Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Take Down

Thought Catalog recently posted an article titled "How to Live in San Francisco for a Short Period of Time". It's been making the rounds. I finally read it today when my Floridian friend IMed it to me. Rather than just rant about it, or applaud the things that are right, I thought I'd do a line by line take down of it right hurr. So you get the original article and Lisa snark in the parentheses. (You should probably read the original article first as I have lots of comments. Naturally.)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Play at the Plate

I should have written this earlier. Before our baseball world got imploded with Buster Posey's ankle. (I'm watching Sportsnet Bay Area right now. That is one quiet locker room. Oh, and pictures.) But I didn't, because I am easily distracted by shiny objects/the fleeting matters of my own brain so I'm less exuberant about last night than I would have been otherwise.

Anyway, I went to the Giants game last night. It was predictably cold. Those of you that don't have the pleasure of San Francisco summers, the main descriptor would be temperate. I have undoubtably mentioned before that it wasn't 'til I went to college in South Louisiana that I finally figured out why were wearing short sleeves at night on all those Braves broadcasts that Turner shoved down our throats in the '90's. "Oh! You mean you don't buy hot chocolate in July at night all over the country? Who knew?!" Not I, that's for sure.

So Tuesday night was one of those chilly weeknight games. Angela got a Kalua and coffee. The Giants lost. That all seems really trivial in the wake of our adorable, well liked, hard playing catcher getting bowled over at home and...we won't even guess at what the outcome is.

But before the game, and tonight's game, was dinner. OMG dinner. We went to Don Pistos. You guys need to alert me when something awesome happens in North Beach. This place was amazing. I meant to ask to bring a back of chips home to eat later because they were that good but by the time we got done sharing all the small plates, I was too full to remember. The flavors were all really fresh and bright. It was just so delicious. You can tell when something is being made with careful attention, you know? This was. Shrimp tacos, chicken tostadas, grilled pork chop, the beef with the fried eggs so the yolk oozes... Have I mentioned my new favorite condiment is egg yolk? Yeah. It is. This is why I will be fat forever. Between frisee, lardons and a poached egg at french restaurants, the ravioli uovo I had at Seven Hills the other night, a fondness for carbonara, and my penchant for breaking the egg yolk all over my roasted potatoes at breakfast, I'm pretty sure no matter how much I run, I will never ever get thin. This is a conundrum. I'm already trying to give up soda and potatoes. Not sure I can add egg yolk to that list. (We won't even mention my fondness for ranch dressing...actually, we will later. I'm gonna do another what I eat thing.)

So yeah. Dinner was awesome. Baseball? Well. We still have a WS trophy in the case don't we? No one can take that away.

Monday, May 23, 2011


I try not to talk about politics/religion/other heavy issues. I figure there are people vastly more qualified to do such things than I am, so I stay out of it. But I have thoughts and this is my forum, so I'm airing them.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Accentuate the Positive

After feeling like I got kicked in the chest the past couple days, I'm coming out of it. Because I have to. I can't just sit around the house eating junk food. I mean, I could, but I've been working out way too hard to backslide too far. (I have discovered I can't have Dr Pepper or bacon in the house. It all gets consumed.)

Saturday, May 21, 2011


Eh, just burying it all after the jump. Will not talk about it after this.

Friday, May 20, 2011

An Ode to Brooks

I promised myself the last week that if I passed the bar I would have to write this thank you letter. You should all know by now I'm superstitious enough to follow through with this. (This might possibly be THE most ridiculous thing I have ever written, which is saying something, but I also stand by it.)

Sunday, May 15, 2011


I was sort of a train wreck last week (yes, I can hear you all saying "Aren't you ALWAYS?" as I type that. Shut it). But last week it was particularly pronounced. I don't do well with things I can't control. And last week just seemed like everything was beyond me, out of my hands, up to the whims of fate, the universe, and other people. Gah. I then get all crazy trying to control the things that I can. The level of clean of my room. I retreat to the kitchen and bake things. I run a little bit further a little bit faster.

