - even disabled vets - need to stop thinking I am.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

PSA: Lilies are toxic

Those gorgeous lilies from my last post turned out to be our downfall! Yesterday was Labor Day, and we woke up late to find Ezzie hacking up her breakfast. It was an impressive showing. She also had orange dust all over her face, which led us to the lilies. Ezzie had gone to TOWN on them - she had eaten several petals off the blooms. We scolded her, and I took this picture.
I sent the photo to my mom, since Ez looked so pollen-tastic. A few hours later, when Mike and I were well into our drive to Big Sur for what we were sure would be a mind-melting Explosions in the Sky concert at the Henry Miller Library, my mom called to let us know that lilies are toxic to cats. Highly toxic.

We made some calls, found increasingly alarming information on the internet, and turned the car around for a very long drive back to the city. We were worried, and disappointed, and pissed. What kind of animal eats a bouquet of flowers, let alone ones that are poisonous? Did she not know how expensive the concert was, or how excited we were to spend Labor Day in Big Sur?

Obviously she didn't, and when we got home she was waiting by the door, as desperate for dinner as always. We shoved her into the carrier and took her to the emergency vet, and they got her on an IV right away. She spent the night there, and by their account had a wonderful time getting her belly rubbed and eating fancy food. This morning I handed over my credit card with my eyes closed, and we took her over to her regular vet, where she settled into looking adorably pathetic.
Aside from the awkwardness of still having the IV catheter in, she seemed fine. The vet is going to continue to flush her kidneys via IV, and tomorrow morning they'll do bloodwork to see how it's going. She may have eaten too much for treatment to help, she may be perfectly fine, or - most likely, it sounds like - she'll be ok but will have kidney problems that crop up later in life. So send nice nuzzling thoughts to poor cuddly hairless lily-eating Ezzie, and I'll keep you updated.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Thursday, September 1, 2011


I don't think I've ever read The Orangette before, but I came to it via a link (101 Cookbooks, of course), and I thought this post was interesting. I don't really buy the "I thought I was the only writer who dreaded writing!" thing because every writer ever has bitched about writing, and blamed it for driving them to drink, but I forgive her because I like this.
I remember when Heidi was working on Super Natural Every Day, and she would put up a post every now and then to chronicle her process, and how it made me think about my own process and feel more brave about it. Most of us spend our days in some process or other, and I want to share what that process has looked like for me lately.
Not super deep, but it's true that no matter whether your job is stressful or dull or physically or mentally taxing, you are in a process, or many processes, and even if they don't feel likeprogress, exactly, you are working through stuff, and that is satisfying. I'm thinking about the boring, mindless temp jobs I had where I thought about what I wanted to do that night, or that week, or that year. I made plans, and dreamed dreams, which is not something I do much. I live way more in the here and now than I probably should. Goals? Nope.

Anyway, I think one of the most interesting things about people is how they work. How they trick themselves into doing the things they don't want to do, or throw themselves into the things they do. I am, colleagues tell me, very efficient. But to myself I am an epic procrastinator, who just happens to put off difficult tasks by getting lots of smaller ones done. Same in my personal life. I will not think about what my career will look like 10 years from now, or whether I want to get married or have children, but I will get all my drycleaning done, brew some beer, clean the house, go for a run, email friends I miss, and cook an elaborate dinner on a Sunday. That might seem productive, but I know better. It's a process, hopefully leading up to something big, and good. Or small and good. I'm not picky.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Hurricane Irene didn't hit my parents as hard as it hit other areas. They are out of power until Friday - Friday! - but on the plus side, their recently-dug pond is now almost full. And, being my parents, they took the canoe out on it.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


The Decemberists have made a music video about Eschaton, a game played by the residents of the tennis academy in Infinite Jest. This is the sort of thing that is both delightful and depressing: delightful because one of my favorite bands clearly likes one of my favorite scenes in a book by one of my favorite authors, and depressing for the same reason. I am just so predictable. Mike doesn't like it when I call myself a yuppie, but I am something for sure.

Anyway, the video is entertaining, if a heck of a lot less gory than the scene in the book, where a kid winds up with a computer monitor stuck on his head. Infinite Jest is, among many many endlessly documented other things, about how humans entertain themselves, and the dark nature of entertainment. A kids' war game is pretty fitting for this theme. The Decemberists have lots of songs about war, which is odd for pop music, but not odd when you consider that they go for the old-timey thing, and also that given how much of human history involves war, it shouldn't just be the Decemberists and 99 Luftballons covering it.

