Saturday, December 6, 2008

Mmmm... puddingy.




I'm baking. This is why I love weekends... it's Saturday night, 9 pm; I'm sharing a very boozy hot chocolate with HD (Bailey's Irish Cream: The Reason For the Season), and I'm concocting dessert when we didn't even eat dinner (lunch at 3:00, don't worry, Dad).

Yesterday was the 2 year anniversary of HD and my first date at My Thai in San Rafael. To celebrate, I made reservations at Pesce in Russian Hill. Our seafood dinner was delicious, and for dessert we had a limoncello tiramisu and some kind of amazing apricot bread pudding. I was inspired; at any given time, we have 2-3 partial loaves of extremely stale bread in the fridge. We always have eggs and milk. So after decorating the tree, I got to work.

Step 1: Nearly sever fingers by trying to cube a 2-week-old loaf of sourdough batard from Bovine Bakery. Put cubes in casserole.

Step 2: Dice some dried apricots, sprinkle in casserole with dried cranberries and golden raisins. When HD is sufficiently engrossed in a rerun of Reno 911, sneak some Ghirardelli white chocolate chips out of the pantry and sprinkle right in there. Go ahead, he can't hear you over his disturbing laughter.

Step 3: Basically make french toast batter, but add some extra fun: a teaspoon of allspice, a teaspoon of Madagascar vanilla bean paste, some organic sugar, a quarter cup of pure maple syrup, and last but definitely not least, a tablespoon of Jack Daniel's. Mmmmmm. More booze. Definitely not driving anymore tonight.

Step 4: Combine the batter with the bread mixture, let sit in the fridge, covered, for 40 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400.

Step 5: Bake.

Treeeeeee!

After I got my hair cut today (shorter than it's ever been), HD helped me pick out a Christmas tree. I had that sucker in the tree stand and strung with lights in 10 minutes flat. I think it's a new record.

My cabin smells amazing right now. There's really nothing like the smell of a noble fir. It warms even the most grinchy of hearts.

The plan tomorrow is to put up the outdoor lights, and maybe make a wreath of some kind out of pinecones. Also, bake cookies.

Friday, December 5, 2008

2 years

You're my best friend and I hope for many more years to come.

मुझे तुमसे प्यार है.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

In which I lobby for a position at Martha Stewart Omnimedia, apparently

I just want to drink coffee in my cabin all day and decorate for Christmas and knit and make cute paper ornaments and bake cookies and breads and write cards to people I haven't seen in a long time and go to Seattle and watch Meg Ryan/Tom Hanks movies and Love, Actually and string cranberries and gather pinecones from the redwood just off my brick path and make soups and I'm pretty sure this lack of punctuation looks bad for me professionally.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Back in the saddle



My my, it's so... quaint... up here in Northern California. I mean, honestly, what does a girl have to do to get an uber-luxury car around here?

Apparently that bad boy is one of several this guy owns (it was parked in front of his boutique on Rodeo).

HD and I spent most of the day Friday in search of celebrities. HD kept pointing at plain old beautiful people wearing odd clothes and saying, "Is that a celebrity? I think I just saw a celebrity!"

Me: Who do you think you just saw?
HD: A star.

Anyway, we didn't spend all of the last four days in Beverly Hills. We were staying in Santa Barbara for the Thanksgiving holiday. Yup, Thanksgiving dinner in a restaurant... that's a first for me. We biked along the beach on borrowed beach cruisers, ate breakfast at the Pierre Lafond Bistro, shopped up and down State Street... it was so much fun.



And I'm sorry to say, but the SoCal Ugg Monstrosity is still alive and well. I wish people would stop flogging that deceased equine. I think I first saw that trend, oh, 4 years ago? Yes, when I was visiting friends in San Luis Obispo and Irvine that January. The most memorable was a man in his early forties, balding, wearing a Ralph Lauren polo shirt, plaid golf shorts, and tan Ugg boots up to his calves. Why? No, seriously, why? This makes as much sense to me as puffy vests. Do your arms and knees not get cold?

Sunday, November 23, 2008

I think it's time to make Milwaukee mine!

My friend Garen sent this, and now that I'm done crying with laughter, I'm passing it along.

A friend of Garen's made this, and I have to say, I'm extremely jealous of this person's talent.

How to Use RSS

I am posting this as a public service to my friends and family who may not know about the wonder of RSS. If you don't know about RSS, take a few minutes and watch this video. It will change your life.

Or at least the way you slack off.

