Monday, December 31, 2012


It's a lot of whining so you're forced to click after the jump if you want to indulge.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Holidaze Travel

First an apology: this is getting up late, as I was busy with the holiday season. But you were similarly busy so you didn't really miss me, did you?

Oh man do I love Christmas time. I'm like the reverse Grinch. I hate everything else all the time but put some lights on a tree and I'm all big eyed wonder. And carols! And all the glittering everything! From wrapping paper to sequined tops! (How did we decide sequined clothing is appropriate for the holidays/New Year and then Easter is all pastels? Who made that a thing? Why can't I wear sequins to Easter brunch?) Christmas trees with ornaments! Puppies in windows for adoption! All the baked goods ever! Tidings of good cheer!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Holiday Romances

Did you know there is an entire subset of the Romcom genre of simply holiday themed romances? There is!

This time of year, Hallmark Channel, Lifetime and ABC Family trot out some version of "25 days of..." involving holiday movies. Some of them are tried and true classics. A lot of them are produced especially for these networks.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Hair, Long Beautiful Hair

First off: sorry for the brief writing hiatus. Especially after I got a few compliments in the interim. Something about not dealing well with success/compliments goes [here].

It's the holidays which is a flurry of emotions (mostly unpleasant ones and me trying to avoid that petulant behavior that reminds me of being a teenager) and activity and nail biting and reevaluating just about everything. So... *exasperated sigh*

A brief update on the goings on: much BNBD (acronym: booze 'n' bad decisions, attributable to the much beloved stepsister, for those of you unfamiliar with it...and I now just explained an acronym, rendering it effectively useless) while watching the Ole Miss game at the LSU bar.

Thanksgiving was actually pretty decent and I executed the entire meal, cooked on my own for 9 people, flawlessly, if I do say so myself.

And everything since then, well, see above: *exasperated sigh*

So that's where we're at.

Anyway. Not what we're here to talk about today.

We are going to talk about something I know I obsessed over in the past but haven't touched on much in recent memory at all: hair. My hair, in particular.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Pirates & Wooden Legs

Yesterday I was parking by the gym on Ocean Avenue, when a man drove by with his window down while his kid hopped out of the car. On his outstretched right arm was a rather large African Grey parrot. Or Macaw. I'm not a bird expert. One of those big, colorful parrots. Which squawked loudly as I glanced, as it was facing me as our cars passed, both with windows down.

I was concerned about the parrot's safety. Wasn't he worried it was gonna fly out the window and never return? It just seemed unsafe. Maybe parrots are attached to their humans? Loyal? I have no idea. (I also HATE when people drive with their dogs on their laps. Or even with the dog's head hanging well out the window. Totally unsafe! For the dog!) (Yes, I sound 800 years old.)

Seeing a person driving with a parrot on their arm is weird. But this is San Francisco and this city is nothing if not quirky.

Then today I am driving back from hiking Land's End with the dog when as I proceed through St. Francis Circle, there is a lady emerging from St. Francis Wood with a giant white parrot on her shoulder. WHAT IN THE HELL IS GOING ON?! I mean, what are the chances of seeing two entirely different people on two consecutive days each out and about with their parrots?

I text this to my mom, who I had told about the dude with the parrot the previous day, when she retorts, "Maybe there's a pirate convention." Momz got jokes.

I, of course, tweet the information, because if you don't tweet about it, it doesn't exist. Someone from Twitter responds, "You should be on alert for men with wooden legs!"

The mention of wooden legs brings to mind one thing and one thing only:

That, folks, is my all time favorite joke.

It even gets a call back later in the movie:

It's the best (only?) joke built around improper antecedent use. And I LOVE it. It makes me laugh uncontrollably the way that images of Snoopy dancing do. (I also absolutely love Mary Poppins, as it's quite a poignant movie, which a reviewer I trust recently revisited and came to the same conclusion.)

I told the person on Twitter that her mention of wooden legs conjured this joke for me, and relayed the joke to her.

She said she wanted to see it for herself (understandable) and while looking for the clip, she stumbled upon a Yahoo! Answer about the joke. It. Is. Priceless.

Mary Poppins - you know the joke " i know a man with a wooden leg "?
what does it mean ? i've tried over and over to understand the meaning as to why it is so funny .. . but i still don't get it .

here's the joke :
there are two men and one man goes " i know a man with a wooden leg named smith " and the other says " what's the name of the other leg? "
helllpp ?

Best Answer: 
I know a man named Smith who has a wooden leg.
But he named it Jones.
I also have a friend who has a dog with no legs. He named the dog cigarette. Every night he takes it out for a drag.

The future! (You can read the whole thread for yourself here.)

Friday, November 9, 2012


There's been a lot going on these past few weeks in this place I'm from.

Sorry for the slight absence. I've been, dare I say, kinda busy?

Several things. List form. You know the drill.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

World Series! WOOO!

Oh man. That was fun, huh? Who knew? Who knew the Giants would go and sweep the Tigers? No one in the National Media, that's for damn sure. (East Coast Bias!)

Actually, even I didn't know. In case you haven't caught on to my incredibly pessimistic fandom, every time we were down in any of the series leading up to the world series I'd be like, "Well. This was fun. It's nice to make it to the playoffs but guess this isn't our year. Which is fine because it was our year just two years ago. No big." EXCEPT IT TOTALLY WAS OUR YEAR! AHAHAHAH!

We did it. Swept Detroit. Get to have a giant (heh) victory parade on Halloween. (Are you going to the parade? I'm really torn about this. On the one hand: revelry! On the other: ugggh people. Since I went two years ago thinking, "Once in a lifetime event!" and didn't really see anything, I'm kind of okay with not going tomorrow. But...I have an easily changeable mind.)

Do you know who REALLY won the World Series?

My LSU Tigahs.

That's right. Winning run scored by LSU's own Ryan Theriot. The Ryan Theriot that everyone was like, "What voodoo magic is Bruce Bochy channeling to put him in at DH? That makes, like, exactly zero sense." (Californians say "like" a lot. Even the ones who swear they don't. I say it about a thousand times more than I would like to. And when I try to stop saying it hilarity ensues. It is our weird verbal tick.)

Maybe Boch watched the 2000 College World Series. I know I vividly remember it. I was back in California for the summer, inexplicably at my stepmom's house in San Ramon, aka the pit of despair, watching, as my annoying tween stepsisters ran around the house. I saw we were the home team and thought, "Oh we got this. We have last at-bat." And it was won on a Brad Cresse bloop single in the bottom of the 9th to topple Stanford scoring...Ryan Theriot.

That's LSU's 3rd appearance in the MLB WS in three years. (2010: Wilson, Fontenot; 2011: Theriot; 2012: Theriot, Wilson*)

*Wilson is obviously injured and not on the roster but I think for purposes of receiving a ring and being part of the team, he counts.

LSU has a full rundown of all players involved in World Series, way back to Alvin Dark. (There's a street in Tiger Land (where most of the LSU bars are) named after him. It runs into YA Tittle St.)

Theriot had a great interview after the game on MLB Network (thanks to TK for alerting me to its existence) which was amazing on so many levels, mostly for his son's comments, where he sounded not unlike me, "Oh yeah, World Series. Awesome. Can't wait to be in Baton Rouge for the Bama game Saturday."

It's Bama Hate Week, y'all!

Hate week involves hating everything involved with that team, from their napoleonic head coach (who, yes, I'm aware used to be our head coach) to being the only person in the Cow Palace on Friday night cursing under their breath when that Lynard Skynard song came on singing the praises of that state.

I, of course, don't have much faith in our ability to actually win the game. But the atmosphere alone in Baton Rouge is going to amazing and rocking and it's at night. I mean, Ironman themed pump up video. How badass is that? I'll be watching at my friends' place in Oakland.

So let's celebrate the Giants victory, anxiously eat junk food in anticipation of LSU's kickoff, and revel in how my fandom is good for teams that like winning. Let's hope someday the NHL ends its lockout and I can see how that applies to my hockey team...

Friday, October 26, 2012

Game 7

I bitch a lot about San Francisco. We have a difficult relationship, this city of my birth and I. But sometimes, the stars align and it can be one of the most amazing places in the world. That happened Monday night, as I attended Game 7 of the NLCS between the Giants and the Cardinals.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Lil Wayne & The Riot

Sometimes I'm writing about things I can't believe I'm writing about. But alas. Here we are. Lil Wayne. And me getting cranky about baseball fans. (After watching 60 Minutes on my own, unbidden last night, I channel Andy Rooney below.)

Monday, October 15, 2012

All the Movies

Sundays around here are hungover watch all the Netflix ever days.

After careful analysis, I've discovered that what I really like are what I term "small" movies. Ya know, sort of character driven, two or three main actors, taking the small moments of life and making them grand kind of movies. They tend to be a bit Indie in nature. But they're well made. Generally. They might all be described as "quirky". They're the opposite end of the spectrum from big budget, big action flicks.

So on Sundays, when I don't want to watch things blow up, I gravitate towards these.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Florida, Fleet Week, Failure

LSU lost to Florida after our offense stalled and our defense couldn't sustain us the whole game.

The knees of 350 lb man-child linebackers are apparently made of dried out rubber bands and we should just preemptively replace them at the end of each season in the name of prudence because being gutted on O-line is not helpful for the decision making abilities of our skittish QB.

I was cranky about the loss, of course, as being a fan of any particular team for any length of time proves to be detrimental to one's mental health. But I can't say it was exactly surprising. Day time, in the swamp, for a team on the upswing as we appear to be on a downswing. I think I could feel that loss coming.