I also controlled how bar results were going to be disseminated to me. Results are published to people who took the bar via our personal special codes at 6 p.m. on Friday May 13th. Since I know that the computer check system is evil, I wanted no part of it. I wasn't going to be sitting at home staring at a computer screen to find out, maniacally punching in the codes over and over again if unsuccessful. Since I also know I have almost no will power, I didn't want to be near a computer/my house at that time. So I made arrangements to go see Bridesmaids. Cheryl and Alexis and I were going to meet at the Kabuki for the 5 p.m. showing. We would be in our seats, cell phones on silent, laughing when results came out, ignoring texts from everyone else. Prior to that, I took my ball of nerves self and went and got a mani/pedi. Can't afford it, didn't care. Was necessary.

Except even this movie going turned into a bit of an event and I started to panic a bit, control freak that I am. I don't know if I got it wrong or the time changed but I'm at the Kabuki at 4:15 and discover that the showing is at 4:35. Lex is on her way on public transport and Cheryl is still at her Marina house. AHHH! I just want to see a movie! I'm taking deep breaths, at the end of my rope. Cheryl and I talk, the movie starts at 5:00 at a different movie theater not far from where we are. Lex shows up, I grab her, we hightail it to other theater, we wait for Cheryl, we have a drink, we walk into the movie missing just the first 5 minutes or so which I don't think were pertinent to plot. (I am also a professional opener of wine bottles in movie theaters. Will be adding to resume.)

And OMG you guys, Bridesmaids is AWESOME. It's cute and sweet and super funny and was the first movie I think I've seen in forever where I was all, "Aww! This is stuff that could actually happen, how me and my friends actually talk and I am SO the Kristen Wiig character it's kinda freaking me out a bit."

After the movie, Cheryl and I head to her hood, grab a bite to eat. I'm anxious but I have a plan: I'm drinking 'til I don't care anymore. I see my brother across the street as we're walking into the restaurant and waive, he's working. He then calls me and I'm all, "What?" He says, "Never mind, I figured it out." I guess that I wasn't checking results. Cheryl and I head to fratty Marina bars after dinner and are just chatting and having fun. It's gonna be a long night. We pull up at our favorite stools at Bar None and that's the night. I get home late and am at that point too exhausted to check and just go to bed. I have successfully not been manipulated by a computer system.

I woke up on Saturday morning, half hungover and probably a little drunk still. I'm sitting in the kitchen getting increasingly anxious. I know about what time our mail comes every day. I can hear trucks rattling down the street. I'm doing my best not to see if it is the mail truck. I'm trying not to think too much about it. A lot of Thursday and Friday was coming to terms with what it means, pass or fail. Advice that I had given was given back to me. It won't define me as a person. It doesn't say anything about who I am. Regardless of results, it's time to start DOING something.

I'm chatting online with Andy and Linds. Lindsey and I are having an awesome conversation about how we bluff confidence/are complete procrastinators. An epic line told to me recently was, "You're the most confident insecure person I've ever met." Yep, that's about the sum of it.

I go look and see the mail truck in front of my house. I sit back down and tell them. I hear the mail go in the box downstairs. The dog goes nuts. Lindsey says, "OMG. What are we gonna do?" I heart that it was both of us. Andy says, "I'll love you as much if you have an Esq. behind your name as not. The people who matter will, too." Awwww. I tell Linds we're gonna face it, like the grown ups we pretend to be.

I go downstairs and grab the mail, come back upstairs, find the envelope I know will be there. It is the same thickness and shape as the fail letter. The CA Bar Examiners suck hard core. I open it. I see "Congratulations". That's about as far as I got. Congratulations. Fuck and yeah.

