Tuesday, January 31, 2012

More links

I just can't help myself. How am I supposed to keep up with the internet?
  • Purple jeans: yay or nay? I'm thinking yay.(!)
  • The Frugal Traveler went to Austin, and our friends advised him.
  • I was obsessed with Alan Lomax's recordings in high school, partially because of my own interests, and partially because of a boy. 
  • The Susan G. Komen Foundation has stopped providing grants to Planned Parenthood. In response, I have issued a strong spit-filled raspberry. Pffffffttttttggggghhh.
  • Speaking of which, The Marriage Plot is really good and probably a pretty light read if you did not have your first big breakup on the Brown campus. Damn you and your giant brilliant forehead, Eugenides.
  • I haven't actually read this article about placentas (placentae?) yet - I keep chickening out - but a friend just had a baby and I know what she did with hers the first time around: boiled it, dried it, and ground it down into powder to put into pill capsules. So there you go.
  • Madeleine Albright visited El Table! I still think that I peaked professionally when I managed that place. I have dreams of owning my own business, but then I'm like, Well, can I pay no rent? And have a captive audience? And only pay my employees every four months? Since that is a solid ixnay, I'm sticking with my current gig.
There's so much more, but I'll spare you for now. 

Friday, January 27, 2012

Link dump

Items for your perusing pleasure.
  • I only just heard that the Asian Art Museum is running an exhibition called Maharaja: The Splendor of India's Courts. It looks stunning.
  • This weekend is the Treasure Island flea market, and here's a link to a free admission coupon. We've been doing some light redecorating in our apartment lately - moving things around and de-cluttering, mostly - so I've got the itch to do some flea marketing.
  • Sweetwater Music Hall in Mill Valley is reopening, backed by Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead. Their current events schedule only goes through February, but I'll be keeping an eye on who they're booking.
  • A Wellesley '07er produced this short film about a doctor who works with women injured in acid attacks in Pakistan, which is nominated for an Oscar. I'd love to see it.
  • In this photo blog, the photographer takes photos of herself jumping and then edits them so it looks like she's floating. They're dreamy.
  • The SF Symphony is having a sale on a large number of shows. I'm going to buy some tickets and hope that my travel schedule for the next few months doesn't conflict with all of them.
  • An amazing brewery/beer garden just opened in the Mission. I can't wait to check it out.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

La la

I'm back in New York for a work event, and am facing a week of even better eating than usual (which is saying something). I love work dinners because the food just magically appears, in great quantity and variety. Sunday night my family had dinner at one of my favorite local restaurants, and last night the work crew went to an excellent beer and tapas bar. The owner was so thrilled to have beer nerds in his restaurant that he brought out bottle after bottle of free rare beer - sours, saisons, smoked porters, and on and on

Which makes me realize I never reported in detail on my LA adventure, which was also a food/beer smorgasbord. Mike was heading off to a dudes' weekend in Reno, so I booked a last-minute flight to LA for a 36 hour trip. I flew in around noon on Saturday and went for a hike with a friend from elementary school. It was sunny and gorgeous, and getting a good sweat on is an ace start to a trip. I cleaned up at another friend's house (Hi Lianna!), and we headed out for a seafood dinner. Oysters!!! Post-feast, we went back to her apartment for a cookie baking session, then had a few beers around the corner from her in Brentwood. The next morning we got brunch, and I headed off solo to hit the Getty Museum. My travel approach of late has been to be ambitious in my wanderings but not in my activities - I stroll, I see what I see, and I don't push it. I wandered in and out of the Getty galleries, but mostly I took in the views and sat on the lawn in the sun. And any place that requires a tram to get there is catnip to me.
I took advantage of the last remaining daylight to rent a bike and ride from the Santa Monica pier to Venice and back. After riding a road bike around San Francisco, riding a beach cruiser on the boardwalk is like loafing on a barcalounger. It was lovely. For the sunset I plopped myself down on the beach and took a lot of photos.
Next stop was the bar at the top of the Shangri La for a few cucumber gimlets and some reading - I was deep into 1Q84 and was fully sucked into Murakami's addictive weirdo writing. Lianna and her man scooped me up for one last meal, some lovely sushi, and then I hopped the plane back home. And that was my weekend - two thumb's up!