Besides! It was a gorgeous fall day in SF with a kabillion things to do. I'd rebound, right?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


It was my cousin's birthday Monday so we did the perfunctory family dinner. It led to a good deal of amusement.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Hoping Winter Never Comes

I have developed a crush on a football player. Well, a former football player. It was purely a function of a single tweet.

I only knew vaguely who he was, as I follow several former and current players from LSU on the Twits. It wasn’t ‘til I delved a little deeper that I realized he was one of the guys suspended last year for the bar fight. Which is moot, really. Mostly it was his utter late night disappointment at not being involved in football anymore made me just want to give him the biggest hug. I get that. I get that unmoored from what you know feeling.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Minor Rants

I totally read my own title that I just typed as "Minor Ants". I may not have slept very well. And then woke up from some weird dreams mad at myself, because I slept through a CLE I should have gone to, for no other reason than I am a lazy, horrible human being.


Let's talk about stupid shit that bothers me lately, shall we?

1. Nail Art. Do you know what nail art is? It's when women, presumably teenage girls, spend I don't even want to know how long painting fancy designs, and sometimes entire scenes ON THEIR FINGERNAILS. Now, I realize this is a faulty correlation but women of the world: can we spend time curing diseases, learning important things, hell, even painting actual works of art, rather than playing with the goddamn temporary art of our fingers? Please? For the love of christ?

A lovely pastoral...on your nails. 
I realize I am ever so slightly hypocritical here because I do love a good manicure, which can take an hour and a half out of a day. And I've been known to sit in my kitchen and paint my own nails when I'm too poor to get a manicure. So, often. I like shiny glittery nail polishes. Hey, I'm not immune. But this whole high art on your nails thing, which I have to imagine takes quite a bit of time, just strikes me as incredibly ridiculous. Says person who plays bejeweled mindlessly on her phone during down times.

Fine, fine. I'll shut up now. Go paint your nails with absurd scenes. It's actually probably the least absurd (and safe!) use of teenager time out there. (God, I hope it's teenagers doing this. Because I am not taking any grown ass adult with the below scene on her nails seriously.)

2. Justin Bieber "As Long As You Love Me".

Oh man. I listen to a lot of pop music. Mostly because I'm in my car going to/from the gym and I like vaguely pump up music. So I've heard this Bieber song a time or two. And it enrages me.

And now that I've watched the video on youtube that involves Michael Madsen and an 18 year old PROFESSING HIS UNDYING LOVE, in the vein of that Paula Abdul/Keanu Reeves video (dating myself), I'm even more enraged. (Using a payphone in it, no less. LOLOLOL.)

(Almost 50 million views, America? Probably played on repeat while creating nail art.) (I took a chance with google to see if Biebs and nail art intersected. Yeeeeep.)

Mostly I hate the song for the following lyrics line (I realize now that my music aficionado friends are like, "Bitch, that ain't a lyric." So I'm fixing it):

"As long as you love me, we could be starving, we could be homeless, we could be broke."

Sure, multimillionaire, platinum recording artist with legions of teen girl fans, a hot Disney actress girlfriend, and still a teenager yourself, tell me all about how love, something I question your knowledge of, will overcome being poor, a reality, in all likelihood, you will never have to deal with unless your manager and shady entourage figures rip you off. Please. Expound more on this topic. I can't wait to hear what you have to say.

"I'll be your soldier,
Fighting every second of the day for your dreams, girl
I'll be your Hova
You can be my Destiny's Child on the scene girl
So don't stress, don't cry, we don't need no wings to fly
Just take my hand"

Well when you put it THAT way, Biebs... (And by "that way" I mean barely making sense. You actually do need wings to fly, or else you'll just fall. And likely die. Feel free to use the last two sentences in your own lyrics.)

3. Taylor Swift. "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together". You can find that song here.

I actually can't get past the opening notes. I immediately change the station if I hear it. I can not stand Taylor Swift. And this song just strikes me as more of her absurd, inane, teenage girl anthem bs. Gurl, he doesn't want to get back together with your bouncy pony-tail, wearing glasses to look more intellectual self either. Shut up about it already.

Once upon a time, my cousin's cousin, while drunk, played Swift's Love Story over and over and over. It was then that I developed my deep dislike. Because she's comparing her and her teen boyfriend to Romeo and Juliet. Without, apparently, having ever actually read Romeo and Juliet and missing that EVERYONE DIES IN THE END! I also just listened to the song for the purposes of this post (you're welcome) and she name checks The Scarlet Letter in there  ("'Cause you were Romeo, I was a scarlet letter"). Again, without having any fucking idea what that novel is about. I'm gonna guess her high school English grades weren't that great. Also: what does "I was a scarlet letter" in relation to Romeo and Juliet even mean? I'm likely thinking way too hard about this. But there should be a class where teenagers dissect their favorite pop songs for being utterly nonsensical. (This coming from a person with a slight "Call Me Maybe" obsession.)

I do give her points for punking John Mayer though. That was great. A grown ass guy got all in a tizzy over a barely legal girl writing songs about him. That's the only thing I'll give her points for though.

But mostly, if we're gonna discuss small, speedy birds, this is the only discussion we're gonna have:

And with that, I bid you a good weekend. I'm home, keeping a low profile in anticipation of the big party next weekend, watching LSU play Auburn at 5 on Saturday. What are your plans?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Melancholy Hangovers

Before getting all heavy below, I'm gonna share my best guy friend's fantastic unintentional compliment, which are really the only kind of compliments I am any good at taking:

Friday, September 14, 2012

Random Bits

There's not much going on. Football season started so there's a lot of TV watching and yet with 2 weeks in, significantly little bad decision making happening. Yeah, I dunno who I am either. (Or I'm maturing?)

I'm also working really really hard on this whole full fledged grown up thing as I avoid way too many creditors calls a day. (Don't go to law school, kids!)

So those are all my lame excuses for not posting lately. But I have a few bits and pieces so here they are. In the you should be used to it by now list form:

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Stanford Football

I headed to the Stanford Football game last Friday night giddy like a kid on Christmas morning. I was going to see real live college football in any form for the first time since I was in Baton Rouge in 2010 when LSU played the Mountaineers. What's not to love? I will take any opportunity to sit outside and drink beer from the tailgate of my mom-car SUV and watch young men slam into each other. And maybe take the opportunity to flirt with age inappropriate future leaders of this country.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

That Time of the Year

It's the annual college football appreciation post!

I wasn't stoked on this year starting, to be honest. I'm battling a little bit of moodiness about...everything. The weather here sucks and life sucks and blah blah ranty teenage feelings blah.

But then things started happening.

Thursday, August 23, 2012


Remember when I said I hate SF weather? Of course you do, it's the last post.

I made good on my promise to go find sun. After texting the best guy friend if he had to be at work on Wednesday (he didn't), we debated whether to go hiking with the dog in Marin or go to Santa Cruz and hang on the beach/ride the famous Giant Dipper, as I still have ride coupons from years ago that don't expire. I try to do things that are cheap because I am broooke.

We ended up going with the hiking plan and, thanks to the suggestion of a Twitter follower, ended up at Lake Lagunitas/Lake Bon Tempe outside of Fairfax in the Marin Watershed.

Everyone is so fucking friendly in Marin. It's weeeeird. I'm used to the city where I barely make eye contact with anyone and avoid talking because I am an introvert and misanthrope. I only end up talking to people on my Land's End walks (which: I HIGHLY recommend Land's End) because my dog is an attention whore whose seemingly sole function is to have every stranger alive pet her and wiggles her teeny tiny butt until they do.

I pulled up to the pay station (one downside: you have to pay $8 to park at Lake Lagunitas, which really isn't that bad) and the super friendly volunteer guy tells me all about the watershed, welcomes me on my first trip there, hands me a bunch of maps, and tells me where to the winter so I can see the waterfall.

We drive along the road of the watershed to our destination a couple miles in. I had apparently missed the signs that the entire place is a 15 mph zone and on a straight away I was going maybe 30 when the park ranger guy parked on the opposite side of the road got out of his car, pointed, and pulled me over. Or pointed me over? There wasn't much pulling. Anyway. HE was super friendly too. Didn't give me a ticket, just a bit of a lecture that was barely a lecture and then told me all about the area also and to be careful of wildlife (with a full run down of all that's around) and to be sure to, as required, keep my dog on a leash so a coyote didn't get her. I keep her on a leash regardless because remember that attention whore thing? She'd follow anyone home. She does not come when called. Most disloyal animal I've ever owned. (Actually, she's the only animal I've ever owned. All other dogs were family dogs. She is definitely mine. Currently asleep on my lap. But: completely disloyal.)

We finally make it to the lake and it's a nice hour long walk around it. Not much of a hike, but pretty with a good amount of shade, nice trails. I'd go there again, probably for the bigger Bon Tempe lake but it was a good walk. Also has a great picnic area if you want to spend the day up there. These two adorable older gentlemen had a picnic table with their own table cloth, glasses of wine, and were grilling. I wanted to invite myself to join them.

We add on part of Bon Tempe lake as well for a total of close to two hours of walking. Sun on my shoulders, wearing shorts. It was fabulous! And the dog was a trooper. She would have liked a few more people to give her pats on the head but she seemed to like it. Not that most dogs don't enjoy being outside getting walked. I think that's the longest walk I've done with her though so I was glad she seemed unfazed. I'm never quite sure how being 12 pounds translates for a dog. If I walk a mile is that like 3 miles to her? (I make no bones (heh) about being a crazy dog person.)