I think I was the perfect amount of half drunk/hungover to not be afraid of it. Just tore it open and what will be will be. After that it was pure adrenaline. I was shaking. For like the rest of the day. It occurred to me about an hour later that this means I never ever ever have to take this test again. That I won. I felt pretty invincible, even for being hungover, for the rest of the day. I can do ANYTHING, yo. (I still feel a little like that today. What's next!? Let's go climb a mountain!)

All the congratulations and well wishes were amazing. It feels like an actual accomplishment. A line in the sand, a demarcation point of being or not being something. And I am now that thing. I beat it. I won. It freaks me out a little to say it still. "I'm a lawyyyyaaa."

This is also the part where I thank everyone. Because but for all the support and friends and amazing people out there, this would mean nothing and wouldn't feel like such a huge accomplishment. So thanks, y'all!

I went to amazing dinner at the Bella Vista with my mom and Larry to celebrate and then drinks with the friends afterwards. One of the funniest moments for me was when Chuck said, "Just think, you could have been out celebratory drinking on Friday instead of nervous drinking!" Oh sweetie, you underestimate the level of my jinxy superstitiousness. How/when/where I check would change the outcome. Obviously.

So. Yeah. That. Next?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A little this, a little that

Since the universe thinks it's high comedy to start throwing curve balls at me, which I am lacking the tools to deal with, I thought I'd distract us all with a little nothingness because that I can control.

On Mother's Day we took my mother to 2223 on Market Street. I have been there a few times before with the boys, as it's a block from Michael's house. It's reallly good comfort food. She had mentioned a desire to try it a little while ago so I made the arrangements. Me, mom, the little brother and the stepdad. It was a generally pleasant meal and as I said, the food is really good. I was in my mom's good graces (which is a rarity) because a) I made the arrangements for us to eat there and b) I hadn't been home for a week. You'd have thought I was on the other side of the world from her as she's all, "I misseeedd you!" and not the mere, mmm, 4 miles away that I was. (I just google mapped the distance. Yep. Almost exactly 4 miles.) She seriously said, channeling the most Irish Catholic side of her, "You know you could call!" Oh moms. They are special special creatures. Tomorrow is her first day off of the week. I know I am going to get roped into being her playmate even though I have a billion other things I would rather be doing. This is why I didn't feel compelled to get her some elaborate mother's day present. EVERY day is Mother's Day around here.

I also always find it telling the cards we get my mother for mother's day. First off, we never do sappy cards in my family. Not how we roll. Mine has a girl standing on the front and it says, "Some kids are a real challenge to raise." You open it and it says, "Like that one, in our family, you know the one who...well, never mind, let's not ruin your special day." The one from my brother has a mom in an apron 1950s style on the front and says, "You're obviously the world's most perfect mom." Inside, "How else could I have turned out so great?"

Yep. These are the roles we play in our family. Me with the eye rolls, him with how perfect he is. I am also the one that was given the "Not Mom's Favorite" shirt for Christmas one year. It's accurate. I'm okay with this.

The following night we went to Chapeau for our new restaurant of the month thing she made us start doing a couple years ago. It was good and very French. Not rave worthy but if I was in the Richmond and hungry I'd give it a go. Beside: Kir Royal? Yeah. Those. Since there are three of us, we're sitting in the back corner table. As it's a quaint and pretty small restaurant, a couple gets seated at the round table next to us as we're finishing up. They spy on our desserts. I overhear them talking. They are obviously doctors because the guy is talking in some serious detail about procedures he is performing in jargon that the woman seems not at all flustered about. Me? I'm about to spit out my apple tart. "Yeah, I'm gonna have to remove the speculum and go back in and maybe reroute..." Oh good god. I do not do blood and guts. Horrible crime scene stories? Sure, I've heard enough of them. So I sort of start laughing. My mom, eating "chocolate soup" (the chocolate sauce at the bottom of her plate of profiteroles, one of her favorites) asks, "Are you laughing at me!?" I tell her no but that because of the close proximity of the other table to us, I'll tell her later. We leave the restaurant a few minutes later and I tell her I was laughing because of the guy's gory hospital stories. She says, "You should have told him to stop because you have to listen to all our awful cop stories at home!" It's nice to know I'm not insane and they realize they do talk endlessly about this stuff.

