Archive for the ‘Around Town’ Category


Orange you glad I love you?

February 14, 2013

Ok – that is my pretty lame attempt at peripherally acknowledging the greeting card fabricated day that is today.  Also, because this – the greatest Valentine ever – was found in my purse this morning.


Yes, I am one of those annoying “today is just a day” people – and I’m neither bitter or single! What I am is a crappy gift-giver and therefore I am uncomfortable receiving gifts. It’s easier to just do away with the whole nonsense!

Random little things like an orange with a heart-on ( 😀 ) make me happy. The Husband leaves us little notes and little gestures all year long, so we don’t need a stupid Hallmark holiday.

Shhhh… I did finally buy The Teen a pair of red skinny jeans today.

It seemed like a good idea.

sf fog

San Francisco didn’t seem to get the “today is just a day” memo. It’s one of those painfully beautiful and surreal days where it’s simultaneously cold, perfectly clear, and foggy. Trade the cold for wind and you’d think it’s summer. I wish I could just stare out the window all day – watching the fog swirl around the buildings.

Tomorrow is The Husband’s birthday and we have a big adventure planned. Tonight we planned on the usual – nothing special.

Then these landed on my desk…


It turns out that this evening will be special, indeed!


Attitude adjustment

April 20, 2011

Yesterday afternoon I got a little upset. I know that I have honestly made some lifestyle changes because as soon as I got home I grabbed the dog and the camera and set out to wander.

Sometimes I get homesick for our little place out in the Avenues but it’s short-lived. There is so much more to do in our new neighborhood, the Excelsior.  We have a huge park two blocks away. It has very many pretty things that make you forget that your panties are in a bunch.

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The Exclesior has nature, and nature is good for the soul.

I feel better.


Weekend To-Do List

March 18, 2011

It is going to be a dark and stormy weekend in San Francisco, leaving me with more free time than usual. The Child is at her dad’s and The Man will be working all day on Saturday, so I think I’m gonna do some stuff.

  1. Spend some extra time at the barn and take a ride or two in the rain.
  2. Super clean the kitchen and do a little decorating in there.
  3. Super clean the bedroom and do a little decorating in there.
  4. Work out until I fall down – watching my heart rate skyrocket on my shiny new heart rate monitor.
  5. Grocery shopping and cook ahead for the week.
  6. Church on Sunday.
  7. Go to a thrift store.
  8. Attempt a fantastical artistical project using the big box of fabulousness mailed to me a year ago from Arkansas. Yes… I do believe the time has come.
  9. Oh…. and I feel the need to plant some things and add some living green things to our home.

Happy Weekend everyone! May you all be well, safe, happy and healthy.


The more things change…

January 14, 2011

… the more things stay the same.

I will unofficially, tentatively and full of disclaimers say that I now like to exercise. I seem to have pushed past that nebulous point where it may be hard but it is no longer torturous. The last three days has seen me push harder and longer each day. I’m sore in different places but I keep in the forefront of my mind that I will be working out tonight.


But just as I am conquering one nemesis I am running to the familiar comfort of my BFF.


While I am so excited to be eating vegan again – I even went and stocked up on some long forgotten favorites yesterday – I am losing whatever tenuous control I had over the hows, whens and whys of our relationship.

I am feeling insecure.

I don’t feel like myself.

Things I need to do have remain undone.

I get mad too easily.

I forgive to slowly.

I am having difficulty giving a fuck.

I’m tired.

I don’t think I even want to have fun.

I feel blue.

So I eat. A lot.

I ate my packed sandwich at 9:30a and I was ravenous again at 11:30a. I thought some fresh air would do me good so I walked. I walked through Chinatown and felt like a stranger in a strange world. Everyone (it seemed) was smoking. Everyone was moving so quickly and talking so fast. Tourists clumsily impeded the frantic flow on the sidewalks. Old men played mahjongg.

This building, meant to be ornate and decorative, was in sad disrepair with peeling paint and tattered signs. Looking like it once was something of beauty, it is now relegated to hawking cheap goods for bargain hunting visitors.

I’m feeling a bit like I too have potential but have allowed myself to fall into disrepair.

So I ate. A lot.