Around the lake, the roughly 10 people we encounter, as it's midday on a Wednesday and I imagine most people have actual jobs, are all super friendly too. Hellos and head nods abound. Even from the mountain bikers who thank us for staying to the side and waive as they pass. WHAT IS THIS WEIRD UBER FRIENDLY ALTERNATE UNIVERSE?

You have to understand that us city dwellers have a natural dislike of...well, everything not "the city". I think the fog makes us cranky and naturally suspicious. Or maybe that's just me. So all this politeness is freaking me out a bit.

In case you don't know: Marin is a super wealthy enclave that prohibits BART from going there because they don't want the riffraff invading their pristine little towns. Very very white towns. Of like Lululemon stores and boutiques that the wives of rich investment bankers run as hobby. Not that they aren't fantastic towns with great farmers markets, cute restaurants, and really healthy people. Because, also at the recommendation of Twitter follower, we head to Iron Springs Brew Co for post hike lunch and a beer because we can sit outside with the dog. It's next to a bike shop that an endless stream of very fit people are walking or riding their bikes in and out of it. I imagine the East Coast equivalent is New Haven or wherever it was Emily Gilmore lived.

The food at the brew pub was decent, and other than trying to chew through her leash for kicks, the dog was again well behaved. (I've had her for almost a year and haven't taken her to a restaurant. It was a day of adventures for us. Yep. Crazy dog person.)

I was just happy to be outside, drinking, wearing a t-shirt and shorts. "CHUCK! We're outside and don't need sweaters!" San Francisco summers make me loopy.

We got back in the car to head back to the city. The thermometer indicated 81 glorious degrees. By the time we reached Mill Valley, just on the North side of the bridge, the outside temp was indicated as being 61 degrees. A 20 degree drop in a fifteen minute drive, with fog socking in the bridge. Sigh.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Vegging Out

First I have to do something annoying: complain about the weather.

Is there anything more futile than bitching about the weather? I can't change it. I can't control it. I have absolutely no dominion over the clouds in the sky. The best I can do is change my location, something I am going to attempt to do this week because this miserable, pervasive, depressing, soul sucking fog that hangs over SF for the entirety of July and August is DRIVING ME INSANE.

If you are unfamiliar, a little geography/meteorology lesson: San Francisco is a coastal city. To the East of SF are valleys. Anyone who has lived here for any period of time becomes intimately familiar with this truth. Because those valleys to the East mean that the cold coastal air gets sucked over the hills into the valleys to cool things off. But at the same time that happens, the hot air that sits in those valleys rises. The cold coastal air crashes into the hot valley air and creates...wait for it...FOG.

As luck would have it, I live right underneath the point where the cold air and hot air crash into each other and create that mess of clouds. Right. Underneath. This is not hyperbole, for once. It can quite literally be foggy ONLY in my neighborhood. I can drive fifteen minutes in any direction, save for West, because that's ocean, and find that big orange ball in the sky. Drove my parents to the airport last week and thought their flight would be delayed as we drove underneath misty wet fog. But no sooner do we take the 280 curve past Serramonte than the skies miraculously (or not so, having just explained the weather here to you) are clear and bright.

I HATE fog. Hate hate hate hate hate. I am never more depressed than during SF summers. While everyone is sweltering, I am walking around in a hoodie and Uggs (don't even judge my Uggs) because IT'S FUCKING COLD. Most evenings when I walk my dog, I feel like I'm in a thriller set in London. Sherlock Holmes is gonna jump out and solve a mystery, as the thick, wet fog hangs low, and I can't see down the street due to the fog, just the vague glow of street lights. Which all sounds very romantic, right? Who doesn't like the thought of a nice warm fire and reading some Arthur Conan Doyle because it fits the weather? EXCEPT IT'S AUGUST! I want some fucking sun! I want a tan! I want to actually wear a pair of shorts!

Some people love this. My Buffalo raised grandmother spent 65+ years of her life in SF and was one of those people who would complain when it was above 70 or below 60. The temperate climate suited her and it was hard to imagine she'd ever braved Buffalo's frigid winters and sweltering summers. But she chose San Francisco. Well, the Coast Guard sent her here during WWII and she met my grandfather so she chose HIM and SF was ancillary, but still! She didn't choose to go find a beau in Buffalo. She stayed here.

I, for whatever serendipitous turns led me to Baton Rouge, quickly discovered I downright thrived in sweltering Louisiana humidity. I'd go walk the campus lakes at midday during the summer without a second thought. Sure sure, I could go back to my apartment and set the A/C to 60 and sleep comfortably at night. I'm not saying I want to live in July Louisiana without modern conveniences. But the point remains: I love that heat. I miss 45 minute, 3 in the afternoon cleansing thunderstorms (so long as I don't have to drive in them because that still terrifies me). I miss sitting outside drinking on a porch. And yes, this is a bit of an idealized view of life in Louisiana. But it's not far off. Night games at the Box, or even at Tiger Stadium in late October, don't often require the use of a light sweater:

All of which is a really long way of saying: I sat my ass on the couch and watched movies all weekend and now I'm going to dispense my thoughts on movies you likely saw a year or more ago because the weather was too miserable and depressing for me to contemplate doing anything else.

Saturday, August 18, 2012


I think a lot about food. This is what you do when you're trying to give up all the food that is bad for you, which is a constant, unwinnable battle. (How is unwinnable not a word? It should completely be a word, right? Things that can't be won: unwinnable. I guess I could just say futile but that's not quite the same. Whatever. Words are stupid. Says person who writes a lot.)

Anyway, I was discussing our mutual attempts to eat better when a friend said something about scrambling eggs and them not coming out right and I asked her what she did and she said, "Ya know, just scramble them in the pan." What? No. What? NO. AHAHAHA What? Noooo. I then described in detail how to scramble eggs. At least how I do it. (Opinions vary, as I discovered when I went to link friend to a "how to scramble eggs" youtube clip and none were quite what I do. But none were "throw eggs in pan and scramble" either.)

Then 40 Going on 28 wrote about popping corn on the stove top and what a revelation that was. Something I had already informed you good people about.

Funny what you grow up knowing about cooking. It helps that I happen to truly love being alone in a kitchen doing stuff. Sort of powerful for me. Which is one reason why my problem with food persists. I'm currently whipping up these bad boys BECAUSE I CAN. And I like afternoon tea. And shortbread goes really well with afternoon tea. Apparently I'm British. (Related: I bought a Bloomspot deal, and the other day and my mom and I went to Dartealing to use it. In white girl speak: Super adorbs! Highly recommended tea place.)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


Every day we encounter stupidity. I'm sure for the sake of your sanity, much like me, you let a lot of this go. You have to. Or you'll go crazy. We can't take up the mantle of every battle. From a tourist pronouncing "Gough" street wrong (btw, non-SF readers: goff. Like cough with a g), to someone on any variety of social networking sites or newspaper websites making asinine comments. In fact, I've learned to not read the comments section of just about all websites because the level of intelligent discourse is...lacking at the very least. (I'm gonna come off like an elitist, over-educated ass in here...for which I make very little apology. I kind of am.) (Oh, also: we're gonna get all political below (well, as political as I'll ever get), so if that's not your thing, you'll just want to skip this one.)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Modern Pentathlon

More on Olympic sports!

Andrew and I were talking about the modern pentathlon the other day and that conversation led me to decide that I should become an ambassador for it.

Saturday, August 4, 2012


Something bizarre is happening for the next few days. I get my house to myself. Completely to myself. The 'rents are going out of town, which isn't that rare of an occurrence. But when they leave I'm usually in charge of the dogs which can feel like a full time job. Walk 'em, feed 'em, walk 'em again and again and again, feed 'em.

Don't get me wrong, I lurve my dogs. But man can they be exhausting. The little one sleeps on my lap as I type at the kitchen table. If I try to put her down, she'll bark at me. Yes, she's spoiled. This is probably my fault. And by probably I mean definitely. The bigger dog (40 lb shepherd mix thing that likes to herd strangers when they come into the house) sleeps on my bed during the day. He's not supposed to sleep on my bed, what with the 4 dog beds scattered throughout the house, a couch he's allowed on, and parents beds to sleep on. But he does it anyway.

So this time when my parents are gone for three days, the dogs are going to the dog hotel. (Real thing.) No getting up at 6 to take them out. No...nothing.

My house is gonna be like Project X for three days. Except not at all because I don't like people. I might go see Beasts of The Southern Wild finally. I have plans to see one of my all time favorite movies, that is never replicated in my life, Sixteen Candles, at film night in the park on Saturday night. And I do plan on watching all the Olympics. Like watch the super tape delayed West Coast "simulcast" of the days events in prime time and then just stay awake 'til events start again at 2 a.m. my time amount of Olympic watching. (Which I did Friday night after being sidetracked by a hangover.)

(Here's where we take an abrupt left turn on me writing about being home alone and delve into the Olympics because I have SO MANY QUESTIONS.)

Thursday, July 26, 2012

List Time

I have a lot of random thoughts running through my brain and am unable to get them into fully formed posts (hence the blogging absence) so I'm just doing bullet point half thoughts as is my prerogative.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Will Clak (Not a Typo)

It's apparently Will Clark takes over the Internet week.

He showed up first on Deadspin, as written by Grant Brisbee, the best Giants writer ever.

Then the SF Giants website posted a webisode, a clip of which recounted the same incident as Grant did: Will Clark's first big league at bat where he hit a homerun off Nolan Ryan in the Houston Astrodome.