Alright. That's it for now. Not thinking about things we're not thinking about. Which means lots of gym going. Whee!

Sunday, May 8, 2011


Oh hey, remember perfect for me guy and the he actually lives in L.A. thing that I was ignoring because he was gonna be up here on business 'til July and that was just enough time to make him fall madly in love with me and this city and never want to leave ever? Yeah. Apparently July meant "next week".

THIS IS WHY YOU CAN'T HAVE NICE THINGS, LISA! This is why I play things close to the vest. This is why I don't like people. This is why I have ridiculous superstitions and fear the jinx. Because they happen. They freaking happen. And now I feel a little bit destroyed.

And no, not destroyed in the "omg I was madly in love and now!" way. Please. I have an iota of common sense. This has been two weeks and seeing each other twice (we hung out last night, long story, seriously irrelevant at this point). Trust that I have some check on being ridiculous about guys. In fact, too much of a check. The disinterest. The way that I treat them as disposable objects the way that the media has taught us men treat women. I do that. I purposefully went around NOT developing attachments. So it was odd that for the first time in ever I wanted to see where something was gonna go. I wanted to watch it unfold and was excited at the mere possibility.

And now...

So I feel a bit leveled.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Derby Day

I have told part of this story before but Imma tell it again (it's my world here, y'all just live in it).

I was one of those horse obsessed little girls. Horses horses horses. I loved horses. Read all the horse books I could get my hands on, knew breeds by heart. Horses beget unicorns and I read a lot of those books too. (Aside: I was doing a search for an amazing unicorn book I used to have and can not find and in doing so came across more than I ever remember having read but definitely had. The corners of the mind never cease to amaze.) Even now, I can't help but love a good story involving horses.

I didn't get to really ride a whole lot because I live in a city. At least this is what my parents told me. In retrospect I think it's more "We don't want to spend money on something that's not gonna stick and oh yeah riding horses is expensive." Going to Pacifica for trail rides was a treat. I took lessons in Golden Gate Park for a short time when I was a kid but honestly, as much as I loved horses, they kind of scare me. I mean, they're big. They can hurt you. I approached with healthy trepidation. So the  lessons didn't really stick. But I was still horse obsessed.

My childhood best friend Emily was equally horse obsessed. I'm sure there were countless hours spent where we pranced around like horses and pretended to ride. I'm just guessing here, who remembers stuff from when they were 8?

All of this led up to the note. I don't know the circumstances of the note. I can imagine it was the kind of slights every 8 year old imagines her family being guilty of. Because of such slights I wrote a note that said that Emily and I were running away to Kentucky to train horses and never coming back ever! I know of this note because my mom still has it, tucked away in a chest in our house.

Obviously I never ran away to Kentucky. But let's analyze this for a second: At 8 years old I think I had barely been outside the state of California (if we're counting cross the state line in Tahoe, then yes). I am fairly certain I had no idea where Kentucky even was on a map or what was there. We did know it had blue grass and that if you wanted to run thoroughbreds, you went to Kentucky. It would have been much more logical to perhaps start ten miles south of San Francisco at Bay Meadows track but, eh, we were 8. We were romanticizing Kentucky. I also find it interesting that we didn't want to be jockeys but to train the horses. Maybe even then I knew I was never gonna be jockey build? Emily could have been a jockey though.