I feel like the things that are close to me are foreign, and the familiar is far away.

Tonight I will put my whole self, again, into the unfamiliar and will push myself harder than I did last night… and hopefully by some divine guidance I’ll find myself . Perhaps this pursuit of change has caused me to ignore the good things I like to do, and that bitch food has stepped up to fill the void of the comforting and familiar.



January Jaunt #1: Pulgas Ridge

January 9, 2011

After a December of festive parties and merry-making I was hoping to inspire some enjoyment of the great outdoors in January. My friend, Chris, and I started a Flickr group, January Jaunts, to do such a thing. If you feel a similar urge, join us!

Today The Man, The Child and The Dog and I adventured down the peninsula to Pulgas Ridge. It was sunny and 50 degrees: downright chilly for our neck of the woods but perfect for climbing really steep hills.

As much as I was looking for an outdoorsy, exercisey “assignment”, I also wanted more opportunities to master my old camera. Once I’ve exceeded its capabilities I’ll look in to getting a new one. Following are my pics – straight out of the camera, without any fiddling. I still have some work to do on exposure – but this camera is cutting edge circa 2000 so full manual isn’t as successful as more *ahem* modern models.


Music to my ears

December 10, 2010

Last night The Child made her symphonic debut as a bassist. She did play the violin  for 3 years so this wasn’t her first performance and strings are not new to her.

I have to admit that the bass is totally badass. It’s a monster of an instrument that towers above her even though she’s already hit the 5’3″ mark.

I am so proud… she killed her performance! We sat close to her and could hear that she was the only strong one – whether wielding a bow or plucking the deep, resonating strings.

It was awesome.

Bet your school didn’t have a safe space like that!

I ❤ San Francisco!



Big City* love

November 23, 2010

* Yes, we all know that San Francisco is not a big city in a literal sense but don’t harsh my buzz, kthx? 😛

Last night The Family went out for an unusual treat. We went out for pizza and we ate it in the restaurant. There is something homey and old fashioned about eating pizza in a pizzeria since pizza in the city has become a delivery-only phenomena. We are very lucky to live in a formerly Italian neighborhood that has a number of forgotten restaurant gems (one of which is where we’re holding our wedding reception!)

This morning The Man made his Thursday morning breakfast for The Child, egg-in-a-hole, since we won’t see her again until Saturday when we have Thanksgiving at my brother’s. I find that routine of theirs to be so adorable, it really warms my heart. After The Child and I BARTed downtown I treated her to an eggnog latte (hers was decaf) and waited with her for her bus to school. Mmmmmm… our first taste of the holidays!

Standing there it felt like New York for a minute. It’s been really cold the last week even though we’ve had rain. Everyone was bundled up in their warm winter coats, some with hats and scarves.

It was one of those minutes where you breathe in the cold clean air while you’re surrounded by urban hustle and bustle – and you feel so happy to be in the “big city”. We don’t really get seasons here in San Francisco being that temps really only range from 45 to 75. In fact, our season are quite backwards:  our winters are warmer than everyone else and our summers are colder.

I’ve never lived where there are four distinct seasons. I think I would like it very much. I think I would like to unpack my winter clothes when fall approaches and revel in the season’s first snowfall. I think I would like to pack away those coats and hats and scarves and mittens in the summer and wear nothing but summer dresses and watch things grow like crazy. I think I would very much like to feel the first crisp morning of the year and see the leaves changing color. I think I would like to see the snow melt and see green pushing through.

But today I couldn’t be happier to be living right here. Thanksgiving is in two days and we will have a house full of our friends who we call family. It will be cold outside but our house will be filled with much love and warmth. The Christmas decorations are going up around town and I can’t wait to get decorating in our house.

Life is good in the Big City. Yes, indeed, it is.


Wet and wild and wooly weekend

November 22, 2010

Just as planned I braved the elements Friday after work and went shopping.

I managed to get myself in to 9 different stores (4 of them in a…. a…. a…. MALL!).

If something didn’t fit, I tore it off immediately and did not allow myself to wallow in self pity. The brief glimpses I caught of myself in my underwear in the dressing room mirrors were not obsessed over. I didn’t allow myself to stop and think at all. Either it fit and was cute, or it didn’t and it was tossed aside immediately. I was a shopping machine.