I, without giving away my age (which is silly and most of you know), was younger than Grant when Will Clark hit that homerun so I have exactly no recollection of it. Who knows if we were even watching the game, but chances are highly likely that my dad at the very least had a radio on somewhere, as that is his preferred method of taking in a game he's not at. (Except that Jon Miller calls the Giants on the radio now and my dad and I both can't stand Jon Miller. I realize we are in the minority here, a lot of people lionize him, but we don't and end up yelling at the radio "Just call the effing ball game! For christsakes!")

Even if I had seen Will Clark's first homerun, I wouldn't remember it as I wasn't at an age where I had much in the way of cognitive abilities. But Will Clark would still end up having a pretty big impact on my formative years.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Musicals & My Subconscious

The last three mornings in a row I have woken up with songs from Broadway musicals stuck in my head. I have no idea what this means, if anything, other than I listen to a lot of Broadway. (Which I do, our kitchen Sirius tuner is always set to the Broadway channel).

But in an effort to parse the hidden meanings in the deep corners of my wee brain, I'm gonna share. All alternative amateur subconscious analyzation welcome in the comments.

Fern Bars

In case any of you are unfamiliar with how the rabbit hole that is the internet works, I'd like to explain how I got to writing about Fern Bars:

I clicked on a Hairpin link titled "Almost vilely sweet". This intrigued me. I like good juxtaposition and have ever since we had to read that story in 7th grade where our teacher pointed out the narrator telling the girl character about someone being "awfully good". (I can't find a link to the story that was in our reader but it taught our wee brains about using different layers of narrators in a story I thought was called "The Narrator" but like I said, can't find. Man are things imprinted on us in our childhood.)

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Happy Birthday, America!

I saw a girl punch another girl on the 4th of July. It wasn't even 9 p.m. AMERICA!

After a particularly angsty July 3rd, Cheryl decided we needed to do something on the 4th. At her urging, I decided that seeing actual fireworks wouldn't be such a bad thing. I usually avoid any and all crowded events because ugh crowds. But I was coaxed out of my usual introvert shell and made a plan to meet Cheryl in her neighborhood, the Marina, so we could grab dinner and then head over to the greens to grab a spot and see the fireworks.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Strippers and Grandma

My sainted grandmother, who I never recall in my early life ever saying anything about the attractiveness of men, she was a grandma after all!, later in life developed a huge, inexplicable crush on...Matthew McConaughey. Yeah, I don't really get it either. But she LOVED him. She was in the hospital at the end and you'd say something about him, or her other long time crush, her cardiologist, and she'd light right up.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Vegas, Snark, Random Thoughts

I realized that I sounded like a horribly ungrateful brat after the last post so I wanted to rectify some of that.

I know that I'm incredibly lucky to have spent three nights in an exceptional hotel being utterly irresponsible while most of the rest of the world was at work in the middle of the week. I got to my room at the Bellagio and thought, "You put a small kitchen in and I'd be totally content living here."

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Cesspool of Humanity

I got home from Vegas Thursday. I don't want to go back for a very very very long time, if ever.

I'm still so freaking exhausted.

Since what happens there, mercifully, stays there, some thoughts and highlights, while I work on pretending that the lowlights never ever happened and try to Eternal Sunshine them from my brain.

Here's the thing with Vegas: You want it to be super fun. You have all these expectations of the fun time that you will have and what you will do. At least I did. I wanted to make up for a couple awful memories from when I was there a year ago. But ya know what? It's just kind of an awful place and the pressure makes it more awful because it can't meet your expectations and there are girls who can't weigh 70lbs teetering around unattractively in $2k stilettos but they're getting all the attention which just makes you (me) and your (my) fragile ego feel worse.

It felt like when I was little and my mom would seethe through gritted teeth, "We're going to have FUN, goddamnit!" You knew from that point on that there was no possible way you were gonna have fun.

Monday, June 18, 2012

LOL Momz (on golf)

My mom spent Thursday and Saturday working at the U.S. Open. Through a scheduling fluke, the powers that be put my mother, who knows next to nothing about golf, at the 18th green. She was the last cop stationed before the players hiked up the stairs to go to the clubhouse from 10 a.m. 'til 8 p.m. on those two days.

This led to many many hysterical interactions and my mother pushing the limits of my golf knowledge. But mostly it involved her saying absurd mom things. I couldn't resist sharing some of my mom's observations from her time there.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Sh*t White People Eat

When I was at the vaunted Olympic Club on Monday, I kept saying that I wanted to go into the clubhouse and order a white wine spritzer and relax on the patio. Beth finally asked, "Do people still drink those?" I have no idea, but it seems like the kind of drink a woman who frequents a country club would drink. And then I'd have a TaB. (True story: law firm I worked at during college had TaB in the vending machine. Every secretary, and they sure as shit were still secretaries, no admin assistant crap, to a woman (yes, all women), drank it. That shit is straight up white girl fuel.)

It got me thinking about other shit white people eat, which brought to mind this hysterical, and completely accurate, article from a couple years ago in the Hairpin about artichoke dip. (My family adds diced jalapeno and Tony's to ours. We like a bit of heat. We're dangerous.)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

First You Have to Kill All the Golfers

Beth IMed me at around 12:30 yesterday. "Hey! I have tickets to the U.S. Open practice round for like right now, do you want to go?" After determining whether she just meant "go" or "go with her" (I'm incredibly literal), I fought my general introverted tendencies, considered that my plan for the day was to go to the gym and make dinner, looked out the window at a picture perfect San Francisco day, a rarity for June, and said, "Absolutely, I'm in."


I've decided the DSM-IV should have a section on sports addiction for someone like me who suddenly finds herself inside on gorgeous SF days because the UEFA match between Ireland and Croatia just can't be missed.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Objects of Desire

Today we're talking about hot dudes. Yeah, I know...

Actually, we're not doing one of those posts where I just talk about how hot dudes are. It was going to be one of those posts but something happened along the way and it got more complicated than that.

I am always conflicted talking about the attractiveness of men. As a lower case f feminist (while I hold some feminist ideals, I kinda fail at holding a banner and being all FEMINIST. I hate to quote Drake but "oh yeah, that's right, I'm doing me", so causes and having a "feminist ideology" and being pissed off about everything ever as indicated by the Jezebel comments section isn't really for me.), the female gaze is no better than the male gaze. I feel guilty distilling men down to just their looks, the way it is so often done to females. I'd say it should be equal opportunity, but really it shouldn't be done at all. Except is appreciating beauty such a bad thing? And I realize that we are all more than just our looks or any one feature or characteristic. All special snowflakes! Sorry, I don't mean to be trite. I really do believe each person is complex and not defined by any one aspect.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


It's a lot of self analysis stuff and since that always feels incredibly indulgent and not all that interesting, and yet super important on a personal level, to write about, I'm burying it after the jump to force you click if you want to read.

Friday, June 1, 2012


I get a seemingly endless stream of emails from the ABA, most of which languish in my in box or I delete without a second thought. Tonight, however, one came through and the subject caught my attention:

Law Grad Pays $114K Debt with Sack of Cash

So I clicked on the link to see what kind of absurdity lay within.

A 2009 University of Toronto law graduate apparently made enough money at a venture capitalist firm to pay off his remaining $114,000 law school debt with just one payment—and he did it with cash.
Alex Kenjeev tells the Business Insider he was trying to be funny rather than make a point. "It was stressful enough to carry such a big debt load,” he said. “I thought it would be worth getting a few laughs out of it.”
Kenjeev says the process was cumbersome, and the banks didn’t share his sense of humor. At first, the Royal Bank of Canada balked at Kenjeev’s request to withdraw the money, then required him to wait three days, he tells the Business Insider. When the money was released, he stuffed it in a canvas bag and walked two blocks to pay off his loan at Scotiabank.
It took two-and-a-half hours for tellers to count the money and complete the transaction. "I didn't really realize how much of a hassle I'd cause for everybody,” he said.

My brain immediately started doing that exploding thing. Oh you've motherfucking got to be kidding me! You paid your ENTIRE debt off and thought it'd be so funny if you did so in cash? This kid deserves to be punched in the face. Repeatedly.

A vast majority of us law grads who made the unwise decision to get overly educated are carrying a similar debt burden. One that we struggle to pay and that will affect us far into our futures and a lot of the decisions about what we would like to be doing with our life. This kid was lucky enough, and yes, likely worked hard enough (in goddamn venture capitalism) to not be under such a similar strain and he made a JOKE out of it?

All I got to say to that is: !@#$%^&*(!@#$%^&*

Actually, I've got more: I prescribe to the Hank Aaron school of, "Act like you've been there before." Hank didn't watch his home runs because it's show boaty and awful but he also thought you should act like you've been there before. And that you'll be there again. I'm not one for gloating, show off behavior. I find it abhorrent and for all my flaws, braggadocio is not one of them. (Which is why I have a hard time marketing myself and getting a job and blah blah but that's another story...) The watching of home runs is why I couldn't stand Barry Bonds and his ten second admiration of every goddamn one he ever hit (and he's a pretty awful human being but that's also a whole different rant).

What this kid did is the lawyer equivalent of watching his home run. You had the means, you did something pretty exceptional, you got a bit lucky and then you took it just a little too far. So yeah, a punch in the face seems deserved.

In other weird lawyer news: as mentioned, I get like 800 ABA emails a day. One of the areas of interest I have checked off is International Law. I like international law, I'm actually pretty good at it based solely on class work, and I find the problems that it presents interesting because it has far more of a global impact than just a US-centric take. Additionally, counter terrorism is an area of interest, I did quite the presentation on the topic in my International Law class and considering we're still fighting a billion dollar war that has to do with it, a pressing issue.