This is for my sister


*Edited from original post: dang it! There's no internet video of him doing Single Ladies! Jack, seriously, find someone who has that episode on TiVo. Funniest. Skit. EVAAAAAAR.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I don't even know who you ARE

Scene: This morning, driving to work on 5th street in San Rafael. HD is in the passenger seat of my car. Someone from Guide Dogs for the Blind is doing some training with a cute yellow lab. There's a dump truck parked on the right side of the road just ahead of the woman and dog.

Me: Look at the dog!
HD: Don't hit that truck.
Me: I was nowhere near that truck.
HD: You almost hit that truck. That's a bad example for that dog; how will he ever learn?
Me: Learn to drive?
HD: Yes.
Me: He's a dog. I hope I've deterred him from ever driving a motor vehicle.
HD: Now you're just being speciest*.
Me: Give me a break.
HD: I don't even want to talk to you right now. Just drive.

* speciest (noun, adj.): 1. A person** prejudiced against an entire species, such as canines or trees. 2. Being prejudiced against an entire species, such as canines or trees.
** Is it speciest of me to define a speciest as a person?

Monday, November 3, 2008

Just about over Coldplay

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2008/10/25/opinion/20081025_opart.html

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Whassup

Got this from my aunt; good stuff!



Also, if you haven't yet carved your Jack O'Lantern, why not rock the vote at the same time?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Curing the dining room






I'm still working on the Apartment Therapy 8-Week Cure. Right now I've kind of gone down a rabbit hole with what I call the dining room area. The old round glass-top pedestal table and folding chairs just weren't working out for me:
  • The glass top slipped all over the place
  • The floor under the table is uneven, so that made the glass top slip even more
  • I do beadwork, which doesn't really work on a glass top table
  • Folding chairs are a big sack full of uncomfortable
I sold the table and chairs last week on Criagslist. I'm glad some other people are getting a good use out of them now.

I turned around and bought a cool drop-leaf table on Craigslist. It was terribly scratched up and faded in places, so I decided to paint it. I thought I might paint it a cool aqua color, or red, but decided to just go with off white. I'm using Mythic No-VOC Semigloss in Cream Tulip (isn't that a pretty name? I'm not sure I didn't pick the color because of the name; I'm like that).

Also, my parents came to stay with me for the weekend. Among other things, my dad and I took a drive over to Berkeley to see what treasures we could find at Urban Ore. I ended up with these awesome, super-heavy dining chairs with a bentwood back for $15 each. They're very comfortable.

Excuse me, I'm going to go have a Joe Joe or eight.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Gleeful


Just one of those days where I'm glad to be who I am, where I am. I hope you're having a great day too.

I'm also having a deep, deep hankering for a flight to Seattle. Hmmm.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Give me that yellow jersey

IM conversation with HD, in which he recommends a bike for me:

HD:
something like this
Me:
I like it!
No disc brakes on that one
Good price though
HD:
yes road style comfort bikes don't have discs
Me:
WHAAA?!
As a rule?
HD:
as a weight saving step and lack of requirement
Me:
Does Lance go without disc brakes? I think not!
HD:
Lance who?
Me:
There is only one Lance, my friend.
HD:
yes. Lance goes without discs. and believe me you will not be at a disadvantage when racing him without discs
Me:
lol
Touche.


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Fleet Week



Just posting a few pictures from Fleet Week '08, as viewed from the Warming Hut at Chrissy Field. Well, mostly. HD and I walked from there down to the Yacht Club at the Marina to watch the Blue Angels.

My mom and dad did the same thing the next day, and from what I hear, they had as great a time as we did!

Pardon my lack of posts the last few days, I've been down with a nasty, head-spinning cold (I spoke too soon, Sue!). HD has been a spectacularly kind nurse; IMing me from work to see how I'm doing and cooking spicy kidney bean masala and rice for dinner.

He also prepared lots and lots of tea, as when I'm sick, coffee sounds disgusting to me. That's how I knew I was getting pretty sick on Monday; when I got into the office, I went to the kitchen to prepare my usual super-delicious cup of coffee from the super expensive espresso machine. It did not smell or look appetizing at all, so I put in two "creams". I put that in quotes because it's not really normal to store half & half in bins on the counter, unrefrigerated, and still call it half & half. Unless it's half petroleum product, half, oh, I don't know, hair conditioner? Whatever, it tastes just about as good as it sounds.

Woah, if I were on the debate team, I would get a total digression for that weird rant. Forgive me, I'm still not up-to-snuff.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Oh gosh, I wasn't elected, I just DID that...

Hey, Sara Benincasa? Can you be my friend please?



Apparently, she will no longer be vlogging on her YouTube channel, but will now be vlogging on The Huffington Post's humor website! Yay!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

The Cure: The Interview


I mentioned the Apartment Therapy 8-Week Cure a few days ago; the first task of The Cure is to answer a questionnaire about your personal tastes. Well, it's your lucky day; I'm doing my questionnaire right here!