Three hours later I could no longer navigate crowded stores easily because I was lugging too many bags in a heavy overcoat while also carrying my regular large tote and a huge umbrella.

My haul included 3 dresses (one of them Calvin Klein), a pair of Liz Claiborne slacks, a pencil skirt that claims to smooth the tummy, a bright green cardigan (my new favorite piece of clothing), a pair of cargo pants, a pair of wide leg trouser jeans that can also be worn to the office, 2 long sleeve t-shirts, a pair of heels and 2 pairs of flats. Oh, and the most awesome military-style overcoat – ever.

For $240.00

The Child was home this weekend so we spent a stormy two days snuggled on the couch watching movies.

(dual lightning strike on the Bay Bridge! click pic for link to original)

Saturday night Cousin Rachel came up and we all went to one of The Man’s friend’s house to watch the UFC fights. That was fun but mostly I’m super grateful for the conversation we had over a couple glasses of wine. She made me think about some things – and more of what she said has sunk in long after our conversation.

THANKS RAE! I love you and am so glad we are close!

I was even SUCH a good girl and cooked a super veggie lunch yesterday AND made my lunches for the next two days.

Super veggie bowls with brown rice, black and kidney beans, broccoli, carrots and a bit of cheese – with home-made yellow pepper and tomato salsa. Mmmmmm.

Of course I forgot my beautiful bowls in the fridge this morning and now my tummy is rumbling at the thought of their deliciousness.

Question:  why is it when children make an honest attempt at being helpful it often fails so miserably?

Even though we were out of dishwasher detergent, The Child really wanted to run the dishwasher. Uggghhhhh. But I was very proud of myself: I didn’t get mad. In all honesty, I did the exact same thing once when I was a kid and Sandi didn’t get mad. It was an honest mistake and she had the best of intentions. (It did help that she immediately started crying as soon as she saw the mess! Poor thing!)

Yeah, that took a half an hour to clean up and now we’re afraid to run the dishwasher lest the bubbles come back to life.


City Conveniences

September 22, 2010

One of the really great things about living in The City is that you can get just about anything delivered.

Of course there are restaurants: pizza, Chinese, Thai, even four star haute cuisine. You can get your laundry and dry cleaning delivered. You can have a rental car delivered. And yesterday, for the princely sum of $31, I got the country delivered.

Yummmmm! Fresh, organic, local. I’ve got some serious cooking to do!


How Emily got her sparklies back

September 2, 2010

A little at a time, bit by bit, shiny things are making their way back in to my life.

Getting all my worldly possessions back under one roof again sure helped.  Unpacking has been slow but steady and little corners of the house are getting “settled”.

I am happy to report that one of my most prized possessions has taken a prominent place in our home again – my UmberDove triptychs. And, fittingly, they are flanked with shiny things!

Yes, I do kind of like the sconces, but hate the gold tone and they seem to take a non-standard chandelier bulb (I’ve tried 2 sizes so far and no dice.)  I don’t think they are long for this world…

Last night The Man, The Child and I ate dinner at a reception venue that we thought could be a strong contender. We definitely want a real Chicago Italian-style affair and their food was fantastic! With much anticipation we were led up to the largest banquet room and when they hit the lights… well… The Child and I kind of lost our shit minds!

SPARKLY!!! And do you see it?… A DISCO BALL!


This is the view we’ll see when we look down on our guests before the big entrance…

Could it be any more perfect? No, I think not!


Is that what I think it is??

September 1, 2010

And of course I must have missed the memo that the sun would be making a rare appearance, because I put on boots and tights this morning. Thank goodness for the spare pumps I had under my desk… pity that I didn’t shave my legs 😛


An unusually pleasant Thursday

May 13, 2010

This morning The Child performed with her fellow Taiko All-Stars at an art and music festival in Golden Gate Park. It was the requisite dog-n-pony show that the schools put on to convince people that the arts deserve funding. (How sad.)

Denise, our dear friend from the barn, came to watch and after the Taiko performance we decided to do something entirely different… we had tea in the Japanese Tea Garden.