All that is preface for the fact that I got an email from the ABA about a counter terrorism roundtable. It was also "complimentary". Sounds interesting, I still like learning stuff, so, again, it was immediately opened instead of taking up space in my in box.

The body of the email was in the always laughable comic sans. I shit you not. An email touting a discussion on the issues of counter terrorism was in comic sans. Because death and destruction caused by non-government organizations and how to combat them is HI-LARIOUS!

And I'm the one out of work? Geezus h...

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Best Laid Plans

I was feeling super ambitious last week. I was all "Yeah! Gonna write a ton and contribute to the world and clean my room and GET A JOB..." And then I got a sinus thing. First off, I hate being of the age where I get unidentifiable sinus things. Did this happen when I was younger? I don't recall it. Sometimes I think it was rolled into hangovers. Maybe? But mostly it just feels like getting old. You people weren't lying about old and for that I hate you. To be clueless and 22 again...

Secondly, the searing, blinding head pain renders me utterly useless. Utterly. I fantasize about ways to give myself a frontal lobotomy (knitting needle, frontal lobe) to end the pain and all the things I wanted to do never happen and I make bargains with the universe about what a productive human being I WILL be if my head will just. stop. hurting. I hate feeling like a useless blob because the inside of my head hurts. I find it incredibly inconvenient.

But we're over that now and so back to writing down my random musings.

For this first post back I'm keeping it light. But we'll get to some deeper stuff in the near future. Promise!

Your year-after-they-came-out movie reviews (and then a little TV):

Monday, May 21, 2012

Quick Bites

First, your musical interlude:

I am not the kind of music aficionado who has opiniony opinions on bands or is ever ahead of the curve in what's hip and cool music wise. I rarely go to concerts because "Ah! People!" But I've linked to The Lumineers Ho Hey before and now I'm really digging this song. It's on a topic I relate to: "Classy girls don't kiss in bars." Word. So: musical endorsement: The Lumineers. 

Since I am the unemployed loser of the family, it falls on me to make dinner on the days the 'rents are at work. I have a natural aptitude in the kitchen and actually kind of laugh at any of you that can't feed yourself. Okay, not really, but you should work on that. It's a useful trick, to be able to make food for yourself.

In fact, I so enjoy the kitchen that I kind of get annoyed when anyone else is in there when I'm cooking. "No! This is ME time!" I just jam. Music on, doing my chopping, dicing, sauteing, straining thing. It's not usually fancy, though it can be. I think I like cooking because I know what the hell I'm doing when with pretty much everything else I don't. It's a control thing.

As I'm trying to do a low-ish carb "diet" (I'm so far from perfect, it's annoying but I'm trying. I haven't had fast food in over a month, which is the same time that I haven't touched potato chips. Dr Pepper and french fries remain a problem but trying to limit to once a week. Since you asked.), I'm trying out a bunch of new recipes that don't involve just meat and potatoes, which is the go to norm for our family.

The best replacement for regular meat and potatoes is beans. High in fiber, filling, good for you. Or so I tell myself.

I found the following recipe in one of the many Sunset magazines that are littered throughout our house and it was quite the hit. It's a recipe for campfire Dutch oven cooking but I cook outdoors exactly never. (Do I look like I camp? Actually, I'd kinda like to start. I do enjoy a good moderate hike. Beers in the woods sounds good. Beer sounds good. Stupid low carb life.) It works just fine on the stovetop. I had minor modifications and my amended recipe is below. The original one is at the link. (Mostly I skipped their herb recommendations as rosemary can be overpowering and I'm not buying anything else just to throw a tiny bit in a pot.) This actually takes like no time at all and is stupid easy so I don't get to hang in the kitchen much when I make it, but for simple, one pot dishes, this one was pretty fabulous.

2 cans (15.5 oz. size) each cannellini beans and chickpeas (garbanzos), drained and rinsed (That's four cans total for those of you who are bad at math/weird directions.)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1/2 yellow bell pepper, sliced
1 poblano chile, sliced (or whatever chile you have. I used Anaheim the first time; it was fine.)
4 medium garlic cloves, chopped
1 1/2 pounds cooked Italian sausages, such as Saag's or Aidells, cut into 1-in. chunks (I used Hillshire Farms smoked sausage, as we had one in the house. Any smoked sausage would work. You could use a raw sausage and cook it before making this but I think the smoked sausages had the right flavors. And that's an extra step. You don't want to take an extra step.)
Because I was indoctrinated into Tony's life in college: a healthy shake of that stuff all over.

1. Throw everything into your pot with 3/4 cup of water. Cover. Put on medium heat.
2. Check every ten to fifteen minutes and stir. Add more water if it gets dry (I did not have this problem, but just in case). When the peppers are soft and the sausage swells (stop it!), it's done. Enjoy!

I find this hearty, filling, and delicious, and a nice riff on traditional chili which can feel really heavy.

In addition to being the family dinner maker, I'm the family baker. If you've read any of my Christmas posts, I go a bit crazy at that time of year. I'm finally sick of it though as I've decided most of my family is made up of ungrateful jerks and my culinary prowess goes completely unappreciated. So I'm sort of giving up on it. Because I'm stubborn. But! Because I am broke and couldn't afford a fabulous mother's day present for my mom, I told her I'd bake her something each month for all of time. Or until I move out. Whichever comes first. She always bugs me to bake and I always resist. I'm actually not much of a sweets person. Every so often I'll be like, "Chocolate. Now." But mostly my weakness is potatoes. All the potatoes.

There are, however, exceptions. One of which is caramel crumb bars. These things are addictive. I'm gonna just start calling them crack bars. They were my mom's first request for her mother's day present. There is a plate of them sitting on the kitchen table and I do not have the will power to resist them. Stupid baking skills. If you have any baking skills yourself, I highly recommend these. If you don't, you can pay me $20 and I'll make them for you. You're welcome.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Country Vibe

After watching the Hart of Dixie finale...

Wait, before I continue: judge that if you want, but this happened:

Yeah, that's a ripped dude in a wife beater taking it off in the rain. #ladypron

Now, I may be slightly (shut up) outside the demographic of the CW but I refuse to act like I'm not a sucker for a hot guy with his shirt off. I have a pulse. And, as I've mentioned before, having been a "yankee" interloper in the South, the fish-out-of-water plot speaks to me. I lived that. (If it's not Southern, it's Yankee. The fact that I was from the West Coast was immaterial in arguments about my lack of yankee-ness and where California stood in the "war of Northern aggression". I actually own a NY Yankees hat from that period in my life because I wore being different with a bit of pride. Call me a yankee? Sure, whatever, I'll own it.)

I clearly remember my friend Mary yelling at me our freshman year, as I lamented some other thing that Louisiana didn't have that California did (salad with something besides iceberg lettuce, avocados, vegetables that weren't boiled to an indistinguishable mush, food that wasn't fried), "God! If California is so great why don't you go back there!?" It was my, as Southerners say, come to Jesus moment. "Oh. Maybe I should appreciate this place for what it is and not for what I wish it were?" And I did. And I loved it. Because for every aversion to al dente vegetables there was boudin and gumbo and free liquor. All the free liquor. Not to mention the amazing cultural differences. (Small town Samantha excitedly saying "There are so many Orientals here!" remains one of my favorite cringe inducing college moments ever. Not only that, there were like 60. In a school of 20k.)

So other than not having hot guys at every turn like the TV show (Ahaha! It was undergrad, there totally were. What up former baseball player crush?), the show is cute and has that decidedly Southern feel. (I still hate the Lemon character but I don't get to write the script so...)

With that decidedly hot, sticky, Southern attitude emitting from my TV, even if on a Hollywood studio lot that I'm pretty sure was the same one they used for Gilmore Girls, it leads me to miss the South. Which leads me to reminiscing...

That same friend Mary who yelled at me would take me home with her every now and then, as I was the weird kid 2k miles away from home without any parental influences around. (If I had a nickel for every, "You're from San Francisco? But you came here for college? Why?" conversation, I might not have had to take out loans for law school. If I had a dollar for every, "You're from San Francisco? Isn't everyone there gay?" conversation I definitely wouldn't have. I love the South. It's not perfect. The response, as I got older, was "Yep. That's right. They spring up fully formed in the Castro. All the gays in the world are in San Francisco. It's not like they moved there from less tolerant places or anything.") Mary's family had this amazing house on the Amite River. It really had two houses on the property and a fire pit and a freezer full of steak our broke college selves got to eat because her dad was an attorney that had a client who paid in meat. I only vaguely remember her parents being around but her twin brother and other siblings and their assorted frat brothers and friends would be and we'd drink beer outside by the fire pit listening to classic rock and pop country, laughing, carrying on, being the absurd undergrads that we were. It was pretty damn idyllic.

Add in that the show, despite any kitschy failings, has a solid soundtrack of country hits, the Spotify mix of which I may have been listening to too much this week and I am all sorts of missing South Louisiana, hanging out in tank tops and shorts and flip flops down by a river drinking crap American beer. I want to do that now!