Favorites
  1. Actress: Audrey Hepburn, Julianne Moore, Diane Keaton
  2. Actor: Colin Firth, Bradley Whitford
  3. Writer: Richard Russo, Ray Carver, Lorrie Moore
  4. Artist: Marc Chagall, Natasha Wescoat
  5. Music: Folk Rock
  6. Restaurant: Barefoot Cafe, Tower Cafe
  7. Automobile: Volkswagen New Beetle (but I will never own one again)
  8. Television Show: Gray's Anatomy
  9. Clothing (designer or store): Anthropologie
How would you describe your style? (3 words)
  1. Creative
  2. Unique
  3. Bohemian
Personal History

Where have you lived?
  1. Where you were born: Mountain View, CA
  2. Where you grew up: Citrus Heights, CA
  3. As an adult: Marin County, CA
Whom would you consider a role model? My aunt

What three qualities describe the qualities that you admire in this person?
  1. Creative
  2. Hospitable
  3. Resourceful
Apartment

What is the problem with your apartment (3 words)?
  1. Cluttered
  2. Non-cohesive style
  3. Furniture doesn't work for the space
If your apartment could speak, what would it say is the problem?

I'm very old, but I can have a new life.

What one thing would you like to do or do more of in your apartment?

Write, paint, and bead - I have a good writing desk, but not really a good place to spread out with paints and my bead kit. The kitchen table is unstable because the floor is uneven, and besides, it's always covered with a tablecloth and junk.

Eight weeks from now, when this project is done, if friends and family came to visit, how would you like them to describe your home (3 words)?
  1. Fun
  2. Comfortable
  3. Warm
_____

Well, that took a while, but let's see where it takes me. The remaining part of the chapter explains what these answers mean to me, and how I should proceed.

I'm going to try to do this on weekdays, after work, so that I can enjoy my apartment on weekends.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Monday, October 6, 2008

I have a fever, and the only prescription is....


Not more cowbell.

Actually, I've been working hard at getting the cabin to be the sanctuary I know it can be. It's small, but actually very cozy. And not that craigslist-is-full-of-liars-this-place-is-a-hole-why-is-my-shower-door-butting-into-my-oven kind of cozy, but actually very comfortable with good energy and woah, who let Deepak Chopra and Oprah into my blog?

Apartment Therapy, one of my very favorite blogs, does an 8 week cure a couple of times a year. The cure breaks up getting your apartment or house in order in small, easy-to-swallow steps. It lets you focus on really turning where you live into your home. I didn't do it right after Christmas because really, I was beyond hope with the old apartment. But now I'm in and settled and ready and I've gone out to buy the book, and I'm in it to win it, baby!

I'll try to monitor my progress here in addition to on Apartment Therapy.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

I know this much is truuuuuuuue...

Dude, this song just came on my iPod.

Here's what I know is true:
  1. This song kicks so much ass
  2. Spandau Ballet kind of sounds like Tears for Fears
  3. This song makes me think of Steve Buscemi

Learn yourself somethin'

Are you wondering why the federal government is giving money to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac instead of paying off your mortgage?

Me too. Sounds like a win-win. Not that I have a mortgage. But they can cover my rent if they want. Or at least a new pair of Danskos and a coat.

But that's besides the point. If you don't understand the "mortgage crisis" (as I didn't), This American Life teamed up with NPR News to produce a sort of Very Brady Bankruptcy Special. Here's the synopsis from the This American Life website:
This American Life producer Alex Blumberg teams up with NPR's Adam Davidson for the entire hour to tell the story—the surprisingly entertaining story—of how the U.S. got itself into a housing crisis. They talk to people who were actually working in the housing, banking, finance and mortgage industries, about what they thought during the boom times, and why the bust happened. And they explain that a lot of it has to do with the giant global pool of money.
Seriously, this is completely engrossing, and when you're done listening to it, you won't have to just nod along when people at parties start talking about mortgage-backed securities. You can either listen to the broadcast online, buy the podcast, or if you live near me, I'll burn it to a CD for you.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Worst Week

This show is uncomfortably hilarious. Like that way that Michael Scott makes you squirm every time he enters the conference room on The Office. You can tell what's going to happen, except what happens is always way funnier than you could have imagined.

Here's the pilot. You can thank me later.