We talked horses for the better part of an hour, until Baby Alejandra got a little fussy/tired of being strapped in the stroller/ready for a nap (usually she’s about the most smiling-est, good-natured baby around!).

Then I did something else unusual. I didn’t run back to the car and high-tail it out of there. I took a wooded path and looked up at the trees. It’s remarkable how far away from The City you can feel while still totally surrounded by it. And it’s also remarkable how I didn’t hesitate for one moment to slip out of sight of the other people. Home is where you feel safe.

At the end of the path, across the road, lay the rose garden. Spring blooms perfumed the air and I was drawn in.

Everything was just so pretty and serene and perfect. I’m not always good at noticing the beauty around me while careening around from one thing to another.

But today …. yes… I did stop to smell the roses.


Urban Legend: fish are calming

April 29, 2010

Whoever thought fish were supposed to be a calming influence clearly have not walked a mile in my shoes.

Last year I got The Child a beautiful betta fish – a blue one, of course, due to her obsession with the color blue. We named him Aqua (very original, I know, so kindly STFU). He started off to be a nice enough little chap. He’d follow you around the tank, seemingly in to “hanging out” and interacting.

Then we moved. And his food got lost in the shuffle.

Dreamboat (Scott, for those of you out of the loop) babysat him for a week or so and tried to give him the flake food he feeds his oscar. Aqua was not amused. He went on a hunger strike.

When we brought him to our house we picked up some betta food, thinking he’d go back to his happy, eating, interacting self. FAIL. He’d suck in a little nugget and immediately spit it out and look at me like I was the biggest jackass on the planet.

I don’t take kindly to being rebuffed by surly fish. It was expensive betta food and he damn well better learn to love it!

He finally relented, though I think his prolonged starvation has taken its toll. Either he’s developed a vision problem or he’s manipulating me. I have a strong suspicion it’s the latter. Now he hangs out in the upper corner of his tank (his “feed me” spot), and when I drop a little nugget in the water he does one of two frustrating things: he’ll flee as if I’m showering him with lighting bolts; or he hovers within millimeters of the floating tidbit until I wiggle it even closer to him with my finger – literally forcing me to spoon feed him. He may eat one or four nuggets before he decides, again, that it’s no longer food – it’s lightning bolts.

High maintenence little bastard.

When Dreamboat asked if he could put his koi in the fountain in our garden I thought that was a nifty idea! Koi! They are cool and all zen-ny just by virtue of their folkloric (is that a word?) reputation.

When he dumped them in the fountain I was excited as they were big and beautiful! There’s one gray and white one that reminds me of some prehistoric monster-skeleton-y thing; and two orange, black and white ones that are just plain pretty.

The process of capturing them from their large pond, spending a whole day in a bucket in the car, and getting unceremoniously dumped in to our admittedly scuzzy fountain was an understandably stressful day for them. I spent lots of time that day worrying that they were too stressed. Was the gray one listing to one side? Were the spotted ones even moving?? Already I was investing too much emotion in three fish, but being an animal lover I am terrified of anything dying on my watch.

Eventually they perked up and deemed sufficiently strong ( in my expert opinion) for me to quit worrying. (Except for worrying that one of the neighborhood raccoons would make sushi of them – but that’s nature so I can deal with it. Kind of.)

Excitedly I decided it was time to feed them. OMG have you seen big hotels with koi fish and how they practically leap out of the water to gobble up their vittles? These fish are flashy show-offs who dazzle you with their food-guzzling bravado! And now I was going to have that spectacular-ness in my own back yard! Perhaps I should sell tickets!!


Why? Because now these are “my” fish. And apparently my fish all have eating disorders. And my koi fish also are all Emo. Seeing them in our rather small fountain is like seeing Sasquatch. The three of them spend all their time hiding under the fountain because the world is clearly too sad for them to be in and my love is just not enough.

... because the other two little bastards are hiding

(No they are not yet raccoon sushi. When I turn on the water pump they are forced out of their mopey-hidey place and I can see that their sorry asses are still alive.)

So, in summary, fish are supposed to be all relaxing but my fish make me angry.




April 22, 2010

After two days of rain and wind, the sun finally decided to come back out in San Francisco. I headed to the barn bright and early (well, 10 a.m. – about as bright and early as I can muster these days) for some quality equine time.

