Wednesday, February 29, 2012

These bugs spoon

Via my brother, an article on giant insects that were once thought extinct. The pictures are the stuff of nightmares, and I only made it 45 seconds into the video at the end, but get this:
Howe Island walking sticks seem to pair off — an unusual insect behavior — and Goodall says Patrick "showed me photos of how they sleep at night, in pairs, the male with three of his legs protectively over the female beside him."

Monday, February 27, 2012

Where ya been?

It is amazing how motivation has an inverse relationship with the amount of stuff there is to do. I have been finding just so many amazing things on the internets [all separate links, btw, and the last one is my idea of a joke right now], and I feel so overwhelmed by it all that I haven't been blogging about it. Instead I've been pinning it (link only works if you're signed up, mebbe), which is the pretty but lazy way out.

So what have I been up to lately? Well, a lot. A few days after my parents left I had an old friend in town, and we ate and drank and hiked all over the damn place.

Since then, I have DEVOURED the Hunger Games (900+ pages in 3 days), met with a real estate agent, fallen in love with an apartment that turned out to be tiny, gone dancing til the wee hours, and reveled in subsequent laziness. I bought a beautiful desk from the secondhand shop around the corner, and it fits perfectly over the ugly vestigial heater in the living room, the bane of my domestic existence.
My car got broken into - well, sort of, I suspect I didn't actually lock it - but only the FastTrak was stolen (the benefit of having a piece of shit car). I now have a missing FastTrak, a missing credit card (no charges on it in the three weeks it's been missing, so I know it's in my house somewhere), a missing FitBit (lost at a bar, I think), and a missing smog check as a result of somehow misplacing the registration renewal for two months. As a result, I will soon be missing some money, which will have relocated into the pockets of the DMV. Mike says that it's a good thing my butt is attached to me, or I'd lose it too. I know some people say the same thing about heads, but this is the Mike version.

One last dunderheaded thing: I thought I had canceled my flight back from Colorado for today (I know that I canceled the flight TO Colorado), but apparently not, since I got an Orbitz email alert that my flight was delayed. Skipping the trip was a bummer, and so is not getting my refund, but both are probably also good signs that I wasn't up to another trip, nor to slicing my way down the slopes without forgetting important safety gear or how to brake.

Am I disorganized? Mayhaps. But most of the plates are still spinning in the air, and nothing that has crashed has been irreplaceable, so I have hope that I'll whip it all into shape before I leave town again, this time for London and Dublin and New York and Austin. Aside from how impossible it is to pack for this kind of itinerary, I am immensely looking forward to it. Assuming I don't also lose my mind first.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Family weekend

My parents just left after being with us for a few days, and tonight Mike and I are going to have a VERY romantic Valentine's Day date of sitting on the couch with takeout and Downtown Abbey. The weekend consisted of stuffing ourselves full of good food and excellent beer, and walking a lot in penance.

Friday night was the SF Beer Week opening party, with 4 hours to taste beers from 60+ breweries, including some really odd stuff.
My favorites were Pac Brew Labs' hibiscus saison, Almanac Brewing's winter wit, and Sierra Nevada's brown saison. We tried some tasty stuff from breweries that were new to me, too: Ale Industries, Lucky Hand, Blue Frog, Dying Vines, and Heretic.

The next morning we ran errands like I was heading off to college: we hit Costco, Home Depot, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Trader Joe's. I feel like my parents' presence justified the big box store run, because they have the magical ability to know what I need to solve the niggling problems in my life. We picked up things like bulk flea medicine and fancy food for the cats, light fixtures for my hallway that don't require actually switching out the fixture and thereby likely electrocuting myself, gardening supplies so Mike and I can tackle the clover and nasturtium that have taken over our backyard, a beautiful All Clad pot (thanks Mom!), and, of course, lots of booze. In the afternoon we walked to the Mission and hit Southern Pacific, a new brewery in a beautiful renovated warehouse space. The beer was good, not amazing, but it was gratifying to introduce my father to banh mi, which he agreed is one of the world's finest sandwiches.

Sunday we went for a hike on Mount Sutro, a forest right in the middle of the city. We'd never been before, and spent a nice few hours tromping through the eucalyptus groves. The dogwoods are blooming and it smelled delightful. Here is my mom looking excited that she has a walking stick.
In typical fashion, we went straight from healthy activity to drinking beer at the Suppenkuche Biergarten. Until it clouded over it was lovely - the food is just the kind of horseradishy pickled teutonic goodness that I like, and the German beers were a nice counterpoint to all the hop bombs we'd been trying for Beer Week. On the way home we picked up an embarrassing number of macarons, which my parents appreciated for the glorious cookie creations they are. Salted caramel, holy hell.

We capped off their visit with one last Beer Week event, a Sierra Nevada night at Pi Bar in the Mission. The brewers were there, pouring from a giant bottle of reserve Celebration Ale (in addition to all the crazy stuff they had on tap), and I got to introduce my dad to the brewmaster, who I met at an event last year. He pretended to remember me. Plus the pizza was good. So: two pints up. (My parents aren't great at smiling for the camera, but I know they were happy inside.)
I'm sad to see them go - they really are a lot of fun - but the next wave of visitors is arriving soon. Brecki Bed and Breakfast, open for business.

It's Valen, it's Valentines!

That is to the tune of Business Time by Flight of the Conchords, by the way. 

So Valentine's is mostly a dumb holiday, but I think that, like Thanksgiving, it's nice to have a day where you focus on something that you really should be thinking about all the time: love and forgiveness and all that. The commercialism and heteronormativity are a bummer, but luckily there are some clever rebuttals, among them a friend's Occupy VDay blog (which has gotten good coverage) and today's Google Doodle. It is SO PRECIOUS:
Also, some dude rode his bike around San Francisco in an impressively detailed way, so props to him. In any case, whether you are coupled up or not, whether you exchange presents or not, I hope you will have an evening as satisfying as mine is shaping up to be. My butt will be planted on my couch, and my mouth will be full of takeout, and loving words for my boyfriend, of course. I'll try to minimize how much food I accidentally spit out on him.

And finally: NPR has some great valentines.


Thursday, February 9, 2012

Getting old sucks for everyone

I don't really know what to say about Arnold Shwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone sharing a hospital room. Except: dude, they sure are old.

Advanced style

Is an old lady style blog. It's wonderful, you'll love it. You're welcome.

Monday, February 6, 2012


Cheddar, beer and mustard pull-apart bread recipe. On Smitten Kitchen. Sweet baby jesus, this needs to get made asap.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

I just managed to

  • Cut myself rather badly with my fancy new chopping knife for the first time. I knew this day would come.
  • Send a few heartfelt emails that would have been letters or carrier-pigeon missives in the olden days.
  • Email with a hero of mine after drinking a few glasses of wine (see: cutting myself) in a way that wasn't pathetic, I think.
  • Cook up a large pot of tomato sauce.
  • Add some of my parents' homemade maple syrup to the tomato sauce to cut the salt. This may have been a bad call.
  • Install an air freshener thing that gives off pheromones and is supposed to keep Little Dude from being too feisty and attacking Ezzie all the time.
  • Yell at Ezzie for being a weenus.
  • Have my mind blown by Babes of NPR. Be prepared. I will never recover from seeing Diane Rehm (or the skinny Paula Deen, as I am now calling her).