Yet I'm stuck in a city that doesn't even have a country music radio station. (Every so often we get one, not enough people listen to it, it disappears, lather, rinse, repeat.) This means I am certainly not in a town with a Bud in cans, peanut shells on the floor, country blaring from the jukebox where everyone sings along to the parts that aren't in the David Allan Coe song ("Let me let me let me!"). There is no respite in the city for my rose colored college nostalgia. The closest we have to a country bar is The Saddlerack. The website autoplays really crappy music (including that awful Cotton Eyed Joe song) and it's in Fremont which might as well be Lubbock. Really, who goes to Fremont? Typing in "Country Western Bar" on a Yelp search led to highly amusing results. We got a new Tex-Mex place, but I'm pretty sure that's far more upscale than what I'm in the mood for. SF, for all it's wonderful offerings, does not know from foot stomping Southern places. I don't want a hand blended concoction by a mixologist. I want something far more...redneck, for lack of a better word. Anyone got any suggestions? If not I'm just gonna have to go buy up all the Abita, turn the heat on the house to 80, blare some Keith Urban and my friend JR's favorite song from our sophomore year "She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy" (real song, y'all) and fake it myself.

Monday, May 14, 2012

'Keep Being Awesome'

It was likely a throw away line at the end of an email from a friend but it was a much needed affirmation.

This past week was...interesting. It started out with me feeling all kick ass and take names, leveled off a bit in the middle, got really rough with gasping sobs on the couch on Saturday night and then rebounded with people finally being human on Sunday, after a couple others completely weren't.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

A Hockey Love Letter

The following is my hockey opus. If you don't want to read more about me being downright obsessed with that particular sport, you might want to skip this one.

That said, I'm pretty proud of the words spilled below so take a look if you are so inclined. (I'm really bad at asking for things, which is why I'm not begging you to read it and pass it on to all your friends to show them my brilliance and get me a job somehow because it will enter the stream and someone will catch a glimpse of my promise and things will go from there. Because that's how things happen in my brain. But you should. Ya know, if you want.)

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Family Ruins Everything

Last night I had a family dinner to attend. It was with my two aunts, my cousin, and my mom. It's a girls dinner with pretty much the few members of the family that still all get along after my grandmother's death. (Irish Catholic blood feuds, ftw!)

It's very pleasant and I get a free meal at a nice restaurant.


It was Game 3 of the Capitals/Rangers series. It wasn't going to be a deciding game, as it's a best of 7 series, with a game a piece split, but still, playoff hockey is the bestest.

I watched the first period and a half before we had to head to dinner in Mill Valley.

And dinner was fine. The conversation is polite and my family is nice and all but I was itching to watch the hockey game.

Saturday, April 28, 2012


(A really awful music selection to go with this post. You're welcome!)

It's a lot of whining so I'm just burying it after the jump.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Sunny and Inside

For those of you who don't live in San Francisco, and haven't read everything I've ever written: our weather hovers around 60. With that comes a ton of fog. It's not the worst place to live, obviously, but I tend to thrive in absurd heat. I lived in South Louisiana for a few years and absolutely adore high heat with high humidity. Never have any doubt that I'm really weird.

Because of our coastal location next to a valley, we only get about 8 days a year that aren't 60 and foggy. A few weeks ago we got a thunderstorm and everyone was like, "WTF? What IS this? I don't even..." (TK killed it writing about the thunderstorm.) Our weather is consistent: 60, foggy.

This weekend we've got sun. And warmth. Lots of sun and warmth.

None of which I am out actually enjoying.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Tonight Tonight

I watched hockey in a crowded bar, made friends with twin girls from upstate New York who are on vacation in SF from Manhattan, where they now live, one of whom works at a giant financial firm. She gets her company's on the glass seats to Ranger's games. Pictures of which she showed me. She also showed me a picture of her with Ryan Callahan and asked me if I knew who he was. Bitch, please. They were adorable.

I went to an amazing pitcher's duel of a baseball game, where Matt Cain pitched 8 shutout innings and Cliff Lee pitched 10...and lost. It was such a fast game it felt like a football game. Back and forth, up and down, trying to keep track of the action. We went through 8 inning in an hour and fifteen minutes. In baseball time that's...nothing. I wasn't even finished with my first beer before there was the 7th inning cut off. A couple of hits were the difference in this game. It was uber fun.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Hockey Playoffs

I've mined this topic before but it just never stops being an issue in my life, so here we are again: sports fanaticism.

Tonight the hockey playoffs start. I fully and completely expect someone to die on the ice in the Pens/Flyers game. That's only slight hyperbole. It will be AWESOME. And neither of those are my teams. (Though I do sort of find Scott Hartnell's curls adorable along with Claude Giroux's Northern Canadian accent. I hate the Pens. Sidney Crosby is the most annoying superstar in sports. He flops. And he's just a little too pretty? And he whines. Which the head coach of the Rangers, John Tortorella, got fined $20k for pointing out. (Though the NHL says the fine was for swearing.))
Hartnell's curls

Anyway, my team, the Caps, start their cup bid tomorrow against the Bruins. The Bruins have Zdeno Chara who is 6'9". Without skates. I maintain that when Hollywood inevitably remakes The Princess Bride, Chara should be in the Andre the Giant role. And they have the Tea Party goalie Tim Thomas. They're scary on a lot of different levels. Oh: and though I love the Caps, they aren't that good. At least they weren't in the regular season. As every hockey player will say throughout the playoffs, "This is a whole new season." (If you would like to make a playoff drinking game, that's a good one to start with.) So ya never know, they could decide to not suck at hockey in the playoffs. I'm not overly optimistic but I'm not generally known for my optimism. Especially when it comes to teams I follow.

A former law school classmate said something to the effect of "Oh, hockey playoffs!" I said, "Yes, I'm excited. But terrified." Friend responded, "Why terrified? It's just sports."

Monday, April 9, 2012

On Film

I've been sick this week. Miserably sick. Last night I told my body if it just wanted to die, I'd be okay with that. I'm not dramatic or anything. I have also considered a frontal lobotomy, self administered of course, if it would mean my head would stop hurting constantly*.

Being sick when you're older is just miserable. When you're a kid you somehow ignore it. It means not going to school and getting pampered by your parents who don't want you to die on their watch. When you're an adult, it just sucks. Everyone wants you to get the fuck over it. Hell, YOU want to get over it because you would like your body to work again and to not feel like a useless blob. You make promises to never again take your health for granted. You hope that maybe because you haven't really eaten in the past several days, at least you've lost some weight. I'm starting to come out of it and promise to stop whining about it but there it is.

The point is: laying around uselessly gives me plenty of time to watch crap TV. And when I run out of crap TV to watch, I turn to movies. Which led me to thinking about movies, which led me to this post. Ta-da! (Excuse all grammar and syntax errors, I'm sick.)

*Turns out my IDIOT stepfather decided to spray paint the saddle bags on his motorcycle when he had to stay up all night the night before he goes back to work. In an unventilated garage. Which happens to be directly underneath my bedroom. This MAY have contributed to the incredible headache. I know my mom picked him and all and he's a generally harmless kind of dolt but COME ON!

I've tried writing about movies before but it usually ends up being some big rambling mess that is essentially "Go watch everything ever, especially if it is on TCM, stars Cary Grant and/or Jimmy Stewart, was directed by Capra/Wilder/Hitchcock. Oh! And don't forget the big sweeping studio musicals and westerns, especially if the latter were directed by Huston." See! Even that I can't make a short edict.

The point is: I love film. I watched Citizen Kane when I was ten, which though I can appreciate it as cinematic masterpiece, at ten figuring out what Rosebud is ridiculously disappointing. That was the start of my film watching relationship though. My dad's favorite movie is Harold & Maude, which I also watched at ten and which probably explains a) my really warped sense of humor and b) my relationship issues. At 11 I rented and sat and watched all of Gone with the Wind. ON MY OWN. No one forced me to watch a 3 hour and 20 minute sweeping epic. I did it. Which will explain some of what follows...

My love of film solidified itself in high school. While everyone else was at keggers, or doing whatever else it is high school kids are "supposed" to do, I was at home watching movies. Usually AMC, back when they stood up to being American Movie Classics, and TBS's (or TNT? They're pretty interchangeable) Dinner and a Movie where the whacky hosts made a meal themed with a movie. (I always wanted them to do the burger from Real Genius, which is a criminally underrated comedy.) I would make a plate of homemade nachos and watch movies while my parents were off doing whatever and my brother was...I don't really care as long as he wasn't bugging me. I was just the complete opposite of cool.

My film watching sense was developed during my high school years and in particular during my senior year, when my equally uncool best friend and I would get out of class on Friday afternoon and high tail it to the nearest theater to watch whatever was playing. We saw tons of stuff, both good and bad.

We also got to take a class at my ridiculous prep school called "Fiction into Film". It basically existed for seniors to take a semester long class where they got to watch movies. But it was at heart a film theory class and introduced me to a lot of techniques that I still pay attention to today. It also introduced me to Rear Window, a film I love to this day and which an amazing time lapse of came out this week.

Our teacher in that class would put a quote on the projector every day from a film and we had to guess what movie it was from. About 75% of the time I was the first person in the class to guess the film. This baseball player in our class, who I had a crush on, and was of course invisible to, would ask with such consternation, "How do you even KNOW that?!" I just grinned sheepishly. I should have said, "Because while you're out being cool I'm watching movies alone, jerk!" But I didn't. It wasn't that I'd seen The Lost Weekend yet, it's just that I had enough tangential information to know what it was and that a quote was from it. Always full of the useless information.