Two days of sitting in a stall is not in Fiona’s nature. Standing still or walking quietly is also not in her nature. After some maniacal tearing around in the arena we headed out for a short and sweet frantic trail ride. I did get her to stand for a brief moment – long enough for Susan to snap a pic that would give one the impression that Fiona is a relaxed ride 🙂

Even after a good gallop – good for both our hearts and minds – she still had a full tank of gas. *sigh* Maybe tomorrow I’ll actually be able to wear her out.

Now I’m off to shop for some pony sedatives!



April 19, 2010

There is something about The City that keeps pulling me back. Perhaps this is where I belong, or more likely where I was, was not.

For the immediate future The Child and I are nestled snugly in the loving embrace of Pacific Heights. It has been not only a return home but a return to sanity, to a time-tested (and mother approved!) support network, to prospects, and to positivity.

Sometimes you make decisions without having all the information. Sometimes it works out, and other times you find it was a mistake. Righting the wrong can be painful and leave you scarred, but sometimes it’s necessary. The reward for endurance can be a thousandfold the price. You can’t remain in a void and progress.

So I chose life. I chose a future, which is turning out to be more than I ever would imagined.

I have friends…

Fiona has friends…

And I have love… lots of it.


Our 15 minutes of fame

January 22, 2009

Part 1

Part 2

Thank you Rae for the interim cell phone recording!  I WILL be ordering a copy from the news station 😀


More pics from yesterday

January 21, 2009

Check out all the pics on Flickr!


The dawning of a new (yester)day

January 21, 2009

Sorry this post is a day late and a dollar short cashing in on the Inaugural hoopla, but like I said, I was only firing on two cylinders maybe.

We arrived at Civic Center Plaza before 7a to watch the simulcast.  I thought it was important to be part of “something” for the occasion since Haley was involved in the campaign.  Even if she didn’t have fun there when her children were reading about January 20th, 2009, she could say she was there, she was part of it all.

There weren’t many people when we got there but Haley immediately noticed the news crew to our left.  Within no time the news lady from KRON Channel 4 approached us and asked if she could ask us some questions.  Of course, once she found out Haley had made Get Out The Vote calls she asked if she could ask us the same questions on a live segment.  Ten minutes later we were on the news!  I thought Haley was going to explode she was so excited!  As soon as it was over my cell started ringing – Rae Rae saw us!  There she was – all innocent, getting ready for work – when BLAM!  there we are on TV!  Apparently they replayed the clip on the 5 o’clock news because Haley’s friend, Mary, called all screaming and freaking out 😛


Someone made this really cool origami image of Obama and handed out Sharpie markers for people to leave their thoughts.  Of course Haley had to jump right in and leave her mark!

The crowd soon swelled to the thousands and we all cheered together.  Haley was swamped by all the tall people surrounding her but the spirit of Hope and Change prevailed:  some kindly strangers pushed her up to the front so she could see.  We were separated for the swearings-in of Biden and Obama but my super-sweet baby girl immediately squirmed her way back to me to listen to Obama’s speech.  We stood there in a crowd of people who were truly “all the colors of the rainbow”, embracing, cheering together, and many sharing a tear together – full of pride, hope and enthusiasm for the hard work this country has yet to do.

So after listening to Obama’s speech tell me what is it that you plan to do for your country?

(I promise to get some snippet of the newscast!! Please hold!)


Dain Bread

January 20, 2009

Yes!  We were right in the middle of Inaugural festivities bright and early this morning!  Yes!  We have great pictures!  Yes!  Something awesome happened (hint:  HALEY WAS ON TV!!)


My sleep has been non-existent and my brain is like swiss cheese.  So bear with me until tomorrow and I promise to have something worthwhile to waste your time reading 😀


On thin ice

December 22, 2008

 Today I got all the other kids in our office “family” to come in to work.  It turned in to an unofficial holiday outing – we had a blast!  Between me and two guys in my office we have 5 kids aged 8 to 11 and they all get along famously.

After skating my boss gave me a nice little gift…  “working from home” for the rest of the year 😀 (Of course there’s nothing I can do from home!)

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