I had a slight...crisis period? a few years ago and decided all that stuff that I wanted to do, I was going to doing it! Talk is cheap but whiskey costs money, ya know? It's when I got my tattoo. I also started taking horse back riding lessons in San Mateo. From a slightly odd older gentleman who was inappropriately flirty and wanted us to learn to ride the horse, not the saddle. So lessons were conducted barefoot in shorts with no saddle. It was an interesting way to learn to ride and I actually never got comfortable with it. And got bucked off bruising the beejuzus out of my tailbone on my birthday that year. I was in agony for a few weeks. I have since not been back on a horse, rendering the cliche worthless (need to lose weight also contributing to me not riding again). At some point I'll fix this.

Even if I didn't ride a lot, when I was little we did get to the track quite a bit. My grandfather was one of those old school types who knew everyone at the track, hung at the turf club. Part of the group of like old men who always met there on, like, Tuesdays and bet the ponies. He was the kind of self made guy who drove a boat of a Cadillac as a status symbol. And he was amazing. I loved the track probably more than I loved actually riding. The track is a great place full of ridiculous characters. And when I was a kid, I did an excellent job of picking ponies. My parents or grandparents would show me the racing form, let me look over the names, take me to the paddock and let me look at the horses and I would pick one and they'd place a $2 bet on my behalf. My mother says I was like a child prodigy at picking ponies. I'd win. A lot. And sometimes a fairly substantial amount of money, at least it was for a kid. I think I won something like $160 on just placing $2 winning bets one day at the Santa Rosa county fair when I was about 14. I have been unable to replicate that success as an adult. Partly because when I was little it was instinct. Now I know what odds mean and pick on jockey silks (obviously lean towards purple and gold silks, have a USC/Florida aversion to burgundy/gold or orange/blue silks). I now know boxed exactas and multi-race parlays, the $2 to win bet a thing of the past. I haven't been to the track in awhile. I should remedy this as well. Anyone want to go for a $1 day next Sunday?

It seems like whenever derby day rolled around, I was at my grandparents house. I seem to recall being in their living room watching the derby with my grandfather more often than not. So when the derby rolls around now, it makes me all nostalgic and miss my grandpa. He was a class act.

This year there will be no mint juleps or derby pie. Just going to Michael's to watch the greatest two minutes in racing. I'm leaning towards Pants on Fire for female jockey, ridiculous name. Precedence would say go with the Cajun jockey and bet on Borel who is on Twice The Appeal. A cranky Brooklyn native told me when I was 16 catching races at Santa Anita that his damn wife always bet on the damn grey horses and always won! Despite his actual playing the odds. If you want to follow his advice (warning?), Twinspired is your horse. Added bonus for Kentucky Derby tie in with that name. The horse at the #1 post is sporting purple and gold silks. So...I guess I haven't decided anything. I'll watch the lead up show and make a decision. With absolutely no consequences or money on the line.

Next year? I'd like to BE there next year.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Chicken (soup)

You're getting a two for one today. This will be both "how to feed yourself like a grown up" (especially when sick) and a story of how I totally punted and now feel LAME. (Skip down four paragraphs if you know how to make/don't care about soup.)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Everything Coming Up Millhouse?

This is my horoscope for this week:

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Writing in the *Journal of Medical Ethics,*
psychologist Richard Bentall proposed that happiness be reclassified as a
"psychiatric disorder" -- a pathology that should be treated with therapy.
"Happiness is statistically abnormal," he argued. It "consists of a discrete
cluster of symptoms, is associated with a range of cognitive
abnormalities, and probably reflects the abnormal functioning of the
central nervous system." If he's correct, Cancerian, you may have a
problem. According to my reading of the astrological omens, you're about
to be besieged by a massive influx of good feelings. It may be hard for
you to fend off surges of unreasonable joy, well-being, and gratitude. So
let me ask you: Are you prepared to enter into rebel mode as you flaunt
your abnormal bliss?

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Reversing Jinxes

I decided, after much contemplation and not wanting to go to that giggly ridiculous girl place where I LOSE MY DAMN MIND, that my superstitious beliefs cause more problems than good. So screw it. Caution to the wind. Let's talk about that thing I wasn't talking about on Saturday.