This whole film thing, and in particular it's relationship to my high school self, got brought up this week with the re-release of Titanic 3D. I read two reviews written, excellently, on the topic. While they brought up really salient points about the movie, all I could think, having seen that movie during our high movie watching period was, "God I HATED that movie." I hated it when it came out. I still hate it. When Michelle and I sat in a theater after school and were both at 17 supposed to be swept away by this amazing epic that teen girls were freaking out at, we both could only muster eye rolls. When I heard back then that NBC, I believe, immediately paid some inordinate amount of money to air it for consecutive years like they had done with It's a Wonderful Life I thought, "That is the dumbest! Why would you pay money for that?" Don't even get me started on that Celine Dion song.

Even though I was exactly James Cameron's demographic, I very clearly wasn't. Not to sound pretentious or above it, just as an example of constantly not fitting in, being anything like what I'm supposed to be. (Also: I very rarely watch films anymore. I watch movies. I watch awful, ridiculous romcoms and love every second of them. I haven't seen most of the Oscar winners for several years. My attention span is shot as I gobble up everything in 140 character spurts. I lack patience. And imagination. Sometimes (often) I miss younger me.)

Though it was earlier in my high school career (actually I might have still been in junior high?), I felt the same way about Forrest Gump. Geezus do I hate that movie. It's so trite and absurd and... I never understood, still don't understand, why people love it. I remember seeing it with my dad, as I sat in a theater on a Friday night filled with high school kids, an awkward barely teen myself, and we walked out, looked at each other and were like, "Wha?" All we've ever mustered to say positively about that film is that it has a great soundtrack.

But I'm not always completely contrarian about movies. There are some I quite like. For example:

What I remember vividly about my senior year of high school is Good Will Hunting coming out. Michelle and I saw it twice in the theater. And as much less of a crier then than I am now (which is impressive, really. Thanks, repressed Irish Catholic-ness!), I choked back tears in the theater. There was something I responded to about it. I also remember seeing it as the pinnacle of writing but not really understanding that until much later. I loved the dialogue but didn't have the sort of awareness then to think, "Oh! Screen writing!" There was something about it, despite being about a world that I knew nothing about, that I related to. As I thought about it as I grew older, I realized it was the writing. I still aspire to write like that. I am nowhere near. Likely never will be. But I loved that movie then and still love it now. And yes, I've heard that Matt & Ben (we're on a first name basis) had ghost writers because there is no way they could have done that on their own. I don't really care. I find the story pretty perfect. It doesn't leave me wanting more or an explanation the way most films do.

That same year two dueling war films came out: The Thin Red Line and Saving Private Ryan. SPR was the big budget Steven Spielberg backed mega movie with the realistic storming of the beaches of Normandy scene. TTRL was the Malick directed one with anti-war overtones.

Wanna guess which one I liked better? There was something stunningly visual about TTRL that I just loved. It's light on dialogue and long on cinematography and I was captivated. I remember coming home and describing the movie as having excellent prose. My mother was like, "WTF does that even mean?" She saw it and hated it. This sums up a lot about our relationship. To this day she derides my liking of a film by saying, "Does it have excellent prose?" Family, y'all.

I've since conceded that if I re-watched SPR I'd likely find value in it. I didn't immediately disdain it the way I did Titanic or Forrest Gump, but it just wasn't my jam either. Flashy where TTRL was subtle. Even the anti-war indictment of TTRL is the most absurd. Is any movie really pro-war? "Yeah, let's do that thing! Where tons of people die! Sounds awesome!" Not exactly a sound argument.

Anyway, with it being late 90s nostalgia re-release time lately, I began pondering all this stuff and in my hazy sickness decided to share it. You're welcome, the internet!

Now since my brain can no longer handle anything besides the simplest plot devices, I'm gonna go watch a romcom and wish, as is so rarely the case, that I had a boyfriend to take care of my sick self...

Friday, March 30, 2012


1. PG&E is tearing up my street. Judging by the rate they have finished up work on surrounding streets, they should be done sometime in late 2013. It's not really a big deal for me. I live on a street with an easement. Meaning: our garage is in the back of the house and there is enough room back there to park my car so that I, god forbid, don't have to park several blocks away to get to my house.

However, my dogs (sorry, I'm talking about my dogs again), who hate the sound of, well, pretty much everything but loud trucks in particular, have been barking the vast majority of the day. Fun times!

None of this would be happening if PG&E hadn't accidentally, ya know, blown up half of San Bruno.

Even more fun is the conversation with my mother. She really isn't old, by parent standards, but she says things lately that remind me distinctly of my grandmother. "I don't know why they can just go around tearing things up!" I then explained a quasi-government agency that provides necessities. "But electricity hasn't even been around that long." Would you like to go without it? "No..." Okay then.

(I also got caught in a discussion where I was explaining tort liability. "I don't understand how that girl that walked into the propeller can sue." I started to tell her about how she's not really suing the plane company and insurance and comparative negligence when I decided for my sanity I should probably stop. Moral of the story: don't go to law school. Ever. You are far better off blissfully unaware. If you do go, because you're a masochist, don't discuss it with your family. Ever.)

2. In other news: my friends and I went to pub trivia Wednesday night. And even though we were a team of three (with a little help from the table next to us on 3 questions) competing against monster teams of about 15, we won. The look on Chuck's face when it became apparent that we were going to be declared winners was priceless. We had hung tough, creeping into second at one point before falling to 3rd. I'd been expecting we'd get the best small team prize but a few fortunate questions in the final round (one involving horse races and one involving horse breeds) where points are doubled, and we somehow snuck into the lead. (Joe Versus the Volcano is the 3rd movie whenever they're looking for the 3 that Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan have been in together, you guys. And it's a cute movie.) That cut our bar tab in more than half. We were all a little shocked we won. We just go to play, have fun, kill some time on a Wednesday night. I'm not out to crush or kill, even though I'm competitive and like to correctly answer the questions. We don't whoop when we get something we're particularly proud of correct (pulling out of the recesses of my brain Roman god of metal working (Vulcan) when I knew immediately the Greek one (Hephaestus)), which is why the quiz master had a hard time identifying our team as the winners. For as much as Chuck teases me endlessly about the "random, useless, crap" in my brain, there is one place it comes in handy: pub trivia. Don't get me wrong though, it was a team effort and a couple of tapping their own recesses by Cheryl and Chuck definitely got us to where we were. I only wish this translated to my online trivia game, which I tend to be a bit woeful at. Still, a solid win, even in pub trivia, is nice.

3. I've been having all these horribly awkward run-ins at the gym. So I have avoided going for the past few days. Also my workout headphones broke and there is no way I am going to the gym without something to pretend I'm not at the gym, therefore I now have to wait for the ones I ordered to show up from Amazon.

I decided in place of going to the gym, I'd try a few OnDemand videos. First I knocked out 5 minute abs, as "core work" (sorry for the assy gym speak) is something I neglect. At the gym, I get in, do my cardio, get out. I know deep down that if I want things to actually change I have to do more weights and core work so I thought 5 minute abs would be a good place to start. And it was. I got done and thought, "Huh. That wasn't so bad." Someone forgot that you don't hurt right away! That the muscle pain sets in the next day! AHAHAHAHA! I've now been avoiding laughing for a 36 hours because holy geezus. It was a nice reminder that while I have plenty of breath anymore, I'm nowhere near in shape. Thanks, body! And genetics! AWESOME!

After that I did a yoga workout. I am not a yoga person. I (this will be completely unsurprising) find yoga people a little...ya know? They're like obnoxious quasi-hippies. It's culty. But I have never been accused of being flexible and yoga is basically just a whole bunch of stretching so I have occasionally given in and done it. The OnDemand program I have previously done, and which was a good pace for us beginners, was no longer available. I found this other one that was like morning wake up yoga and figure I'd give that a try. At first, when the blonde with not an ounce of fat on her lady started in with her "namaste", I thought my eyes were gonna get permanently stuck from rolling in the back of my head. But I decided, in the safety of my house, to just go with it and give in to the absurdity of it. I shook it out when she told me to shake it out. I mean, don't get me wrong, it was completely ridiculous. But it also appropriately kicked my ass. Lesson: sometimes if you don't fight things with your slightly uptight nature, you can have a good time and actually get a work out in. Look at me being all healthy and stuff!

I'm also on day five without soda. I don't think I'll be making it to day six.

Now I'm off, like all of you, to go buy megamillions tickets and spend the rest of the day fantasizing about what I'll do if I win. If you win can you just pay off my student loans? That'd be super helpful. If I win, I'll do the same for you. (Totally non-binding internet agreement, y'all!)

Monday, March 26, 2012

Deconstructing D.C.

I spent this past week in our nation's capital. It's the first time I ever had the pleasure of going to D.C. It was...nice? Ish? I guess?

Here's the deal: there's a reason large cadres of high schoolers go on educational trips there. They go, they see all the sights, they can say they've done it, and they never have to go back. Once you've seen every memorial, they aren't changing.

As my wise beyond her years stepsister said when I was debating between day drinking irresponsibility and seeing more museums on my last full day in the city, "Museums are full of a bunch of old shit that will still be there- hence why they're called museums..."

Monday, March 19, 2012


Apparently because I haven't left SF in a fair amount of time, and since I'm with my dad and thus don't have to take care of things and can just coast on this trip, I turn into a colossal idiot when traveling. Which is what I get for my dad bragging to his friends who we are traveling with that I'm the smartest person he knows. (He's obviously very biased.)

Unrelated to my idiocy I first have to deal with other people: I get stuck behind the middled aged Midwestern women going through security which just tortures my effective, planning self, who has already removed her shoes and put her laptop in it's own bin, while they dawdle with their shoes and hold up the line. Not that there was a line but they were sure as hell trying to create one. One of them had water IN her carry on, you guys. I mean COME ON! Have you not flown in the last decade? Gaaaah. As someone on Twitter who flies frequently said: you have to go into zombie zen trance mode to keep from being CONSTANTLY ANNOYED. For serious.