Also, this is my 1000th post! I feel accomplished, I think.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Maximum weekend

Holy balls, it's Wednesday already. The long weekend through me off, I think. I made the most of it with time outside - a few runs, a few hikes - lots of food and drink, and plenty of sleep. Below are a few photos from one of the hikes, a loop on Mt Tam (which I've done before). Mike and I also hit up Olompali State Park before visiting friends who just bought a gorgeous house in Sebastopol, where they're opening a distillery.
Also in friends-being-impressive mode, Katie had her baby today! Or yesterday! Or overnight! I don't have any details yet - just a brief Facebook update from the babydaddy. Welcome Lady Giles! That is what I am going to call the baby, maybe even after I find out what her name actually is.

I also checked out a new restaurant in my neighborhood (it was really good, but not great) and went to a birthday party in a warehouse-slash-apartment. And a shoutout to one of my activities last weekend -hooray for the bike party, which managed to get 500 cyclists safely through the city streets for hours last Friday, and to have a rocking time doing it.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Freedom riders

I was blown away by these photos of a few of the Mississippi Freedom Riders from 1961. They look so very young.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Please give this woman an honorary Wellesley degree

Check out this article on a lady chef in Boston who owns some of the best restaurants and bars in the area. She is not kidding around.

Q. How did you work up the courage to open your first restaurant?
A. I have always been a risk-taker, even as a kid. I stole an MBTA bus when I was 13 just for laughs and never got caught. It was all because of my upbringing.
Q. What was it about your upbringing?
A. I just didn’t want to be on welfare. I’d wake up in the morning and see this dilapidated building we lived in, and I knew there had to be a better life. I was a bookie in high school, and I’d place bets for some of my teachers. I dealt drugs, anything to survive.
Q. How closely involved are you in the day-to-day operations of each business?
A. My management team keeps nightly logs of everything going on in each entity — who cut their finger, what table we screwed up on, which meat wasn’t hot enough — so I read those first thing every day.

Secrets of success

Today I held my first external Google Hangout, i.e. one with people outside my company. My guinea pigs were a few hardy souls (We're straight pioneers! they said, which now seems like it has a second meaning I hadn't noticed before) from a publishing company. Once we got everyone up and running the Hangout worked great, and I was able to share my screen and make all kinds of unnecessary hand gestures and emphatic facial expressions and all the other things that video conferences were created for. At one point I held up my tablet to show their edition in the Currents app, and I tipped the screen to cut down on glare. After putting the tablet down, I forgot to tip the screen back up, and so this is what they were looking at while I emoted about their custom template code parameters.

After a minute or two one of the ladies said something - "Hey Genevieve, you might want to adjust your camera..." - and I blushed ferociously. Given how well the call went, I am feeling especially weird about my blatant boobage.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Happy new year!

The last six weeks have been genuinely insane. I helped launch a product, had one of the best meals of my life, went to some (fun) weirdo parties, worked the gift-giving part of my brain to the max, and spent two weeks on the east coast in the bosom of family, friends, and fabulous food. I'm pooped! But pooped in a fulfilling I've-spent-all-my-energy-and-money kind of way, which I'm viewing as evidence of some extremely good times.

I don't have any new year's resolutions, per se, but I do have some experiences - big and small - that I want to make sure I do in 2012:
  • go to my cousin's wedding in Ireland
  • train for an athletic event, whether it's a starter triathlon or a half marathon
  • take a cooking class or two
  • finally visit Angel Island for a hike and some oysters
  • make some crazy-flavored homebrew
  • have a full day on Mt. Tam with a hike to a pancake breakfast and then beers at the Tourist Club
  • start keeping a list of books to read, instead of just buying the ebook of the literary novel of the moment
  • and, of course, travel travel travel.