I don't really have a point. Just that this is noteworthy to me. Here's the video.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Dragon's tongue

Today is Monday, and that generally means domesticity in the Brecki household. Mike is working on his radio show, and I am working on a not-at-all-elaborate-meal-that-I-somehow-managed-to-make-complicated. Salad with greens and parsley from the garden (the first time the arugula plants have enough leaves that I feel comfortable snipping them!) with a mustard dressing (with a sampling from my 5 tubes of European mustard!), roasted potatoes from Katie and Larry's farm, homemade bread that I am still hoping will rise (fingers crossed), and a riff on feisty green beans. These beans are called Dragon's Tongue, and we got them - you guessed it - at Katie and Larry's farm. Pre-cooking, they were yellow with purple bands. Beautiful. I blanched them - mostly following the recipe, sans ew-y ew-y raisins - then cooked up garlic with a bunch of super aromatic spices.
Hell yes I use prepacked red pepper. If it comes with your delivery pizza, save it. Mostly for use when camping, but sometimes you can bust it out and make it work. I tossed the beans and spices with walnuts and tarragon in lieu of the recipe's almonds and cilantro. Work with what you got - plus I am obsessed with tarragon. Which is odd since I don't really like black licorice favor, but this is not the time for soul searching. Or maybe it is.
Did I mention I've been hitting the cooking wine?

UPDATE: The bread didn't rise, but was delicious anyway. Mike and I ate pretty much the whole loaf. I recommend the recipe, but only if you have more self control than we do.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


The Irony of Yoga Fashion and Its Gusseted Crotch of Higher Consciousness:

"This is America...Misappropriating traditions, commodifying bliss, taking whatever is best and most inspiring about a cherished, ancient form of human wisdom, packaging it, marketing the hell out of it, and selling it back to you for enormous profit—this is what we do. If Lulu’s sales are any indication, no one’s complaining."

Word. But man, I love my Lululemon yoga pants. They make my butt look ridiculous. Ly good.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Guess who's got a record label...

Tomatoes tomatoes tomatoes

I took all of last week off from work because my father was in town. We went camping in Yosemite (more on that later) and then to our friends' farm. As always, they were super generous with both their time and their produce. I took home a few boxes of fruit and veggies, a dozen eggs from their chickens, a loaf of homemade bread, and more. Bonanza.

The tomatoes, they overfloweth. So last night I made sauce from scratch, using some of the bigger and more beat up tomatoes. I used Smitten Kitchen's recipe as a guide.
You may be able to see that there is a serious amount of basil in the sauce (garlic too, but that is maybe not so visible). That is because Katie and Larry also gave us 5+ bunches of their basil, including some cool varieties like lemon, lime, and cinnamon basil. They smell and taste exactly like they sound - which is lemony/limey/cinnamony basil goodness. The plain basil went into the sauce, and the lemon and lime basil went into a pesto, which I made with pecans, since that was the only nut I had on hand. Copious amounts of their garlic went in as well. No pics of the pesto, but it looks exactly like all other pestos, even if it tastes a bit different.

There were some tomatoes that were too beautiful to put into the sauce, so I made a tomato tart roughly based on David Leibovitz's. I used another head of basil to line the crust (a Trader Joe's crust, because anything involving butter scares me) and to scatter throughout the layers. I also threw in some crushed walnuts, both because I had them leftover from our camping trip (victims of getting packed into the bear canister) and because they are amazing in combination with tomatoes and cheese. Throw them on pizza next time you make it at home - you will not be sorry. Here's the sucker before the final layer went on.
I topped the tart witha bit of grated cheddar, some cherry tomatoes, and big dollops of Katie's goat cheese. Her goats are producing more than she can handle, so she's been making cheese out the wazoo. This cheese was chevre-like, and super tasty. Per David Leibovitz, I attempted to drizzle honey on top, but mine is local and a bit goopy and it plopped more than it drizzled.
While the tart baked and the sauce bubbled, I had my actual dinner - because of course at this point it was after 9 p.m. and I was hungry. I toasted Katie's dad's onion-dill bread, spread the chevre on it, and topped it with basil and prosciutto (left over from a restaurant meal - I don't generally buy meat for use at home). With a glass of red wine, it was perfect.
Not that I didn't have a bit of the tart when it came out of the oven.
It was super tasty, and I have it all to myself since Mike is a) not that into tomatoes and b) trying to pinpoint an allergy by abstaining from dairy this month. So if you are in the neighborhood, please come by and have some tomato tart with me.