But then *I* turned into just a completely non-functioning idiot.

You all know I have a serious Dr Pepper addiction, right? When I pulled up the info about our Virgin American flight I discovered that they don't serve Dr Pepper, and since I of course had barely slept the night before our flight, I had to have one. I buy a 20 oz bottle at the airport store for $3 which is lol absurd but can't take liquids through security! Don't want the terrorists to win! Capitalism, y'all!

We get on the plane and get settled and seriously if you can fly Virgin, do. The in seat TVs make it feel like you're just channel surfing on a very small couch for a few hours and not stuck on a miserable flight. After I get settled and the seatbelt/operate electronics lights go off, I pull out my bottle of Dr Pepper. And of course I manage to have it explode ALL over me. I'm now covered in Dr Pepper about a half an hour into my 5 hour flight. I am amazing, you guys!

But it gets better! I at one point get up to use the bathroom, something I try to avoid on planes but I stupidly drank 2 cups of black tea before our flight. When I return, I notice the light is out on my fancy noise canceling headphones. They have a AAA battery in them that makes them work. So, since apparently my headphones are an old Nintendo, I take the battery out to shake it and put it back in. Except I somehow manage to drop the battery next to me. I'm in the window seat with my jacket shoved next to me and as I go to grab for the now dropped battery it of course slides down further and drops to the floor behind and next to me. I thought about asking the person behind me if they could grab it but frankly, I didn't feel like bothering anyone for a battery that obviously didn't work anymore anyway. Batting a thousand. I just start laughing at the absurdity of it.

I fortunately had a backup pair of headphones so I wasn't stuck with the sound of my own thoughts for the rest of the flight. (Yes, it's excessive traveling but I can't just wear the noise canceling ones out and on the off chance I actually work out on this trip I need the non-noise canceling ones too. Ya know how it goes...)

We get to the luggage carousel and my distinctive purple Swiss Army luggage drops down. I grab it and after everyone gets their luggage, we head off to find our driver. We're waiting at the curb for the driver to retrieve the van when I look down at the luggage tag and realize it's not my purple bag.

In all my travels I have never seen anyone with my bag. Now, I'm not naive enough to think I have the only purple luggage in the world, but seriously, I have never seen an identical bag come off the carousel before. I just assumed it was mine and grabbed it. I even looked at one of the pockets on the front and thought, "Huh. They were rough with my luggage, that stab mark wasn't there before." I also have this big pink luggage tag on my bag (it was a gift) and didn't even occur to me that it wasn't there as I'm being a world class spaz and am all kinds of out sorts, apparently. But as we're curbside and I look down at my luggage make the realization and say, "Uhhhhh this isn't my bag! I took the wrong luggage!"

Considering Dulles is a good half an hour drive from downtown D.C. it was a good thing that I noticed before we left the airport but I'm still a little panicky. What if the other party took my bag without realizing it? What if we have to swap bags? My dad takes the bag and goes back inside. He finds my bag sitting forlornly on the luggage carousel. He returned the luggage I mistakenly took to the counter, though no one was standing around waiting for it. So I got my bag back with as little hassle as possible.

I just...know better! I don't know how I turned all brain dead all of a sudden as soon as I left San Francisco but there it is. Nowhere near together, you guys, nowhere near...

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

I Can't Believe I'm Writing About the Olive Garden

But here it is.

Here's what happened, as short of a version as I can make it, in case you live somewhere without internet: A nice old lady in North Dakota wrote an entirely unironic and heartfelt review of the exciting new Olive Garden opening there. I have to admit my own bit of a chuckle when I got to the line "Instead of the raspberry lemonade she suggested, I drank water." It's adorable.

Then the internet got ahold of it and made it this THING, as the internet is known to do. THEN the food snobs that live in this city, did a review of our own Olive Garden because OMG we have one here in San Francisco too and how novel and quirky! That's when my head exploded a little bit and there were long Twitter conversations, the end result of which was basically I need to start a Tumblr called Weird Olive Garden Experiences, or: The Unbearable Sadness and l'ennui of Olive Garden.

All caught up? Okay. Now:

I didn't take internet glee in the initial review or chide it the way most of the internet did. Not that I'm above such snark, I'm obviously not. The lady reminded me of my grandmother and the way she reacted to things and I found it admirable that at her age she was keeping busy and churning out columns and that her review was straight forward and informative. What was there, really, to mock? You elitist kids and your locally grown, organic all natural farm to table food thought this was hysterical? Get over yourselves. Because guess what? The people in the midwest can't believe you'd go to Gary Danko (a restaurant I quite enjoy, btw) and drop what you do on tiny portions when you could go to the all you can eat pizza buffet for $10. It cuts both ways.

I also think that living in South Louisiana for a time gave me a fair amount of perspective, and some insight into the way life is for people who don't have constant access to locally owned and operated restaurants.

In a perfect world would we be able to support a locally operated business with values who is taking time, effort, and energy to make us a meal? Absolutely. That'd be great. But if there's one thing we know: the world is far from perfect. And sometimes you're visiting family in Grand Forks and the Olive Garden is THE best option. Sometimes you're on business in a place you're not familiar with and the Olive Garden/Red Lobster/Outback are comforting places where you understand the menu and can feel inconspicuous. Not everyone is lucky enough to live in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago or New York and have access to CIA grads trying out sous vide recipes with locally sourced meat from grass fed cows. Sometimes you work in an office park and the nearest choices are between Flingers and Flickers. The vast majority of the country goes to a chain restaurant and eats perfectly serviceable food in relaxed settings. And as food snobby as even the best San Franciscan can be, try to get into the Cheesecake Factory in Union Square on a weekend without a three hour wait.

I'm far more bothered by the utter douchery of the SF review than of Marilyn Hagerty's no nonsense take. They are not so above it. They even admit to having grown up with it. I actually didn't grow up with it. I, even as a kid, looked at a place like Sizzler as the most bizarre and novel experience. We used to tease my brother's best friend for saying that was his favorite. All the LOLZ. Essentially: I was a food snob, by breeding, before I even knew what that was. (Yes, I had an extremely privileged and spoiled upbringing. I am aware.) I got that knocked out of me when I went to college.

New Orleans may be one of the best food cities in the world, Baton Rouge on the other hand is actually known as a testing market for new chain menu items and even new chain concepts, it's so thoroughly The Middle. I once read that displaced New Orleans natives after Katrina had a very hard time adjusting to all the strip malls and chain restaurants after being used to their neighborhood places. I completely understand that. I spent my first year in college getting chided for being a food snob. "Uh, you guys are going to Chili's? Isn't there like...a better option?" And likely there was (The Chimes comes to mind) but we were all college kids who weren't native to this new city, going places that were cheap and had 2 for 1 happy hour. We also went to where our friends worked. I'm gonna guess that chain restaurants employ a huge population of college kids working their way through college, something ignored by the SF review.

Look, I'm completely guilty of even taking down this particular Olive Garden, long before the review of it came out. (Summary of that: I hate the Olive Garden and the last time I was there, because of unrelated issues, I ended up bawling after my visit.) (My hatred of the Olive Garden does not mean I am above loving other chains. I quite enjoy some Outback cheese fries every now and then. And my affinity for Hooters wings is documented.)

But my comments there aren't really about lamenting how naive these people are to think the Olive Garden is the best, it's wishing they had other options. I have a bigger problem with corporate chains taking over our life than with Grand Forks adoration of its new restaurant. (It was also about, as someone said, "Olive Garden isn't someplace you go, it's someplace you end up." So very true. And when I ended up there, it was kind of an awful moment all around.)

The desire for people to have and seek out local options comes from experience. When I was traveling Europe solo, I ate at far more McDonald's than I would ever like to admit. I couldn't get used to eating alone so I just wanted to eat something I knew how to order as quickly as possible and not cause a fuss. After a bit of doing that I realized it was absurd and made an effort to eat at local places and try local cuisine. Now whenever, wherever, I travel, I make a concerted effort to find places that are local and noteworthy and do what my dad once taught me, "If they have a house specialty, order it." Food is more than just perfectly comforting sustenance. I don't want to go into a "food can elevate existence" rant here, but, well, it often can. I'm more likely to find out about a place, to talk to locals, to even learn something about myself at their own little joint than I am at the IHOP next to the freeway. Even thinking about my time in Baton Rouge, I was about to leave the city for good before I knew there even was a downtown with cool, funky places to get good food.

Am I perfect in my "eat local" execution? Of course not. Even I'm guilty of driving somewhere and just wanting to eat what I know rather than seeking out something new. Sometimes I'm trying to get where I'm going and quick, easy, and convenient is what I want. Sometimes I'm just lazy. Sometimes I crave junk food. Sometimes Hooters is easier than parking in the Lower Haight to go to Wing Wings.

But I GET it, Grand Forkians, your Olive Garden is a big deal. Far more absurd than you being excited about it, and the utterly straight forward account of what it is by a grandmother, is the faux wonderment and utter snobbish derision offered by the SF "review" of the Olive Garden. You deserve better than that mocking tone for what you enjoy. I apologize, as one native San Franciscan, who lives closer to our single Olive Garden than I do to any of our fine restaurants, for the snobbishness of us all. Because at some point, we are all Grand Forkians seeking out food that is "warm and comforting on a cold day".

(More good reading on the feeling aspect of the topic from Posnanski here, ATVS here. More thoughtful understanding on the topic from Awl here.)