Poppin' fresh

I went to Sacramento for a family dinner last night, and had a great time (and great food; my dad made homemade corn tortillas for chicken tostadas, and my Aunt Pat's apple cake is always a hit). I was telling my mom and sister about a video HD and I took a while ago, so I'm going to post it here for your viewing pleasure.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Peer pressure

Scene: Thursday afternoon, in the hallway at work. Hindude, another iPhone user and I are trying to persuade my friend Britt to buy an iPhone. She played with mine earlier in the week and fell in love.

iPhone Friend: Britt, when are you getting your iPhone?
Me: Yeah, Britt, when?
Britt: Shut up you guys!
iPhone Friend: What's the matter? Don't you want to be cool like us?
Me: Yeah, everybody's doing it...
(HD just laughs in the background)
Britt: I have this little thing called property taxes...
iPhone Friend: Awww, that's no fun.
Me (note, not a homeowner): Property taxes, schmoperty taxes.
Britt: How much are they?
iPhone Friend: Are you on AT&T?
Britt: Yeah...
Me: $199 for the 8GB, $299 for the 16GB
Britt: Are you serious? I sneeze $200 every time I go to Safeway!

Our work here is done... pushers, you could learn something from me.

People who brunch

Hindude and I made brunch, set the table on the deck, and ate like civilized adults this morning.

Table settings courtesy of my Aunt Pat and Uncle Ed. They gave me the adorable blue floral placemats and plates for my 27th birthday.

Menu:

Biscuits, made with Alton Brown's "Instant" Pancake Mix, cold butter, and nonfat milk (I made these bad boys), topped with butter and blackberry preserves OR gooseberry preserves

Omlettes with fresh basil and cilantro (from our herb garden), and a little blue cheese (HD made these puppies)

Friday, September 26, 2008

It takes a village to hug a tree

Well, I guess a Sequoia anyway.

I learned about WikiaGreen from ecofabulous, and I immediately added a bunch of entries about the Marin Farmer's Market Association. One of the admins asked me to be an admin, and I regretfully declined as I can't even imagine what a timesuck that would be, but I promised to contribute more when I could.

If you have the gumption, add your local farmer's markets, or anything else that makes your aunt call you a "tree-hugger" on your blog. :-)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

I just locked myself out of my car


Yes, I'm in the house (thank you, HD, for not locking the door when you left this morning) but my only form of communication is my desktop computer, hooked up to the TV. I left the whole purse in the passenger seat, with the iPhone, and my laptop as well.

Ooooh, I hear HD in the driveway... now I can call AAA!

That's right, I'm an idiot, kids! And apparently I need a landline more than I thought!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Birthday in St. Helena






We got out of the house a bit later than expected this morning. The thrill of still being in pajamas at 10:30 on a Wednesday was just too much for us. So, we didn't make it to the gardens I posted yesterday. Instead, we went to St. Helena.
  • Ahi tuna burger and sweet potato fries at the original Taylor's Refresher nom nom nom (top picture).
  • Dean and Deluca and ogled the produce (TWSS)
  • Proposed - and then immediately abandoned the idea of - a photography contest at V. Sattui Vineyards (I think HD was scared, frankly, of the masterful way I create sheer art with my Kodak Easyshare from 5 years ago; also, winery in 2nd picture)
  • Olive oil tasting at St. Helena Olive Oil
  • Accidental discovery of the Greystone Culinary Institute of America, where I found some hi-larious winemaking artifacts just right there, on display, where there's no going back (3rd and 4th pictures)
  • Drive along Spring Mountain Road, where HD decided he was suddenly an expert in growing wine grapes ("This wine must suck, the vines don't get any sun.")
  • Dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, Barefoot Cafe in Fairfax


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

30 candles


Tomorrow (well, today legally, but tomorrow technically) is the Hindude's birthday. We're taking the day off from work and going up to Sonoma to check out some gardens (yes, he likes visiting gardens... don't you wish your boyfriend was a dork like mine?) and the itinerary includes:
It's so great to live in an area with so much to do; on Saturday we went to the UC Berkeley Botanical Garden, and the original plan for HD's birthday was to go to Filoli in Woodside (that's Filoli in the picture), where we've been several times. Just gorgeous.

On another note, I'm dating a 30-year-old and it's not even creepy. What have I DONE with my life?!

Blatantly obvious


Scene: Stinson Beach, last Sunday. I'm laying on the beach towel, Hindude is sitting in his sand chair. I get up, stretch, and start walking toward the water to look for non-existent seashells.

HD: Where are you going?
Me: Uh... Japan?
HD: Ok.

(3 minutes later, I walk back to the towel, wet up to my knees from an overachieving wave)

HD: Japan's wet, huh?

Monday, September 22, 2008

Behold the beauty


Oh, the wonder, the magic, the unadulterated distraction from pretty much everything I could be doing BESIDES playing with the damn thing.