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.